Things To Do

Upcoming Geek Gatherings the Dallas Nerd Community Won't Want to Miss

This year you'll get to play dress-up plenty at Dallas' best cosplay events.
Mike Brooks
This year you'll get to play dress-up plenty at Dallas' best cosplay events.
The days in which being labeled a “geek” was considered an insult are long over, as the current cultural landscape supports a love for Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and the various other properties and franchises once deemed “nerdy.” Seriously, when was the last time you made a trip to the supermarket and didn’t run into at least one person wearing a superhero T-shirt?

The biggest geek gathering in the world, San Diego Comic Con, is once again going virtual this year after COVID-19 forced the festival to move online in summer 2020. This means that while you still may be able to enjoy virtual panels featuring the cast of upcoming seasons of Rick and Morty or Star Trek: Discovery, you won’t be able to gather with massive crowds of fellow fans and see the entire Justice League in line at the hot dog stand.

Fortunately, Dallas geeks don’t have to make the trek all the way to California to connect with their favorite fandoms. This year, there are plenty of fun geeky events worth checking out.

Star Wars Celebs Are Coming to Retro Expo
July 23-24, Plano Event Center
Cast members of the Star Wars universe including Boba Fett (Dickey Beer), Aayla Secura (Amy Allen) and Jedi padawan Zett Jukasa (Jett Lucas) are among the guests who’ll be signing at the Plano Event Center. You’ll want to check out the extended list of comic book artists who will also be attending, including writers and illustrators for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, King Kong and Battlestar Galactica, among others.

The Greatest Star Wars Movie of All Time Returns to North Texas Screens
July 21, Legacy Hall in Plano

Any debate on the best sequels that improve upon the original has to include Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and you can experience the iconic “I am your father” moment in a theater packed full of fans. The free screening offers photo opportunities with Darth Vader and Stormtrooper cosplayers, but for an add-on you can enjoy a meal that includes a Hall Pass gift card, bucket of popcorn and drink. Not quite-as-geeky classics such as Clueless and Dumb and Dumber will be screened at later dates.

If You Missed June’s Celebration, Check Out Dallas Comic Show Events Later This Year
August 21-22 and November 6-7, Music City Mall in Lewisville

While the Dallas Comic Show held its initial celebration back in June, the first event was only one of three scheduled for the year. The event is aiming to be a much more affordable route for costume contests, comic book collecting and exclusive signings than a pricier Comic Con ticket. Free parking is a bonus!

Arlington’s Comic Fest Is a Great Way To Expand Your Personal Comic Collection
Aug. 28, Bob Duncan Center in Arlington

Celebrity sightings may dominate some of the other local festivals, but Arlington’s geek gathering is for hardcore comic collectors, offering over 75 booths selling art, books, comics, collectibles, games, toys and other merch. It’s still not too formal, and attendees are encouraged to dress in cosplay.

Costumes Galore and Major Names at Fan Expo
Sept. 17-19, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center

Do you like comic books? Cosplay? Anime? Gaming? Hobbits? Dallas Fan Expo returns with a massive lineup of celebrity signings, including all four hobbits; Star Trek’s William Shatner, Brent Spiner, Walter Koenig and George Takei; Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dave Bautista; Brendan Fraser; Doctor Who’s Christopher Eccelston; Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s James Marsters; Arrow’s Stephen Amell; Saved by the Bell’s Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar and The Office’s Brian Baumgartner, David Koechner, Oscar Nuñez and Kate Flannery. Take that, San Diego!

It's an Annual Irving Celebration With the Dallas Fan Festival
Oct. 14-16, Irving Convention Center

We don’t know exactly what’s in store for the Dallas Fan Festival (distinguished from Fan Expo), but past celebrations have featured signings, gaming and cosplay for fans of anime, horror, science fiction and obviously comic books. It’s often a popular site for retailers, too, if you need to buy those additional Funko Pops.

Pajama Parties Are Only One Cool Thing About the Three Days of All-Con

Oct. 29-31, Hilton Lincoln Center in Dallas
As the name may suggest, All-Con features just about everything you could ask for in a nerdy social gathering, including discussion panels, live performances, workshops, game shows, crafts and competitive gaming. While on the pricier side (the three-day admission is $70), All-Con has been a popular venue for Dallasites for the past 17 years.

Looking For a Halloween Treat? Frankesenstein Manor V Has You Covered
Oct. 30, Industrial Cigar Co. in Frisco

A safe Halloween among costumed friends is something Dallasites are definitely looking for after last year left many at home during the holiday. The cosplay contest features categories such as best dressed, best couple and most creative costume. This is one for the legal-drinking aged crowd, as adult beverages are among the key selling points for the Frisco event.