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

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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Barnes and Noble ‘Get Pop-Cultured’ Freebies and More!

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Barnes and Noble is celebrating all things nerdy and pop-culture during this month-long event! All the events are free to attend and are great for all ages! There are lots of freebies, photo opportunities, activities and more. Click here to check if your local store is participating. 

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Batman Day

Wednesday July 23 

Celebrate the Caped Crusader’s 75th anniversary with activities and giveaways – including a free special edition of Detective Comics #27. Plus, enter to win your own Mini Bat Signal!

DC Comics Spectacular 

July 23 – July 27

Come in during this time for a special offer on all DC Comics Graphic Novels plus giveaways and special offers!

Comic Convention Collectibles 

July 24 – July 27

Funko 2014 Limited Edition Summer 2014 Exclusives to be revealed on July 24

‘Frozen’ Friday

August 1 – 7 p.m.

Fun adventure featuring the summer-loving snowman, Olaf! Enjoy story time, a sing-along, crafts, and more!

Marvel Day

August 2

Honoring Marvel’s 75th anniversary with activities and giveaways – including a chance to win special Marvel prizes and more!

James Patterson Day

August 3

Celebrate America’s bestselling author with a special one-day-only offer on all James Patterson books plus fan trivia, discussions and more!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

August 4 – August 9

Discover your inner Ninja Turtle with exciting activities for kids ages 5-10. Check your local store for exact date and time.

Page & Screen Weekend

August 9 – August 10

Celebrate the connections between books, movies, TV shows, collectibles, toys, and games featuring giveaways and raffles from Maze Runner, The Giver, Dr. Who, and Game of Thrones.

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!