Reflections on Dallas Comic & Pop Expo

Michael O. Varhola

Over the past few years, I have increasingly reflected upon what makes a convention "fun" for me. To a great extent, this is because I have decided to stop going to a number of national gaming conventions that were once but are no longer a good fit for me as a publisher, prompting friends to ask if I can't go to them "just for fun."

"No." That, for better or worse, is unequivocally the answer to that that question for me at this point. Perhaps this points to a sort of neurosis but, more so I suspect it is simply that I have time to go to only a limited number of conventions, want to make sure I can get the most out of the ones I do participate in, and no longer enjoy the ones where this is not possible. Suffice it to say, the new Dallas Comic & Pop Expo meets them all for me and that I hope to support and remained involved with it for some time to come. I attended it the first time it was held, March 1-2, can't wait to go to it again, and highly recommend it to anyone able to attend it. Following are some snapshots of my experience with it. 

Having a booth to exhibit my Skirmisher Publishing LLC and d-Infinity publications, along with books I have written for other publishers, is always key for me at a convention! Artist Lucas Puryear helped man our exhibit area at DCPE and I am looking forward to working with him at upcoming conventions that include Comicpalooza

  

I always work the booth too, as much as I am able on top of whatever else I am doing at a convention, and enjoying talking about publications like Swords of Kos: Hekaton, Space Boarding Operations, and Warriors. We also never lose an opportunity to promote the activities of partner organizations like Comicpalooza and Western Spirits Beverage Company

      

Being part of the programming is another thing that is important to me a convention anymore! I prepared a series of presentation for DCPE that included two literary ones on "Texas: Home of Swords & Sorcery" and "The Swords of Kos Shared World Fantasy Fiction Project" and two paranormal ones on "Ghosthunting San Antonio, Austin, and Texas Hill Country" and an "Introduction to Ghosthunting." 

If getting to or from the convention is an adventure that can help make it memorable, too! A winter storm swept into Dallas the final day of the convention and people scrambled to start heading for home before it got too bad. What should have been a four-and-a-half hour drive home for me turned into an 11-and-a-half-hour, all-night ordeal, and it seemed like every emergency vehicle in the city had been deployed before I managed to make it out. 

Dallas Comic & Pop Expo is being held next on August 9-10, 2014, at the Richardson Civic Center, so count on being there if you can! It is one of a new breed of regional convention that is doing things right and where you are sure to find what you are looking for and, in short, have fun.