Dust off those Spock ears and start your diets to fit into that Batsuit hanging in the closet, because Fan Expo is only a few months away from making its stop in Dallas. Running May 3-5 at the Dallas Convention Center, Fan Expo is the must-attend event for anyone who loves comic books, science fiction or celebrities you thought had died years ago.
Each year, Fan Expo packs the halls of the Dallas Convention Center with so many events and things to look at it, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of Drakkar and burrito fumes. This year figures to have even more artists, panels and stars dropping by, so check out some of the best things to see at this year's Fan Expo.
Actors showing up to sign autographs and take somewhat awkward photos with fans is no new development, but the number and pedigree of the performers attending this year is. Mia Farrow, known for her horror performances in Rosemary’s Baby and her marriage to Woody Allen, will make her debut appearance at a convention in Dallas. The last time she went out to promote a movie, eight-track players were standard in cars, so it’ll be interesting to see what Farrow might have to say to a legion of pop-culture fans.
Farrow will appear alongside convention mainstays like William Shatner and Pamela Anderson, but large upcoming tentpole comic book movies will have their stars in appearance as well. Zachary Levi, otherwise known as Shazam, will greet fans a month after the DC Comics film releases April 5. The new Hellboy, David Harbour, will also make the rounds, greeting fans on the way to saying hi to a few fellow Stranger Things cast members. Speaking of which …
So Many Full Casts Appearing
This year at Fan Expo will be the year of the casts. The core cast of the following features or television series are scheduled to be in attendance: Back to the Future, IT (The Kids), Karate Kid, Boy Meets World and Smallville.
This isn’t even including a fair amount of the cast from the vampire film The Lost Boys and members of the Goonies you care about. There are so many stars scheduled to appear that if the roof collapsed on the Dallas Convention Center, next year’s Oscars would just be a three-hour in memoriam.
The People Behind the Pages
Before writing or drawing a comic book led to your creation getting three movies and a TV deal, the overworked staff creating monthly comics were far from household names. Now superstar creators like Jim Lee, alongside new and emerging artists, will be on hand to sign copies of their work and give pointers to budding artists just like they once were.
Scheduled for this year's Fan Expo will be a live sketch duel in front of an audience where some of the best comic book artists will go head to head sketching for bragging rights. Also slated are teams of comic book creators debating the minutiae of comic book continuity. It’s like hearing your friends debate who would win in a fight between Batman and Darth Vader, but from professionals.
Transformers Live In Person (Their Voices at Least)
For some, the new Transformers movies were never made. Shia LaBeouf never spazzed around like he was on a coke bender, Mark Wahlberg never asked Michael Bay if Transformers were real, and only the '80s cartoon ever existed. Those fans are in for a treat, because two of the series' most iconic voice actors, Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) and Frank Welker (Megatron), will be at Fan Expo.
But it gets better.
Either actor will have limited availability to record a personalized message on a recording device of your choosing. Want a voicemail in which Optimus Prime tells your friend to leave a message while you fight robots in disguise? For $100 that message can be yours as long as it’s less than 50 words.
If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to get a tattoo of Wonder Woman (tastefully) tying up a villain with her lasso of truth, Fan Expo’s Tattoo Alley will make a return this year. The artists from Ink Fusion Empire have the training and the talent to make even the most complicated tattoo look like it just sprang from the pages of your favorite comic.
All the tattoo artists are licensed and the work is done in a sterile environment for the safety of the clients who schedule appointments. Prices, much like most tattoo parlors, are subject to the difficulty and time needed to complete the job, but all work is done while Expo visitors make their way from booth to booth. For a tattoo that comes with a story, this might be the perfect place to finally take the plunge.
It wouldn’t be a Fan Expo without costumes of every kind moving around the busy halls. Whether you’re a budding Tony Stark who worked all year on the perfect suit, or someone who invented a new character that wears slices of cheese, the yearly convention welcomes creatives of all types. Cosplay stars will be available for pictures and autographs in between outfit changes, whether it’s at their own booths or moving around the showroom floor.
For any parents of Robins or Supergirls, a contest for children 12 and younger will be for the little ones who come dressed as their favorite characters. Prizes will be awarded to the top three costumes, but even if they don’t win, there’s more than enough toys to beg for.
This is only scratching the surface of one of the biggest events of the year. What say you? What part of this year’s Fan Expo are you looking forward to the most?
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.