A-Kon 26 Revs up for a Weekend Full of Anime, Gaming, and Cosplay

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A-Kon is the longest running anime convention in the U.S. With 25 years now under its belt, A-Kon consistently delivers an exciting weekend full of anime, guests, panels, and fun.

Join A-Kon and over 20,000 anticipated guests at the Hilton Anatole in Downtown Dallas. Parking can be a bit tricky as main parking at the Anatole fills up rather quickly. It is strongly encouraged to refer to this map and signing that allows overflow A-Kon parking. There are many spots close to the Anatole that may look tempting to park in, but beware towing is HEAVILY enforced during the weekend and you don’t want to come back to a booted/non-existent car after a

If you're looking to get a professional photo of your cosplay, visit SuperheroPhotos at A-kon!

If you’re looking to get a professional photo of your cosplay, visit SuperheroPhotos at A-Kon! This was my Mega Charizard from A-Kon last year!

weekend of fun.

Whether you have pre-registered for a badge or are buying on-site, it’s advised to get in line as early as you can. Lines have been hours long in the past and you don’t want to miss any of your convention time. If you’re cosplaying it’s advised to pick up your badge before you get in costume since you may be standing for an extended period of time.

A-Kon draws such a large crowd because the convention consistently delivers optimal entertainment to its guests. From J-Pop celebrities to a massive artist alley/dealers room collaboration, there is always something new to see.

This years celebrity guests include voice actress Amber Nash most currently known for her role as Pam from Archer. Other guests include Trina Nishimura, voice of Mikasa from Attack on Titan, and Caitlin Glass known for her role as Winry from Fullmetal Alchemist.

Although A-Kon is namely an anime convention, gaming is a large feature too. A Console Gaming Room full of nostalgic game titles is sure to feed any gamers appetite. Additionally, ScrewAttack will be there with game demos so be sure to stop by and test out some of their newest titles.

One of the highlights of A-Kon is a large dance party they host Saturday night. If you like rave-like atmospheres, this dance party is right up your alley. In the past they’ve had talented DJ’s who incorporate nerdy touches into their music like Pokemon themes, Zelda’s main theme and more.

While finding restaurants in walking distance of the Anatole isn’t that easy, A-Kon has accommodated to have multiple food trucks available around the clock to satisfy hungry guests. There are 20 food trucks on the list to be rotating throughout four areas of the convention. From pizza, BBQ, tacos, and boba, there’s something for everyone.

Come out to A-Kon 26 this weekend and have some fun with the nerdiest and most fun people around, it’s tradition!

Also, here is my A-Kon photo bingo chart! Save it on your phone and try to get a bingo! Send it to me after the weekend with the photos to dallasfangirl@gmail.com!

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Dallas Comic Con Brings Heroes and Villains Together for One Epic Weekend

REVIEW

If anything can bring heroes and villains together it was definitely Dallas Comic Con. Running on it’s second year at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, DCC ran a smooth convention that provided fun and new experiences to fans.

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Groot aka PropCustomz

The convention, held May 29-31, hosted thousands of eager fans waiting to experience nerd bliss. If it’s any indication of how many fans were pouring into the convention center, within the first hour of the show on Saturday the 1200 spot parking lot was already full. Luckily, DCC planned for just this type of crowd and expanded the convention to take up the entire center instead of just one area.

This time artists and vendors were more integrated into the exhibit floor rather than being separated into entirely different sections of the room. The increased space along with increase in seating, tables, and transition between exhibitors and celebrities seemed to prove beneficial. Aisles seemed much less crowded and it was easier to navigate the floor and return to booths.

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Destiny Nickelson

Cosplay was highly represented the entire weekend. Everywhere I looked there were high-caliber cosplays of characters from every dimension of fandom. There was even an entire aisle in the celebrity area dedicated to famous cosplayers. Here I was able to meet cosplayers and prop makers who consistently create incredible work. My favorite to talk to was Destiny Nickelson who is a seasoned cosplayer and well known in the community. When I met her she was wearing a Mary Marvel costume that she had created in a mere six hours with left over fabric she had! It’s incredible the level of talent and creativity of this community.

The My Possibilites comic club attended the convention bringing along colorful paintings they created to be shown at the event. My Possibilities “enables adults with disabilities to realize their greatest possibilities and enjoy

My Possibilities students show off their artwork at Dallas Comic Con - Photo cred Krystle Starr

My Possibilities students show off their artwork at Dallas Comic Con – Photo cred Krystle Starr

meaningful lives.” Their students, also known as HIPsters, created the works of art featuring super heroes and villains from both the Marvel and DC universe. Helping them discover their artistic potential, teacher Krystle Starr encourages her students to push the boundaries and to not be afraid to take a chance. She told me how one student accidently spilled some paint on a canvas and

was upset that they ruined it, instead Krystle encouraged the student to “go with it,” and the “mistake” actually wound up making a unique and beautiful piece of art. It was wonderful to see their works of art appreciated and to have so many new comic fans join the convention scene.

One of the most entertaining panels was that of Tom Kenny. The voice actor, most famous for his roles as Spongebob Squarepants and the Ice King, gave sound advice to aspiring voice actors and provided much entertainment by using his

Tom Kenny entertains fans with voice acting stories and favorite voices.

Tom Kenny entertains fans with voice acting stories and favorite voices.

voice talents to fulfill fan requests. One piece of advice he gave to aspiring voice actors in regards to their demo reels was to “create one demo reel with cartoon and character voices and a separate reel with regular voices that could be used on television ads.” One guest requested Kenny voice a situation where Spongebob and the Ice King

would meet for the first time. He said this was something he had never done before, and the result was both hilarious and awesome.

While many heroes were represented at the convention, the true heroes were without a doubt the volunteers and staff that worked around the clock to make sure everything went on as scheduled. Without them, there is no way a convention of this caliber could happen. Thank you volunteers and staff for all that you do to provide the best experience for all of your guests, your tireless efforts and accommodations are extremely appreciated!

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Fan Expo Dallas 2015 Guide

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Fan Expo Dallas (formerly Dallas Comic Con, “The Big One”) is Dallas’ largest comic book convention. Held at the Dallas Convention Center, the convention is hosting some of Sci-Fi’s largest stars including Dr. Who star Matt Smith, Firefly heartbreaker Nathan Fillion, and comic book legend Stan Lee.

I’ve created this guide to Fan Expo Dallas in hopes that it helps those who are new to the convention scene, or are curious about what to expect. I have compiled questions from my email, tips from seasoned cosplayers and attendees, as well as advice and personal favorites based off personal experience. Enjoy!

CLICK HERE FOR THE OFFICIAL 2015 PROGRAM WITH MAP & SCHEDULE 

The Basics

When:

May 29-31

Friday May 29: 4pm-9pm

Saturday May 30: 10am-7pm

Sunday May 31: 10am-5pm

Where:

Dallas Convention Center

650 South Griffin Street
Dallas, TX 75202

Price:

Single Day:

Friday $25

Saturday $50

Sunday $40

Kids $10 with adult ticket

All 3: $89

(deluxe 3 day pass only available as pre-registration, buy in advance and get in on Friday at 2 p.m.)

New to Dallas Comic Con?

Your questions answered!

 

Q. I’ve never been to DCC. How can I decide whether I want to go or not?

A. Are you nerdy? Do you love comics, sci-fi shows, and get excited when someone mentions Marvel, Dragon Ball Z, Dr. Who, or any related nerdy content? This is the place for you! If you’ve never been to a convention before, or have been but it was really small, I would plan to expect the following:

– Large dealers hall with many vendors, artists, and guest celebrities

– different rooms around the convention center hosting numerous panels (*it is very important to have a map on you, even if you have been to DCC before, rooms are always changing!)

– tons of photo opportunities

– long lines and short lines; plan your time wisely!

Q. What does a typical day consist of? What’s a simple play-by-play of the day?

  • A. A typical day varies from person to person. It depends on what your interests are and why you’re attending the convention. But, here is a very basic run-down of what a very standard day could be!
  • 1.Get dressed and ready to go
    • 1a. Cosplaying? Make a checklist the day before of everything you are planning on wearing so that you can check it off as you get ready the next morning. Not cosplaying? A checklist is good to have anyway. Camera? Water bottle? Phone? ID/Credit card?
  • 2.Get directions and drive to the convention
    • 2a. If you are planning to get there when the convention opens, plan on getting there at least 2 hours in advance for the best parking/spot in line. Especially if you haven’t pre-registered. If you do not care about lines/aren’t in a rush, take it at your own pace.
  • 3.Arrive: pay for parking, park in garage/available lots
    • 3a. Bring cash for parking ($10-$20)
  • 4.Get in line to get your badge
    • 4a. Don’t forget your license/emails with receipt barcode of badge purchase
  • 5.Enter convention
    • 5a. Grab a schedule and establish a good meeting place in case you and your buddies get separated. Go over the schedule and narrow down what you want to do if you haven’t already pre-planned. (Sometimes there are some last-minute schedule changes, too!)
  • 6.Plan your attack
    • 6a. Grab a map and explore! Before you commit to doing something, it’s always best to get a feel for the convention floor and where everything is. Best bathroom? Panel rooms? Dealer’s room? Food? You never know when you may need to make an emergency run to the artist alley for a last-minute print! This is also a good time to scope out your food options like where the food trucks are parked, what’s available at the con, and what restaurants are nearby for after-con endeavors.
  • 7.Wander around
    • 7a. Wandering around is some of the most fun. A lot of the day consists of just walking back and forth to the same places. While this may not sound thrilling, just wait. There is always something new to see and always something happening. Cosplay red carpet, celebrities roaming the convention floors, and random acts of awesomeness make each experience unique!
  • 8.Attend at least one panel
    • 8a. I usually aim to go to one or two panels. More than two sometimes eats up the day too much for me. Between waiting in line for the panel, waiting for it to start, and then getting out, it all ends up being anywhere from a 2-4 hour experience. Worth it for some panels, not so much for others. Especially since the convention hours are relatively short (10-7, 10-5) there may be other things you won’t want to miss out on.
  • 9.Talk to artists/dealers and buy something unique
    • 9a. Artists work is unique and a lot of times are convention exclusives! I always try to buy at least one piece I really like and go out of my way to meet the artist. This gives you a deeper connection to the piece you get and makes you really treasure it! Although a lot of things you find in the dealer’s room you can find online and at retailers, there are a lot of vintage and rare pieces that you can’t! In addition, some of the dealer’s are some of the coolest people you will ever meet!
  • 10.Remember to take pictures
    • 10a. This may sound obvious but I always seem to forget! If you see something cool, take a picture. Chances are you may not see it again!

Pretend schedule:

  • 10am: arrive, park, get in line
  • 11am: enter building/get badge
  • 11:15-12:30: explore dealer’s room, artist alley, convention floor
  • 12:30-12:45: Grab food to eat in line
  • 12:45: get in line for 2 p.m. panel
  • 2:00: enter panel
  • 3:00: exit panel
  • 3:30: go get autographs
  • 5:00: back to dealer’s room
  • 6:00: Final walk through

 

Kids Zone

Children’s admission: $10 with adult ticket purchase

Q. Is Dallas Comic Con kid friendly?

A. Yes! A lot of conventions go out of their way to make sure that children are welcome. Dallas Comic Con is no exception! There is a lot for kids to do, and there is even a kids cosplay contest!

Q. Do cosplayers take pictures with kids? Is that okay?

A. Absolutely! Ask any cosplayer – posing with kids is usually the best part of a convention! Don’t be afraid to stop someone and ask for a picture, most are more than happy to pose!

Q. Any advice for parents bringing kids?

A. Bring a snack or budget for snacks for your kiddos. Establish meeting places in case you get separated and plan time to sit down and relax. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are many things for kids to do at the convention, but you may want to read over the schedule beforehand to have an idea of what is going on, otherwise it may seem boring for the kids to constantly roam around until you find something.

Photos/Autographs

Q. How does getting a photo with a celebrity work? Do I just walk up with my phone/camera?

A. Very rarely can you take a photograph with a celebrity at their booth for free. At DCC most celebrities will have specific “photo op” times where fans will line up with pre-purchased vouchers to get a photo with their choice of guest. These photo ops start at $30 and are more expensive the larger the guest.

http://www.fanexpodallas.com/photo-ops/

Q. What’s the basic cost for autographs, as well as group deals for autographs from entire casts that will be there?

A. Autographs run anywhere from $35-$100+. Typically there are no “group” deals on autographs and celebrities charge separately.

Q. Can I take photos of celebrities and cosplayers?

A. Always ask. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS ask. Usually, per policy, you cannot walk up and take a photo of a celebrity. If you don’t see a sign, ask a volunteer or staff member. Always ask a cosplayer before you take his/her photo.

Q. I’m cosplaying and I’d like a professional photo of my costume. Is there a service for that?

A. Yes! My personal favorite is SuperHero Photos! Joe is SUPER professional and his photos are really high quality! His booth is always my first stop before my costume gets all convention worn! Booth #390

Panels

Q. How early do I need to line up for a panel?

A. This really depends on how popular of a panel it will be and the day. Typically in the past at DCC the rule of thumb is to line up about an hour before the panel. However, with the attendance list expected to nearly double this year you may want to keep tabs on your panel up to two hours before it begins.

Full schedule of panels/updates/events can be found here: http://fanexpodallas.com/schedule/

Cosplay/Wardrobe

Q. What should I wear to Dallas Comic Con (if I don’t want to cosplay)?

A. There’s no right or wrong answer to this one. For guys, typically a nerdy shirt, jeans (or shorts), and sneakers are a classic convention look. Ladies have looks all over the place – I’ve seen anything from casual tee and shorts to full decked out high heels and short skirts. If you’re planning on staying a while I’d just advise you wear something comfortable! Unless it’s for a cosplay, conventions typically aren’t the best place to test out new footwear!

Q. Is it required for me to cosplay in order to go to DCC?

A. Not at all! Even though cosplay is a big thing, typically there are less people dressed up than not!

Q. I want to cosplay but I’m running out of time! Who should I cosplay?

A. Pick a character you love and make it simple! Don’t stress. If you’re looking for something easy – Google “Disneybound outfits” to see some Disney inspired looks! I can’t tell you a specific character because I don’t want you to pick something you don’t like. Be true to you! Remember, hot glue and safety pins are your friend!

Q. Looks like it’s going to rain this weekend during the con. What should I do if I’m going in costume/body paint/ etc?

A. Bring a backpack and pack an umbrella, poncho, trash bags. Whatever waterproof stuff you can! Make sure you bring a bag big enough to carry your purchases! If you are really concerned about makeup and costumes with rain, my best suggestion would be to get to the con really early to get covered parking or bring your makeup and do it at the convention center. (There is a cosplay hidewaway for those planning to cosplay, last year they had a changing room and as I recall the convention bathrooms are decently sized.)

Weapons/Props

*NOTE UPDATED POLICY REGARDING WEAPONS AT DALLAS COMIC CON 2015*

Q. Can I bring a fake gun to the convention? It’s plastic and has an orange tip.

A. As of recent, DCC policy states under no circumstance is any type of firearm or replica firearm allowed.

“Live firearms including airsoft, modern, hunting or historic, either functioning or de-commissioned, are not permitted at any FAN EXPO HQ event. Replica firearms made from metal, solid resin/plastic/rubber are not to be brought onto convention grounds. All other firearms/projectile weapons are required to have orange safety tips at all times on convention grounds, however they can be removable for photography or competition purposes as long as they are re-attached when moving around the convention”

For more information on prop guidelines please refer to the official rules here:

http://fanexpodallas.com/props-weapons-policy/

After the Con

Q. I see the convention ends at 7 on Saturday. Is there anything going on after?

A. There will be an official after party Saturday night! Details here: http://fanexpodallas.com/saturday-night-shindig/?utm_content=buffer0ecd6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Hotel

Q. Do I need to get a hotel room?

A. If you are going all 3 days (or even 2) getting a hotel sometimes makes things a lot easier, especially if you are in cosplay or planning to stay out late. Most of the hotels are filling up quickly, so the earlier you book the closer you can get.

Recommended hotel list: http://www.fanexpodallas.com/travel/

Expenses

Q. How much money should I bring?

A. This really depends on how much you are able to spend and what you are looking at getting. Tickets at the door can be purchased using credit card. Most vendors take card, but it’s usually a lot easier to pay cash and sometimes vendors are willing to cut deals for cash sales. Plus, you can never be too sure that the wifi will be steady for credit card transactions. If you are looking to get some high-dollar items, bring enough to support that. Keep in mind food prices are typical event food prices (so a bit higher than average).

Dealer’s Room / Artist Alley

Q. Should I try to bargain in the dealers room?

A. Most vendors are willing to haggle a bit. Just make sure you are courteous and not pushy about it. In my opinion, it’s usually easier to strike a good deal on the last day of the con. Most times big retailers are unable to make further markdowns on their merchandise, but have convention exclusive sales.

Q. What kind of art is in the Artist Alley?

A. Expect fan art from all corners of Sci-Fi and comics! There is such a large variety of artists, exploring the Artist Alley (AA) is one of my favorite things to do! From local artists to ones you may recognize from popular websites like TeeFury, there’s bound to be a style you like! A few of my favorite artists are Eddie Medina Art (EdMed Art) (Booth #PA15 in the Artist Alley), Michael Champion (Booth #595 in the Exhibitor space), John Hughes (Overground Comics), and Shonuff Studio (Booth #PA12 in the Artist Alley)! Check them out if you have a chance!

Please email me at dallasfangirl@gmail.com with questions, corrections, and updates!

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Best spots for Free Comic Book Day – Dallas/Plano TX

Free Comic Book Day is like Halloween for the nerdy crew (not to say nerds don’t like candy!). It’s basically trick-or-treating at different comic book shops to pick up comics from a selection that have been deemed “Free.” This selection is sent intentionally from comic book distributors, so don’t think you’re going to walk into a shop and pick out anything you’d like for free! That being the case, comic book shops usually go a step further by bringing in special guests, offering discounts on various products, and having other fun nerdy related events! Here are my picks for the places you should visit Saturday, May 2! Remember, the earlier you get to these stores the better chances you have at getting what you want!

Full list of the free comics and their descriptions here. 

Madness Comics and Games

Where:

3000 Custer Rd Suite 310
Plano, Texas

When: Saturday, May 2 9 am – Midnight

What they’re offering:

Trina Nishimura – Mikasa Ackerman from Attack on Titan
Jake Lloyd – Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars The Phantom Menace
Ray Park – Dark Maul from Star Wars The Phantom Menace
Peter Mayhew – Chewbaca from Star Wars

Plus over 25,000 free comics to give away *and* a Buy 2 get 1 Free sale!

Collected Comics

Where: Multiple locations

Plano:

3100 Independence Pkwy, Suite #318
Plano, Texas

When:  Saturday, May 2

What they’re offering:

Plano meet Adventure Time cover artist Andy Hirsch! Thomas Branch, local artist will be bringing his beautiful prints out. Hunter Stillborn Zombie, an undead writer living in the United States that fully believes in the power of the written word as he shuffles through this great country taking in all the things and spilling them on paper. Jeff Muncie art. The very lovely Krystle Starr will be our cosplay guest of honor from 10AM to 1PM. The Comics Alternative will be recording a special edition of their podcast from 1:30 – 3:30 there may even be an invasion from the 501st! All of this PLUS you get FREE COMICS!

Keith’s Comics

Where: Muliple locations

Dallas:

5400 E Mockingbird Ln Suite 120
Dallas, Texas

When: Saturday May 2, 11am – 6pm

What they’re offering:

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Zeus Comics 

Where:

1334 Inwood Rd
Dallas, Texas

When: Saturday May 2

What they’re doing:

Anna & Elsa meet and greet

“Paws in the City” adoption event

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Welcome to Jurassic Par- I mean, the Dallas Zoo!

As if I couldn’t be more excited for Jurassic World, the Dallas Zoo opened a “Giants of the Jurassic” exhibit that runs currently until September 7.

I got to go and see the dinos in action on the soft opening of the event – and let me tell you, this is so freaking awesome. There are over 20 dinosaurs that are all animatronic – they roar, move, and even spray water! From brachiosaurus to the massive T-Rex, it’s a full throttle dinosaur extravaganza.

My favorite was definitely the dilophosaurus which immediately took me back to Jurassic Park when Dennis Nedry had his encounter! The ones set up at the zoo spray water at you, but I liked to pretend it was poisonous spit.

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I felt just like I was inside of John Hammonds park. When I was there, they were even hosting a puppet show that featured baby dinosaurs that kids were invited to come up and touch. They looked so incredibly lifelike!

One of my favorite features was an area where they set up a dino dig and I could pretend the be a paleontologist. This part is located right next to a mini train that shuttles kids around and lets them be immersed in the dinosaur world.

Because the exhibit lasts all summer, there will be plenty of dinosaur related events happening at the zoo. Everything part of the exhibit is included in the regular zoo admission price – so if you’re a member of the zoo it’s an even bigger perk!

Expect to see me at the zoo a bunch this summer getting my fill of all things dinosaur!

The Dallas Zoo is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm. General admission tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for kids.

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Fan Days 2015 Guide

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If you’ve never been to a convention, or to Dallas Fan Days (previously Sci-Fi Expo) this is your ultimate tool! I’ve taken the most FAQ’s and combined them into one place full of answers and advice. Hope it is helpful!

schedule

The Basics
When:
February 7-8
Saturday Feb 7: 10am-7pm
Sunday Feb 8: 10am-5pm
Where:
Irving Convention Center
500 West Las Colinas Blvd
Irving, TX 75039
Price:
Single Day:
Saturday $39
Sunday $29
Kids $5 with adult ticket
Both days: $59

Parking:
There are 2 garages and lawn parking. The first garage (connected) fills up quickly. The second garage has a shuttle that takes guests to and from the convention center. Lawn parking is available as well (just be mindful of mud mess if it rains!) Expect to pay $5 – $10 for parking daily.

Q.Can I bring food/water bottles to Fan Days?
A. By technical standards I don’t think you are supposed to, but it’s a smart idea to bring a backpack and put a water bottle and small snack inside. If you have special dietary needs it’s definitely okay.

*Fan Days Virgin*
Q. I’ve never been to Fan Days. How can I decide whether I want to go or not?
A. Fan Days is a great first convention. It’s more on the comic book side, but you get a good mix of fandoms. Sci-Fi and Comics are the main fandoms but there’s always a good representation of Anime and other genres! The crowds are not too huge, but large enough so where you will see a lot of people and a lot of costumes! Expect some lines, but not insane (though Saturday will be the most crowded day).

Q. How can I see all the events happening and where they will be?

A. A pamphlet will be provided at check-in that will have a map and schedule of the events. There is also a mobile app you can pull up with up-to-date information regarding cancellations, room changes, and more!  http://dcc.baconsamurai.com/mobile/2015-fan-days (Thanks Devin!)

Q. How can I make sure I have the BEST experience at Fan Days?
A. The best advice I can give to have a great time is to not be too scheduled and to expect the unexpected. Things happen – guest stars get sick, cancel appearances, and timings change unexpectedly. Go in with an open mind, back-up plans if needed, and just enjoy yourself!

Q. How is it compared to other conventions in dallas?
A. This convention right in the middle. It averages around 5,000 attendees, but as the years go by it gets bigger! Previously named Sci-Fi Expo. Be prepared for a lot more vendors, and a wider variety of guests!! On the flip side this is also going to mean more traffic, lines, and crowds than we are used to at smaller conventions.

Q. What does a typical day consist of? What’s a simple play-by-play of the day?
A. A typical day varies from person to person. It depends on what your interests are and why you’re attending the convention. But, here is a very basic run-down of what a very standard day could be!
• 1. Get dressed and ready to go
• 1a. Cosplaying? Make a checklist the day before of everything you are planning on wearing so that you can check it off as you get ready the next morning. Not cosplaying? A checklist is good to have anyway. Camera? Water bottle? Phone? ID/Credit card?
• 2.Get directions and drive to the convention
• 2a. If you are planning to get there when the convention opens, plan on getting there at least an hour in advance for the best parking/spot in line. Especially if you haven’t pre-registered. If you do not care about lines/aren’t in a rush, take it at your own pace.
• 3. Arrive: pay for parking, park in garage/available lots
• 3a. Bring cash for parking ($5-$10)
• 4. Get in line to get your badge
• 4a. Don’t forget your license/emails with receipt barcode of badge purchase
• 5. Enter convention
• 5a. Grab a schedule and establish a good meeting place in case you and your buddies get separated. Go over the schedule and narrow down what you want to do if you haven’t already pre-planned. (Sometimes there are some last-minute schedule changes, too!)
• 6. Plan your attack
• 6a. Grab a map and explore! Before you commit to doing something, it’s always best to get a feel for the convention floor and where everything is. Best bathroom? Panel rooms? Dealer’s room? Food? You never know when you may need to make an emergency run to the artist alley for a last-minute print! This is also a good time to scope out your food options like where the food trucks are parked, what’s available at the con, and what restaurants are nearby for after-con endeavors.
• 7. Wander around
• 7a. Wandering around is some of the most fun. A lot of the day consists of just walking back and forth to the same places. While this may not sound thrilling, just wait. There is always something new to see and always something happening. Cosplay red carpet, celebrities roaming the convention floors, and random acts of awesomeness make each experience unique!
• 8. Attend at least one panel
• 8a. I usually aim to go to one or two panels. More than two sometimes eats up the day too much for me. Between waiting in line for the panel, waiting for it to start, and then getting out, it all ends up being anywhere from a 2-4 hour experience. Worth it for some panels, not so much for others. Especially since the convention hours are relatively short (10-7, 10-5) there may be other things you won’t want to miss out on.
• 9. Talk to artists/dealers and buy something unique
• 9a. Artists work is unique and a lot of times are convention exclusives! I always try to buy at least one piece I really like and go out of my way to meet the artist. This gives you a deeper connection to the piece you get and makes you really treasure it! Although a lot of things you find in the dealer’s room you can find online and at retailers, there are a lot of vintage and rare pieces that you can’t! In addition, some of the dealer’s are some of the coolest people you will ever meet!
• 10. Remember to take pictures (SuperHero Photos booth is usually located on one of the top floors, Joe, the photographer, is great and will make your costume look amazing!)
• 10a. This may sound obvious but I always seem to forget! If you see something cool, take a picture. Chances are you may not see it again!

Pretend schedule:
• 10am: arrive, park, get in line
• 11am: enter building/get badge
• 11:15-12:30: explore dealer’s room, artist alley, convention floor
• 12:30-12:45: Grab food to eat in line
• 12:45: get in line for 2 p.m. panel
• 2:00: enter panel
• 3:00: exit panel
• 3:30: go get autographs
• 5:00: back to dealer’s room
• 6:00: Final walk through

*Kids Zone*
Children’s admission: $5 with adult ticket purchase
Q. Is Fan Days kid friendly?
A. Yes! A lot of conventions go out of their way to make sure that children are welcome. Fan Days is no exception! There is a lot for kids to do, and kids can even walk the cosplay red carpet and get their photo taken!

Q. Do cosplayers take pictures with kids? Is that okay?
A. Absolutely! Ask any cosplayer – posing with kids is usually the best part of a convention! Don’t be afraid to stop someone and ask for a picture, most are more than happy to pose!

Q. There are a lot of people attending, should I be worried about my child getting lost?
A. As in any setting, keep a sharp eye on your kid. There is times that there is inappropriate content at a booth or a cosplayer who may not appreciate their costume being pulled on/touched. Make sure you are respectful. If you have any concerns while at the convention, the volunteers are amazing and happy to help!

*Photos/Autographs*
Q. How does getting a photo with a celebrity work? Do I just walk up with my phone/camera?

A. Very rarely can you take a photograph with a celebrity at their booth for free. At Fan Days most celebrities will have specific “photo opp” times where fans will line up with pre-purchased vouchers to get a photo with their choice of guest. If a celebrity is able to take a photo at their booth they will tell you so.

Q. Can me and my friend/fiancé/partner get a picture together with a celebrity? Does that cost extra?
A. According to Epic Photo Op: The price of a photo is the price per posed picture, not per person. There is a limit of three people in each photo (excluding children 3 years or under, and media guests).

Q. We are scheduling an itinerary but you mentioned waits can get kind ridiculous…what has been your best and worst experience with autographs or photo ops?
A. Best experience is that I am able to just walk up and get the autograph I want with no wait. Worst experience was that I waited a long time to meet an actor, and then he had to leave for the day, so I waited over an hour for nothing. A lot of times a long line can be worth the wait though. For example, I waited about an hour to meet Felicia Day and she was amazing. She even did a shout out video for my professor (and yes, I got an A).
*Panels*

Q. How early do I need to line up for a panel?
A. This really depends on how popular of a panel it will be and the day. Typically in the past at Fan Days the rule of thumb is to line up about an hour before the panel. Sometimes the wait can be shorter, or longer. It depends how popular the panel is. Remember, VIP guests get first entry/dibs on seats.

*Cosplay/Wardrobe*

Q. What should I wear to Fan Days?
A. There’s no right or wrong answer to this one. For guys, typically a nerdy shirt, jeans (or shorts), and sneakers are a classic convention look. Ladies have looks all over the place – I’ve seen anything from casual tee and shorts to full decked out high heels and short skirts. If you’re planning on staying a while I’d just advise you wear something comfortable! Unless it’s for a cosplay, conventions typically aren’t the best place to test out new footwear!

Q. I want to cosplay but don’t know what character to be! What are some popular male/female characters for Fan Days I could be?
Classic comic characters are usually very popular. Harley Quinn, Dr. Who characters, Poison Ivy, Captain America, etc. But don’t be afraid to branch out! Don’t dress as a character you don’t like just because it’s popular.

Q. A weapon goes well with my costume and is a necessary prop. Can I bring it?
A.Metal weapons are not allowed. If you bring a sword it needs to be wooden, plastic, or kept in it’s sheath and closed with zip ties. Toy guns will ned to be capped with an orange tip. There will be a weapons check as you walk in (it is FREE to get your weapon checked) and they will tell if you if your weapon is not allowed or what you can do to make it convention appropriate. Keep in mind tight spaces and children.

Q. Is it required for me to cosplay in order to go to Fan Days?
A. Not at all! Even though cosplay is a big thing right now, typically there are less people dressed up than not!

Q. I’m not planning on cosplaying, but I do want to wear a costume. Is that okay?
A. YES! To many cosplaying means taking the role of the character and not breaking said role. Whether that’s your definition or not – dressing up in a costume and just being your kooky self is 100% awesome!

Q. Is there a cosplay contest?

A. YES. Adults is on Sat. Line up at 4 pm at the cosplay hideout. First 60 in line will be entered. There are different categories for winners! (creative, anime, comics, etc.) Sunday is Kids Cosplay Contest.

Q. I am planning on cosplaying but my materials are heavy/hot. Is there anywhere I can sit down and take a break without being asked for photos?
A. Yes!! There will actually be a Cosplay Hideout lounge located on the map thanks to North Texas Cosplay. Water/Snacks?Place to rest

Q. We are still on the fence for Cosplay. Do you always go in costume?
A. I usually go in costume, but when I don’t I usually sport some sort of nerdy apparel.

Q. What are your personal experiences, both good and bad with going in costume?
A. The fun thing about going is costume is getting to show off your work (if you made it) and getting your picture taken! It’s fun to have some spotlight. Also, you can connect with people who love the same fandom as you, because it’s pretty obvious what you love. The downside is it can be hard to do lots of things because you are being stopped for photos, your costume is restrictive and doesn’t allow you to do other activities. For me, a lot of my costumes don’t have pockets so I try to integrate some sort of carrying device (backpack that fits, utility belt I can put money in etc.)

Q. You might not know since its a new company, but what has been your experiences with other Cons and prop guns?
A. Make sure your prop gun has the orange tip and is plastic. Metal guns and props are prohibited at DCC.
*After the Con*

Q. I see the convention ends at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Is there anything going on after?
A. There will be an official after party Saturday night!

*Hotel*
Q. Do I need to get a hotel room?

A. There is a hotel next to the Irving Convention Center. Information can be found here. Since the convention isn’t located in a hotel, there isn’t really much hotel nightlife (like you would find at A-Kon, Dragoncon, etc.). The nightlife will be at the after party Saturday night.

*Expenses*
Q. How much money should I bring?

A. This really depends on how much you are able to spend and what you are looking at getting. Tickets at the door can be purchased using credit card. Most vendors take card, but it’s usually a lot easier to pay cash and sometimes vendors are willing to cut deals for cash sales. If you are looking to get some high-dollar items, bring enough to support that. If you aren’t looking for anything particular, my go-to amount is $100 in cash for food and misc. spending.

*Dealer’s Room / Artist Alley*
Q. Should I try and bargain in the dealers room?

A. Most vendors are willing to haggle a bit. Just make sure you are courteous and not pushy about it. In my opinion, it’s usually easier to strike a good deal on the last day of the con. Most times big retailers are unable to make further markdowns on their merchandise, but have convention exclusive sales.