07 October 2013

Dallas Comic Con: Fan Days 2013

If any of you have been around long enough, you know that I don't normally cover conventions but I'm making an exception for this one. AND, if you've been around long enough, you also know that I made the statement after last year's Fan Days fiasco that I would never attend one. Well, I did it anyway. Partly because of curiosity and partly because Robert Patrick was there :D. Ok, mostly out of the fact that Robert Patrick was there but can you blame me??
With Robert Patrick Dallas Comic Con: Fan Days 2013
I had many, many issues with last year's event. There was horrible line control, the volunteers were sometimes downright rude, the ridiculousness of that group number thing and don't even get me started on the massive amount of people being jammed into areas that weren't big enough to hold them all. But, I digress.... I am very pleased to say that every single thing I took issue with last year wasn't a problem this year.

The Walking Dead Lines
There was a great deal of line control and the ebb and flow was almost harmonious in comparison to last year. I was a little skeptical given the fact that there were two guests from The Walking Dead, Emma Bell and Steven Yeun, in one room with several other guests but it was quite impressive.

Volunteers were around every corner standing by in case someone had questions and at times even approached visitors asking if they needed help. They were friendly and personable and informative and seemed to be enjoying themselves. On more than one occasion, I saw volunteers and or security personnel politely asking people to clear the aisles so as not to get them all jammed up. I talked with several of them who said they were loving it and would definitely be volunteering again next year.

Saturday Morning Line
They ditched the group number thing in favor of doing things the old fashion way... first come, first serve. Sure, the VIP line skips got to go ahead but hey, they paid extra to do that so...... Each line had a "handler" who ushered two or three people to the table at a time so there wasn't any over crowding.

I didn't partake in the photo-op sessions this year so I can't really comment on that however, I did talk to a few guests who did and said that the process went rather quickly which is definitely a turn around from last year. According to guests, they were able to get through a line of 100 or more people within a 15 - 20 minute time frame. Another convention goer, who had a photo-op with Giancarlo Esposito said he was slightly disappointed in the quickness of it all as they had no time to interact with him at all.

I did have a short conversation with Mark Walters, who BTW has a website... bigfanboy.com, and he did say that they took the criticism from last year and used it to make some major changes. He also stated that it's been a learning process for them but they are listening and working hard to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone. And, if they continue to listen to their visitors and make efforts to improve things the way they did this year, I will definitely be returning.

Overall, I had a great experience this year. I got to hang out and have dinner with Simon Bisley and a few others, creep on Robert Patrick and have a beer and laughs with Bernie Wrightson.

Check out Twisted Central's Google+ page for more pics from Dallas Comic Con: Fan Days 2013!!

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