Ultimate Guide to Dallas Comic Con Fan Days 2016

fandays

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!

cal

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.

Fan Days 2015 Guide

fandaysbanner

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.

Dallas Comic-Con 2014 Ultimate Guide

DallasComicConposter

Your questions answered! Here is my guide to Dallas Comic-Con 2014. The convention is at a new place this year and they are expecting almost double the attendance. That said, my experience is based off of Dallas Comic-Con at it’s previous location and previous owners. I have done my best to find the correct answers and base my responses off of what I am anticipating. This should give you a general idea of what to expect. Please send me additional questions, corrections, and additions to my email dallasfangirl@gmail.com and I will add them in! Enjoy and I hope to see you there!

 

Dallas Comic-Con 2014 Guide 

dccfloor

The Basics

When:

May 16-18

Friday May 16: 4pm-9pm

Saturday May 17: 10am-7pm

Sunday May 18: 10am-5pm

Where:

Dallas Convention Center

650 South Griffin Street
Dallas, TX 75202

Price:

Single Day:

Friday $25

Saturday $40

Sunday $30

Kids $10 with adult ticket

All 3 days: $79 (only available as pre-registration)

Parking:

Dallas Comic-Con is selling spots for parking in advance. My largest recommendation would be to take the DART if possible, as it drops you off right at the convention center. If for some reason you cannot take the DART (costume, etc.) here is the link to parking. I’m sure there will be additional parking beyond this website, but my largest recommendation above all will be to arrive as early as you can to ensure a decent spot.

https://www.parkingpanda.com/dallas-comic-con-parking?ref=dcc

Q.Can I bring food/water bottles to Dallas Comic Con?

A. By technical standards I don’t think you are supposed to. But everyone does. I always make sure to pack my Camel water bottle and a bunch of granola bars. As long as you’re not toting in a cooler, I think it’s totally fine to load up your purse/backpack with some easy to grab snacks.

 

*Dallas Comic-Con Virgin*

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

A. This year at DCC is going to be new for all of us. It is going to be at a newer, larger convention and is going to be run by a whole new company. The best argument I can make to go (besides all of the awesome events, guests, and panels) is that this year is a milestone for comic conventions in Dallas. If DCC goes off as it is being hyped to be, it will be a very, very large convention and bring a lot of attention to Dallas. I think it’s really cool to say you are a part of that!

Q. How can I make sure I have the BEST experience at Dallas Comic-Con?

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. Size wise – if the numbers of attendees come through as anticipated, it will be the largest comic book, sci-fi, anime convention in the city (perhaps even the state). Because Dallas Comic-Con is expanding their guest list beyond sci-fi and comic book guests, this will draw in crowds that typically wouldn’t venture out to comic book conventions. For example, voice actors from Dragon Ball, Pokemon, and Adventure Time will bring in the anime crowd. Be prepared for a lot more vendors, more guests, and more room to walk around! On the flip side this is also going to mean more traffic, lines, and crowds than we are used to at smaller conventions like AnimeFest and Sci-Fi Expo.

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!

 

*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 opp” 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. 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). (Thanks John Abbott!)

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-$85+. Typically there are no “group” deals on autographs and celebrities charge separately.

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 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.

 

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*Cosplay/Wardrobe*

Q. What should I wear to Dallas Comic Con?

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 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. 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

Q. We are still on the fence for Cosplay. Do you always go in costume?

A. I don’t always 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. 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. 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.

Spring Fever Giveaway!

It’s been super crazy in my corner of the world lately. Between conventions, school, and work, I barely have time to sleep! But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love being busy – it makes me feel like I’m being productive and not just a waste of space. That being said, it’s really easy to get carried away doing everything else and not take the time to relax and breathe!

The weather is getting back to livable conditions and I’m super excited about all the late spring and early summer events coming up like Dallas Comic Con and A-Kon! To celebrate the height of convention season and more importantly, to thank all of you for being so supportive of my endeavors I’m doing a giveaway!

This one is super, super easy to enter. Use this Rafflecopter link. Just click it and it will take you to a page where you can easily click to enter to win this awesome Darth Vader POP figure that was exclusively made for Dallas Comic Con!

Again, thank you all for being so supportive and I can’t wait to show you all everything I am working on!

 

giveaway

 

Adventures in Costuming – Recommendations to New Buyers

It’s always nerve-racking pulling the trigger when purchasing items for a costume. I feel like once I buy the first piece – I’m committed. There’s no going back. Maybe I have a large fear of buyer’s remorse, or maybe I’m still warming up to the fact that that to really get a good quality costume I need to be prepared to shell out some dollars.

Since there’s less than two months until Dallas Comic-Con and I’m preparing a new costume (exciting!) it’s crunch time for me to order
my materials. I’ve had quite a few friends ask me for some advice when it comes to putting together a costume. So, instead of telling you all separately at the risk of forgetting something, I’ve narrowed down what I think are the most valuable tips I’ve learned over the years into this nice little post.

Plan in advance

Get your costume planned out in full detail at least two months before the convention you are planning on attending. Not only does this give time to figure out the exact materials that you want but it also majorly lowers the risk of not getting your order on time. If you have a costume idea that you think is going to require more than two months worth of work (this is sounding pretty intense) and you have less than two months to do it, it might be worth trying to enlist some crafty friends to help. Cookies are always a nice incentive.

Order from a place you know is reliable

My favorite place to purchase materials is Amazon, especially when I’m in a time crunch. It’s easy to find competitive deals from brand name sellers who offer quick shipping dates and are reliable.

Ebay is risky, but can pay off if you’re willing to wait. The thing with Ebay is that you are able to purchase from international sellers which in most cases results in lower prices. For my Captain America outfit ordered the red under-bust and my red boots from a seller in China via Ebay.  My items arrived in the mail roughly 3 weeks after they were ordered. One of my friends wasn’t so fortunate and had ordered similar items only to have them get stuck at customs and she didn’t wind up receiving them until 3 months after the convention.

Always, always, always check reviews

Reviews are your best friend. I go through as many as I can before placing an order. Maybe it’s some sort of paranoia but I always want to make sure where I’m ordering from is reputable and the item is the quality I expect.

For most costumes I’ve put together, the items come from the same place, so I really want to make sure this place is reputable before I completely put my trust in them. For international stores and smaller businesses I usually just Google “store name review” and in my experience a forum on either a cosplay website or on another social media platform will pop up and several reviews will follow. In some other cases I’ve seen reviews posted on the items website but not correlate to the item. Spambots are out there and so are trolls! Be wary.

Fabric stores are awesome resources

meikki

Eevee costume I put together for Ikkicon 2010. I did everything with fabric glue! No sewing required! Amazingly all the pieces are still sitting in my closet in-tact.

I’m not the craftiest person on the planet and I’m pretty challenged when it comes to sewing. That said, I usually try to find any other method of adhering fabrics. Although it’s pretty easy to search the interwebs for solutions on alternate ways to attach two fabrics, my best results have come from the people at my local craft store. There I’m able to show them the fabrics and they can tell me whether any sort of craft glue will do the trick or if I need to suck up to a friend to get them to sew it for me. Coincidentally  I found out most of the younger people who work at the craft stores in my area actually go to conventions. They have a lot of experience with the fabrics and understand just how much wear and tear they will go through. You may be surprised what new friends you can find!

Etsy is magical

I was really apprehensive the first time I ordered something from Etsy. I ordered a custom set of ears and a tail for a Rigby, from Regular Show, costume I did a couple years ago for AnimeFest. Before I ordered anything I contacted the seller to make sure I could get the items in time and got a really fast response. The seller had ears and tails ready-to-ship in her shop that would have worked for me, but when I messaged her I was surprised to get feedback saying that for the same price she could custom make me a set that was modeled right to Rigby’s. I got it way before I expected and the quality was fantastic!

CIMG4900

Me in my Rigby costume (circa 2011) with a very cute Fionna!

For my newest costume that I will premiere at Dallas Comic-Con I ordered from a new seller on Etsy. Her shop had no reviews and she had just recently opened her store, but she had the exact item that I wanted. I really lucked out on this one. The seller not only went out of her way to contact me but actually hand-delivered the item to my place and refunded me the shipping! Not only is the item exactly as it was described but the experience with the seller helped put my mind at ease for future transactions.

Party City – My last minute costume headquarters

I know a lot of people give criticism to those who wear Party City costumes to conventions. I don’t really understand this unless someone is trying to pass off a costume that is obviously purchased as hand-made. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, one of my favorite costumes came from Party City. For last minute accessories, Party City really is the best place to go. They carry costumes and accessories year-round and are usually well stocked with a good selection. Most of the accessories I’ve purchased from Party City I use as bases to build upon. For example, I got a pair of cat ears that were on a durable headband. I covered them in fabric and shaped it to be the headpiece that I was wanting. The price of the headband plus the price of the fabric was a large percentage less than buying an exact replica item from somewhere online.

What are your favorite places to get cosplay/costume materials? Have you ever had a bad experience?

Can’t wait to see all my friends at Dallas Comic-Con!