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FAN EXPO Dallas 2024 recap

Is everything bigger in Texas? FAN EXPO Dallas sure is! During the first weekend in June 2024, the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in downtown Dallas hosted Texas’ largest gathering of geekdom. Here vendors, artists, and celebrities descended upon halls of the convention center where people from all walks of life assembled to celebrate their favorite fandoms in Texas style – larger than life.

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The newest season Doctor Who is underway on Disney+ and Fan Expo took advantage of the opportunity to entice Whovians to indulge in all things the British icon had to offer. Multiple actors from different iterations of the series appeared for fans to meet and get autographs and photos. Doctors in attendance included the first female Doctor Jodie Whitaker, and fan favorite David Tennant. Tenth Doctor fans were in for a treat as multiple of his companions, as well as his on-screen wife, were on hand for the celebration. Unfortunately, Billie Piper was unable to make it and had to cancel but that didn’t disrupt the companion energy. Doctor Donna actress Catherine Tate was on hand giving fans a chance to see the Doctor and Donna together in all their glory! Alex Kingston, who portrayed River Song, was also in attendance for everyone to meet. In addition to the opportunity to meet cast members from the show, there was also an exclusive Marat Mychaels ‘DO YOU POOH’ comic variant as a homage to Tennant’s Doctor, and a photo set for pictures with all the different versions of the Doctor. And if that wasn’t enough the Dallas chapter of the Doctor Who Fan club was also there recruiting members. Last but not least, there were panels where fans could see their heroes for free and even have a chance to ask questions. The TARDIS is bigger on the inside, but the coverage of Doctor Who at DFE was just plain HUGE.

Animation of multiple variations were present and there to delight children of all ages. Whether reliving the hey-day of Saturday morning cartoons or celebrating a skeleton at Christmas time, animation was there to please in Dallas. Legendary singer/songwriter Danny Elfman made an appearance in Dallas. The Oingo Boingo band member is not a regular on the convention circuit and the crowd came out to mingle and honor the man who provided the singing voice for Jack Skellington. Among the sea of Jack and Sally cosplayers was the Mayor of Halloweentown, with a fully functional head that was movie accurate. Another beloved Disney voice actor in attendance was Winnie the Pooh himself Jim Cummings. In addition to meeting fans one on one, he joined other noted voice actors Rob Paulsen and Jeff Bergman for a panel on Saturday. All three men separately noted how Mel Blanc was an inspiration for them and told stories of brief encounters. The three panelists have combined to voice the likes of Teenage Mutant Turtles, Pinky from Pinky and the Brain, Tigger, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and many more. If that wasn’t enough to rehash memories of cereal eating by the boob tube on Saturdays, along came Optimus Prime and Megatron themselves Peter Cullen and Frank Welker. These two individuals exude class and grace while maintaining humility and appreciation for their fans. Not to be outdone, anime held an after dark event on Saturday night in which attendees could mingle with voice actors and party down. There truly was something for animation fans of all types. 

FAN EXPO Dallas had the perfect blend of high profile celebrities and artists while still having new independent creators all accessible in a intimate but spacious layout. All the panels were available and were never too full that fans were turned away. The exception were the paid experiences such as the Frank Miller private interview. However, those individuals did receive limited edition goodies including sketch cards, comics and posters. DFE did a great job of anticipating crowds and assigning the appropriate sized rooms. Their use of space was also wisely on display on the food court where no matter the time of day a seat could be found even during the dreaded lunch rush. Overall FAN EXPO Dallas is a great example of how the mid size comic conventions are excellent for access to artists and celebrities but also family friendly not to be overwhelmed by excessive crowds. The lines that do exist are manageable and there is always a place to escape for a break such a a quiet room, board game gathering, or the nearest concession stand for a quick snack to recharge. Just like the famous succulent BBQ Texas is famous for, FAN EXPO Dallas left me satisfied and wanting more. 


Were you at FAN EXPO Dallas 2024? What were your highlights? Feel free to leave a comment below or chat with us on Twitter/X at @TheConCollectve, Threads at @theconventioncollective, or Bluesky at @theconcollective.bsky.social

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