I never really thought about attending a comic con until one day my friend shared a post on my Facebook: James Marsters was going to be at Dallas ComicCon Fan Days! If you know me, then you know I am obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a huge Spike/Spuffy fan, so basically I HAD to go. My college roommate/good friend lives in Dallas, so I had a place to stay and someone to hangout with after, but then I hit a snag…
No one could go with me. Lucas couldn’t get off work, and I texted just about every friend I had to see if they’d go with me, and everyone was either working or had plans. I still wanted to go, but I was nervous about going alone–I didn’t know how big it would be or how it all worked. I’m not really the type of person that’s comfortable going to big events alone, so I wondered if I would even have much fun. But if there’s anything that’ll push me out of my comfort zone, it’s a big opportunity, and meeting one of my favorite vampires definitely qualified.
I thought about wearing the Buffy costume I wore for Halloween the year before, but I was nervous enough about finding my way around the convention center and didn’t want to add heeled boots and tight pleather pants to the mix, so instead I sported my vintage Buffy tee, my claddagh ring, and high waisted shorts. At first I thought I’d leave my camera at home, since I didn’t know what the camera etiquette at cons was and didn’t plan on taking many photos (I’m either in photographer mode or fun mode, it’s hard to do both at the same time), but I ended up changing my mind because James Marsters.
I only bought a Friday ticket since that was the day of James Marster’s panel, it was the cheapest option, and going alone one day seemed challenging enough. It opened at 4 and I wanted to get there in plenty of tine to get in line for the photo op I bought, and Nicole would be at work at the time, so I drove straight from Austin to to the convention center.
After I parked, I followed a couple near me and a someone dressed like a princess to the entrance, and the convention center was big, but luckily it wasn’t as crowded as I’d imagined–I think less people go on Friday. Right away I signed in and headed to the Spike line. In line, my heart was racing. I was ridiculously nervous and excited. I don’t remember exactly what she said, but the person in front of me started talking to me, and all of a sudden I had a friend! She said she was a con regular and often went alone because she’d meet up with friends or meet new people anyway. And of course she was a Buffy fan so obviously she was the coolest. My photo took all of about 30 seconds, but James Marsters put his arm around me so it was totally worth it.
I ended up hanging out with my new friend Stacy the whole evening and we bonded over Buffy and Supernatural and to be honest I can’t even remember what else because it was a whirlwind. We walked around the exhibitor hall, but I didn’t buy anything because I didn’t bring a lot of money and was a little overwhelmed by so many options and people. We each got photos with Shawn Ashmore, and we got a photo together with Micheal Rooker so we could split the cost because he charged more, and it was super fun.
I wanted an autograph from James Marsters as well but it was $40 and you could get another photo on your cell phone instead for $25 (which is the one in this post–I actually liked it better than the professional one), and you can never have too many photos with Spike so I opted for that instead. Later we went to the James Marsters panel together as well which was really cool–James was funny, and I loved hearing his stories about filming Buffy. It also made me think maybe I need to get back into Smallville. After the panel the events were over, and all in all it was a pretty short experience (it only lasted about 4 hours), but I think it was perfect for my first time, especially alone, because I didn’t feel overwhelmed or get too tired.
I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to a comic con by myself because it was an unforgettable experience and so worth it! Have you been to any comic con events? Would you go alone? Let me know in the comments!
*This post was about Dallas Comic Con Fan Days in September of 2015. I wrote this sometime in 2016 but never posted it until now–I have been to another Dallas Comic Con (and met James Marsters again!) since then and to a Dallas Comic Show as well. It was definitely much more crowded on the Saturday we went to Dallas Comic Con in 2017 (and it was bigger and harder to navigate), and I’m glad I didn’t go alone to that one.