The loudspeaker cut through the low roar of chatter on the convention center floor. "Attention: Carrie Fisher is in the building." The former Star Wars babe slipped in and out of the building like Elvis; we never saw her.
Fisher's heralded arrival began day two of Dallas Comic Con at the Irving Convention Center. The day was short, but business was brisk; prices were slashed as the afternoon wore on, and 50 cent comics attracted kids clutching dollar bills. The room was crowded with costume-clad fanatics, including the likes of Spider-Man and more obscure characters in homemade get-ups. Abundant people watching opportunities weren't the only good thing about the convention.
Read on for the top 10 reasons you should've spent Sunday among the ranks of the nerd nation.
10. "Geek amusements and accoutrements" at the Piranha Toys booth. Wonder Woman star-spangled granny panties were mostly gone by Sunday afternoon, but plenty of "Mr. T in Your Pocket" keychains remained. When my boyfriend and I couldn't stop giggling at Mr. T's commands ("Don't gimme no backtalk, sucka!"), the booth manager came over and said, "The keychains are $8." Point taken, sir.
9. An autographed photo of Burt Reynolds for $40. It's a sad day in America when a Reynolds autograph costs less than a tank of gas. Ladies?
8. The stuff you'd never consider buying. On that list: Reservoir Dogs action figures, a Munsters family portrait, grenade zipper charms, a $100 Alien figurine. No, no and no.
7. A life-size Arnold Schwarzenegger clad in black leather Terminator gear. When asked to speak about his recently revealed love child, he stared silently without comment.
6. Swords at Milo's Cutting Edge. Legions of teenage boys crowded in front of this booth, gazing longingly at swords, knives and generally anything with a sharp edge. Milo's sells replicas of swords featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and even a king's helm.
5. Watching the creative juices flow. Artists, seated at tables all over the convention floor, were engrossed in drawing, inking and coloring. Some did commissions; others drew what they wanted then put a price on it. I watched James O'Barr (The Crow) create a black and blue drawing of Eric Draven for a length of time that might be considered stalkerish.
4. Riffling through 1960s era Playboy magazines. Alas, they were sealed in protective covers, preventing casual flipping. A November 1967 cover teased an article about "Sex and Psychedelics" and the Miss Nude Universe contest, which still happens each year (take that, Donald Trump!). A 1968 issue touted an interview with Ralph Nader. Has he been around that long?
3. Dirk Strangely's Tim Burton-esque prints. Strangely, clad in a black porkpie hat, said he writes, draws and plays "Romanian-pirate-gypsy" music he compares to Tom Waits. Strangely utilizes unusual techniques to make his prints, like using incense and a blowtorch to create Doll Face. He's working on a series of vampire Muppets, called Muppets of the Damned, inspired by Count von Count. "As a kid, I always wondered what the Count was feeding on," he said.
2. Blatantly eavesdropping in on conversations. A tired-looking O'Barr, who claimed he'd been up for 32 hours, told a group of long-haired boys, "Once I start on something, I don't quit until it's done. Nobody starts masturbating and says 'Eh, I'll come back to it later.'" Pure gold, that guy.
1. Stan Lee of Marvel Comics. Lee is famous for his cameos in all Marvel movies. "I cry, I yell and I scream if I don't get a cameo," Lee joked during a Q&A session with artist John Romita Jr. Lee revealed details to the audience about his cameo in next year's The Amazing Spider-Man (read more here). He claims it's the funniest yet.
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