Experience a trip to Comic Con through a Mom’s eyes…You can be involved with your kids fandoms! And maybe find a few of your own!
The 2012 Dallas Comic Con. It all started so innocently. My husband and I were in bed watching television, and he was surfing on his laptop.
Then I hear, “Honey, you need to see this.”
He showed me a website of the Stan Lee’s Comic Con that was coming to Dallas that weekend. I was just about ready to blow him off with a “yeah, hon, that’s great, now let me get back to Food Network because Alton Brown is on!”
Then I saw what he was trying to get me to see. Patrick Stewart. No, make that Sir Patrick Stewart. He was coming to Dallas. To DALLAS. We live near Dallas. We could go, and we could meet him, and we could shake his hand and say thanks, and tell him all about how he was an part of our children’s education. He is a brilliant Shakespearean actor, and how he’s just so awesome..and…and…
PATRICK STEWART! Even Russ was excited – I could tell.
We kept pausing and giggling and saying, “PATRICK STEWART” – well, I was. He was just nodding and grinning at me. He was just as excited about the prospects of John DeLancie (played Q), David Prowse (Darth Vader’s body), and other people I’d already forgotten.
I disliked Star Trek. I thought it was hokey but when Star Trek The Next Generation came along and I was hooked (still not a fan of the original). Then I moved to Austin, on my own, to begin my adult life and when I would have problems getting to sleep, I would pop in Patrick’s A Christmas Carol audio to let his voice lull me to sleep. The voice rates right up there with Sean Connery as someone who can read me the phone book and make me happy. While in Austin, I became a part of a Star Trek club (yeah, I am that nerdy, too), and got to go to a couple of conventions where I met most of the cast from Next Gen as well as some of the original series people. But the one person whom I had never gotten to meet or hear speak was Sir Patrick.
Then we saw the price. HOLY SMOKES! But we hoped that it would be a lot like the time we got to meet Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes and Tom Felton (click here to read about our first con experience) – where we were able to at least walk up to them and say hi, even if we didn’t get a photo with them or get their autograph. So..the adventure began – and we made the trek.
We donned our geekiest matching outfit (just be thankful that there were no Star Trek Uniforms involved – this time, at least) and took off.
Our first Comic Con line experience
When we arrived at the venue, there was this REALLY long line. We kept thinking – surely it’s not a line WE will have to wait in. Maybe it’s the line for Patrick – for his autograph. We stepped off the bus, went to the first people in line who informed us that, indeed, it was for us losers who hadn’t bought the VIP tickets or come earlier in the morning. It was a VERY big line. They wanted to let us join their group since we were Whovians, but we didn’t want the wrath of the Sheldon Cooper’s behind them to come down on us for cutting. We made our way to the back of the line, and waited…and waited…and crept forward…and waited some more. We did see some interesting sites along the way:
Our Second Comic Con Line Experience
We waited for about 90 min to finally get in the door, get our tickets purchased, and then I went immediately into another line (for an hour) to wait to get drinks because we hadn’t prepared for the wait or the heat.
The venue was so poorly planned at the convention center – I just don’t think they knew how many people would show up to see Stan Lee and Patrick Stewart. In the drinks line I found out that there was just no way we were going to get to meet Patrick. No way. We wouldn’t even be able to get a glimpse. I was ready to go home.
Our Third Line Experience
Wandering around the exhibit hall was fun, but really crowded. You were sort of in one big line, following everyone in front of you table to table. There were all sorts of tables with merchandise to buy, artists to meet, and more stuff to buy! By far the best thing was just the people-watching.
Cosplayers were everywhere, and they were so fun to watch. My fandom space is pretty narrow, so the boys educated me about the fandoms represented by those cosplayers.
What’s a cosplayer? Someone who loves dressing up as their favorite characters from books, movies or television. They can be quite creative, run the gambit of fandom, and done by people of all ages and sizes.
I decided I was going to brave it and head upstairs just to see what I could see. The boys continued back browsing the booths for cool stuff, and I headed upstairs. When I finally found the area where Patrick was signing, I nonchalantly walked around the area as if I was meant to be there, and walked around a door post to see….HIM!
There he was – right there, signing someone’s autograph. Immediately a security guy tried to move me along, so I took a couple of steps away, and got to watch a minute through a frosted window. I grabbed my camera, took a shot, then ran downstairs to show Russ and the boys only to find out I did not check the camera settings, and the photo wasn’t saved properly, so there was nothing.
I headed back later to see if I could at least try again, and Patrick was already at his Q&A session (and I was dutifully told that my badge was not good enough to get me in), so took another shot of the window to have the keepsake:
Overall thoughts of the Comic Con Experience.
Would I do it again? Nope. At least not in this fashion at this venue.
The wait was too long, the venue was definitely not set up for these kinds of crowds, there was no real access to anything that would make us want to go without paying HUGE sums of money (and we aren’t about to do that for any one), and it was just too much trouble. While there were moments of fun talking to other people in the crowds and seeing a few characters here and there, it was definitely a letdown.
Oh..wait..I did get to see the back of Stan Lee’s head. There – that made it all better!
Some quick advice.
ETA: These were my initial thoughts after our visit to the 2012 Dallas Comic Con. We’ve since visited this venue one more time, and gone to an even bigger venue and while my attitude has changed, though the cons really haven’t.
- Buy your event tickets ahead of time.
- Be patient.
- Just go in prepared for crowds if you are attending one of the larger cons
- Expect to shell out a lot of cash during the day for snacks and water (keep well hydrated)
- Take a lot of breaks, especially if you’re going with smaller children.
- Go on Friday if you aren’t going to see a big name
- Wear some comfie shoes!
Read about other Convention Experiences
Other Convention Visits