The Dose: Fan Days puts smiles on newbie con-goers

Kayleigh Bywater | Senior Staff Writer

@kayleighbywater

Love wasn’t the only thing in the air this Valentine’s weekend.

Three-hour long meet-and-greet lines and abnormally warm February weather did not stop people from suiting up and making their way to Dallas Comic Con Fan Days at the Irving Convention Center to meet special guests such as Stephen Amell (“Arrow”), David Mazouz (“Gotham”) and Neal Adams (a well-known comic artist).

Fan Days brought to light a vast array of pop culture from the past and present, including comics, movies, television shows, gaming and more. Overall, the 15th anniversary of the Dallas Comic Con event did not disappoint.

With Fan Days being my first ever con, I had no clue what to expect.

Many people who go, such as myself, don’t participate in cosplay, immerse themselves in reading comic books or know every superhero in Marvel’s and DC’s archive. I expected to go to Fan Days in my “The Flash” shirt, pick up a new Funko POP! figure to add to my collection and be on my way.

After finishing on Saturday, however, I regret not purchasing a weekend pass.

Professional cosplayer Calen Hoffman waits to pose with Fan Days attendees Feb. 13 in his Guardians of the Galaxy Groot costume. Kayleigh Bywater | Senior Staff Writer
Professional cosplayer Calen Hoffman waits to pose with Fan Days attendees Feb. 13 in his Guardians of the Galaxy Groot costume. Kayleigh Bywater | Senior Staff Writer

Fan Days provided more than just an outlet for lifelong comic fans. It allowed event-goers with varying interests, along with those who have never been to a con before, to come together and celebrate sci-fi and anime as well as Disney princesses and “Harry Potter.”

You pass by a “Suicide Squad” Joker. Next, you make your way past a walking Toothless from “How to Train Your Dragon.” It was like being a little kid in a candy store, but instead, surrounding you was every television, movie, gaming and comic character you could imagine.

The guest list at Fan Days was shorter than other cons but introduced current stars mixed with blasts from the past. Beloved actors from current shows “The Flash,” “Arrow” and “Gotham” met fans and signed autographs alongside Will Friedle (Eric Matthews from the ‘90s Disney show “Boy Meets World”) and the ‘80s “Dukes of Hazzard” cast.

In addition, the exhibition floor room was packed with what seemed like endless rows of vendors selling and trading thousands of different t-shirts, figurines and knick-knacks. Event-goers could find everything from custom, unique artwork of their favorite characters to exclusive and rare Funko POP! figures (I almost broke down into tears when I found the San Diego Comic Con exclusive unmasked Flash).

It really was a collector’s dream. With every event, however, comes some downsides.

The hour-long lines to meet these guests made way for antsy fans and sore feet. Bank accounts were hurting as well. Ticket purchases did not include meet-and-greet or autograph costs, which for each special guest could range anywhere from $40 to $185. Although there was a “wide” variety of (three) food trucks waiting outside for the tired con participants, the lines took another hour to get through.

But even though the event was packed, it was completely understandable.

If you’re a fan of comic books, movies or just pop culture in general, Comic Con and Fan Days are a must for you, because despite the long lines and sweaty people, no one seemed to really pay attention to the obstacles. Why be so serious (wink, wink) when you could put a smile on your face and enjoy what’s happening around you? It was like one big group of excited, dorky friends.

There’s one thing I do know for sure. At 10 a.m. this morning, I will be pulling out my laptop in Spanish class to purchase tickets for the Dallas Comic Con Fan Expo in June.

See you there, con fans.

Featured Image: Fan Days vendors in the exhibit hall had many collectibles for sale at the Irving Convention Center, including this replica Iron Man suit. Kayleigh Bywater | Senior Staff Writer

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