Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Dallas Comic Con 2014 Quickie Review

Check out the full photo set on Flickr.
Within the past 3 years, the size of Dallas Comic Con has doubled at nearly each outing. Going from 6 thousand, to 12, then 24. So the move to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas was a necessity this year. Ticket caps would have made for a lot of angry people.

And with that, over 50,000 people showed up to display their comic geekyness. Wow. DCC officially became larger then A-Kon! I'm going to guess that the celebrity line-up really helped out.

But even with the move, DCC felt like the same convention. The same friendly faces and staff members, the fast badge pick-up line followed by the long ass Exhibit hall line where it takes an eternity to get into on Saturday and Sunday. And con cooties. Swear, every time I go to a DCC event (they hold 3 each year, 2 small conventions, and the 1 oversize one) I get the con plague. I thought I kicked it this year with Sci-Fi Expo in February, but nope. It returned! Damn them.

What I appreciate about DCC is that it still maintained it's core values even when it grew to this new level. It was a place for fans to be fans with limited restrictions. There is decent access to celebrities, more so then what you would see at SDCC, NYCC, or WizardWorld, and prices are reasonable. I can already hear some people yelling, but by comparison to what some memorabilia is worth, signatures and photos are decently priced by comparison. The new levels of badges were less then stellar. FanExpo, who now owns DCC, created 4 tiers of passes. Standard (if you buy on site for same-day or weekend), Deluxe (full weekend, prepaid pass), Premium (deluxe with a bag), and VIP. VIP was $299 before tax. Yep. There is tax on your pass, unlike most cons where it's a flat rate. VIP guaranteed you line jumps pretty much everywhere, but you still had to pay for everything else. Basically, a glorified line jumper is your title for that cash. Yippie! Was it worth it? Maybe to those that could afford it. I had the Deluxe badge, and while I didn't get front row seating, I still made it in to everything I wanted to attend without issue. I still got my autographs and my photos. I still got dealer room purchases. It just wasn't front row. I'm okay with this.

Size and scope of the place was well thought out. they only used a portion of the convention center. Imagine if they opened it all up over the next few years...it'll be massive the amount of content they could bring in. And parking wasn't too terrible. DCC had the foresight to contract out to a parking lot company to allow customers to reserve parking spaces for a fee. I went this route, and while there were issues on Sunday, it is not something I can blame DCC or the parking company for. Rather, the fault lies with the drivers who chose not to read the signs and parked in "reserved" spots clearly labeled and didn't pay. So yes, a tow truck was involved.

Minus the insane badge pricing, I'm really happy with how DCC is progressing. I don't think the staff could have imagined it growing so quickly over the past few years. And now, it could easily rival any of the comic conventions in the country. Next year is going to be massive.

Also...Nathan Fillion and nearly full Firefly cast. That says it all.

From a personal stand-point my trip was marred by bad timing, doctor visits, and an eye that wouldn't stop leaking. But being at the con made the weekend better and well worth the trip. I can not wait to see what DCC comes up with next.

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