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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The Intergalactic Nemesis to invade Dallas!

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If you thought the city was safe from monsters aiming to destroy the planet, think again!

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Talented voice actors bring The Intergalactic Nemesis to life.

From audio, to comic book, and now live on center stage, comes a full-fledged sci-fi adventure worthy of any nerd’s attention. The Intergalactic Nemesis tells the tale of sludge monsters sent from planet Zygon, set destroy planet Earth and all who inhabit it.

Never fear! What would any noteworthy comic be without a squad of super heroes? The three heroes, comprised of an award winning reporter, her research assistant, and a mysterious librarian, are willing to go to the ends of the Earth (and beyond!) to defeat the monsters.

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Talented voice actors bring The Intergalactic Nemesis to life.

With elements similar to Orson Welles’ sci-fi drama, combined with classic comic-book style, this live-action event will leave audiences itching to go on intergalactic adventure for themselves.

So how exactly does a live graphic novel presentation work? Contrary to film, this live event features talented voice actors who reenact the novel panel by panel. The panels are projected above while a pianist performs the score, guaranteed to provide an engaging experience to audiences like never before.

The Intergalactic Nemesis will be live at the Dallas City Performance Hall May 12-14.

Tickets can be purchased here: https://tickets.attpac.org/production/39076?_ga=1.55384747.1818910793.1462406581

Ultimate Guide to Dallas Comic Con Fan Days 2016

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So you’re going to Dallas Comic Con Fan Days, are ya? Congrats! You’re about to embark on an amazing adventure! You may be wondering, “What do I wear,” “How do I meet the celebrities,” and “How much do things cost?” Here are some things you need to know before you go. I’ve taken the most FAQ’s and combined them into one place full of answers and advice.

*Fan Days veterans note: there are changes from last year including show length time, ticket prices, and rules!

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The Basics
When:
February 13-14
Saturday Feb 13: 10am-6:30pm
Sunday Feb 14: 10am-4pm
Where:
Irving Convention Center
500 West Las Colinas Blvd

Irving, TX 75039
Price:
Single Day:
Saturday $45 at the door
Sunday $30 at the door
Kids $5 with adult ticket
Both days: $65 at the door

Parking:

“The Irving Convention Center’s east parking lot is under construction, but they have made arrangements for fans to use another lot down the road once they reach capacity at the center.

Shuttle buses start 9am both days and end one hour after show closes. 4 buses provided by Roadrunner Shuttles will be running back and forth throughout the day. There will be convention center staff in uniform at both locations to assist.

Urban Tower pick up: Entrance of garage
Convention Center pick up: East side of building (front door)”

Parking at the Irving Convention Center is $8.00.

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).

  1. How can I see all the events happening and where they will be?
  2. A pamphlet will be provided at check-in that will have a map and schedule of the events.
  3. 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!
  4. How is it compared to other conventions in Dallas?
    A. This convention is 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.
  5. 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!

  1. 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!
  2. 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 op” 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. Both autographs and photos cost money and unless you’ve preordered, those will be paid for at each celebrities table.

  1. 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).
  2. 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*

  1. 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*

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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 need 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. Is there a cosplay contest?
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.)
  11. 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.

*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.

Let’s get nerdy this weekend at the North Texas Comic Book Show

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Come visit the North Texas Comic Book Shows and meet new friends, like Captain America, Daniel Calhoun!

New year, new chances to let your nerd out; and there’s no place better to do that than this weekend at the North Texas Comic Book Show.

The North Texas Comic Book Show will run Jan 30-31 at the Doubletree Hotel Dallas Market Center, 2015 Market Center Blvd, Dallas, TX and is $10 to get it (kids 11 and under are free).

NTCBS has a cosplay contest that’s different than the norm. Instead of the standard contest where contestants model their costumes, NTCBS judges the contestants based on their ability to perform a skit as the character they are dressed as. After attending the last show, I can testify that this is so much fun to watch. These talented cosplayers really put a lot of thought and heart into their acts, it’s definitely a must see!

In addition to cosplay guests attending, there will be some legendary comic book artists as guests of the show. Amazing Spider-Man & Dr. Strange artist Randy Emberlin, and James O’Barr, creator of 12472265_623645841109179_5702962452941214434_nThe Crow, are a couple of the artists who will have tables at the show. Not to mention a very special four-legged hero – Tugg the Bull Terrier, will be in attendance both days providing many smiles.

As a large advocate for shows “by the fans and for the fans” I appreciate all NTCBS does to make this show truly one that fans will appreciate from beginning to end. I love toy and comic book hunting, and I’ve found some real treasures at this show. There are so many different local vendors and comic book artists; it really isn’t hard to find something really unique.

This show is a great size and allows a relaxing atmosphere while also having enough going on to keep attendees entertained. The local nerd community is so encouraging and supportive; it really is such a great time getting to spend the weekend with fellow nerds.

Retropalooza Levels Up

12043064_702712249862590_7770464466187157134_nRetropalooza filled the Arlington Convention Center with elite gaming fanatics from all over the country. From free-to-play arcades and tabletop games, to industry led panels, there was something for every type of gamer. The convention had a rocket boost of attendance this year, spiking from 1200 attendees last year to 2000 this year.

There was so much I was excited to do and obviously playing games was at the top of the list. I started out my gaming adventure by jumping right onto the arcade and hopped games until my thumbs went numb. Let’s Play Gaming Expo had a bunch of console games set up and it was awesome! I watched some mad Guitar Hero skills and got to play some old school Megaman.

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Mad Max: Fury Road art by Devin Kraft of Cheshire Cat Studios

The vendor and artist venue had an awesome selection of video game dealers and extreme talent. A couple of my favorite artists I found included Shonuff Studios, Cheshire Cat Studios, and Jonathan Miller Art. Visiting with local artists and picking up new pieces for my print collection is one of the highlights for conventions for me. I always try to pick up something new!

Vendor wise there was a great selection of old media and new. I saw a lot of retro games for sale that totally brought me back to the days I would come home from school, plug in my N64, and challenge my sister to blind Pokemon Stadium battles. What’s a blind Pokemon Stadium battle? Well, to challenge our skills to the furthest extent as a true Pokemon Master we would close our eyes and randomly select our Pokemon, eliminating the option to choose any from the last row (since those were the legendary birds). Ah, good memories. Where the new games are concerned there were a lot of limited edition runs of current games and figures available for purchase. It was definitely dangerous territory for my bank account.

Me with MatPat (left) and Gaijin Goomba (right)

Me with MatPat (left) and Gaijin Goomba (right)

I was super stoked to meet the YouTube legend MatPat, who, as part of The Game Theorists, is an expert at overanalyzing video games in the most comedic and entertaining way. However, video games weren’t the only theory I wanted to ask Matt about. I needed to get some insight on his Jurassic World theory! He was quick to tell me that he’s working on his theory of all the types of DNA of which the Indominus Rex is made. We narrowed down the obvious choices of T-Rex, Velociraptor, and cuttlefish, and the rest is all theory.

Before I scampered off I had to get him to sign my 3DS – and he did, complete with a Jurassic Park reference! Additionally, I had the pleasure of meeting YouTube stars Andre Meadow of Black Nerd Comedy and Gaijin Goomba who both signed my 3DS too! Although I’m still trying to figure out what you call a blind dinosaur.

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Overall I had an amazing time roaming the convention and getting a more intimate look at the local gaming community. I hope Retropalooza will continue to grow and build the arcade even larger. The staff is professional, yet passionate, and with the “run by fans for fans” attitude, this convention has nothing but a great and growing future ahead. Retropalooza will be entering Houston in April 2016. See you there!

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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