I've never been to a comic-con, Star Trek convention, or anything of the like, until yesterday. It was then I drove to the Irving Convention Center to feast mine eyes on the wonder that is geekdom, and wander in the belly of the 2013 Dallas Sci-Fi Expo. I truly went in a virgin to the whole experience and didn't really know what to expect. All I know of these things is that they're filled with nerds who negotiate the amount of over priced toys, comics, and paraphernalia. Oh and for whatever reason, much like Halloween, it gives an excuse for many women to bring out their inner whore. At least these stereotypes are what the internet has taught me, and we know the internet is right about everything.
I pay for parking and make my way into the line. I was standing next to a guy who was wearing a Nostromo jacket, and I was slightly proud of the fact I got the reference. We started chatting and he turned out to be a most interesting gent. He recently moved to Dallas from the Bay Area after working for ILM for many years. He built (in the computer) R2-D2 for Episode III and did some extensive work on The Clone Wars series. They moved the line to buy tickets and then they told us to go outside and wait in line again for whatever reason. My new friend had a cigarette while I enjoyed a cigarillo, and we chatted more about all things geekery. Not shockingly he's been to many events, such as San Diego comic-con, that Star Wars annual event in Disney World, and various other sci-fi conventions and comic book related stuff. He was like the Rick Steves of nerd travel.
These two were standing out front as I smoked my cigarillo. They stayed in character the entire time, which was impressive. Snoogins.
We talked about the things we do and do not like about geek culture, and I really enjoyed his company. He told me what I can and can't expect inside the doors, which was not far from my previously held unsubstantiated view of the going ons in the world of dorks. I looked across the line and noticed very few people seemed to be dressed up, and my new buddy said that was typical, as about only 10% get into costume, or cos-play as they call it for whatever reason.
Next in line to me were these girls, who were kind enough to pose and were quite a big hit for obvious reasons.
Rogue and Jean Grey from the X-Men.
The girl dressed as Jean Grey couldn't have been warm, but I'm guessing being prepared for the elements aren't important to cos-players.
We made our way into the building and wandered through the first floor. It was full of booths that held all sorts of merchandise, from toys to comics to autographed everything to bootleg DVDs to pretty much anything a nerd would want. While what was on display wasn't surprising, what was, and shouldn't have been, kind of shocking was the exorbitant prices for these things. I found old toys that I used to play with, such as GI Joe and Star Wars, that ranged in the hundreds to thousands even. I tried to find some old Uncle Scrooge comics for my dad, met with some success, and called him to see if he wanted them. After he found out the price he told me to put them down and if anything, buy me a newly printed collection as he could care less about having a high priced comic that would make him feel guilty if he read it.
I liked the Star Blazers cartoon as much as the next guy, but $600?
There were folks in costume wandering the floor doing as I and my friends were, browsing, shopping, and generally just absorbing the atmosphere. I came upon one girl, who I thought was Harley Quinn, but wasn't sure as she barely resembled any Quinn I'm familiar with, so I asked if I could take a pic as my sister's a huge fan. (A friend of mine proved how much of a huge nerd he is by confirming that she is in fact dressed as the girl who has unrequited love with the Joker.) She complied and posed like she was a professional.
When I was a pro it took forever to get someone into just the right pose. This girl needed no direction and immediately went all model on me.
She obviously is attractive and caught the eye of many guys, so I was curious if she ever got bored with being asked to pose over and over again, but I relented from asking and let her go about her shopping. I just showed this pic to Corey and he announced he needs to propose marriage to this girl. I'm sure a single girl could do quite well at a sci-fi expo, that is if they can get guys to approach them.
I started to get bored pretty quickly as most of the booths had the same stuff, and few of it was interesting beyond nostalgic reasons. I admit I'm a geek, but I see little use in buying toys and stuff that you won't want to use. I mean, if a toy isn't being played in the dirt enjoyed by an adolescent, there's no reason for it to exist. I felt a real disconnect with my nerdy brethren when it comes to collections, as I'm not a collector by any means, and really don't see the point. Sure if I were at a garage sale and saw something really cheap that I knew was worth far more than the sticker price, I would snatch it up and try and sell it as soon as possible, but it just doesn't interest me as a hobby.
Still there was some interesting things that caught my eye, namely the replica weapons and old toys I used to play with and some that met an unceremonious demise in the name of witnessing the awesome power of fireworks.
My friends Gary and Terry found a booth selling Stargate and various other merchandise. One had a staff signed by the SG1 cast, including Richard Dean Anderson. The operator of the booth got them both to pose with props.
The three of us decided to get some lunch and sat in the cafeteria area for some grubbing. It was then announced that there was to be a cos-play red carpet event, and if we wanted pics we were to walk five yards to get into the line. I got in the front row, which allotted me to get some characters to stare directly into my lens and pose for me, again without any direction.
This sexy Doctor and her equally feminine Capt Jack Harkness was a hit with the fans of the BBC shows in attendance.
This is a BSG pilot. I had to be told this.
I'm told this is Jem from that old cartoon.
A Harley Quinn I'm more familiar with.
I had no idea what was going on with this photo, but it was told to me later by a huge dork that it's the girl from Weird Science.
Look kids, it's Captain Cleavage!
Rogue being all rogue-ish.
The messed up restoration of that Jesus fresco that made the news a few years back. Well I laughed. Many in attendance were unfamiliar with that event, including my two Christian friends who came with me.
I couldn't get these two to look at me at the same time, which makes sense considering all the cameras around. She looks like she wants to feed me those death berries.
Agent Scully with some piercing eyes.
I imagine every one of these type events has a token Ghostbuster.
No clue who they're supposed to be, but they were having so much fun I had to take a snap.
Assuming that kid in the Stormtrooper outfit's a boy, he's going to remember this forever.
There were other characters and more pics which I won't bore you with. Afterwards the three of us went outside for a break from the action and had some cigarillos, and then braved on to the upper floors. Those floors contained all the celebrities which you can pay top dollar and waste hours in line for a quick meet and greet and photo. I had no interest in seeing stars whore themselves so I made my goodbyes and decided to go home and see my family.
I had a good time at the event and am glad I got to experience it, but I won't be doing so again unless there's a celebrity I really need to meet, and since Hunter S Thompson is dead and has no connection to sci-fi, I doubt that'll be happening ever. If I have a kid who's into nerdiness I'd take them of course, and possibly dress up with them, but otherwise I have little interest in reliving that experience. Although my new found friend in line did say I need to go to San Diego comic-con at least once, so that's on the bucket list. It may make for good blog material.
"I was a big sci-fi fantasy geek when I was younger... secretly, in my room." - Christina Ricci