What is a convention? No, not literally, but what is it? What happens there? What is it like? There are stories and rumors about but there are any indicators of what happens, so that the outsider can understand? With this general guide of how things progressed and were seen at the Dallas Fan Expo, it is my hope, that you, the fans, will see more of what it was like there.
So let’s talk about costumes first. The Dallas Fan Expo was not lacking in those in costume showing up, and portraying their favorite thing. There were costumes like Dr. Strange, Deadpool, Chewbacca, and even a person dressed as a Dalek. From what I gathered, these costumes ranged from pre-bought to custom made. I talked with several cosplayers and they informed me that the costumes ranged anywhere from about 20 hours of work, to a year worth of work, with some of the better ones only taking up about 3 weeks of a person’s free time. Remember that it’s never a good thing to take photos without consent to do so, just because people are in costume, does not mean you can snap a photo, ask first.
Moving from the costumes, and showing off your love for the fandoms, we move into the Photos and signatures. Autographs are great, but several Artists (voice, acting and drawing) have become tired of the “flippers” and are more than happy to personalize their autographs just for you. Odogoo and I were happy to receive ALL of our autographs customized with some cases having quotes on them. There were a few we didn’t get personalized but only if they were about to leave for the weekend, or they had limited time because of scheduling issues. My favorite autographs were from Christopher Lloyd, Christopher Sabat, and Sean Schemmel. I talked with them about their characters portrayed, well except for Christopher Lloyd, who I was super fanboying over meeting and could only tell him “it’s an honor to meet you.” to which he caught and replied “It’s an honor to meet you too.”. Sabat and Schemmel were happy to tell me their favorite form of Goku and Vegeta, which are Base, or Red, or Ultra Instinct for Goku, and Red or Majin for Vegeta. Sabat also told me he knew about Dragon Ball Z abridged. He told me he had seen little but he found it hilarious, and was glad that Team Four Star lived in the area.
Let’s move on to the rest of the headliners, starting with one of my personal favorites, Tara Strong. She’s smart and sweet, and was more than happy to do a promo for TeamAONN when we paid the fee required. I’m not sure if she does many of those, but she wanted the gist before she did it, and after, I was fanboying even harder. Odogoo and Sil got to meet Charlie Hunnam (Jax from Sons of Anarchy), Zach Levi (DC’s Shazam) and John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness in Dr. Who), the latter of which enjoyed some personal time with a fan’s Doberman who just lavished her love upon him. There was one other station I visited because of what it represented. I visited Peter Mayhew’s stand, and signed his memorandum book. Odogoo shed a tear for him as she signed. Sean Astin’s queue was huge, with a wait that lasted an hour.
While Odogoo and Sil were retrieving their pictures and autographs, I could sneak away and visit the Delorean they had on display by ToTheFuture.org, and had my picture taken in it, with the proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox foundation.
When we hit the midway point, we realized that there was a real lack of stable food, as there was only fast food and that we would have to hit a restaurant after for a bigger than normal meal, as I don’t eat breakfast, and there was no easy way to grab a real lunch at this convention. Though there were plenty of places to sit both in the hall and outside of it, without leaving the convention center.
I should point out that these conventions aren’t all about meeting the actors, or artists. Some of your time is more than likely going to be shopping around. Watch out though, it’s not like shopping at amazon. Most of these shops will have inflated prices to offset costs of renting the table space, even though there will be a booth two rows over selling the same thing for something a little cheaper; and no, there’s no price matching. Thankfully I could walk away from that after finding a great deal on a Star Trek Discovery Com-badge for only 10 bucks when it sells for 15-20 online.
Thru most of my time in the convention, I was rushing around, taking notes, and taking photos with the rest of TeamAONN. I found the time to go outside and vape, from time to time, I met several wonderful people, who were very pleasant conversationalists. They told me of other years, costume making, and even what they do in their work lives. It was very fascinating. I think that can be said for everything I did that weekend and everyone I met. It was great, and though my feet hurt, my clothing stinks, and I’m exhausted even after getting home, I had a lot of fun, and if you’re on the fence about going, I hope you feel the same way when you have had your first taste of going. Though the Dallas Fan Expo may be huge, I have a feeling that it’d be a great way to cut your teeth on the convention scene.