Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Good Con

Some scenes from FanExpo Dallas, formerly known as the Dallas Comic Con, a science-fiction/fantasy convention.

-- Northbound I-35E at Lake Dallas is saved from being underwater by a railroad track that runs alongside. On the southbound side, we can see the pillars of the raised roadbed that is under construction. Unfortunately, we can also see various pieces of construction equipment more or less submerged in the risen lake, which would explain why construction is a bit slow these days.

-- Billie Piper, best known in sci-fi circles as Rose Tyler in Dr. Who and who currently stars in Showtime's "all the monsters at once" series Penny Dreadful, is a charming lady who graciously answered all kinds of questions about a series she finished seven years ago from people who didn't ask much at all about the work she's doing now. Not every actor would do that.

-- Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk, two of the stars of Joss Whedon's late, lamented Firefly, are an absolute hoot together. They talked about their current project, the web-based comedy series Con Man, which loosely retells some stories of Tudyk's experiences on the sci-fi and comic convention circuit. They enjoy working together, riff off each other very well and obviously greatly appreciate the "fandom" that enables them to do work they love. The absence of fellow castmate Morena Baccarin, occasioned by her work on the upcoming movie Deadpool, was an unfortunate occurrence but didn't diminish the fun of the panel with Fillion and Tudyk. It does leave me less inclined to pay money for Deadpool, however.

-- As always at such a convention, many people were dressed in costumes as their favorite characters. Some were more obviously homemade, while some were evidence of a lot of work and skill. Some are strictly in continuity and some blend or re-interpret different characters or fictional universes. I like those the best, usually. Most of the "cosplayers," as they are called, are willing to pose for photos if you ask and they are not currently doing something else, like eating their lunch or trying to buy something themselves. The most fun is watching people from different cosplay worlds get excited about taking each other's pictures. I am sure those who worked very hard on their costumes appreciate compliments from others who also worked very hard on their costumes.

-- One gentleman was wearing a male version of Princess Leia's "slave" costume from Return of the Jedi, sans metallic top. He had to have put that on after reaching the convention center, because there is no way he could have walked five feet in public in Texas without someone saying, "Let's get you some pants and a shirt, friend!" If he had demurred and explained he was in costume, I suspect the response would have been, "It wasn't a suggestion, son."

-- It's cool to visit with friends at these events. A ministerial colleague and his son were also present (He blogs here) and enjoying the festivities. My friend's son scored a sweet cast-resin replica of the revolver used by Nathan Fillion's character in the aforementioned Firefly.

-- Four-way tie for the cutest things I saw: 1) A four-year old Drax the Destroyer, complete with shirtless gray torso and orange tattoo-like markings, as well as pre-schooler-sized plastic replicas of Drax's twin blades. Everybody should have taken a picture of this kid. 2) A nine-year-old young lady dressed as Matt Smith's version of the Doctor, complete with bow tie, tweed jacket and fez. 3) The Spider-Gwen in the ticket line next to me. She was not as young as the children mentioned previously, but the obvious enthusiasm and excitement she displayed while chattering non-stop to her companion was contagious and evidence of the main reason to come to a con dressed as a character -- to have a lot of fun. 4) The mom and daughter I saw walking into the center as I left, with the mom dressed as Cruella de Vil and her daughter in a black-and-white polka-dot dress and a spot of black make-up on the end of her nose.

ETA: My comments regarding not paying money for Deadpool do not represent a childish snit against Ms. Baccarin for not showing up, i.e, "She skipped the con so I won't see her movie." No, they represent a childish snit against the movie for wrecking her schedule. Just to clarify.

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