Comic readers, Twilight moms, toy collectors, artists, dealers, autograph hounds, cute cosplayers and celebrities of all circles flocked to this year's overstuffed Dallas Comic Con. (Check out our video embed below!)
The Web site may have said that the Richardson Civic Center doors opened at 11 a.m. Saturday, but plans changed when it was colder than Clark Kent's breath that morning. Organizers began to allow the massive wave of fan-manity into the building so we wouldn't die of exposure (the cold is my Kryptonite -- I'm a local).
The main lobby was already filled with VIPs waiting to meet and get signatures or sketches by A-list artists Adam Hughes and Tim Sale. While nothing is without argument in comics, Hughes has the honor of drawing the sexiest women in the field (including Wonder Woman and Catwoman covers), and Sale's award-winning sequentials are some of the most prized by original-art gurus. His work is the only thing worth your attention anymore in the NBC series Heroes. Other massive draws:
Adam West (of TV's 1960s Batman series): When asked if he'd attend a con in costume, West shot back: "Will there be crime?"
Charisma Carpenter ( Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel): The ever-foxy Carpenter hosted a casual meet-and-greet panel.
Daniel Cudmore (Colossus in the X-Men sequels): He played Felix the Volturi guard in Twilight: New Moon. 'Nuff said.
Most of the artists chilled in the jampacked main lobby. One local notable was artist/publisher Samax Randolph of the new Ghetto Manga magazine, who spent nearly the entire time yakking about the horrid lack of marketing in comics. Another was DFW native/industry bigwig Bob Wayne, vice president of sales for DC Comics, who dropped juicy rumors about the happenings in his company's books -- if you were lucky enough to buttonhole him.
As I caught up with busy hip-hop comic artist extraordinaire Jim Mahfood, the dealer floor was a mecca of nerdstalgia with He-Man, Star Wars and original Transformers toys among Silver Age comics and bizarre DVDs you'll never get on Netflix. Kids seemed to enjoy this space a ton -- they oohed and ahhed over the vintage Tauntaun action figures and steam-punk jewelry made from tiny clock parts.
The focused fan could wait with some free swag in a primo seat for Cudmore's Q&A session or catch sneak peaks of some early trailers in the screening room. (The AC/DC video featuring Iron Man 2 footage, anyone?)
As with all cons, there was a beautifully diverse audience with different interests and expectations -- and this year's crowd seemed to have had their needs met fairly well.
With prices at $10 for a day pass, and the trend of more family-friendliness and casual-fan accessibility, we can hope that the DCC will continue to use its powers for good.