If you can only afford to attend one comic book convention this year, then save your pennies for next month's Wizard World Texas in Arlington. But if you have an unlimited budget to "get your geek on," the Dallas Comic Con (actually taking place in Plano) is a pretty safe place for distancing yourself from reality. How safe, you ask? One word: Trekkies. This year's convention will be swarming with Star Trek fans because it features not one, not two, but three cast members from Star Trek: The Next Generation, including Data and Worf (actors Brent Spiner and Michael Dorn, respectively). But the real catch is former child actor Wil Wheaton, who's been filling all that free time since he grew up with a hilarious blog (www.wilwheaton.net) that was recently turned into a book, Just a Geek, to help supplement the income he's no longer getting from acting. Other "celebrities" scheduled to attend include Michael Keaton, some guy from Battlestar Galactica and some lady who played one of those nameless Jedis in the last Star Wars movie that everybody hated. Oh, and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) will be there, too, but he's always at the local cons because he lives down in Granbury now. Artists Greg Horn and Adam Hughes, both known for their comic book covers featuring scantily clad, big-breasted women, are also scheduled to attend. But honestly, who cares about all them when you can meet the kid who pulled the bloody leech out of his underwear in Stand By Me? It takes place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at the Plano Convention Centre, 2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway. Admission is $5, but free for kids 12 and under with a paying adult. Visit www.scifiexpo.com. --Jay Webb
Hot in Here
We hope that people who hear about this weekend's Chile Pepperama read the fine print before driving out to the Old Town Shopping Center, on the east side of Greenville between Lovers Lane and Southwestern Boulevard, on Sunday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. That's because the festival has nothing to do with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and quite frankly, we'd rather not see a bunch of guys make the mistake of wearing diapers and socks on their genitalia while sampling the culinary festival's various local takes on chili and pumpkin ice cream. Therefore, we encourage everyone to leave their Flea and Anthony Kiedis costumes behind when coming out to enjoy the local food, music and craft booths. Call 972-943-4624. --Sam Machkovech
Bats have gotten a bad rap: vampires, B-movies, '70s-era Batman. They've been vilified and victimized by movie producers on a low budget and countless redneck fireside thrillers. A person with the artistic skills of a 9-year-old making a papier mâché rendition on stick and twine can't do these cute little mammals justice. Yes, cute. And at noon on Saturday, Dottie Hyatt from Bat World Sanctuary, a bat rescue and rehabilitation center in Mineral Wells, holds a free seminar with a few of her rescued friends to explain away all the BS and preach the benefits of our misunderstood mammalian brothers. It's at Green Living, 1904 Abrams Parkway. Call 214-821-8444 or visit www.green-living.com. --Jonathan Freeman
The Dallas Museum of Natural History is always kinda creepy with its stuffed animals, fossils and dinosaur bones. But it takes on a whole new look when the Fall Festival brings spooky stories and face painting, plus the chance for kids to interact with a ghoulish cast of characters juggling, performing magic tricks, creating balloon art and presenting live owl demonstrations. The Dallas Police Department will even be there to provide tips for safe trick-or-treating. The festival will be held at the museum, 3535 Grand Ave. in Fair Park, from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $4 for children, $5 for students, $7 for adults and $6.50 for seniors. Museum members and children under 3 are admitted free. Visit www.dallasdino.org. --Danna Berger
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