The Hulk and Hellboy meet and greet
Since adding North Texas to its circuit of comic book conventions two years ago, Wizard Entertainment has brought in more Hollywood hype than actual creative talent from the medium it's supposedly celebrating. Not that anybody's complaining about an appearance from Kevin Smith, but it's frustrating to see actors and directors upstage legendary illustrators, such as George Perez and Jim Lee, while comic book movies pillage the source material. The third installment of Wizard World Texas has a more even ratio of comic book creators to Hollywood types. Artists signing their work include fan favorites Bryan Hitch (The Ultimates), Michael Turner (various scantily clad super-heroines), Ethan Van Sciver (whose grotesquely realistic take on Green Lantern villains can turn stomachs) as well as the much-maligned Rob Liefeld (X-Force). The real coup for Wizard World this year is writer Peter David, whose run on Incredible Hulk is still regarded with bagged-and-boarded reverence as the best example of how to get into the psyche of a character. If it's the big and small screen stars that get you excited, then Wizard World also lined up Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Summer Glau (Serenity), Lou Ferrigno (the pre-CGI Hulk) and Margot Kidder (Lois Lane from the Superman flicks) for the autograph hounds. But the actor who'll draw the biggest crowd is Sean Astin, because apparently Hobbits and the rest of The Lord of the Rings ilk have become the new Trekkies. Wizard World Texas takes place Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Arlington Convention Center, 1200 Ballpark Way. Admission is $25 per day or $45 for a weekend pass. Visit www.wizarduniverse.com. --Jay Webb
Wizard World Texas
The list of pornographic films Ron Jeremy has starred in or directed is almost as long as his famously lanky wiener. Author, musician and playwright Susan G. Cole has a similarly impressive body of work and has been a vocal critic of Jeremy's occupation for almost 30 years. In the world of pornography debates, these two are heavyweights--like a long-donged Frazier with a master's degree versus a Harvard-educated lesbian Ali. This Thursday, take the hour or two you'd normally spend watching dirty movies and hear these two debate the films' merits (or lack thereof) in the Bluebonnet Ballroom at the University of Texas Arlington University Center, 300 W. First St., Arlington. Tickets are $3 for UTA students and $7 for the public. The rumble starts at 7:30 p.m. Call 817-272-2963 or visit www.uta.edu/excel. --Noah W. Bailey
Conspiracy theorists and history buffs rejoice! You too can be on the trail of assassins--OK, just one assassin (and a presumed one at that). This Saturday, the Dallas Historical Society hosts its city tour called In the Steps of Lee Harvey Oswald. Not even Oliver Stone could get you this close to the mysterious gunman. The tour gives a glimpse into Oswald's personal life and home in Oak Cliff and follows his steps on that historic day through downtown...and ultimately the Texas Theater where he was captured. The seemingly creepier moments include the intersection where he gunned down Officer Tippit and his final resting place located next to the inexplicable Nick Beef. The tour sometimes includes the basement where Jack Ruby killed Oswald. Even better than the History Channel. The tour departs at 9 a.m. from the Hall of State at Fair Park and returns around 2 p.m. Cost is $35 for members and $45 for non-members with lunch at El Fenix included. Contact Frank Wilson at 214-421-4500 ext. 105. --Rich Lopez
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As far as annual event excitement during my adolescence, only Christmas superseded the elementary school's book fair at the beginning of every year. My oversized head swam delightedly with the potential discoveries. Time wrinkles and dimension-hopping wardrobes were great, but the real score was anything and everything concerning dinosaurs. Epic carnivorous battles, majestic grazing at the absolute height of vegetation...and the ultimate mystery. It was all so fantastical and fantastic because it was real. Times change, but take this to the bank: Kids love dinosaurs. Consequently, the Dallas Museum of Natural History is the perfect family excursion this Saturday (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m. to 4 p.m.), with activities, storytelling and lessons filling Dino-Weekend. From habits to beginnings and eventual endings, the museum definitely offers up the total dinosaur score. I would have traded two Transformers for this way back when. The museum is located at 3535 Grand Ave. Admission is $4 to $6.50. Call 214-421-3466 or visit www.dallasdino.org. --Matt Hursh
None More Black
Whether you're the patron saint of quality footwear or a haberdasher with his own chapeau shop, when you're familiar with the topsy-turvy world of heavy rock, you've got to be a fan of Christopher Guest's classic 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. For those of you who love getting your love pumps licked or hate it when people record heavy metal in "Dubly," strap on your foil-wrapped cucumbers for this weekend's Midnight Madness movie at the Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane. The theater is showing This is Spinal Tap Friday and Saturday night, and instead of going to 11, Nigel, David and Derek actually rock on well past it, with each show starting at midnight. Smell the glove or just call 214-764-9106. --Andrea Grimes