I had a chance to head out to the 2010 Dallas All-Con this weekend. I only got to be there on Saturday for a few hours, so I didn't get to partake in as many festivities as I wish I could have. I have to say that it looks like this con is getting better known every year. It seemed like there was nearly double the attendees this year than last year. All-Con is a very cool event. They have tons of different kinds of activities and it really does cater to anyone's flavor or tastes to an extent. You've got Imperial Gladiators, Ms. Star Wars, and 501st Photos if you're into Star Wars. There's Cosplay Competition, Cosplay Tea Party, Making The Coolest Leather Masks, and Anime-Maids if you're into costuming. They have the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Repo The Genetic Opera screenings if you're into interactive film-watching. You can participate in Console Gaming, Lazer Tag, Zombies: The Board Game, and Texas Hold 'Em if you're into gaming. There's Anime Jeopardy, 24-Hour 1,000 Anime Song Medley Festival, and even manga artist Kazushi Hinoki and indie filmmaker Keisaku Kimura to MC the whole thing. The list of different kinds of activities goes on and on - robotics, knitting, comic books, book-writing, roller derby, etc.
We had the chance to talk with a couple of the guys from the Dallas Personal Robotics Group (DPRG) about their collection. They had a full sized Robby the Robot (Forbidden Planet) model with lights blinking and everything. They also brought their life-sized Gort robot from The Day The Earth Stood Still. Their R2-D2 unit rolled around beeping and blinking at passer-bys. One thing they had that fascinated far more than anything else they had was a Robomower. You ask how something like that could out-rank Robby the Robot or R2-D2? It's easy - it mows your lawn with the press of a remote control button. I absolutely hate mowing the lawn - I think that answers the question for you. It was a 2000 model that really looked like it was from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The owner hadn't been able to try it out yet, but he told me to check out their website in the next couple of weeks to see footage of it being attempted.
There were tons of local comic book and drawing artists lining the outside walkway. There were also clubs there promoting their different groups, including ones for Star Trek, Stargate, the Mandalorians (Star Wars bounty hunters), and more. Each group had different props like lasers, jet packs, model ships, helmets, uniforms, and armor that they displayed on their individual tables.
The vendor room had tons of toys, costumes, clothing, comics, and collectibles to choose from. They also put the celebrities in the vendors area. You had comic artist / writer and The Crow creator James O'Barr. Actor John Billingsley (True Blood, Star Trek: Enterprise, The X-Files, 24) was also there greeting fans and signing autographs. Original Battlestar Galactica's Anne Lockhart was supposed to be in attendance as well, but I didn't see her. Production artist Chad Townsend was also on hand. He has done extensive work on the Marvel animated feature The Invincible Iron Man and Legion of Super Heroes. He was a very cool guy that we got to interview. We also got a chance to interview Mr. Billingsley and Mr. O'Barr and we will be posting all those interviews in the next couple of days. Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to catch up with G.Joe and Marvel writer / editor Larry Hama. Larry also wrote for Wolverine, Elektra, and Nth Man. How I would have loved to hear what he thought of the new G.I. Joe movie.
I didn't get to see much of any of the panels or contests. I peeked in on the Console Gaming room, which looked like a school Computer classroom gone horribly wrong - Haha! I also dropped in on the Ms. Star Wars contest, which is pretty cool. It's not a beauty contest or anything like that. It's girls of any build, height, or such who have to answer trivia questions and endure other testing to find out who the most devoted and biggest fan of Star Wars is.
Overall, All-Con really is for the fans by the fans. It's pretty well-organized and provides a comfortable feeling about it. It serves the fan community what they want and offers a fun atmosphere for different people and types to get together and share their passions...or obsessions. (Article by Eric Shirey)