Dallas Comic Con finally moves to it’s namesake!
More than 50,000 fans came in droves this weekend to Dallas Comic Con, which has outgrown its previous dwelling in Irving, Texas and has a new home in the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Center, located in the heart of downtown Dallas. The new venue totes close to a million square feet of space, as opposed to the quarter of that in the Irving Convention Center at 275,000 square feet. In addition to the new location, Dallas Comic Con expanded their usual time slot to encompass the entire weekend, making the now 3-day event on par with its big city convention competition.
Dallas Comic Con boasted an array of guests for their fanbase, such as Alice Cooper, Robert Englund of Nightmare on Elm Street fame, a slew of Star Trek: TNG cast members including William Shatner (Sunday only) and Levar Burton, and was thisclose to bringing together an entire Firefly cast reunion. Oh, did I mention the man of the hour himself, Stan “The Man” Lee? I didn’t think I needed to.
Like other big city conventions that are quickly making a name for themselves, Dallas Comic Con is injecting a little bit of pop culture into their line up this year. Texas native FUNimation brought not only a large booth but an entire star studded line up, including Mike McFarland, ADR director and voice of Jean in current cult phenomenon Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin), the ever gorgeous Monica Rial (DragonBall Z Kai), and, in my favorite sight of the day, Sean Schemmel doing the Fusion Dance with fans during photo ops.
With cosplay guests quickly becoming the new staple at conventions, Dallas did not disappoint. Local cosplayers The Taffeta Darling and Chaka Cumberbatch of Fangirls: Dames of the Round Table, Texas’ first and currently only all-female ran and produced round table of fandom, were on hand, holding informative panels, judging the Cosplay Masquerade, and opening the epic Saturday night party, which yours truly was super bummed to miss out on. Insert sadface here.
Cosplayers lined up in full regalia at different intervals on each of the three days to participate in Dallas Comic-Con’s “Cosplay Red Carpet.” Initially brought in as a way to keep the small lanes at Irving Convention Center free from the traffic jam of snapping photos, the backdrop serves as an out of the way area for attendees to get photos and a general meeting place. The one criticism on everyone’s minds seemed to be the location of the Red Carpet, as setup seems genuinely fond of throwing the banner up in front of windows which isn’t exactly the best place for a photo op. At the Cosplay Masquerade held Saturday evening (hosted by sworn frenemies Devin Pike and Ben Ambroso), everyone brought their A-game, but none moreso than cosplayer Christina Revis, who won Best in Show for her beautifully detailed Katniss Everdeen’s Mockingjay dress from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Dallas Comic Con attendees were hyped to the point of tears for a full Firefly cast reunion, though were sadly disappointed when Morena Baccarin (Inara Serra) and Alan Tudyk (Wash) both cancelled. The Firefly panel opened with a video from Joss Whedon himself addressing the cast and attendees alike with a jovial, “To everyone there, I hate you.” and Alan Tudyk spent a little Facetime with the audience from Nathan Fillion’s phone.
In my favorite moment from Nathan Fillion’s Q&A panel, the dashing Castle star recounted his pitch of an episode of Castle as a response to the audience question, “Would there be something from Firefly that you would like to see in Castle?”
“Excellent question. What was the question? Would there be something from Firefly that you would like to see in Castle. I pitched an episode of Castle where there was a murder on the cast of a sci-fi TV show of the guy who played the captain. And I wanted the cast of Firefly to play the cast of the sci-fi show. But they all hated him, and they all had a reason to want him dead. One of the reasons being his immense popularity. And his tremendous good looks. And incredible talent. And lovely singing voice. And sense of fashion.” – Nathan Fillion, Dallas Comic Con Q&A panel
I would certainly watch that episode, and no doubt the rest of the audience agreed wholeheartedly. Quotes like that just further my desire to be a panel moderator. Wait, what?
However, Dallas Comic Con was not without it’s hiccups – and I’m not talking about cosplayers from How To Train Your Dragon, though I didn’t see as many of those as I would’ve liked. Larger venues mean a price increase for the convention and many local artists and shops who go through the North Texas convention circuit and have been purchasing exhibitor space since the show’s inception felt that more than a few of the price increases were deal breakers. Similarly, attendees of Dallas Comic Con were struck not only by its noticeably different array of vendor space, which included more than the usual rows of local shops and artists with large spaces dedicated to corporate storefronts and movie booths, but also the increase in price for parking with a no in-outs rule, which means no convention breaks and getting stuck with food court cuisine.
Despite the growing pains, Dallas Comic Con has found it’s new residence and its name is no longer a lie. What was your favorite part of Dallas Comic-Con 2014? Are there any changes you’d like to see for next year? Sound off in the comments!