Fan Days October 17-19

 

This weekend is Fan Days, a convention dedicated to all types of nerdy fandom. From sci-fi to animation, there is something for everyone at Fan Days!

 

When: Friday October 17 4pm-8pm

Saturday October 18 10am-7pm

Sunday October 19 10am-5pm

 

Where: Irving Convention Center

Cost: Fri: $25 Sat: $40 Sun: $30 or $60 for all three days (online ticket purchase ends 10/16)

Children 6-12 $10, 5 years and under are FREE

 

Guests attending include Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood, Weasley twins James & Oliver Phelps, and Batman & Robin Adam West and Burt Ward (Postponed).

There will be an artist alley and dealers room. Bringing cash for these is the best option, as typically either booths don’t elijahaccept credit card, or non-reliable wifi connection makes it impossible for credit cards to be accepted. If you do not plan on purchasing anything specific but plan to shop, I always suggest bringing $100 in cash.

There are three parking options typically at the Irving Convention Center. However, construction on the grass area may narrow this down to do (I’m not sure). In the past, there is the connected parking garage to the convention center which fills up very quickly (get there extra early if you plan to park there). Additionally, parking on the grass across from the center is usually available, and there is also a parking garage beyond the grass. Although this is a bit of a walk to the convention center, typically a shuttle service to and from is provided.

Additionally, there will be a Saturday Night Social event after the convention Saturday night from 8pm-1am.  This event will is $30 and tickets are available online or at the door of the Gas Monkey Bar & Grill.

 

Here is the list of events and information from DallasComicCon.com:

ATTRACTIONS

AUTOGRAPH SESSIONS

A perfect opportunity to get that special something signed by your favorite celebrity! Be sure to check out the schedule so you don’t miss out! NOTE: Some guests may charge additional fees for an autograph.

CELEBRITY PHOTO SESSIONS

Don’t miss out on a chance of a lifetime to have your photo taken by a professional photographer with your favorite celebrity! This is the only way to get a beautiful 8×10 glossy photo of you with one of our guests in an intimate setting.

PANELS / Q&As

They say knowledge is power. If you don’t know, all you have to do is ask…and you shall receive! The pros will be here to answer all your questions about the industry and to talk about their latest projects. You never know what they might say!

COSPLAY MASQUERADE

With the ever-increasing talent level of cosplayers at Dallas Comic-Con, we’ve modified our event showcasing our costumed attendees. We’re inviting our cosplayers to have their spotlight moment onstage during the COSPLAY MASQUERADE, hosted by arch nemeses Devin Pike and Ben Ambroso. Sign-ups for the Costume Contest will begin at 4pm on the 3rd Flr, in the Cosplay Hideaway. Judges will be on-hand to preview the costumes up close, and may ask a few questions. The first 72 adult entrants (ages 12 and up) will be admitted into the Contest. Signups will close at 5pm. NO EXCEPTIONS. Click here for more info.

COSPLAY RED CARPET

The Cosplay Red Carpet returns at 3pm on Saturday, Oct. 18. The skill and craftsmanship of dozens of Cosplayers from across North Texas and around the country are on display, in a red carpet format worthy of their time and creativity. All photographers are welcomed to line up for the best shot possible during the managed event. Cosplayers will begin lining up at 2:45 pm on the Ground Floor Concourse, and the Carpet runs until 4pm.

FAN DAYS KIDS COSTUME CONTEST

Kids 11 and under will have their Costume Contest on the Cosplay Red Carpet area on the Ground Floor on Sunday at 3pm, with signups beginning at 2:30pm. Hilary Thomas from the FANGIRLS: DAMES OF THE ROUND TABLE podcast will be the emcee. Prizes will be awarded for the top 3.

DCC COSPLAY HIDEAWAY

Returning due to popular demand, the DCC Cosplay Hideaway provides an area to repair an element of your costume, or simply a place to sit for 15 minutes and recharge your batteries (literately or figuratively). Located on the Third Floor of the Irving Convention Center in Meeting Room 1, the Lounge gives you the space you need. The DCC Cosplayer Hideaway is presented by the North Texas Cosplay group!

DOCTOR WHO PROPS

Whovians rejoice! We are going all out to provide the best WHO Experience at Fan Days this year, so be sure you drop by and get a photo with a real Dalek and amazingly detailed TARDIS.

ARTIST ALLEY

Indie meets pro in this special area where you will find all of your favorite pencillers, inkers and writers. This is a ”must experience area” for anyone interested in meeting the rising stars and the people who work the front lines of the industry! Here you’ll find it all – comics, graphic novels, limited edition prints and best of all, original art and sketches!

SHOPPING MADNESS!

Hundreds of retailers from all over will join us to make your experience an unforgettable one! Specializing in everything comics, anime, gaming, science fiction and/or horror, these retailers have what you need. It is THE area to find just what you’re looking for – whether it’s a comic books from any era, original artwork, graphic novels, memorabilia, DVD’s, videos, games, toys or t-shirts – you will find it all here.

COSTUMES! COSTUMES! COSTUMES!

Fans dressing up in costumes, or cosplay as it is sometimes called, is a BIG part of the weekend. Literally thousands of amazing costumes are available for your viewing pleasure throughout the weekend. Don’t be shy; get your photo taken with all your favorite characters or come dressed up yourself. It’s all good!

EXHIBITOR AREA

Experience the hottest new products and services – before anyone else sees them! Companies from all corners of the industry will be showcasing their upcoming projects and promos in the Exhibitor area and you get to be there for a sneak peek. You’ll also be sure to receive samples, goodies and chances to win prizes through their contest

 

Additional information can be found at www.DallasComicCon.com 

Why a Facebook Fan Page matters, but the likes don’t

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Welcome to Facebook where everything is made up and the likes don’t matter. No, really.

This all started off as a school project that I’ve just decided to continue and grow because, well to be frank, I’m honestly addicted to it.

I had to initially create a blog about something I am really passionate about for a class project. Well, I love Dallas, I love conventions, and I love dressing up in fun costumes. The outcome was my website, DallasFanGirl.com. With the support of my  professor I actually became confident enough to go for it.

So now I had a website and of course, I really wanted to blast it out to everyone I knew and let them know about this awesome exciting thing I was doing.

I started my Facebook “like” page about a year ago. I decided I really wanted to make a separate page for my crazy nerdy antics because I realized not all of my friends were really into it all as much as I was, and were probably tired of seeing it all over their feed.

When I first began my page I was ECSTATIC that it reached 100 likes. Seriously, 100 of you like what I post enough to follow me? That’s so awesome! Each like is exciting to me because if you like my content, it genuinely makes me happy!

I wanted to do something to thank all of my friends for supporting my craziness and in turn, started to do little giveaways. I really wanted to give my friends something that they would like and genuinely feel my appreciation.  Gift cards and codes are definitely something we can all be down for.

I got more and more likes as the giveaways drew new people into my page. Which of course, is very exciting!  But it’s become a recent realization that I really don’t need all those likes. Those numbers are just numbers and what really counts are the people who actually LIKE what I do and are interactive with me and my work. I mean, what’s a bunch of numbers if no one actually cares what you are putting out there? Especially now that Facebook insanely limits the amount of people who see what you post (I think it’s like, 5% of your total fans?).

So, why do I promote my page if it really doesn’t matter?

I really believe in everything I post. Yes, even down to the memes and stupid selfies. Everything I post I think “yeah, I like this and maybe one of you will too”. And that’s all that really matters to me; that someone out there enjoys what I share.

I actually think it’s really important for people to have a fan page if you believe that there is a niche audience who will appreciate what you do. Not all of your friends care as deeply about that one thing that you do, so why not corral everyone together in a place where you all know you love the same thing? This creates an atmosphere where you can tailor your content to fit exactly what you know your audience will appreciate.

If my page stays at 500 likes, where it is right now, I won’t bat an eye. To know that there’s a chance that 100 of those 500 likes are actual, real life people who care about what I publish is more than I could ever ask for.

As a kid I used to make a list of friends on notebook paper. I remember being SO amazed when I had 10 friends, but then deciding I didn’t want anymore because then I couldn’t count them on my fingers and I would start to forget them. (Which obviously is not the case, because then I realized I had toes and that helped a lot).

Getting more views on my stuff is scary. It’s intimidating to think who may be looking at what you do and sometimes it really starts to freak me out. I sit up at night worrying that what I’m doing is wrong and it’s not going to do me any good but then I remember why I want this to grow.

I want this to grow because know that there are a lot of people who don’t know about how many conventions happen in Dallas and details about them. There are a lot of people who wish they did know about all of the convention announcements and have all the information they need in one place. Heck, that’s why I was driven to start this whole thing because I could never find some place that told me things I really wanted to know about a convention like, “is it mandatory for me to cosplay at Dallas Comic Con?”

When it comes down to it I just really want to help people find the answers they are looking for and to provide it all in a fun, exciting way. I want to make sure anyone who is curious about upcoming conventions, or wants to see a review of a convention to see whether or not it’s worth their time to go, can go to my page and find those answers.

In short, if my page ever gets bigger than it is now, cool, awesome! And if not, even better! Because I won’t have to worry about more than 500 people judging me for wearing p.j. pants in my YouTube videos.

 

Pictures from Sci-Fi Expo 2014

I had an amazing time at Sci-Fi Expo! My official review is soon to follow, but enjoy the awesome pictures I got for now!

Sci-Fi Expo was held February 8-9 at the Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas.

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Sci-Fi Expo: Everything You Need to Know

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Sci-Fi Expo will be held Febraury 8-9 at the Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas.

If you’ve never been to a convention before, you may not know what to expect and have a bunch of questions! For those of you who have been before, you know the basic drill, but you also know that every convention is different.

Sci-Fi Expo is no exception, and that’s what makes it so unique and fun! I’ve attended Sci-Fi Expo for at least four years now (ever since it was hosted at the Plano Centre) and know the layout pretty well; so I’m going to do my best to answer all your questions about this awesome convention!

Q. How much is the convention?

Saturday (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.): $35

Sunday (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.): $25

Weekend Pass: $50

Kids 5-12 weekend pass: $5 (4 and under are free)

If you purchase your tickets online you will be able to enter the convention center before on-site ticket purchasers.

Q. Who can go? How old do you have to be to go? 

Anyone can go! From little kids to great-grandparents, everyone is invited!

Q. What are essential things I need to bring?

Money, camera, phone, ID, snack, small backpack or bag to carry items in if you plan on buying things or loading up on free stuff.

Q. What kind of parking should I expect?

There are two parking garages at the Irving Convention Center. One is pretty much attached to the convention center and fills up very, very quickly. The second is about half a mile down the field from the convention center, but don’t worry, there is a bus that is designated to pick up people from this garage and take them to the convention center and vice versa. You also have the option to park on the field, but be fore-warned, if it looks like it may rain, don’t park here! Last time people parked here when it was raining and several cars got stuck in the mud! The cost is typically $5 for parking.

Q. Do I need to cosplay/dress up in costume? What should I wear?

I have never encountered a convention where dressing in costume was mandatory. In fact, although the cosplay culture has exploded, I think it’s still safe to say that cosplayers are in the minority. A good chunk of people attend Sci-Fi Expo to get autographs and buy exclusive merchandise, comic books, and artwork.

In short, the answer is no, but I would definitely encourage a costume if you have something handy! I think that dressing in costume can really enhance your experience and break you out of the norm of street clothes.

If you decide not to dress up, it’s pretty standard to rock a nerdy tee (TeeFury is a great place to start, Hot Topic is great in a pinch!) and some jeans. Comfy shoes are definitely a plus! I also see a lot of girls wearing cute, funky outfits and a bit of nerd flair like a bow or nerdy purse.

Q. If I cosplay, who should I be?

My biggest suggestion is to be someone you really want to be! Think about your favorite movies and characters from when you were a kid. Who was your role model? Who did you have action figures of? Even though this is labeled as a Sci-Fi convention, there are no limits to who you can be.

Sci-Fi Expo also hosts a red carpet event on Saturday and Sunday where if you are dressed as characters from specific series, you get the opportunity to walk the red carpet and have your picture taken.

Saturday:
3:00pm Bring your camera! Cosplay Red Carpet Photo Ops* (1st floor lobby) for:  Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Marvel Heroes and Villains Stargate / SG1, Video Game Characters.

Sunday:

3:00pm Bring your camera! Cosplay Red Carpet Photo Ops* (1st floor lobby) for: Star Trek, Doctor Who / Torchwood, DC Heroes and Villains, Steampunk / Golden Age of Sci-Fi, Animation / Anime Heroes and Villains.

Q. What day is better to go? Saturday or Sunday?

Both days have something different to offer. Saturday’s of conventions typically draw the highest attendance. There are pros and cons to this. Higher attendance means more cosplays, more people to take pictures of you (if you are flaunting a costume), typically some of the biggest celebrities only show up on Saturday, and also you have the largest amount of merchandise to explore. The downside to this is that it can be really crowded, hard to navigate, and the lines for things can be very, very lengthy.

I usually prefer attending Sunday. I have had great success not only finding awesome merchandise and artwork, but meeting celebrities. It seems on Sunday the atmosphere is more relaxed and there’s a lot more room to walk around and explore. Of course the ideal path would be to attend both days for the most optimal experience, but either day you really can’t go wrong. Be sure to refer to the website to see which celebrities will be appearing on Saturday or Sunday only.

As of today (1/30) these are the Saturday only guests:

-Stephen Amell

-Karen Gillan

Q. How much money should I bring?

If you haven’t already purchased your ticket, be sure to bring at least enough for that. From there it’s really a matter of what you can afford. Most artists charge anywhere from $10-$50 for prints and commissions (requested artworks) are in an even higher bracket. Merchandise can have any price range, especially if you are looking for limited edition and vintage items. Autographs are also an extra charge, so if you plan on getting something signed be sure to prepare to pay for it. Most autographs range from $20-$60.

If you are going and don’t have any specific items in mind, my go-to amount is about $60 in spending money. This way I have some money for a couple prints and a small action figure or item of some sort.

Q. What’s free?

Ah, so glad you asked. Free things are the best! Big Fan Boy has a room dedicated to freebies from the latest and upcoming movies. From posters to stickers and even apparel, the Big Fan Boy room is a must visit. There’s always a line to get in, but it moves very quickly because once you walk in, you just go down a line of tables stuffed with free things.

Saturday: 3:00pm to 7:00pm, Sunday: 12:00pm to 3:00pm.

Q. Are there places to eat at the convention?

There are two snack spots in the convention center and a guy with a roasted nuts cart. The snack centers offer your typical snacks like hot dogs and nachos. Sometimes food trucks will also pull up and offer a variety of foods like the Nammi (vietnamese tacos and sandwiches) truck. If you are able to, my suggestion would be to bring snacks like granola bars and apples. If you are trying to be healthy or would rather save your money for merchandise rather than overpriced snacks, bringing your own food is your best bet!

*I’ve been informed no outside food or drink is allowed in the convention center this go-around, but since reentry is allowed it’s just as easy to keep your food in your car and go take a break.

Q. How do I meet the actors/actresses? How much are autographs? Can I take pictures with them?

The media guests are usually spread out around the convention but it seems most recently they are mainly being grouped together on the top floor.

Guests will be easily identified by a big banner with their name behind it. A volunteer will be stationed at their table to help you get in line. If you want an autograph or photo the price will be posted at their booth. Most of the rates are posted here. Typically only cash is accepted. However, in my past experiences, just wanting to wait in line to shake hands and meet a guest is totally free.

Q. Can I bring my own camera to Sci-Fi Expo?

Of course! There will be professional photographers (freelance and media crew) roaming around the convention center but it is very encouraged that you bring your own camera! Most everywhere at the convention allows anyone to take photos. If you are going to take a picture of a cosplayer, just make sure that you ask first! Most are more than willing to stop and pose. If there is an area where you are not allowed to take pictures, they will be designated by signs that read “No photos”.

This should cover just about everything you need to know about Sci-Fi Expo! I will be there Sunday and hope to see you all there!

STEAM wallet code giveaway!

As a “thank you” for all of the support of my fans and readers, I am doing an end of the year giveaway! I will be giving away 2 Steam wallet codes each worth $20 to a YouTube user and to one of my Facebook fans! Entering is super easy; all you have to do is “Like” my Facebook page and/or comment on my YouTube video with what your favorite video game of 2013 was. Thank you all so much for all of the support and I cannot wait to head out to the next round of big fan conventions in Dallas next year!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtmd84jRExo

Alamo Drafthouse to host a “Kick-Ass” screening

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If you haven’t already given into the hype, now would be an awesome time to look into visiting the new Alamo Drafthouse movie theater in Richardson. The newly opened Drafthouse is hosting a unique early screening of Kick-Ass 2 on Thursday, August 15 at 8:00 p.m.

The Drafthouse isn’t your typical movie theater. With rules like no talking or texting strongly enforced, the Drafthouse ensures an environment free from disruptions for all of their guests. Along with going the extra mile to make a movie more enjoyable, the Drafthouse has an extensive menu filled with your not-so-standard movie theater treats including french toast, salads, hot wings and burgers. And of course, a bunch of beer.

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While it’s not an official convention, this screening will host many costumed crusaders – mainly staff members! That’s right, the staff at the Drafthouse has been called upon to transform themselves into homemade super heroes for the showing. Need even more of an incentive to attend? Rumor has it free Kick-Ass 2 gear will be given out, plus the theater will be offering a Kick-Ass inspired cocktail called “The Motherf%&*^r”.

While I’m not sure how many seats are available, if you plan on going I would definitely advise heading out there early! Plus this will give you extra time to check out the staff’s DIY costumes! You can “like” Alamo Drafthouse’s Facebook page for more updates. And be sure to check out my Facebook page for more Kick-Ass 2 info and fun nerdy happenings in the Dallas area!

If you could put together a costume from what is in your house right now, what would you use? What would you call yourself?

Here’s what I came up with. I’m called ‘WhiteOut’. Watchout, I’ll spray some bleach stains in those clothes that will never come out!

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No Conventions, No Excuses!

So the next round of conventions may be a few months away but getting fit doesn’t just happen over night.

During the holidays it’s really easy to lose track of your weight – especially when bundled under five layers of jackets. No one will be able to notice those five extra pounds right?

Well, maybe not until you try to squeeze into that skin-tight costume.

Luckily losing weight and getting fit is one of the top New Year’s resolutions, so many gyms offer deep discounts on new memberships! Even better, if you attend a college or university your gym may offer free admission for students. I didn’t know my gym was included in the cost of tuition until I asked.

So what workout regimen are you starting or currently involved in? Let me know!

Here’s one of my favorite workout videos that you can do just about anywhere!

Convention Dry Season – What’s a Fan to Do?

Just like that weird gap in the summer when there are no major holidays, there’s a gap of time at the end of the year when there are no major fan conventions going on.

Spring through early fall are the busiest times for major conventions. Dallas Comic Con, A-Kon and AnimeFest are probably the top three in attendance in Dallas. But other than the peak convention season, there aren’t any large conventions happening.

So what is a fan to do?

To start, there’s a lot of preparation that can be done for the next round of conventions.

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Red Star Trek dress I got from Party City online after Halloween for under $10!

My favorite thing to do is to start stocking up on potential cosplay material. Post-Halloween, there are a lot of deals on costume materials. Especially after Christmas, seasonal fabrics and accessories will be on sale at deep discounts. JoAnns and Hancock Fabrics are my favorite places to go. In addition to after holiday sales, I can usually find coupons roaming around for both stores. This really helps on the pricier fabrics, especially if your costume requires some sort of faux fur accent.

While it may sound cliché, I think that Party City’s online store is a perfect place to shop. A lot of their accessories can be used as bases and built upon with the fabrics and materials you gather from other places. In addition, their costumes can be snagged for steals after the holidays. I’ve bought quite a few of mine during this time. While they are not used as my main convention wear, a lot of them are great to wear during the evening of conventions or worn to smaller events.

If your budget is really tight, *raises hand*, then maybe a costume swap party is the way to go. Sqiudoo has some awesome tips for a Halloween Costume Swap Party which I think are perfectly applicable for a Cosplay one! A couple recommendations I would make would be to have people bring fabrics, materials and sewing kits. In my experience, a lot of my costumes need minor repairs. Although small, a lot of the time I just can’t seem to fix it myself. Bringing materials to the swap will allow others to either help you make repairs for your own items or to make sure the ones you swap are being passed along in good condition.

If you’re really aching to put on a costume, throw a mini-con at your house. I think this would make a really fun tradition. Every major convention I’ve been to has some sort of an artist alley and a dealers room. Turn your living room into one big shop! A couple weeks before your mini-con dig through your old childhood shoe boxes that have been collecting dust in the closet and see if you have any old action figures or trading cards that are cool again. Even better, if you have friends who are artists have them whip up a few sketches and have them prepare to do some commissions at your con. Not only is this a chance for them to make a few extra bucks, it will be an awesome way to get a feel of the convention experience if they’ve never worked one before.

If you are willing to venture outside of Dallas, there are always a few conventions here and there around the popular season. Ikkicon is one of my favorites. Held in Austin, the convention combines the convention scene with Austin culture during the New Year’s weekend. While the attendance numbers aren’t huge for this convention, having the surrounding city ensures that there will always be something to do.

What’s the next convention you are going to attend?