And so, with the passing of a very quick weekend, Fan Expo Dallas 2018 is over.
While the entire Total Geek Live crew wasn't able to attend the expo, Danny, Kaiser and I set out to document the convention so that we could share what actually goes on at these events to those unfamiliar with pop fandom .
To the uninitiated, fan conventions are initially overwhelming. There's a lot to see once you enter the exhibitor floor, as everything calls your attention at once, but when the overload subsides and that "convention stride" is hit, the fun truly begins.
After we set up our mobile office at the hotel, Danny and I picked up our press passes and spent the first few hours orienting ourselves with landmarks, planning out the most efficient schedule, and navigating through crowds. The first day was the shortest, but there were plenty of people to talk to, and a variety of exclusive items and original art to put on that mental "want" list. Everyone, from exhibitors to cosplayers, bring their own type of energy to the show, and the first day is always the highest in excitement.
For me, the first night was a different type of excitement. During a really entertaining panel with voice actor Charles Martinet, the voice actor behind Nintendo's "Mario" (If you ever get the chance to meet Charles, I wholeheartedly recommend it. His exuberance is charming), I got a phone call letting me know that one of the roving hail storms in the North Dallas area that night had blown out the back window of my car.
You know, I usually like my big explosions to take place on a theater screen, not within my automobile.
Regardless, the show must go on....
Saturday was the "Big" show day, and Kaiser joined us to help us cover the various panels taking place. No matter how efficiently you plan your show day, there is simply no way to highlight everything going on without a little help. Saturday was also a unique day as it marked the one day appearance of special guest, Jeff Goldblum.
This was Goldblum's first ever convention experience, and he looked to be having the time of his life. From his freeform style panel, to his photo opportunities, he was absolutely there for the fans. I've been a fan of Goldblum for a while, so of course I had to take it upon myself to meet him. After doing just that, he is just so... so... quintessentially Goldblum.
But there were a lot of great talent from so many fields of entertainment media present, and plenty of unique activities to last well into the evening. Speed dating was one of the highlights of the day, giving a chance for enterprising attendees to find that sword swinging partner of their dreams.
Sunday is usually the "wind down" day. There is still plenty to do, and people to meet, but there is a much more relaxed tone to the day. At this point, people have been geeking out for a few days now. There's a hint of sore feet in the crowds as there's just a little more chair sitting to be had, but even the most tender of toes still manage to not temper the crowd enthusiasm and vibe of the day.
When that final hour of the show winds down, you always see groups of people lingering around, not quite ready to let the weekend's experience end. It's easy to see why: There are so many out of the ordinary experiences to be had, and it's easy to make friends because everyone is welcome here.
That's one of the great things about fan conventions: There truly is something for everyone. It doesn't matter how different people are in their standard daily routine. People from all backgrounds come together through the connection of something that they love and are excited for. You can see an old man dress as Batman, a female Deadpool in a tutu, or a little girl cosplaying the Pennywise clown from "IT". Those that are painfully shy or need a little extra help in their day to day can become heroes here, sharing stories that can move a whole room through the power of their words. There is no "different" here. You simply get to step out of your comfort zone and experience a galaxy of possibilities.
Attending a fan convention is something everyone should try at least once. Let's be honest: We all "geek" out over something, whether it's a movie, a book, a favorite celebrity, or even a favorite activity that we love to do even if no one else "gets" it. People are here to have a good time. And for that reason, Fan Expo Dallas delivered.
I even got my car fixed just in time for my next adventure.