North Texas Comic Book Show Brings Conventions Back to Their Roots

A show that’s truly about the comics, the North Texas Comic Book Show showcases guests and vendors that have dedicated themselves to comic books.

  • When: February 10-11, 2018
  • Hours: General Admission Saturday  10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Where: Irving Convention Center
  • 500 West Las Colinas Boulevard, Irving, TX 75039
  • How Much: $20/day or $30/weekend pass. Kids 11 and younger are free!

Dr Strange #26, December 1977, cover by Jim Starlin

Meet the legendary Jim Starlin – creator of Thanos, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, and many other iconic characters. Other guests include Jim Shooter, former editor at Marvel Comics, Mike Zeck, artist on Secret Wars, and Michael Golden, whose artwork with the Jurassic Park franchise makes him a personal favorite.

The NTCBS is known for bringing exceptional cosplay talent, including this weekend’s guests Kevin Lewis – Imaginary FX and MCubed Cosplay.

Kevin Lewis is known in the community as an inspiration through incredible special effects makeup and costuming. Truly immersing himself in the character, Kevin creates stunning looks that bring some of the creepiest and intricate characters to life. MCubed has a reputation for stellar Star Wars attire and for having an infectious smile that is contagious with fans both young and old. Both Kevin and MCubed are not only known for their costumes, but for enriching the community beyond the convention walls – visiting children in need of a smile anywhere from a household to a hospital room.

Kevin Lewis of Imaginary FX

MCubed Cosplay

Hosting a cosplay contest with a Top Prize of $100  – contestants should be ready to strut their best costume and performance on Saturday at 2 p.m.. That’s right – this contest is not only judged on what the contestant is wearing, but how well they perform their character. Get ready for fun skits and lots of talent on display. This is a cosplay contest that attendees won’t want to miss!

Come out to the Irving Convention Center and experience a nerdy weekend full of amazing artists, spectacular talent, and everything comic books! See you at the show!

Me and a really cool Robin cosplayer, Bryce Culver, at the NTCBS!

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!