Fan Expo Dallas Comic Con grew by leaps and bounds again this year, taking up even more floor space within the massive Dallas Convention Center. Attendance for the event was at a record high as well, estimated at around 75,000 over the entire weekend. For three days, the venue was a pop culture mecca for geeks from any and every walk of life.
You would think with so many people attending (many in bulky costumes), there would be traffic jams in the aisles of the artist and vendor booths. It was crowded, but still manageable with bigger walkways. The lines for celebrities moved a lot quicker as well. Everything was better organized than ever before.
Highlights for me included meeting a couple of the talented cast of “Gotham.” I knew as soon as I saw the line-up for the convention that my main target was the Penguin himself, Robin Lord-Taylor. Here’s a guy that could’ve been just another co-star on a crime procedural but has managed to steal the spotlight. What an incredibly nice guy who genuinely appreciates his fans.
Drew Powell portrays Fish Mooney and Penguin’s heavy, Butch, on “Gotham.” In real life, he looked like a lumberjack. The actor wore a plaid button-up over a t-shirt with blue jeans rolled up over brown loafers. He also sported a beard and mustache to further separate himself from the clean-shaven and suit-sporting mafia bodyguard. Powell was the polar opposite of his character and took time to get personal with every individual who approached him.
I made it a point to tell Mitch Pileggi how sad I still was over the cancellation of “Dallas.” The actor played Harris Ryland on the cancelled TNT drama. He said he appreciated all the support and petitions fans had put together trying to keep the show going, but it just wasn’t going to happen. It was hard to hear that sad confirmation directly from one of the actors who brought the series to life for three seasons.
Another monumental moment for me was interacting with the three men who brought Godzilla to life over the course of six decades. It was through reverent nods and smiles of course, since I’m positive they didn’t speak any English. I shot a photo of the trio together with a Godzilla blow-up peering over them.
I’m a huge horror fan, so one attraction I had to take part in was the “Insidious: Chapter 3” Into the Further 4D Experience. Two semi-trailers were converted into a mini-haunted house with enough jump-scares to make an average person pee their pants. On top of that, they added oculus rift that put you directly in the center of the supernatural chaos. I have to say that it was actually unnervingly scary.
Jimmy Palmiotti is a comic book writer and artist who has become a staple of Fan Days Dallas Comic Con. I’ve made it a habit to bring the talented man my latest volume of Jonah Hex to have him sign every year and chat for a few minutes. I also collect anything Batman related I can get my hands on, so it was a pleasure to get to meet Superman / Batman writer Greg Pak and Teen Titans artist Kenneth Rocafort.
“Star Wars” was well represented by both Carrie Fisher and the 501st Garrison. Fisher’s autograph line literally never ended. They had to cut it off every single day up to the last second on Sunday. It was extremely evident George Lucas’s space saga is as popular as ever once again with the upcoming release of “Episode VII – The Force Awakens.” The 501st had multiple corner booths where every alien and species from Wookie to Mandalorian and Stormtroopers could take pictures with fans. It was all for a good cause, as the proceeds were donated to the Make-A-Wish foundation.
There is no doubt in my mind that Fan Expo Dallas Comic Con 2015 was the most successful of all the events put on since the convention’s inception. Attendance continues to increase every year by the thousands. Thankfully, there’s still plenty of room for growth inside the Dallas Convention Center.
TO see pictures from Fan Expo Dallas Comic Con 2015, you can go here.