Let’s face it, the DCC is nothing like the big San Diego Comic-Con coming up in the next couple months. While the latter event is more of a media affair now for movies and games to be revealed/announced/displayed, DCC is a true Comic-Con. Sadly that meant there wasn’t much actual film news to be had (outside of what I already posted from Stan Lee’s Q&A). However, it was still an amazing event and deserves a time in the spotlight.
I arrived early to pick up my press pass. I mean, about 20 minutes earlier than the earliest I could pick it up; which was still over an hour earlier than people are supposed to be let into the main event. Even so, I was far from the first person there. In fact, the line of people waiting to purchase tickets was already out into the street (which is amazing since this convention center is absolutely massive). I couldn’t believe how many people were there that early.
At around 9:30am, the doors were opened up to allow people to enter into the lobby of the convention (in and of itself was also very big) and it was pandemonium. People were struggling to pick up their programs, and the line to purchase the Comic-Con exclusives were also imposing.
Knowing what was likely to happen, I made the most important stop of the morning…At the ATM. I know I’m going to buy stuff. In all likelihood, I was going to buy a lot of things (which I did), so I figured having cash would be a plus.
It’s here that I want to remark on the design of the Convention Center itself. It’s a new facility and it’s been very well thought out. It’s massive to begin with, but on top of that, there are an abundance of restrooms, ATMs and even concession stands. It’s really well thought out and lends itself to ease of use when it comes to these things.
Moving on, I picked up my Press Badge and made my way around to pick up the Comic-Con exclusives I wanted. Unfortunately after that it was a whole bunch of waiting until the doors were opened up in the exhibit hall for people to go into.
The Exhibit Hall:
The Exhibit Hall opened up a half hour early for the VIP members (and I was able to sneak in as well), and it was glorious. Just the sheer amount of vendors there was impressive, and the geek in me was absolutely giddy at seeing the vast assortment of collectibles. Everything from Star Wars, posters, older toys, and of course, mounds and mounds of comics were up for sale.
Being that we were allowed in early, actually gave me a chance to cruise around the entire exhibition floor, before having to deal with the masses. It’s a wonderful atmosphere as even the exhibitors themselves are big nerds and amazing conversations randomly occur while looking over the various collectibles they’re selling.
Then of course there are the many artist booths set up as they try and sell their work. On the whole, I enjoy speaking with these people. They are really passionate about what they do, and just love working in this type of environment. They were all friendly and would work tirelessly on commissioned projects right there as you talk with them.
And everyone is willing to make a deal. This isn’t like a normal store where you simply pay the asking price. This is set up more like a swap-meet, and haggling is almost expected. I can tell you now, for all that I bought, never once did I pay the original asking price. For fans and collectors (like me) this is a rare opportunity to acquire harder to find items and not get raked over the coals for them.
By far, the exhibit hall was my favorite aspect of the Convention. While it was insanely crowded and overflowing with people, it had a very welcoming feeling and the wealth of comics and memoribilia available was unsurpassed.
I love fans. We always find the most interesting ways of displaying our geekiness and Comic-Con didn’t disappoint. All around you could find cos-players dressed up as various characters and posing for a many pictures as the stars of the shows themselves did.
Everyone was very polite, and no one tried to cut into any of the lines. In fact, this seemed to be one of the most orderly conventions I’ve seen. There were no incidents that occurred, and truly everyone seemed to get ‘in the spirit’ of the event. And let’s face it, if not for the fans, there wouldn’t be a need for these types of conventions.
Stan Lee and John Romita Jr. were obviously the biggest headliners for many people (both were amazing), but Carrie Fisher and Leonard Nimoy are very big as well. All of them were under tight lock and key, and no photos were allowed to be taken of them…at all.
It’s totally understandable, but disheartening to a few of those fans who scrounged up the $50-$75 fees to get their autographs, and simply couldn’t afford another $40 to get a picture with them.
On the whole though, they were all very personable and when I got the briefest of moments to talk with them, they were all incredibly nice and friendly. Though they wouldn’t talk much about anything of importance (there would have already been news articles if there was), at least they took the time to speak with me for a little bit. And for someone who’s as big a nerd as I am…it’s a big deal.
The only person I really didn’t get to speak with was Thomas Jane. I just couldn’t find him. He was secreted somewhere behind the scenes right up until the very minute his signing table opened up. By then the table was so swamped, I couldn’t actually get a chance to meet with him.
But I got a chance to sit down with Richard Leparmentier (Admiral Motti, the guy who gets choked out by Darth Vader in Star Wars A New Hope) for a while and shoot the breeze. He was so personable I felt like I was chatting with an old friend. Though he hasn’t been on screen since the early 90s, he’s been keeping himself busy with conventions and such and was only visiting the States for a short time.
I’m glad to report, that as far as I know, there wasn’t any ‘Star’ syndrome going around with the guests. They were very fan-friendly and seemed genuinely caring for their fans. No one got snubbed and several lines were kept open past the official autographing time, in order to accommodate more fans.
In the end…Dallas Comic-Con was an amazing experience. The people were great and the events were entertaining. While it was light on the news and announcements, it was filled with a wonderful atmosphere. Just knowing that so many like-minded individuals were gathered in one place to celebrate the nerd culture is very fun.
I was delighted to attend, meet one of my major icons in person, and survive to talk about it. Can’t wait until next year!
Oh, what’s that you say? You need more Comic-Con goodness in your life? Well, don’t worry, TMP is going to be at the big SDCC this year! That’s right, we’ll be bringing you coverage from the show floor with the latest and greatest news, so be sure to stay tuned!
[I have more pictures coming so be sure to check back soon!]