By Ethan Harmon
Alas, another convention was held in the DFW area celebrating comic books, science fiction, and everything within the nerd culture. Many are familiar with Dallas Comic Con, and those familiar will remember how it was moved to the Dallas Convention Center. It was much larger than the former home of the Con, the Irving Convention Center, and was able to support the large numbers that packed into the nerd expo. Now, imagine my disappointment when I realized that Fan Days – a mini-con of sorts – was moved back to the Irving Convention Center.
It’s not that the Irving location is bad, per se. It just failed to completely contain the growing comic convention scene over the last year, which in turn became an uncomfortable, cramped experience. That being said, the Irving location is a suitable venue for Fan Days, considering its lower attendance numbers. However, during peak hours on the con floor, it still can feel somewhat cramped. Here’s to hoping that all DFW comic conventions will be moved to the Dallas location permanently.
Gripes about location aside, Fan Days 2014 was a solid outing for anyone who relates or identifies with the nerd culture (comics, games, etc.). As always, the main floor was filled with many booths, most of which were selling rare comics, shirts, and collectibles – all of which were being purchased by the truck-load. Certain celebrities would make appearances at special tables around the floor or on the other levels of the building. I really wanted to meet Paul McGann and Jason David-Frank, but the lines were massive and I could not devote enough time to sitting and waiting.
And, as always, the local independent comic creators and artists were near the back of the floor. I was able to spot my friend, Devin Kraft (creator of Dragon Slayer), within the tables of Artists Alley. And, yet again, the artists were struggling more than they should have, due to the location of the infamous Artists Alley. As an indie comic creator myself, I understand the woes of Artists Alley. Being stuck at the back means less attention, and less potential customers, since many spend a lot of money before they even make a complete round throughout the building. I wish cons would do a little more to promote and help out the creators, writers, and artists. Of course, it’s all worth it at the end of the day. Just seeing people enthusiastic or interested in your work makes all of the effort and struggle worth it.
So goes another venture with Fan Days, and so goes a little of my money. But, I was able to pick up some great artwork from some local artists, so it was a win for me. Again, I hope this expo, along with any other DFW cons make the full transition to the Dallas Convention Center, as it would make for a better experience for all. Next time one of the cons rolls around, be sure to attend, meet some celebrities, and support the independent creators that have worked so hard to make a comic specifically for you.