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Fortitude visits Fan Expo in Dallas

Fortitude visits Fan Expo in Dallas

Road Trip for Fortitude. JW and Brinton took their willingness to try something new to Dallas for the 2022 Fan Expo, the largest event of its kind. No way to describe this scene except, extreme sensory overload. We caught up with the fascinating world of Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, Gaming and our personal fav, CosPlay. Cosplay, a world so unique and foreign to us that we had to see it. The 3 day massive event brought celebrities, fans, shoppers, the inquisitive, and thousands of characters all under one roof. The only way to understand it, is to visit, or watch this episode. We interfaced with all things pop culture and some you need to see to believe. We tried out best to fit in but this episode of Fortitude was the craziest ever.

Please enjoy the best Fort Worth has to offer.

Audio Only

Episode Transcription: 

roxo media house well here we are we scrounge up enough
money for bus fare to make it over to the city to the east we uh we’re in we’re in balmy beautiful dallas 102
degree dallas today at fan expo it’s friday the 19th of june uh we’re gonna
go meet some celebrities on fortitude’s first out of studio show yeah we built
this nice studio and look what we have come to see all of this so far so good and we’ve just arrived grown adults
dressed as cos is this cosplay or is this well you know our cosplay yeah yeah
but that’s not considered okay on us more to come we’ll be right back with some interviews with some really
important people
fortitude is brought to you by captex bank with more than 100 years of cumulative experience captex bank is
banking beyond expectations we’re walking through the retail
floor comic books t-shirts characters
anime cosplay no doubt
i’m following a witch i’m not quite sure which type of witch with their anime style boyfriend
yeah stuff so is that what happens there’s like different art styles
about the product over 60 artists
uh i know we got a rocket and then um i think we’re gonna leave it there
let’s hear it everybody yellow ranger viet avenger from mighty morgan power rangers step right up to the x
we’re here with dana cobb the president of the vocal group the pr marketing firm for fan expo dana what how did all this
come to be for you um well i’ve actually been working in arts and entertainment for almost all of my adult career i
started doing marketing for broadway shows um in new york and then moved back down to dallas after about you know
decade or two there and stayed within arts and entertainment and fan expo is the ultimate in arts entertainment and
fandom um i mean there’s costume characters everywhere so it’s really not that foreign for me yeah um and it’s
such an amazing exciting three-day adventure every year that we have here at the cape valley hutchison convention
center how uh how many years strong oh my god well fan expo it’s actually really fascinating fan expo um
this actual event used to be called dallas comic-con then fan expo bought it um and or again started started working
with the the pro the the offerings about eight years ago and it’s been a transition from dallas comic-con a
heritage brand that had a ton of loyalty and and fanuc really has elevated it into this huge enormous event that it is
and it keeps growing and we have so many more activations it’s family friendly obviously there’s
always celebrities and cosplay is a huge part of it and we’ve
seen over the past few years how involved people get and this year is actually really exceptional and exciting
because we happen to have our event over father’s day so we have a great father’s day cosplay type
theme happening on sunday so i’m going to be really interested to see how many homer simpsons we have and of course
there’s going to be a ton of darth vader’s um here on sunday to celebrate
luke i am your father exactly dana how many visitors do you expect over the weekend well i mean honestly that’s so
hard to tell there’s been such a fluctuation in all live events and especially you know um here in dallas i
would guess and i you know don’t quote me on this you know we usually can entertain about 60 70 000 people
over the three-day weekend um give or take but it always is um unbelievably
organized it’s always uh safety is in mind and and top of mind for everyone
big small uh you know older younger so you know the more the merrier here and
uh we really take that to heart any of the specific cosplays that you prefer over another are you involved any
have you ever been involved in cosplay um well you know honestly i think that it’s really fun to dress up and and here
particularly i you know i’m kind of here in a professional um uh
capacity thank you but but um i do enjoy watching people cosplay
and i would say my favorite cosplays that have started to evolve over the past few years are mashup cosplays
because it really lets people become super imaginative and you know imagining
what it would be like to have a cosplay from one fandom that that transcends over into another fandom and i think
we’re actually gonna see a lot more of that this year well it seems like when we’ve talked to the people they come with like i’m gonna be this on friday
this on saturday this on sunday so is that what happens they start like by sunday going i’m gonna do a little this
and a little of that yeah you know it was funny when um was it fat thor fat thor came out or
heavy thor is that who it was i don’t know but we saw some guys that look like that avengers like when that came out
the the crossovers for that because basically there was just a bunch of middle-aged guys showing up in their bathrobes and hammers and it was really
fun i was like that’s the cosplay i could get into you you know just go where you want to go and be as comfortable as you can
and then there’s a lot of real professional cosplays people spend months working on their costumes and it shows
and and the appreciation that the other people at the at fan expo show those
cosplayers by photos we heard that like they’ll seek them out like they’ll go around the show
and try to find those people absolutely i mean honestly at fan expo it’s not just these guys behind us that are
celebrities everyone has their own little bit of celebrity here and and that’s really authentic
uh and something you don’t see everywhere and and i think we all deserve a little bit of that happiness you’ve done a wonderful job dana any
memorable years moments from from all this activity oh my god you know what
honestly every year is so different and um you know it just gets bigger and better
every year and a lot of times there’s a lot more technology that um it’s kind of
taken over and so it makes it a lot more fun for um
for the participants to really engage using their smartphones the apps have really helped out the fan expo dallas
app really makes people a lot more organized whether they want to be or not because there’s so many activities you can go from a panel to a
q a to a photo op to you know just having a family friendly activity so i think that you know everything does have
its own own um model of of um
efficiency and so i think that as far as personally that’s my favorite part is watching the
evolution year over year and fan expo they know how to put on a show oh yeah
it’s this is this is just the beginning yeah yeah well thank you so much we did hear a little rumor about a four hobbit
rave that might be going on at some point this evening or the next we don’t know if that’s contraband in your world
but you know what that is the first i’m hearing about i think your fans like to
dance a little maybe in the evening oh well there i will that is another thing that fan expo has really
kind of come out on top is activating after hours activities and events so
it’s not just you know interaction with people on the show floor it’s really kind of taking the fandom you know into
the wee hours now if it’s a if it’s a hobbit hobbit you know disco party i am all for
it i can get behind that especially in advance of the reunion of the four habits here what is that
well for the for the first time here in dallas all four of the hobbits are having a reunion that’s been actually
years in the making i believe the first the year that we were supposed to have it was 2020 um and that was march of
2020 so obviously that didn’t happen and so you know the anticipation and has
built up over many years and so it should be really really fun dana what yeah what a bit before we go
what event are you most looking forward to this weekend you know cosplay red carpets um that
happen throughout the weekend are always one of my favorites because it really
it’s different and you know and i love the q and a’s i love the panels one of my favorite
things is actually one is the comic artist sketch duels so what happens is they will get comic
artists to to do a schedule and somebody in the audience oftentimes is lucky enough to receive that comic
one-of-a-kind sketch um you can’t get anywhere and i guess that’s i guess that’s kind of a theme throughout fan
expo weekend is that there are so many experiences um you know interactions
memories that you just you just can’t replicate and so every year it’s going to be different and then the biggest and
like what i think is the best part honestly is the shopping there are
so many booths hundreds of booths where you can get something for even you know the
any fan in your life and so it’s a great opportunity to not only kind of support local businesses and support you know to
support business as a whole but also really get your hands on something you just can’t get anywhere
else your passion for this is amazing you’ve done an amazing job what we can tell i just saw santa claus walk by me
so i mean how much better can it get thank you for the time we’re grateful if he was wearing a robe then he you might
be careful because he might be in thor in 30 years later if he’s carrying a hammer that’s my dad
yeah yeah thank you dana vocal we appreciate the time i just turned my left and there’s
something there that wasn’t there before it’s belle from beauty and the beast
i’m with tiffany from tiffany gordon cosplay when you come to these events what all do you do well i have a booth
here at the event and people can come here ask questions i do make all of my armor and my props and i’ll help educate
people and teach them how they can make their own with panels and then i’m also a judge for the cosplay contest this
weekend you guys are from san antonio san antonio yes yeah and then tell us about because i i just asked you like
you’re you’re here as this today but then what’s tomorrow bring tomorrow will be i’ll be thor she’ll be
lady sif uh so we’ll be walking around for that and then sunday we might actually just do a little casual because sunday is
going to be our day for getting autographs and buying stuff plus we have to drive home sunday so we’re
going to wear our comfy outfits is this the only one you do or will you go around the country doing this we do a
lot of the cons in texas like we’re gonna do greater austin which is in austin um we’re gonna do
comic palooza which is in houston um big texas con which is in san
antonio and there’s another one and i can’t i’m for the i can’t remember which is the other one we’ve got a list and
they’re all on our calendar but we hope to like go to other cons in the country someday but like right now we’re just
sticking with texas because it’s hard with our work schedules do you guys do go ahead sorry yeah
emerald city is one that we want to go to which is in uh seattle and then of course the mecca of
all khan’s is san diego comic-con yeah that’s the biggest was that the first one too um
i don’t know if it was the first one it was the i think it’s the first big one but i think there were a couple little
cons yeah like i mean i think there was like a star trek con and there were
some other little things i think i don’t know how san diego got started i think it kind of
just got started because of movies kind of like kind of like what south by southwest does in austin it started off
as something small and has grown into this two three week long festival of
everything what are your guys day jobs can i ask that sure yeah i work as a model
um and then i also give music lessons okay i actually teach 3d medical software so
i get to travel the country teaching doctors and x-ray and ct techs how to use software and this is just like did
you guys meet through this kind of thing or yes we did yes yeah we met at a comic
con we were both yeah dressed up and we took each other’s pictures because we liked each other’s outfits and then
kept in contact online yeah is there a nightlife after this like that you asked
like one guy is like nah just going back to the room or is there like a whole other scene that goes there is so
i know a couple of friends of mine are going to there’s what is it called like the rave the rave
to to the rave to master all raves or something like that because the the four hobbits are here this week
um so it’s kind of like a play on the whole ring to rule them all so it’s a rave to rule about that so are you guys going to
go we were thinking about it but i actually got a i have to actually drive back to san
antonio because i forgot a major piece of my costume for tomorrow tonight i’m gonna yeah driving back and
forth we’re going with him or no you know she’s gonna sleep she’s going to the rave she’s going to the ring we’re
about to go see dungeons and dragons in this room up here and you know what i don’t know what the hell that even means
i think we’re gonna go see something crazy [Music]
the greatness of russell welch iii
i’m here with leslie from dark hour haunted houses out of plano texas her haunted house involves real actors
no chainsaws and other stuff but actors tell us a little about your haunted house we totally do everything in-house
we do all our costumes we train our actors we have still walkers we have flyers we’re fourth in the nation for a
reason because we’re scary i just met a few of your stil your stilt walkers oh my god i’m gonna have
nightmares no doubt about it how many people do you guys see in the haunted house uh we have masses come through
last year we were lined up around the block so it was beautiful how many actors do
you have we have over 90 actors in the house at all times that is fantastic yes tell
me something special about dark hour that’s not unlike any other haunted house we like i said we’re fourth in the
nation but we truly love what we do we haunt because we love it and we’re voted plano best rate rate place to get your
heart rate up that’s fantastic in a row folks go see go see her at the dark hour
this haunted house is worth your time where are you i need to talk to these
guys behind us we were on our mics trying to do an interview and these guys started talking can you beat some of
them up or something can i be honest with you we’re at fan expo here i have no earthly idea what’s happening i’ve
seen about 30 000 characters some of them i don’t know recall or know of yeah i’ve seen a few spider-man uh characters
but we’re lost but we’re having a ball here so we need to go we had a shield maybe
we need to do something yes
and so is is clothing an optional thing with this character or where are where’s the
clothing today or this is the way the character looks this is the way the character looks the joke is that the um dark souls
player dark souls players or demon souls or butterborne the joke is that the the players will beat the hardest bosses
like with tons of health with the with no armor whatsoever like the joke is uh why why bother armor if you don’t plan
to get hit exactly okay and so does it take a lot of guts to come out of your house wearing something like
this how did you make it to the expo center without getting comments or even beat up like
i’m get was it uh we we drove here uh once i went to the bathroom for the con floor i uh essentially i just changed
into this but uh mostly like my helmet is like i get some stairs every now and
again but uh that doesn’t bother me because i’m no i’m just going as a character oh yeah so did you did you
make this um this part yourself yes uh eva foam for the head and the 3d printed
3d model and 3d printed the swords oh you 3d printed these yes i did
you from here locally or do you come from out of town i’m out of town i’m usually in houston but i travel around different cons so lord of the rings
scavenger hunt what are we looking for you’re going to be looking for four hobbits three elves two humans and one
dwarf dan i’m really geeking out over here this is my childhood the the transformers yeah
we finally found a movie we can relate to jw yes look who we have here ferris
bueller and mr ed rooney great how are you good where’d you guys come in from i’m here from arlington and
she came from oklahoma i am from oklahoma city what happened there was a an idea for this this is not the normal
costume this is like a new one for you guys it is her sister we got done with fan expo dallas and we actually did with
uh bill and ted last year from the first movie excellent excellent
so she text her sister and she said i have a new idea for you you have to go as ferris bueller and and ed rooney from
uh the ferris bueller and we were like okay so we were like okay so my dad lives up in france i said dad i need you
to look out for a suit for me that’ll fit me and he sent this to me four dollars we ripped it up we got you know
the dog yeah we got the dog moment and everything this is so great this is so good yeah was this hard to find like
actually it wasn’t ebay’s in a miraculous thing and i just uh found it and i bid on it and i won it and that’s
the most important thing oh that’s great what is your goals here at fan expo we always just gonna have a lot of fun
yeah you know we dress up we have we do three days and three rounds of costumes and we always do something different and
new and we just have a good time any cosplay uh yeah we do we actually have our own cosplay page we’re called we got
cows cosplay uh we decided that after the movie twister when they’re in the van and that we got cows that’s our
favorite movie growing up both from kansas originally so it makes yeah very nice so we have multiple outfits and
yeah we have a lot of pages what are you going to be tomorrow and sunday uh tomorrow we’re actually going to be the sanderson sisters we have a third
her friend is going to be joining us and then on sunday we’re going to be corella deville and a dalmatian but it’s going
to be the cartoon the 1961 version of cruella de vil you got to have the original
puppy oh very good very good so everything’s like in the hotel room i mean is this is how the weekend goes is that she
actually lives really close by so that’s our home base and everything is there and normally we are spending the last
minute doing a ton of things but this time she was we’re actually done so we’re kind of freaked out like we forgot
something my guest room closet is full of costumes like literally i’d start buying tubs and start having to pack
stuff away because i couldn’t hang anything up anymore i got to tell you you guys helped me get through high school this is one of my one of our
all-time favorite movies there’s not even any of well done you guys well played thank you guys thank you
so we’re here with luis going to explain these classes they’re tony stark classes uh go ahead yeah they’re tony stark’s
glasses the makers is from toms toms shoes it’s the guy’s out of arlington i think he’s a local guy yes yes yes
yes yes yes yes yes yes so they make glasses um from marvel um tony stark’s black widow i just have the tony starks
on right now yeah so he wore those in the movie and that’s why they get so you’ll have people spend that 150 on
these classes yes absolutely yeah and louie was telling me they keep it real on the pricing here too they try to get
in just a little bit below oh yeah we smash the competition and you know we go and price out the competitors and we
always drop the prices lower so we’re smashing the competition that’s our slogan uh we’re here with uh uh
spider-man is it uh you’re on spider-man this is also spider-man hello we’re here with spider-man at fan expo in dallas uh
what brings you guys to fan expo uh just hanging out with a bunch of really cool people it’s just uh very nice
the art and everything it’s it’s really fun really cool have you met other spider-man way too many there’s too many of us
i blame you wait are you that are like is there a dark spider-man like are you evil spider-man or something why is your suit
different than him oh just a different spider man there’s just a different one you haven’t seen
the movie uh not all of them like how did you guys meet interdimensional
portal yep fair fair and he was there and i was confused and that’s just he
was just training me how to do this stuff i don’t still getting the hang of it taught him a few web web shooting tricks do you
have any activities playing for fan expo um we’re just kind of hanging out with
people right yeah honestly pictures all just getting out with everybody meeting some people a lot of really cool celebs here i would agree
with you yes well you guys look fantastic we appreciate the time thank you yeah thank you guys this isn’t going
on the bugle right because you know you know jay jonah is gonna twist this jonah jameson will twist it
two menaces this part of the costume because peter parker was a photographer or is this your own it’s kind of both
things i wanted to take some pictures while i was here but i thought you know peter parker would go to something like this and take
a bunch of pictures so i might as well just keep it on me yeah you know yeah add to the feel of it any comments about
that young spider-man that it appeared had some tears he was wiping in his eyes after seeing you guys at the front
um i wasn’t here do you feel
anything different being a shorter version of the the spider-man now i’m just younger than him that’s why
younger i’ll grow i’ll grow i’ll grow into it oh yeah very good well thank you guys a ton
for stopping and talking i’m just here to represent my brand of cosplay which is
anything it’s anything it’s anything and everything cosplay is a hobby for me
yeah where were you where are you from uh i live in los angeles yeah okay and then would you come in today or
yesterday i came in yesterday because i’m you know extra i wanted to just get
a feel for the place and it was great to see this empty and now it’s full of
people and lively it’s great it makes you feel good it’s good do you do this all over the country um
i cosplay across the u.s for fun mostly but once in a while um i also do
conventions so i’m so excited that i’m here with fan expo oh great well thank
you so much for giving us the time how can we find you all my handles are the girl with a great
smile [Music]
here with guy gilchrist the cartoonist for jim henson and this man has done
some monumental things how long you been a cartoonist uh well in and out of diapers which one
what do you want to know okay well uh so i had my first like actual real gig uh with disney
when i was in high school when i was 16. so that would have been 49 years ago very nice
was that the kind of question that is exactly the answer i was looking for all right okay good uh what how did you and
mr henson meet uh well uh we only have a minute so it’s going to be very very difficult to do that at
a bar in the rest yeah okay well no no uh anyway uh jim knew
that eventually uh he was going to stop doing the television show and he wanted
the muppets to be in front of everyone so he had a two-year search
to find someone that could write and draw the muppets because there were no cartoons there was nothing like that
for a comic strip that was going to be in every country in the world and after two years
that was me that is absolutely amazing you have changed so many lives with your
cartoons uh do you know the impact you’ve had on children and people for that matter well you know it’s it’s very
very wonderful to hear and um you know when i was a kid you know we didn’t have
any money and my mom was a pretty good artist and you know she would take me to work with her at the diner wherever she was it
should put paper and pencil in front of me and the newspaper the funnies or whatever
and i found out that it felt really good if i could draw something make something
out of nothing and give it to you and make you happy it made me very very happy
so whether it’s being at the con and drawing something one-on-one or being the art director for
merchandise or licensing or a television show or a comic strip or whatever it is the fact that you’re happy
gives me the greatest joy wonderful answer last question who is your favorite character you’ve drawn do you have a favorite of all your all your
masterpieces well you know the only character that really matters
is the one that i’m drawing for you right now but when i was a kid before i ever went to
work for jim do you know who the first famous muppet was no sir okay it was raw for off the dog
you know i’ll tell you kid i was something in the 60s i had a record deal i was on the jimmy dean show
i was on mike douglas then the frog and the banjo came along and we really hit it big
arrogance ended up earning over 18 000 medals and if you wanted to know the most decorated battalion in our history
it’s that not many people know about them yeah yeah for sure so it’s a free webcomic on
webtoons and it’s all traditionally done watercolor okay and so just to get the story and the word out
we have gabriel mingum here about to show us some of his talent
uh let’s do some turtles where can people find your work uh at instagram just look at my name uh the
underscore gabriel underscore mangum really easy uh you know first result that’s gonna come up facebook’s great for me too just look up gabriel mangan
you can add me real quick i just got uh got off of razor run so always got stuff going on guys i’ve been traveling with infusion for
about six years now all over the nation all over the world clearly we stumbled upon cinderella cinderella how are we
doing today i’m doing very well how are you i’m great thank you would this be some sort of ball experience for you oh
this is much much bigger than a royal ball and a whole lot more fun i mean who else has lightsabers indeed indeed what
are you looking for here today at fan expo i’m hoping to find a day blade for my own lightsabers
oh this this is a cinderella you don’t meet every day have we lost the slipper yet
not yet i wasn’t allowed to bring my glass slippers because they’re at the jewelers getting polished
and then they made me take really tight slippers so they don’t fall off
where is prince charming these days he’s actually planning a ball for our anniversary
congratulations thank you very much prince charming is a lucky man oh i certainly think so the crew from
cobra kai we’re looking at right here the guy on the stage speaking was the bad guy in karate original karate kid
obviously he’s aged a little bit but he was great in cobra kai some really wonderful friends who are you
i’m a jawa yes you are how about you sir scout yeah there you go i’m a great
interview as you can tell how about you anakin skywalker okay we’re here with indiana jones um indy what brings you
here today i always love coming to the dallas fort worth area i’m from shreveport louisiana and fan expo is
just probably my favorite event uh yeah probably is my favorite event of any of the conventions have you been on any
adventures lately over across the world saving things rescuing treasures well uh
lately not really but i am an actual archaeologist by trade like that’s my excellent yeah that’s my actual job
so thank you just a costume i love it man you dig up in real life in real life just a lot of broken rock and broken
glass it’s nothing cool yeah so where have you traveled to indiana france belize uh mississippi that’s a
third world country in my mind ever uh see a ball rolling down an aisle like this similar to the movie uh no but i’ve
had a tree crash right next to me in the woods during a storm in louisiana uh
yes in in louisiana it makes you find god really quick what’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at
uh fan expo or any comic-con for that matter
i have no idea it’s all so unique and so different um just the the people uh
really it’s uh they get kind of crazy sometimes so will they state where this is our first one will they stay tonight
and like party together and stuff like that some people do that some people like me
you know they get tired after a while because i’m old so i just go back to the hotel room and sleep yeah and then what are you coming at us tomorrow you shared
that with us off camera i’m going to be boba fett from empire strikes back so keep an eye out
indiana thank you very much appreciate we love all your films man yes i’m here with zach from brick bunch that
zach how did all this happen all this so uh
we’ve been fans of minifigs for a long time the entire company and you know it just kind of like snowballed
is really what it was and we just decided if we’re going to do something like let’s go big and so our goal is to carry more mini-figs than anyone else in
the u.s and currently um we do that between online and here in some stores so we have three times as many online
right now this is about 900 here and so it’s lots of fun different variety of characters
everything from star wars to harry potter to lord of the rings to comic books superheroes all kinds of cool
straps how long have you been into legos um so these are custom mini-figs just to be clear so um all made through our
company brick bunch we’ve been working with within for six years so doing this for six years and
then who doesn’t grow up playing with with lego at this point right what’s in between minifigs and figures
for legos these are completely compatible um it’s just branding this is a different brand right so um carry a
lot of unique stuff so yeah well done great job this is you do a favorite of all these yeah here i’ll show you real
this is the predator this is my favorite um we’ve had them since we basically opened and he sells fantastic for us so
it’s a great money maker and great great character what is the price of a predator minifigures are five dollars
but if you buy four you get a fifth one for free so what are you all dressed as i am man of seal
wonder is this a family affair definitely
did you say that you had two other family members over here yes my son and daughter-in-law are here also we come all five ever how many times coming this
well she was here before she was born and the year she was one year old we skipped a couple years and we’re back
ever wear these at home or this is just a special occasion special occasion and this will be the same um for each day or
you ch okay so what’s tomorrow i am cowboy superman catboy wonder woman
okay and then sunday sunday clark kent
well that concludes our fortitude visit to fan expo in dallas brenton any any good memories for you today oh they were
all good actually uh i cannot believe how much stuff and how many people are
involved in this and they were only here on a friday afternoon and they’ve come from all over the country it’s crazy did you learn anything about cosplay what an
incredible concept yes i have a lot of ideas and i love the fact that people like change outfits each day it’s crazy
hold on a sec r2 do you have any words for us
thanks for having us at fan expo this is fortitude checking out thanks for everyone for
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