Friday, December 15, 2017

I attended Fan Expo Dallas 2017 from March 31 to April 2, 2017, and what an experience it was!

If Fan Expo Dallas was looking for record numbers in attendance, they might have achieved it. There were massive amounts of people everywhere, but with the lineup they had can you blame them? At one point while getting my Batgirl #2 signed by Gail Simone the amount of people around me seemed to spontaneously triple. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s try and do this a day at a time. The first day and the last day were quite memorable, Saturday was a bit of a blur, yet I think because of that it will make for a good “sandwich experience.”

My con had to start a bit later then some since I had to work. Yet, after standing for eight hours at work, I went and walked around for another hour to take a quick look around the exhibit hall before I went to go see Mark Hamill. I went with the Silver Jedi Package and I don’t regret it one bit.

Courtesy Bernie Monsanto

Mark Hamill is such an animated person and his talent to do voices is amazing. One of the things that I found to be interesting was that he thinks everyone that has played the Joker has been great. Each actor brought something special that was unique to their own version of him. He also told the story of the first time his watch the animated movie The Killing Joke. He said that he had been up all night filming and had got home and started to watch it at 6am. When he finished it, he couldn’t go to sleep. It had been so weird that he couldn’t sleep. He did say that during Batman: The Animated Series all the voice actors were in the room so he could play off what the other actors were saying and doing. For The Killing Joke he was in a booth by himself trying to predict how the other actors would react. While watching it he wasn’t sure if they had sent him the right movie since none of his lines seemed to make sense. So in one word Mark Hamill thought The Killing Joke was “weird.”

Hamill talked about playing Trickster in the television show The Flash and he sincerely thought they should bring back Trickster’s sidekick Prank. An interesting bit of trivia I didn’t know is that people often think that Prank is based on Harley Quinn, yet the opposite is true: Harley Quinn is based on Prank. And Mark Hamill wanted everyone to know that, just to set the record straight. Another thing worth mentioning is that Mark Hamill thinks that now more than ever, we need escapism. He said that the current news sounds like a real life spy thriller, with the Russians and all. Our society needs a place where we can leave it all behind and imagine a better place. So we need things like Star Wars and Star Trek.

The second day I had planned on attending some panels but there was a small issue because I bought the general admission ticket which meant I would be seated last behind VIP and Premium badge holders. It’s not that big of a deal but when you have so much to do and limited time to do it you tend to look at the small things and prioritize them as such. So instead I decided to take my time and fully experience the dealer hall.

I talked to one of the vendors about swords, weapons and the history of warfare. FYI: the tri-gun cannon of Davy Jones ship in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean was based on an actual design. I was thinking about buying a sword or weapon of some kind. I saw a Bat’leth for $80 and thought I might come back on Sunday if it was still available. Other things I started to look at were the comic books the different vendors had. That is when I remembered that I forgot to bring my New 52 Batgirl #1 written by Gail Simone. I looked around different vendors but all I could find was a Batgirl #2, so I ended up buying it and having it signed by Gail Simone.

Courtesy Bernie Monsanto

Another treat I found was a vendor that was willing to sell a first run The Uncanny X-Men #135 and #141, written by Chris Claremont, and a Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8, written by Jim Shooter, for an amazing price. I told him I felt like I was stealing the books from him and he responded by saying he was just trying to get rid of the books. We both agreed that a $500 book is only $500 after the sale, and beforehand the book could very well be $5. After I bought everything I wanted and got my New 52 Batgirl signed, I started to look for costumes.

I found some great ones as you can see. There was an Overwatch meet-up yet someone lined them up facing the wall instead of the window so a lot of the pictures came out rather dark.

Courtesy Bernie Monsanto

Then came Sunday. Sundays at cons are usually rather boring with not much to see or do. Yet this was no ordinary Con Sunday. This Sunday DC Comics was going to reveal what was going to happen in the DC Comics Summer Event. I wrote a separate article detailing everything going on during the DC Comics Summer Event but I will tell you one thing that got me interested is that this could be a mystery that Batman might not want to solve. When Scott Snyder said that I thought “This is the reason I get this.” So please, no spoilers.

Courtesy Bernie Monsanto

So that is how I spent my time this year at Fan Expo Dallas 2017. While there may have been a few mistakes and hiccups made, I have faith that the people that run Fan Expo Dallas are very receptive to what the fans have to say. Each year Fan Expo Dallas has been better, so one can say “They should have known better.” This con is only four or five years old, so I consider them still learning. Also, each con is different. Just because Dragon Con does something one way doesn’t mean Gen Con should also do it. And you can’t compare BlizzCon with A-Kon or San Diego Comic Con. It wouldn’t be fair. So yes, there were mistakes made but I think we the fans, and those that run Fan Expo, can learn from them and make next year even better than this year.


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