Friday, June 6, 2014

Dallas Comic-Con 2014: Record-Breaking Attendance and Super-Long Lines!

Last month, Red Dot Diva's fellow geeky acquaintance from Texas, Natasha S. Hoover, attended a comic convention that was held at her own backyard. Well, almost!

The Dallas Comic-Con (DCC) - which has been running for about the last 12 years - has recently changed ownership and this year, the event moved to a larger location from Irving Convention Centre to the Dallas Convention Centre.

In line with what's happening at comic conventions around the globe in the last few years, there was a huge increase in attendance numbers for the event which ran from May 16 to 18, 2014. Approximately 45,000 people were said to have attended DCC this year.

Here's Natasha's report for the geeky camaraderie that happened at the convention. It is too bad she did not bring a fancy camera, so all but two of the photos used in the article belong to DCC.


There are two things that come to mind when I think of May in Dallas – hot temperatures and Dallas Comic-Con!

After going to May's DCC event for the last 8 years or so, I actually considered skipping this one but once I discovered that three reunions were happening – "Firefly", "Star Trek: TNG" and "Nightmare on Elm Street", I knew this one was not to be missed!

With the popularity of conventions exploding over the past few years, DCC finally made the move to the much, MUCH larger Dallas Convention Center. After several years of convention-goers being squished like sardines into the Irving Center, the move was much needed, and way overdue. The new venue was nearly six times the size – and with a record breaking 50,000 attendees, it still felt tight in some areas. Fortunately, guests and attendees all seemed in a good mood and no one seemed to mind the crowds.

This year's guest roster truly matched the new venue - there was the entire Firefly cast (minus Morena Baccaran, who had to cancel at the last minute), a large number of TNG guests including Brent Spiner (my personal favorite TNG star!), LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Denise Crosby, Michael Dorn and John DeLancie. The show also brought in "The Walking Dead"'s evil governor David Morrissey, Christopher Lloyd - who took photos with a exact replica of the "Back to the Future" DeLorean, 80's fan favorite Judge Reinhold, Alice Cooper and "Arrow"'s baddie, Manu Bennett. Comic guests included Stan Lee, David Finch, Amanda Conner, Dan Slott...  there were way too many to list!

Although I originally intended to have Nathan Fillion sign my replica Man Reynold's pistol, I decided a change of plans was in order once I saw his line....

Insane long line for Nathan Fillion!

Instead, I decided to hit up the TNG area. Although I have met most of these guys at previous conventions, I couldn't pass up the chance to meet Jonathan Frakes (and ogle Brent Spiner again!). Frakes was just as friendly as I imagined he would be and really took the time to talk to each fan in his line.

Next up, sketch duals! This was something new for Dallas – two comic artists battling each other in sketch form. The one I attended pit Todd Nauck against Stephen Platt. I don't know how much of a “dual” this actually was, but more of a way for fans to see the artist in action, all while answering fans questions. Fans asked questions ranging from their technique to favorite characters to how they feel about conventions and everything in between. I have to say, this was one of my favorite aspects of “new” DCC that I hope they bring back every year.

Anyone that frequents cons knows that one of the coolest aspects is checking out all of the amazing cosplay. DCC decided to give additional resources to highlight cosplayers this year by adding a cosplay masquerade. This allowed those hard-working cosplayers to actually get up on stage and show off their designs. A few of my favorites included Godzilla, whose costume was nearly as big as I would imagine the real Godzilla to be, The Terminator and a few brave souls who actually ventured around a crowded convention floor on stilts as 8-ft tall Wookies!

Lastly, I made my way to the vendor room to see what goodies I could find. I had already managed to snag a copy of Amazing Spider-man #1 with the Fan Expo exclusive cover, as well as a Harley Quinn print from Amanda Conner. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the exclusive table early enough and missed out on the limited TNG tee – but there's always eBay, right?

As an avid toy collector, I spent a large portion of my time at the show trolling the aisles for any hidden gems and toys on my current list of must-haves. Surprisingly, with such a huge show and many more vendors than previous years, I didn't find near as much as I had hoped to but I did come home with two items – a 1993 TNG Transporter (with real transporting action!) and a Funko Pop Coulson, which I'll save for the day when I meet Clark Gregg. Yes, DCC that is a hint!

Stan Lee and X-Men cosplayers

All in all, I have to say that DCC was a big success. Although the big names brought out big crowds, it still felt more organized and more spacious than past years' events. With attendance jumping from 12,000 just a few years ago to the 50,000 this year, who knows what 2015 will bring but I do know that I will definitely be there to find out.... and perhaps one of these days Red Dot Diva will make her way to The Lone Star State and join me!

(Red Dot Diva: Anyone willing to sponsor my trip? Haha! )


Thanks to Natasha for the lovely report and pics! :)

By the way, Natasha sews unique geeky creations of her own like pillows and wallets! Check her out at her Etsy Shop called RedShirtCreations.

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