Twice a year, my pal Mark Walters and his fellow savvy fanboy Ben Stevens put on the Dallas Comic Con at the Plano Centre--which means it's Halloween this weekend for all those dudes who don't know what else to do with their homemade Boba Fett costumes the rest of the time. Their conventions (or "ventions," as my kiddo calls 'em) provide a good time even if you don't like to play dress-up; I have a pal who goes to shop the bootleg DVDs, and another who likes to troll for "sci-fi strange." (Hey, don't look at me; he said it, and in a really nice way too.) And there's always a fascinating hodgepodge of famous and infamous around meeting and greeting folks no matter how they're attired. In recent years, Carrie Fisher, Adam West, Walter Koenig (Star Trek's Mr. Chekov), David Carradine, "Bond girls" Maud Adams and Tanya Roberts, and Gary Lockwood and Keir Dullea (stars of 2001: A Space Odyssey) have stopped by to sign for and speak to the ever-growing throngs.
This year's lineup of celeb guests is perhaps Walters and Stevens' most impressive one yet, especially if you're a fan of The New Classics: The Punisher Thomas Jane; Karen Allen, best known for Raiders of the Lost Ark, Starman and National Lampoon's Animal House; Alan Ruck, of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Spin City; Michael Gross of Family Ties (and Tremors, for the sci-fi'ers); Star Trek: The Next Generation's Gates McFadden (who started out as a Muppeteer for Jim Henson); A-Team'er Dwight Schultz, also a Star Trek vet; and Sarah Douglas, who played Kryptonian bad girl Ursa in Superman II. And in a whole special category is John Wesley Shipp, best remembered by some around the office as poor ol' Mitch on Dawson's Creek, who died when he dropped his ice cream in the car (or so I am told). Shipp, though, is coming to talk about his stint as TV's The Flash. "This next show is definitely one of the most eclectic mixes of guests we've had to date," Walters says. "Karen Allen is a real treat, especially since this year marks the 25th anniversary for Raiders of the Lost Ark."
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I'll be there beginning at 1 p.m., when I am moderating a panel about The Flash TV series, which is just out on DVD. Shipp will join series writer, and comic-book creator, Howard Chaykin (American Flagg, City of Tomorrow) for a chit and chat about that ill-fated show. And then at 3 p.m. I'll host a Q&A with Karen Allen; no doubt most of our conversation will deal with The Sandlot...or not. Come by, even if you don't own a Klingon costume. Seriously. Especially if you don't own a Klingon costume. --Robert Wilonsky