EXCLUSIVE - MGF's Weekend At Dallas Comic Con

Photo by The Hick
Dallas Comic Con had the movie and comic book geeks on a rampage for the first time this new year. The event took place on January 30th and 31st in Richardson, TX at the Richardson Civic Center on the very edge of Dallas. Of course, MGF was there to cover the going-ons. Let’s just say that the C2 Ventures and Official Pix team delivered again.

Sean Patrick Flanery doing some shopping.
The morning started interestingly enough. I headed up to the event’s venue to help out with the set-up and vendors for a couple of hours. First, I hung posters and schedules on all the doors to the outside. After that, I got to guard the dock door and let the vendors in, since it locked on the outside. Then I helped organize the autograph line for comic book artist Tim Sale. Now I can truly tell everyone that you should appreciate all the people who help put these cons on as it is a lot of work.

Photo by The Hick
When I got to the Richardson Civic Center at 9:30, there were already around 50 people standing in line outside in the 35 degree weather. They began letting the line in and funneled them into the Q and A room until the event started. By 11am, there was already close to 1,000 people walking around the hallways and through the vendor room.

Comic Book Artists (L to R): Adam Hughes, Michael Golden, and Tim Sale - Photos by Reesa Cruz-Hawkins
This time, they had all the actors in a room that you had to have a Celebrity Access pass to get into. Actors in attendance this time were Adam West (TV's Batman), Daniel Cudmore (Felix in New Moon and Colussus in X-Men 2 and X-Men:The Last Stand), Charisma Carpenter (Buffy, Angel, The Expendables), Herb Jefferson Jr. (Boomer in the original Battlestar Galactica), Anne Lockhart (original Battlestar Galactica, Troll, Star Trek), Peter Mayhew (Star Wars' Chewbacca), and Cliff Alliston (Return of the Jedi - Endor Assualt Trooper). The actors were all very cordial to their fans, signing autograps and taking photos.

Photo by The Hick
The first panel we sat in on was The Year in Geek 2010. This panel featured Red Carpet Crash’s Devin Pike, DC Comics’ VP of Sales Bob Wayne, and Action Flick Chick Katrina Hill. The three talked about what we can expect in theaters this year. They also showed trailers of some of the upcoming films and discussed them.

Photo by The Hick
I had the distinct pleasure of moderating one of the bigger Q and A panels of the weekend. I got to ask Daniel Cudmore, who played Felix the Volturi in The Twilight Saga: New Moon, how it felt to beat up Robert Pattinson. After opening up with that, he fielded questions from the crowd, most of which were about New Moon and the Twilight series. He spoke about his stunts in AVP: Requiem, what he was like as a child, and what his first acting job was. One of the really cool things he talked about was the differences between working with the laid-back Chris Weitz and the extremely energetic David Slade. Daniel was a very nice guy and easy to work with.

After wandering around the dealer room for awhile, we hit Charisma Carpenter’s Q and A. Charisma talked about her first acting job, her favorite Buffy and Angel episodes, and her new role in The Expendables playing Jason Statham’s girlfriend. The funniest part of this Q and A was watching moderator Devin Pike stumble around his questions and then apologize to Ms. Carpenter by saying he was distracted because she’s “so damned beautiful.” She seemed a little new and not quite used to the convention world, but answered all the crowd’s questions and was very nice.

Photo by The Hick
The rest of Saturday was spent talking to Dead @ 17 creator/artist/writer about any updates about the plans to make a movie from the comic book series. There is definitely interest from several big name Hollywood avenues and the ball is rolling forward for sure. He also hooked me up with Dead @ 17: Afterbirth and the new Source Book, which I will be reviewing very soon.

Photo by Reesa Cruz-Hawkins
Sunday was spent mainly waiting for Sean Patrick Flanery’s Q and A. To say that his session was entertaining would be an understatement. He talked about his experiences filming the Boondock Saints films, what his favorite character was to play (Powder), and what it was like to work with Sylvester Stallone. After the Q and A, he headed out to the lobby to sign autographs and meet fans. He took pictures with fans and was very nice to everyone.

Photo by Reesa Cruz-Hawkins
I did get a chance to hang out with original Battlestar Galactica actors Anne Lockhart (Sheba) and Herb Jefferson Jr. (Boomer). Anne talked with me a bit about her voice work in the upcoming Brendan Fraser film Furry Vengeance and this past summer’s blockbuster, Star Trek, in which she was heard as the voice of Captain Kirk’s father’s starship. Mr. Jefferson Jr. was extremely polite and seemed to have the mannerisms of someone who had seen some military training. Very cool guy to talk to. I asked him what he thought about the new version of Battlestar Galactica and he said he had watched about an hour of the first episode and didn't particularly care for it. I laughed and told him my mother felt the same way. She couldn't get past the fact that hew was turned into a woman. Mr Jefferson Jr. replied to me with a giggle that they had turned the character of Boomer into a woman and not him. By that time, some other people had gathered around and I looked like a complete goon.

Photo by Reesa Cruz-Hawkins
I forgot to talk about Adam West being there. I don't know how I could have done that. The actor, who is usually tucked away on a stage or behind a curtain, got right out there in the thick of things in the venue's hallways on Sunday. He was even letting people take pictures of him. He seemed to be quite laid back and was meeting and greeting fans. In between people coming up to him, he was drawing pictures, which I saw quite a few onlookers eyeing when he left the table at one point for a break. I know exactly what was going through their heads - grab that original Adam West drawing and run! Before he left, he actually drew a big picture on the tablecloth. I can pretty much guarantee you that someone somewhere has that thing tucked away.

Cliff Alliston from Return of the Jedi - Endor Assualt Trooper - Photo by Reesa Cruz-Hawkins
Overall, the weekend was very well organized. I don't know if it's my imagination, but it seems like every time they have one of these events that the crowd keeps getting bigger and bigger. That's definitely not a bad thing. It just means getting a bigger venue and being able to afford to get even more celebrities to come out. Here's to looking forward to the Sci-Fi Expo in April! (Article by Eric Shirey)

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