Meet All of Your Fanboy (or Fangirl) Idols at the Dallas Comic Con's Fan Days

Categories: Geek-Offs

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Ed Steele
All fans of anything have lists in their heads of famous hands they'd like to shake -- those attached the faces and voices they've seen in their favorite movies and TV shows. There's just something about making that face-to-face to contact with the people you've worshiped from afar that makes them seem more real.

You don't just get to tell them how much you've enjoyed and been inspired by their work. You get to watch your favorite shows and movies in a whole new light. You're no longer just staring at a memorable face on a flat screen. You're part of their actual world. You're one degree of separation away from them. And as long as you don't try to obtain a lock of their hair or a skin fragment, you'll retain that beautiful memory for as long as you live or as long as the series doesn't veer down a weird path.

If you've got a particularly long bucket list of famous hands you wish to shake and faces to take selfies with, you'll be able to cross a bunch of them off of your list this weekend at the Dallas Comic Con's Fan Days Expo.

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New 'Hyper-Reality' Marvel Theme Ride Coming to Fair Park in January

Categories: Geek-Offs

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Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Deep down, every comic book fan wishes for some kind of superpower that would allow them to dish out world justice or attract men or women with a made-for-spandex body.

Next year, fans will get their chance to act out superhero fantasies with The Marvel Experience, a new interactive ride, which receives its world premiere Jan. 9- Feb. 1. at the Cotton Bowl.

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DFW's Second Annual WhoFest Books an Actual Doctor Colin Baker

Categories: Geek-Offs

For it to be an event, every fan convention has to have a guest of honor. The San Diego Comic-Con employs Peter Jackson, who spends his time persuading attendees that they want a 15th movie based on a J.R.R. Tolkein novel. The E3 convention brings in every Nintendo executive, who beg and plead with people to buy a WiiU. And every Doctor Who convention needs at least one Doctor.

Last year's first WhoFest broke that one rule and somehow managed to be successful. But this year should be even better because the organizers announced this week that one of the Doctors will materialize at their next convention in April of 2015.

Organizers of the annual convention announced that Colin Baker, the sixth actor to play Doctor Who, will be at the next WhoFest on Apr. 24-26.

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Dallas Has a Convention Dedicated to Supernatural. We Hope Some Fans Miss It.

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You don't even want to know what some people think of these guys.
Fandom is a weird beast. It can make otherwise sane individuals do things that not even a lifetime of drinking will erase from memory.

Some extreme fans of Supernatural seem to fit into that category. For those of you who aren't in the know, it's a show on The CW about two hunky paranormal explorers named Dean and Sam Winchester played by Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. They roam the landscape, solving mysteries, confronting various otherworldly nasties.

If you're one of those people who feel all tingly just watching a rerun of Supernatural, you'll probably explode when you learn that a special Supernatural fan convention is coming to town in September featuring special appearances from the stars and all sorts of other events to help get the geek out of your system.

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These Eyes Have Seen the New Doom (Not Doom 4, It's Just Doom) at QuakeCon

Categories: Geek-Offs

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DOOM

QuakeCon is one of the most beloved video game conventions in the business, but the last six years must have carried an air of longing among its many, many attendees.

Way back in 2008, id Software promised its fans that it was working on a new Doom game. Each QuakeCon came and went with practically nothing to show for it. The various studios under QuakeCon's umbrella premiered and released some great games, but none of them had a chainsaw wielding spaceman slicing up greasy abominations from the depths of hell. Every year, the fans consumed an entire Thanksgiving meal without barely a whiff of the turkey.

This year, id knew it had to make up for six years of heartbreak and longing. The company is closer to a fourth Doom game than any point in the last six years and knew it'd have to deliver more than just a couple of sketched designs and a teaser trailer that they threw to the piranha schools attending E3 who would gobble down anything.

They would have to deliver a demo.

So last night at the Hilton Anatole, id Software kicked off the 19th annual QuakeCon with the first live demo of the next Doom game, and it was pure heaven that looked like total hell.


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The Dallas Ghostbusters Want to Build Their Own Ecto-1

Categories: Geek-Offs

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Courtesy of Thiago X. Nascimento
"Everybody can relax, they found the car. Needs some suspension work and shocks. Brakes, brake pads, lining, steering box, transmission, rear-end. Also new rings, mufflers, a little wiring."

Every group of hard working, blue-collar, pop culture icons needs a proper vehicle. The A*Team raced in a custom painted 1978 Chevy van to the scene of ordinary folks getting screwed. Michael Knight argued with the teacher from Boy Meets World who was trapped like a possessed soul in a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Scooby-Doo and his pals solved mysteries using the awesome power of marijuana in their custom painted "Mystery Machine."

See also: Who You Gonna Call? The Dallas Ghostbusters.

The Ghostbusters, however, set the standard in style by converting a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor into the paranormal extermination transporter known as the Ecto-1. As we learned last week, Dallas has a local Ghostbusters franchise in operation with movie-grade reproductions of uniforms, proton packs and ghost traps. Now, they want to complete their collection by building an equally authentic looking Ecto-1.

"[The Ecto-1] is such an icon and just looking at the thing makes you happy," said Thiago Nascimento, one of the founding members of the Dallas Ghostbusters. "So just imagine building one."

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William Shatner on Fans, UFOs and Being Honored by NASA

Categories: Geek-Offs

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This is what happens when you -- or me, at least -- find out that you're getting a chance to chat one-on-one with William Shatner:

You tell your parents that you're talking to the guy they used to see on TV all the time. You start conversations with friends just so you can stop them and say, "Oh, I have to go. I'm sorry. I have to give Bill Shatner a call." You call people you haven't talked to in years just so you can casually drop references to your talk with "Bill."

It's not bragging really -- or at least not all bragging. You do it so you can watch your listeners' faces light up. It's like watching them learn that Santa Claus is real, not just this legendary figure who comes to them only through TV sets, movie screen or uncomfortable fan fiction. Shatner gave us Captain James T. Kirk, one of television's greatest characters, and then went on to create yet another iconic character in American pop culture: William Shatner.

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Mighty Morphin' David Yost Visits Dallas This Weekend

Categories: Geek-Offs

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Comic and Pop Expo

Playing the Blue Power Ranger was the breakthrough moment in David Yost's career. Billy Cranston, one of the original "teenagers with attitude," was the brains of the group, inventing gadgets like the wrist communicators. Yost, along with Walter Jones, the first Black Power Ranger from the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers series, will be in town this weekend at the Comic and Pop Expo. We chatted with him on what it's really like having people pay for your autograph, coming out as gay, and playing a ass-kicking hero on children's television.

You've done Comic Cons and Expos before, what is it actually like?

Honestly I try not to process it, because if I do it's really awkward. We go to these cons and we sign autographs and sit on panels, where people will stand up and say things like, "you guys are iconic, icons." The fact that people think that me as a person, or my costars, are icons ... it's hard to even understand what that means. People will come up to you and they will hug you and they will cry. I try to reassure them that I'm just like them and that I'm grateful they want to take a picture with me and I'm grateful that my autograph means something to them.

When you signed on to wear the suit in the early '90s, would you have guessed you'd still be wearing it today?
I don't think any of us really knew what it would become or how successful it would be. For me it was the first thing I landed after moving to L.A. and I thought it would be a stepping stone to some other stuff. But we filmed an entire season and when it aired it went straight to number one children's programming.

What was like to be a children's television star?
As the years have gone, I've heard the stories people tell me about how the Rangers influenced them. My character encouraged people to become technical, scientific people.

Which was different than what the other characters inspired in kids.
My character tried in every circumstance to use his mind, his brain, before resorting to brawn. But when the world was under attack, I had to always step up to attack like the other Rangers. While the other characters primarily inspired kids to take up martial arts or something, I might have a different fan base. Which, really, would be the people that attend comic cons.

When you left the Power Rangers, you struggled with the decision to come out as gay. Can we talk a little about that?
I think it's still difficult in 2014 to be an out and open gay actor. Obviously we are making strides in the U.S. for our rights, but in Hollywood a lot of people still consider it career suicide. There was a period of time when that's all anybody was talking about and even today if you Google me, that's probably one of the first things that comes up: He was a Power Ranger and he came out as gay. It was a difficult decision to stop hiding it, but for me personally I couldn't live that way any more.

This weekend where can we catch you at the Dallas Comic and Pop Expo?
I'll be signing autographs and taking pictures Saturday and Sunday. And I'll be part of a Power Rangers panel Sunday at 2 p.m.


If you're too old or young for the Power Rangers, the Expo has a full roster of celebs and a schedule of fun activities, including Sci Fi Speed Dating and a panel on ghost hunting. The event kicks off Friday at the DoubleTree Hotel in Richardson with a karaoke night hosted by Nicholas Brendan, more commonly known as Xander from Buffy.

Dallas Comic Con Gets a New Owner and Home

Categories: Geek-Offs

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Courtesy of Dallas Comic Con
The Dallas Comic Convention will be under new ownership and a new roof when it opens its doors to the costumed masses this May.

The convention group announced on its website that Fan Expo HQ, a division of the Swiss/British company Informa, now owns the Dallas Comic Con. For the last 12 years, C2 Ventures, also known as Official Pix, ran the local fan convention. The Star Wars autograph firm based out of Flower Mound is owned and operated by Ben Stevens and Phillip Wise.

The announcement also included a change of venue for the annual event scheduled for May 16-18. The Dallas Comic Con will move from the Irving Convention Center to the Dallas Convention Center because it needed a bigger place to house all the geek goodies they have in store for the attendees, according to event manager Mark Walters.

"This is the biggest and most ambitious thing we've ever done," Walters said.

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The 8 Weirdest Toys at DFW Vintage Toys

Categories: Geek-Offs

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Photos by Danny Gallagher
DFW Vintage Toys owner Jayden Frost with one of his store's mini-minions

DFW Vintage Toys' Jayden Frost has a hard time turning away just about any toy that someone brings into the store. He doesn't just have mainstream vintage fare like unopened G.I. Joe Skystrikers, plastic molded comic book characters and a room dedicated to Star Wars. He has some of the more off-beat playthings you're not likely to see in neighborhood nurseries that aren't run by extreme goths who believe toddlers should learn early just how cruel the world can be.

It's easy to amass such a collection when you have such a dedicated customer and fan base as Frost does. He held a special opening for his Facebook followers last Saturday at his new location on East Rosemeade Parkway in Carrollton and plans to hold an official grand opening this Saturday. He also let us root around his giant toy box to find the strangest things for sale.

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