Dallas Fan Days October 20-22

Calling all Super Nerds! Dallas Fan Days is coming October 20-22 to the Irving Convention Center. Guests from Riverdale, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, and Dr. Who are all planned to be in attendance.

The October event of Dallas Fan Days is one of my favorite conventions. Not only is the Irving Convention Center an optimal place for a convention, but this show always has something for everyone. If this is your first convention, or you have never been to the Irving Convention Center, please see my Beginner’s Guide for FAQ!

Staying true to the “comic” aspect of Comic Cons, Dallas Fan Days has an exceptional range of comic creators, artists, and comic book professionals who are always excited to meet their fans and share the excitement for comic book culture.

Costumes are in no shortage for this show. However, it is totally not necessary to be in cosplay. Most people at the shows are simply rocking their favorite nerdy shirt and jeans – and this is perfect!

If you’re planning on wearing a costume, but don’t know where to start, think about your favorite fandoms and choose a character that is true to you! Never feel pressured to wear a specific costume just because everyone else is. If you’re wearing a costume, chances are people will want to talk to you about the character you are dressed as, and nothing is worse than trying to converse with people about a character you know nothing about! Chances are someone will recognize the character you are dressed as, and getting to talk to someone who is as excited about a fandom as you are is the goal!

Dallas Fan Days always has a solid Artist Alley. This is the best place to find unique pieces of art to make your walls pop! Pro Tip: I tend to pick up a couple new pieces of art at every show. There is no way that I would ever have enough wall space (or money for frames) for everyone! Instead, I picked up a Portfolio book from Hobby Lobby that is filled with over 100 clear pages that I can slip the art into. This makes a fantastic book to keep on my coffee table. Guests love flipping through it, and I love telling them all about the amazing artists!

Whatever you plan to do, make sure you have fun! Sometimes, the best part of the convention is getting great photos together, and wandering the vendors room basking in everything nerdy. Cheers and enjoy the con!

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Travel in Style to Dallas Conventions and more!

The Dallas Fan Days convention is held at the Irving Convention Center from October 20 to the 22, and it can definitely be viewed as a holiday in the eyes of some locals and tourists.

For those that love the convention experience, you know that there’s a lot that goes into preparing for this event, especially if you’re somebody who participates in cosplay. However, even if you’re just attending for the panels, vendors, and people watching, there’s still a bit of organization that needs to take place for a truly seamless experience from start to finish. The addition of professional transportation to any convention experience is a great way to ensure convenience, especially if there’s a group involved.

Quality vehicles offer more than just a way to get from one point to the next, especially when you consider the features that elevate the transportation experience. There’s a ton of room on board party buses and limousines, and this is perfect for those who have bulky costumes. It’s equally as easy to rest as it is to socialize on board, and this is especially helpful for those who plan on staying at the convention all day. You wont have to deal with the task of finding a parking spot or battling traffic when you consider the chauffeur that will be around for the ride! As far as features are concerned, you can stream one of your favorite playlists with the attached auxiliary cord or your favorite movie with the flat panel television screens.

Your adventure doesn’t have to stop at the convention center! With your reserved block of time, you’re able to hit the town, go back to your hotel, or head home. It’s completely up to you, and that’s the beauty of it! If you’re worried about the affordability of a Dallas party bus or limousine, consider splitting the overall cost among a group of passengers. This will give you an affordable rate that’s comparable to a local ride share service.

In the end, you’ll be supremely glad that you took this step to prepare for your convention experience, and you’ll surely do the same for next years festivities. If you’re looking for a trustworthy company, be sure to check out DFW Party Bus & Limo.

Retropalooza to bring gamers, internet personalities

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Celebrating the world of retro gaming, Retropalooza is hosting much more than a standard gaming convention. September 26-27 at the Arlington Convention Center, Retropalooza will gather gaming geeks from all over to bask in a sea of retro arcade and console games.

What sets Retropalooza apart from other gaming shows is that it’s a “by the fans for the fans” convention, meaning the content at the show is organic, true to what the fans want to see, and genuinely all about the games.

In addition to a free-play arcade complete with console gaming, there will also be a vendors room with over 100 tables ready to allow gamers to grab a piece of nostalgia they may not be able to find anywhere else. Got some video games you’d like to trade? Bring ’em!

Guest personalities include YouTube personality BlackNerd blacknerdcomedyComedy, Andre Meadows. From video game reviews to movie and TV show reviews, Andre is one of the funniest, most knowledgeable, and most genuine reviewers you’ll find.

ProJared is another YouTube personality who’s off the wall game reviews and gameplay are amazingly projaredhilarious. ProJared will tell it like it is and doesn’t hold back when it comes to making sure his audience knows how he really feels. Wondering if you should buy that video game or what indie games are “actually worth a damn”? ProJared’s the guy to ask.

Come out and enjoy a full weekend of video games, awesome panelists, great vendor lineup, and much more.

When: September 26-27

Where:

Arlington Convention Center

1200 Ballpark Way, Arlington, TX 76011

How Much: 

Advanced tickets:

$20 Saturday

$15 Sunday

$25 weekend

AnimeFest: A perfect convention

AnimeFest (Sept. 4-7, 2015) is easily one of, if not definitely, my favorite convention. Held at the Sheraton in Downtown Dallas (A-Kon’s old home), AnimeFest is what I consider to be a perfect convention.

A “perfect convention” is definitely personal preference and here is my (somewhat condensed) list of how I determine if a convention is “perfect”:

  1. Is it affordable
  2. Is it in a hotel or near a hotel thats easily accessible
  3. Are the events exciting/how is the dealers room, artist alley
  4. Does it have a good night life
  5. Is it well run, managed

AnimeFest is about average price wise (current rate for the weekend is $65), however while most conventions run for three days, AnimeFest runs for four. Paired with their special hotel rates, by convention standards the price is definitely affordable. The Sheraton, located in the heart of Downtown

Krystle Starr and I at AnimeFest 2014

Krystle Starr and I at AnimeFest 2014

Dallas, is spacious and with the addition of the skybridge that connects to the Westin hotel (complete with food court) allows guests large walkways and easily accessible food options. Additionally, I’ve had great success booking a room up until the last week before the convention, while many events have you hoping you’ll get lucky enough to grab a room.

AnimeFest hosts a large Dealer’s Room and an extensive Artist Alley (and in the past multiple Artist Alley locations). While the Dealer’s Room does require a badge to enter, the large range of vendors and products makes it worth it. The Artist Alley is open to the public and usually staffed until the late hours of the night, allowing guests to continue to shop past the Dealer’s Room hours. AnimeFest has a reputation of treating their artists and dealer’s well and accommodating special requests.

AnimeFest has brought in some large guests in the past, including Japanese rock sensation Flow, and typically has a strong panel schedule that includes famed voice actors in the Anime community. Additionally AnimeFest hosts a large cosplay contest that brings competitors from all over the country.

Fans line up to meet members of J-Rock sensation, Flow.

Fans line up to meet members of J-Rock sensation, Flow.

Fortunately since the convention is hosted inside a hotel, AnimeFest easily has an established nightlife, whether they plan any events or not. Typically some sort of masquerade or similarly themed ball is hosted one of the evenings. The other nights become host to midnight dances with DJs who play everything from current EDM to nostalgic remixes of video game soundtracks, and cartoon and anime theme songs.

Anytime I’ve ever had an issue at AnimeFest (which has been rare, but occasionally there’s a badge mix-up or small issue) it has been quickly and professionally resolved. The staff is well trained and mindful of the guests, and with a convention growing as rapidly as AnimeFest’s numbers has proven, keeping the convention running smoothly is no small feat.

Of course any convention will have it’s flaws, and by no means am I saying that AnimeFest will run without hiccups, but given it’s track record and my 5+ years of attendance, it is easily a convention I look forward to the most. I hope to see you there!

For more information about AnimeFest visit their website here.

North Texas Comic Book Show – July 18

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The North Texas Comic Book Show is back with a day full of adventures, plenty of comic books, and a great opportunity to get your geek on with nerds of all ages.

When: Saturday, July 18 9:30 am – 5 p.m.

Where: Doubletree Hotel Dallas Market Center, 2015 Market Center Blvd., just off I-35 near Market Hall and Medieval Times.

How much: Admission is just $10 at the door. Kids 11 and under get in FREE!

Side note (per NTCBS): parking at the Doubletree is free. If the lot fills up you may want to pay to park at the Hilton Anatole and walk over. It’s about 2 blocks.

NTCBS is known for putting on a show that is very interactive with the community. This is a great opportunity to meet other fans in the area!

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Tugg the bull terrier is not only a super cute pup, but also a comic book hero!

Many talented comic artists and characters will be in attendance at this event including the lovable bull terrier pup Tugg, who has overcome a rough start as a young puppy and is now a superhero! Look for him at his booth along with his comic book “Tugg: A Hero Among Us”.

Don’t forget your cosplay! NTCBS will be hosting a cosplay contest by the hotel pool at 2 p.m. and the winner will receive a $100 prize! Everyone in costume is encouraged to join and play the role of their character. If you’ve never participated in a cosplay contest before this is a great opportunity!

For more information visit NTCBS on Facebook or at their website http://www.comicbooksdallas.com/

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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