My FanX 2015 Top Ten-A Poor Man’s Guide

So, you’re planning on going to FanX 2015, which starts one week from today, and you don’t have a lot of cash? I fell you, brother. You’re not alone, but sometimes it feels that way. Sometimes it seems like all the con has to offer is Photo Ops and Autographs, and you just can’t afford it. Have no fear, you’re friendly, neighborhood geeky mormon is here to help. I know there are other lists out there, highlighting all the great guests coming and what not, but this list is my list, and hopefully you might find it useful. I have tried to include only free things, so other than your entrance into the con, this list won’t cost you an arm and a leg. There are a couple of exceptions, but trust me when I tell you they are minimal. I also only included one activity for Saturday, because I won’t be at the con on Saturday, so believe it or not, there isn’t much that excites me that day. Everything on this list is legitimately something I want to go to while I am at FanX, so if you go to these panels you may run into me. Fell free to stop me and say hi. I would love to meet you. Anyway, to the list!

10. KidCon Crafts

At least one of the days, we will be braving FanX with the children (probably Thursday), which means that this caught my eye. KidCon is not new, it has been around since last year’s FanX and made an appearance at last September’s Comic Con. FanX was pretty good, but Comic Con was less than impressive.  I am hoping that it will be great again this time around, because it is a great place to come and enjoy with the kids. What gives me hope this year is that they will be doing crafts at the KidCon, and they’re free, according to the website. Two reasons why this is awesome: 1. Kids love doing crafts and 2. It gives them a cool souvenir from the con that costs you nothing extra and is totally unique to them. Yay crafts! They even have a schedule on their website of which crafts they will be doing when. You can check it out here.

9. The Vendor Area

This can get very expensive, so control yourself. That being said, you can’t avoid the vendor area. It is a big part of what is at the con. It is not just people selling stuff, though, so it is really worth checking out. There are some unique things, but beware, a lot of the things can be found cheaper on the internet. Another thing to watch out for is comic book vendors. There are a lot of them there, and some are less reputable than others and may or may not charge more than they should for what you are getting. My suggestion, stop by Black Cat Comics. Greg and the gang will take care of you. If you insist on spending your money in the vendor area, wait until the last day, you’ll get better deals.

8. Artist Alley

This is one of my favorite parts of the vendor area. I love looking at the different artwork here in Artist Alley, and you can usually snag a signed print for not too much, which goes great on your geeky art wall, which I assume everyone has, just like me. Usually these booths are manned by the artist themselves, so that is even cooler. These aren’t usually the really famous artists, although some of them are here as well. Check it out, and if you do spend money, it will be helping to feed a starving artist for like one night.

7. “She Turned Me into a Newt!”: Monty Python’s Holy Grail Turns 40

Monty-Python-and-the-Holy-Grail-monty-python-and-the-holy-grail-4975811-845-468One of the best things to do at these conventions if you don’t want to spend a ton of extra money is to go to the panels. I’m not talking about only the celebrity panels, but the con offers panels on a variety of interesting topics, and there is something for everyone. This one looked particularly interesting to me. If you didn’t know that Monty Python and the Holy Grail were turning 40, don’t feel too bad, neither did I. When I saw this, though, I thought, “Sign me up.” I love this old, quirky comedy, and I think there are a lot of fans of the show out there. What could be more fun than running through all the memorable scenes and quotable quotes? Nothing. It would be an hour well spent. This panel is at 12:30 PM on Friday in Ballroom B.

6. Voice Actor Script Reading

FanX 2015 has some great voice talent coming to the show. These are some amazing performers who do something that everyone thinks is easy, but it’s actually really hard. A year ago, I would not have been that interested in this, but I saw a documentary on Netflix called I Know that Voice, and I realized just how amazing these actors are. It would be a ton of fun to sit in a room and listen to and watch these performers read through a script together. The details don’t tell us which script they will be reading, but I am sure they will read something off the wall and unexpected, which will only add to the entertainment factor. This panel takes place on Friday at 4 PM in room 250 A.

5. Official Cosplay Contest

MASTER_COSPLAY-1024x791This is an event not just for Cosplayers, but for members of any fandom. If you, like me, lack the skill, talent, or ability to build costumes like you see others wearing at the con, then hopefully you, like me, can appreciate how amazing said costumes are. This is a great opportunity to see the best of the best. The actual show starts at 6 PM on Saturday (this is the one Saturday event I mentioned), but it is after hours of judging and competition that runs through the whole day. The participants, most of them have worked long and hard on their costumes, and now you get to sit back and appreciate the fruits of their labors. The admission is free, and it’s a great way to make sure you don’t miss any of the best cosplay at the con. Of course, this event is in the South Ballroom.

4. I’m Hooked on a Feeling: How Marvel Turned Guardians into the Biggest Blockbuster in 2014.

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Team-Photo-High-ResUnfortunately, we just found out that Guardians was not the biggest blockbuster in 2014. That being said, it was my favorite blockbuster from 2014. And it’s not even close. That surprised me, since I was originally thinking that Marvel was making a bad decision with this property. Then they announced some of the cast, like Chris Pratt and Dave Bautista, and I thought, “See? They’re not even trying.” I have seen the error of my ways, and now realize that Marvel is simply the most amazing studio out there, and from now on, when their films come out, I will just be prepared to give them my money. But how did they take a property no one had heard of and turn it into such huge success? This panel will discuss that, and I want to hear about it. It is on Friday at 8 PM in room 250 A, so a great way to end your night on Friday.

3. Karen Gillan Panel

Karen-Gillan-will-play-th-001Amy Pond was one of my favorite companions on Doctor Who, and she was one of my wife’s favorite companions, so this is a must see panel for us. Here is the one problem with these big celebrity panels: They fill up quickly. I have this one on the list , but honestly, I don’t know if I will make it in because I don’t know if I will be willing to wait in line for it.  However, I think it will be entertaining if we do make it in and worth the time to sit and watch, not just to hear about Doctor Who but Guardians as well. The panel is on Thursday at 5 pm in the South Ballroom.

2. Christopher Lloyd

Christopher-Lloyd-as-Doc-BrownGreat Scott! Who, in my generation, did not grow up watching Back to the Future? In my opinion, it was one of the greatest SciFi trilogies of all time, and one of the main reasons was Doc. Christopher Lloyd has always been one of my favorite actors as a result of my love for those movies. What a cool opportunity to go and listen to him talk about all of his adventures in Back to the Future and beyond. I can’t imagine that he will disappoint as a speaker and presenter. This is another one that I want to go to badly, but I don’t know how quickly it will fill up. Hopefully I can find a seat somewhere, maybe in the very back. I just want to get inside and be there, that’s all. The panel is on Friday at 11 AM in the South Ballroom.

1. Doctor Who Ultimate Xperience

Doctor-Who-007This is the one thing that will for sure cost you money, and if you don’t have tickets, I’m sorry it is sold out. Before you get all upset because this is a list of ways to have fun at the con without spending a ton of extra money, just know I bought the tickets when they went on sale and I bought the general admission tickets that were $15 each, so it wasn’t that expensive. I couldn’t pass this up. Matt Smith was one of my favorite Doctors and he was my wife’s favorite Doctor, so we both really wanted to go.  I am not getting a photo-op or an autograph, because that is way too much, but really, the more interesting thing for me is listening to these actors and performers and participating that way. This event is on Friday at 5:30 in the South Ballroom.

There you have it, my list of 10 things to do and see at the FanX that won’t cost you an atom or a leg, except the Monty Python panel which may literally coat you an arm and a leg (‘Tis but a flesh wound!) If you would like to check out the full panel schedule because, well, you’re into different stuff than I am, then look here. Just know that the schedule is always subject to change, so be ready and willing to be a little flexible.

Did I miss anything that you are dying to see? Let me know in the comments.

Jake Dietz
Jake Dietz is a humble bank employee by day, and super dad to 5 little monsters by night. He enjoys all things geeky. That's why he started this blog. He considers himself a member of many fandoms, and dreams of the day when all geeks, everywhere, can find a way to live together in harmony.