The 2015 Fan Expo Dallas, presented by Dallas Comic Con, is being held this weekend (May 29-31) at the Dallas Convention Center (650 South Griffin Street, Dallas, TX 75202). Dozens of media and comic guests will be on hand, and hundreds of exhibitor and artist booths in the dealer room will be filled with vintage and modern collectibles, comic books, and artwork.
Here’s your inside guide to Fan Expo Dallas. Remember, schedules and other details change often, so consult the Fan Expo Dallas website (click here) or the Fan Expo Dallas Facebook page (click here) for the latest updates.
Friday (29th): 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday (30th): 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday (31st): 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Confirmed guests for the weekend include Stan Lee (comic legend), Nathan Fillion (Castle, Firefly), Ming-Na Wen (Agents of SHIELD), Carrie Fisher (Star Wars), Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), Mitch Pileggi (The X-Files, Dallas), Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager), Billie Piper (Dr. Who), Karen Gillan (Dr. Who, Guardians of the Galaxy), Lennie James (The Walking Dead), Scott Wilson (The Walking Dead), Bill Goldberg (wrestler), Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Batman), Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham), Alan Tudyk (Firefly), Sylvester McCoy (Dr. Who, The Hobbit), Dean Cain (Lois and Clark), and Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie), among many others.
All guests charge a fee for their autograph, and most will participate in photo-ops (see the con program on-site or check the website to see the latest schedule).
Comic guests include Neal Adams (Batman), Val Mayerick (Co-creator, Howard the Duck), Bernie Wrightson (Co-creator, Swamp Thing), Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn), Amanda Conner (Power Girl) and Ed McGuinness (Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men). Other comic artists attending include Richard Dominguez, Kerry Gammill, Eddie Medina, Ben Dunn, and James O’Barr.
Animation guests include Tom Kenny (the voice of Spongebob Squarepants), Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman), and Tara Strong (the voice of Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony and countless other voices).
Popular panels fill up early, so lining up outside each room ahead of time is recommended. Among the top events:
4:00 p.m. Q&A: Mitch Pileggi (Ballroom A3/A4)
5:30 p.m. Q&A: Scott Wilson (Ballroom A3/A4)
7:00 p.m. Q&A: Carrie Fisher (Arena)
7:00 p.m. Q&A: Sylvester McCoy (Ballroom A3/A4)
11:45 a.m. Q&A: Gillian Anderson (Arena)
1:00 p.m. Q&A: Billie Piper (Arena)
1:00 p.m. Q&A: I DREAM OF JEANNIE (with Barbara Eden and Bill Daily, Meeting Room C141)
2:00 p.m. Q&A: Tara Strong (Ballroom C2)
2:15 p.m. Q&A: FIREFLY/SERENITY (with Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk, Arena)
2:30 p.m. Q&A: Jeri Ryan (Ballroom A3/A4)
3:00 p.m. Cosplay Red Carpet
3:00 p.m. Q&A: Dean Cain (Meeting Room C141)
3:30 p.m. Q&A: Ming-Na Wen (Arena)
5:30 p.m. Fan Expo 2015 Costume Contest (Ballroom A3/A4)
1:00 p.m. Q&A: Karen Gillan (Arena)
1:00 p.m. Q&A: Adam West and Burt Ward (Ballroom A3)
2:00 p.m. Q&A: Giancarlo Esposito (Arena)
2:30 p.m. Q&A: Gotham’s Robin Lord Taylor and Drew Powell (Ballroom A3)
3:00 p.m. Q&A: Stan Lee (Arena)
Among the exhibits at Fan Expo will be a number of classic movie car replicas, including the Ghostbusters Ecto-1, the Jurassic Park Jeep, the Landspeeder from Star Wars, and Speed Racer’s Mach 5. If you have kids, head over to the “Comic Kid’s Lounge” (Meeting Room A2) where you’ll get to dress up as a Superhero, show off your coloring skills, and maybe even meet Groot! Families are invited to drop in with their children 12 years old or younger. Parents must stay with their children for the duration of the activities. In addition, the Star Garrison of the 501st Legion will have a booth where attendees can shoot Stormtroopers with Nerf guns. A donation to the Make a Wish Foundation is required.
The two levels of the parking garage accommodate 1,200 parking spaces and are located beneath the main level of the exhibit space. The entrance to the parking garage is accessed at Griffin Street & Memorial Street. Parking is $15 per entry, no in and out. Parking Lot C, located on Ceremonial Street and Lamar Street, is directly in front of the Dallas Convention Center’s C building and across from the Omni Hotel. Parking in Lot C is $15 per entry, no in and out. Other lots include Lot D (939 S. Lamar, corner of Lamar and Canton) and Lot E (600 Memorial St., located off Hotel Street and Memorial Street). Parking is $10 per entry, no in/out. The con’s parking service provider is ACE Parking – (214) 671-9509.
Exclusives available only at the con include “Fan Expo” branded comics of Star Wars #1, Secret Wars #1, Convergence #0, and Dr, Who: The Ninth Doctor #1. An exclusive Funko Pop! vinyl figure of Angry Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy will be available. “Titans” mini vinyl figures of the 10th and 11th Dr. Whos will also be exclusives at the event. An exclusive Carrie Fisher metallic prints from Official Pix will be available.
Single day passes are $25 for Friday, $50 for Saturday and $40 for Sunday. A deluxe weekend pass is $89.
Autographs can get pretty pricey, but you can find some great bargains. Haruo Nakajima, a Japanese actor who donned the “monster suit” of Godzilla in the original 1954 classic and eleven more films, will be a guest, and only charges $25 for his autograph. I Dream of Jeannie actress and TV icon Barbara Eden will only charge $30 for her autograph. Funko Pop vinyl figures are all the rage, and the exclusive Angry Groot figure from Guardians of the Galaxy will be very popular. At $20, it will be much cheaper to get one at the show than pay inflated prices on ebay later.
You cannot leave the convention center parking lot without having to pay again once you return, so your best bet is to eat at one of the many concession stands that will be open at the event. After the show, a number of restaurants throughout downtown and Deep Ellum will be good dinner destinations.
Victor Medina is the editor of CollectoRamaShow.com and RevengeOfThe5th.net. His other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News, Yahoo News, Cinelinx.com, and SportsIllustrated.com. You can follow him on his blog, VictorMedina.com or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. To be notified of future stories by Victor Medina, click the SUBSCRIBE TO AUTHOR link below.