On its surface, Dallas appears to be a polished city. A bustling community full of investment bankers and aspiring professional cheerleaders. Beneath that veneer lies a lusher and more intriguing ecosystem. I’m speaking, of course, about you: our elaborate, and highly necessary, network of nerds, dorks and geeks. Evidence of your vast population is visible in the number of themed conventions sprouting up across the city. But here’s the rub: What if your dream girl is at a one-off genre gathering? What if she’s at A-Kon and you’re at Sci-Fi Expo? You’d be like two battlestars passing through a wormhole, pointed in opposite directions. That’s heartbreaking. Lucky for you, there’s one event that gathers the best bits of all the other conventions and glues ’em together, like that sticky ball from Katamari Damacy. I’m talking about All-Con, which runs from Friday through Sunday at the Crowne Plaza North Dallas (14315 Midway Rd., Addison). There, you’ll attend workshops, panel discussions, sci-fi make-up classes, get cartoon how-tos by Disney professionals, watch roller derby, ogle nerdy burlesque, attend a wizarding conference, learn steampunk costuming for beginners and even transcend in a (certainly hysterical) program called Zen for Clowns. Still not convinced? Fine. There are celebs galore. Kathy Coleman — yeah, the gal who played Holly Marshall in the early-model Land of the Lost — will be there. And remember Jem, the truly outrageous rock-star superhero who made you want to dye your hair pink and start a pop punk band? Well, Jem’s voice actor, Samantha Newark, is coming to All-Con too. But of all the celebrity talent on board for this gathering (and there’s a lot — see the entire line-up at allcon.org), perhaps the most peculiar is Marshall Barnes. With a look that conjures America’s Next Top Model walk coach J Alexander and an oddly self-promoted online presence, Barnes proclaims to be at time travel’s forefront. He’s “developed the first functioning technology for warp drive” and has a trademark on something called Verdrehung Fan™, a torsion-physics-fueled time machine prototype. What does all of that mean? Lots and lots of nerds will argue about time travel with a guy wearing a wig. It doesn’t get better than that. Tickets cost $45 for all three days. Single-day passes are available at the door until capacity is reached. Visit all-con.org/tkt.html.
March 8-10, 2013