Category Archives: Entertainment

CHS Theatre presents ‘Terrifying Texas Tales’ Halloween drive-in movie experience

The Coppell High School Cowboy Theatre Company will showcase the talent and creativity of students in “Terrifying Texas Tales: A Halloween Drive-In Movie Experience” on Oct. 29, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in the parking lot of CHS9.

CHS Theatre students wrote and filmed their own short horror films, based on true Texas horror and paranormal stories.  These films will be streamed as drive-in movies over Halloween weekend.  Shows are at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, Saturday Oct. 31 and Sunday Nov. 1, in the parking lot of CHS9 located at 1301 Wrangler Circle Drive in Coppell.  Recommended audience age is middle school students and up. Tickets can be purchased for $15 per car at www.coppellhstheatre.com. Contactless concession purchases will be available on site. 


“This is a great opportunity to showcase the incredible talent and creativity of our theatre students,” said CHS Theatre Director Karen Ruth.  “Opportunities to perform before audiences in COVID-19 are limited, so we came up with an alternative venue to share scary stories that also offers our community an alternative safe Halloween experience.” 

Ruth added that there will be bonus, super-scary stories shared after a late intermission for those interested in truly terrifying tales.

Visit www.coppellhstheatre.com for details and to purchase tickets. 

Grapevine Rotary Rubber Duck Race scheduled for Sept. 10

Screen Shot 2020-08-02 at 8.35.58 AMJoin us this September 10th as the Grapevine Rotary Club hosts the 3rd Annual Rubber Duck Race in the Lazy River at The REC of Grapevine.

Thousands of free-spirited yellow rubber ducks will be dropped into The REC Lazy River where they will race to see who is the fastest.

The event will take place from 5-7pm at The REC of Grapevine in fair or Fowl weather!

The winning Duck will earn $1,000, second place wins $500 and third place wins $250.

100% of all proceeds support the Grapevine Rotary Club community programs, such as scholarships for high school seniors, Computers for Kids, Special Olympics, RYLA, Feed Our Kid and American Flags on Main Street.

Every year, Grapevine Rotary Club awards as many scholarships as possible to qualified graduating senior applicants. The impact of these awards for the students in our areas is amazing. In April, we awarded 16 of these scholarships in the amount of $1500 each from the proceeds of our 2019 Duck Race.  

ChuckAll of the ducks are churning up the water to get back in their best racing form after eating too much during quarantine (except for Chuck, who is lounging around the pool. He’s “supervising”).

For more information or to adopt a duck, visit https://grapevinerotaryduckrace.com/ or email grapevinerubberduckrace@gmail.com.

Here’s hoping your duck wins!

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Download the flyer HERE (.pdf)

Brief guide of what’s been cancelled, postponed and what’s still going on

According to The Rambler Newspapers, here’s what’s cancelled, what’s been rescheduled and what’s still going on:

President of Grand Prairie NAACP reminisces on ‘Growing Up in Dalworth’

By Stacey Doud

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A store in the Dalworth neighborhood

I was recently invited to attend a General Meeting of the Grand Prairie Historical Organization (GPHO). I wasn’t emotionally prepared to hear the stories that the Grand Prairie National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President, Angela Luckey, had to tell. She spoke about “Growing Up in Dalworth,” which is an historically poor African American neighborhood. I also grew up poor in a different place, but a lot of what Luckey said resonated with me personally.

Between 1910 and 1920, Dalworth Park was established with modern conveniences including water, gas, sidewalks and telephones. Businesses such as The Spikes Brothers Broom Factory and the Dalworth Business College moved in, boosting the local economy.

South of the railroad tracks, a community with primarily African American residents, many who worked in the Dalworth Park area, was established and named South Dalworth Park. These communities were incorporated into Grand Prairie in 1942.

After a god BBQ lunch, President of the GPHO, John Wylie, gave a little background on and introduced Luckey.

“[Luckey] is a retired DoD [Department of Defense] professional. She also worked for NASD [National Association of Securities Dealers] and retired for obvious reasons, since NASD was actually closed. She worked overseas in Family Support. As a G.I. for 26 years, stationed around the world, I myself appreciated Family Support at the bases I was stationed at [in the Air Force]. I not only appreciated them, but I used them. So, thank you, Angela,” said Wylie.

Among her 30 years of achievements, Luckey served in Federal Service at NAS JRB (Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth). She is on the Executive Board of the Greater Dallas Head Start Program and has been a candidate for mayor and for the school board. She is a past president of the Dalworth Historical Society. She is currently on the Advisory Board for Constable Ed Wright Pct. 4. On a personal note, she’s lived in Grand Prairie since birth, and has three kids and three grandkids. Her husband, Lenel, served in the Army and fought in the Middle East. He died of a heart attack in 2015.

“I am so proud of my and my family’s history in Grand Prairie. I was born over at Parkland Hospital on March 21, 1966. My family lived across the tracks of the Dalworth community,” Luckey said.

Luckey had the opportunity to attend Head Start before transferring to Dalworth Elementary School in the first grade.

“Head Start is a federally-funded daycare facility, so when the federal government decided to bring a Head Start program to Dallas County, the first Center opened up in Grand Prairie, Texas. So, I got an early head start in education and I really appreciate the federal government at the time for thinking about children in poverty-stricken and low-income areas because we had early education when I was three years old. And now I am an executive board member for Head Start. I really appreciate what Head Start did then and what it is doing today for children and young mothers that have kids, but have to work,” Luckey explained.

After making her way through the younger years of education, Luckey attended the one all-black high school at the time, which was called Dalworth High School.

“A lot of prominent people came out of that [High School] that became judges, doctors and lawyers. Every profession you can think of came out of Dalworth. We have professional athletes that went on to become inductees to the Hall of Fame, like Charlie Taylor and so forth,” Luckey said proudly.

Many Grand Prairie residents aren’t aware that Dalworth produced a championship-winning football team in 1958. The team was called the Dalworth Dragons, and they received a Proclamation that was presented by Mayor C.R. Sargent, who held this office at the time. Luckey had an original copy of this accolade, complete with the City Seal, and read it to the attendees.

“I wanted to read [the proclamation] because it’s part of my foundation – a part of how I got here,” Luckey said.

Luckey then recruited a couple of helpers to hold up a large poster of her family tree. She explained each branch and the hardships they faced, as well as the victories they enjoyed. Her Great Great Grandfather, Frederick Douglas Reed, moved out of Waco to the Grand Prairie area in the early 1920’s because his cousin, Jesse Washington Jr., was accused of raping a white woman in Waco, Texas.

“[My relatives that moved to Grand Prairie] lived on a farm and could pass for white [Caucasian]. There was a horrific accident that occurred here in Grand Prairie that involved his [her great-great grandfather’s] wagon. He was crossing the railroad track and the wagon collided with an interurban train that was coming from Fort Worth to Dallas. Three of his children died in that wreckage.

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Luckey’s Family Tree

“There’s a tiny grave at Grand Prairie High School [near the baseball fields, south of the school]. They have a little fence on Small Street, and the three children were actually buried there. I wanted to share a bit of my family history so you can understand where my roots come from,” Luckey said.

When Luckey was in first grade at Dalworth Elementary, the school district was faced with a lawsuit. One of the African American parents that had a student in Grand Prairie wanted the schools to be integrated. As a result of that lawsuit, younger children were bussed out of their neighborhoods. Luckey ended up attending Dalworth Elementary, Bowie Elementary and Sam Houston Elementary. These constant changes took the sense of stability out of their educational lives, sometimes adding to the chaos of their home lives.

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Luckey and her mother

“As a child growing up in Dalworth, I didn’t have a sense of being poor,” Luckey said. “Looking back now, I don’t even know how my parents did it. But my mother worked for LTV and had a college degree. When she worked, she made sure that she went to work during the hours we were at school. So that means when we got up in the morning, she did our hair and made sure we got dressed and went to school. We had breakfast and a dinner when we came home. [My mother] had three kids by the time she was 18 or 19 years old. She’s been married to her husband for 56 years. I tell my mom all the time, ‘They don’t make women like you anymore. Not at all,’” Luckey said, giving a nod to her mother, who was in the audience.

Luckey graduated from South Grand Prairie High School when she was 16 years old because she elected to take classes during every summer. “I thought that once you graduated school, you were grown. That’s not how my father was. His rules were, ‘Until you turn 18, you can’t have a boyfriend.’ I didn’t go to the prom or have a boyfriend in high school because that was not allowed until age 18.

“When I was 18, I was running track at the University of Texas at Arlington (UT-A). The first boy that ever took an interest in me became my boyfriend,” Luckey laughed.

Luckey then attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville and Texas College in Tyler where she earned her bachelor’s degree. She received her master’s degree from Amberton University.

Luckey then got serious.

“You guys are going to be the first to hear this. I mean, my family knows, but I’ve never told this while public speaking. I told myself, ‘I have worked 30 years for the Department of Defense. I’ve worked in Europe. I’ve worked on installations where you have to have a really secret security clearance to where the government had a sign saying if you step here, we can shoot you on the spot. So, I’ve seen a lot of things that the average citizen doesn’t get to see from our federal government. When it came to the point when I could retire after 30 years, I decided to retire. I was 50 years old in 2016.

“So, then I thought, ‘Angela, what are you going to do now?’ I wanted to volunteer for an organization that helps people. Then I began to sit and look at my childhood because some people have things that chase them. Sometimes they’re called ‘skeletons in the closet.’ I realized that I had something that chased me, but it chased me in a positive direction.

“In fourth grade, my teacher, Mr. Grant, had a cousin who was not such a good man. My teacher’s cousin molested me. I was afraid to tell my parents. They didn’t learn about this story until I was fully grown and married with children.  I think that’s why I like to work with the young and disadvantaged. You never know what their struggles are.

“I didn’t let that situation knock me down. It got behind me and it chased me. I wanted to be greater than great. I remember when I was running track at UT-A, I was coming out of the dorm and noticed that there were some yard people that were doing the yard outside the dorm. I looked up, and I saw him [the man who molested her] standing there, staring at me. I didn’t know what to do because I hadn’t [told] anyone. But I didn’t go back to UT-A. I decided I didn’t want to be where he was. I ended up going to Texas College in Tyler. My dad drove me there and basically dropped me off and drove away.

“That was the biggest blessing God could give me, being dropped off at that small black college because it was there that I understood purpose. It was there when I decided that I wanted to be greater than great, and I wanted to be someone that after I go and do whatever I was trying to do, at the end of the day I want to come back and I wanted to be able to help people just like me. That’s basically what I did. I got a master’s degree from Amity University. I have been up in Air Force Two. I have been in the White House several times, with the purpose to visit under every president’s leadership,” Luckey said.

Luckey presented Jan Barrett, the GPHO Program Chair, as well as GPHO President John Wylie, with medals of appreciation from the Grand Prairie NAACP.

Luckey then introduced the owner of Ethalue’s Salon, which has been in business in Dalworth for over 50 years. “This was not just a place to get your hair done,” Luckey said. “This was a place for fellowship, and of course, the latest gossip.”

Ms. Ethalue gave her own account of what it was like being a business owner in Dalworth. Despite some setbacks, her Salon (and now Spa) have been going strong for over half a century.

I personally know it wasn’t luck(ey) that helped Angela achieve all that she has. She is very grateful to God and her family and close friends for guiding her in the tough times. She has touched many people in a positive way, and I know she will keep going.

***

In fact, here’s some info on the GPNAACP’s next event:

NAACP Flyer

Download a .pdf version of the flier perfect for printing HERE

Local author gets creepy and dreamy

By Stacey Doud

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Today, I had the opportunity to sit down for a chat with local author Jacqueline E. Smith. She is the author of the four (soon to be five) Cemetery Tours series of books, as well as the four Boy Band book series, aimed at young adults.

Smith was born and raised in Dallas and is now living in Richardson. She has been writing, in the form of fan fiction or short stories, since she was very young.

“I have written for fun my entire life. It started when I was in preschool, and it was drawing little Disney books which I still have. I made them on construction paper and then stapled them together,” Smith said.

Shortcut“I remember the first book that made me feel real emotions and I thought, ‘This is cool. This can transport me.’ The name of the book was Shortcut by Donald Crews. It was about these kids that take a shortcut home along the railroad tracks, and they kept hearing a[n] [invisible] train. I thought it was so creepy and cool and I loved it. I was only three or four at the time.

“A few years later, the Harry Potter books came out. By the fifth book, it was the summer before my freshman year in high school. My parents were both working and left me in charge of my sister, who is seven years younger than me, so I just read Harry Potter over and over again. Of course, I couldn’t wait for the sixth book, so I just started writing Harry Potter fan fiction. That’s what really got me back into writing.”

Smith attended University of Texas at Dallas (UT-D) and earned her bachelor’s degree in Art and Performance as well as a master’s degree in Humanities. When she was a junior [undergrad], she got sick “again. I feel like everything in my life goes back to when I was engulfed in germs,” she said.

“I spent the entire Spring Break on the couch that year, and I was just so bummed. I wanted to go out and have adventures and fun. But I was stuck on the couch, so I started reading a bunch of romance novels that I bought at Half-Price Books. I started thinking to myself, ‘I could do this!’ It wasn’t even one of those epiphanies. It was just the thought that I could do this,” Smith said. She didn’t let anything stand in her way, as she went on to get her master’s degree in Humanities from UT-D.

Smith has had a life-long dream to work with animals and to take photos, but “there’s not a lot of money in traveling around and taking pictures.’ So, I had to find a way to make money. I thought, ‘well maybe I can write books and make money!’ Granted, that was not a solid plan because you really don’t make a lot of money in this industry. But at the time, it seemed like a solution,” Smith explained.

Smith says she prefers “indie [independent] writing” to working with publishers because the author keeps all of their rights, content, characters, etc. “Plus, I am not a good group writer. I am more the ‘leave me alone to write,’ kind of author. Of course, I have great editors, like my sister, to help me. She will tell me like it is and not try to sugarcoat it. That’s what I need,” she said.

As for her interest in the paranormal, Smith explained, “I’ve always loved ghosts. My mother raised us really celebrating Halloween, so I’ve always loved spooky things.”

She has also had a few paranormal experiences.

Smith Headstone

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline E. Smith

“My favorite experience was when I was taking a historical tour in The Colony, and we were in a cemetery. Most of the graves were situated around the front. And so, I was just walking around and taking some pictures, like I love to do. There was this tree off to the side, and it kept ‘calling me over.’ I kept thinking, ‘what’s with this tree? I don’t really need to go over there.’ But I finally did [go to the tree] and it turned out that there was a broken tombstone beneath the tree with my initials [JES] carved into it. My stomach dropped. It was the creepiest thing to have happened to me so far,” Smith explained.

Smith ended up penning the first Cemetery Tours book in 2010 to deal with the loss of a beloved pet. “It affected me so bad. I started getting headaches and got a rash,” she recalled. “I was so sad in the days following. [The cat] was my baby! I started watching 16 and Pregnant, believe it or not. When that was over, I started flipping through the channels and landed on Ghost Adventures. That show actually got me through the grief and gave me the idea for Cemetery Tours, which also helped with the sadness. “I was in such a state of distress. In fact, I think that’s what triggered my mental illness”.

Smith currently experiences Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She can’t have her food touch on a plate, has to eat in a certain order and can’t eat unless she is expecting to eat. She also has trouble with even minor schedule changes. She is an advocate for the awareness and treatment of mental illnesses and shares her story regularly.

Smith says that there is a Book Five of Cemetery Tours waiting to be written. “I have not written it yet because it’s going to hurt. Something that Michael has dealt with in this whole series is that he can see ghosts that are still in this realm, but he has no idea what happens after. There may be more exploration of what may be beyond this life.”

Trashy RomanceRight now, Smith is working on a book titled Trashy Suspense Novel. She already has published Trashy Romance Novel, since her friends told her that no one can make money unless they write a trashy romance novel. Not one to mince words, Smith has named these two books for exactly what they are. “I like the names because if someone doesn’t like it, I can tell them that they knew what they were getting into…a trashy book!” The romance novel has won several awards, one which was for humor. “I like that I can be funny, and I pride myself on it, so that award meant a lot to me.”

Also, on the horizon, looms a potential independent film of the Boy Band series, to be produced by a Dallas director Jalitza Delgado. This topic will be the focus of a podcast called “Coffee Talk with Chelle” this Sunday (3/1) at 8pm CST. “We are in the fundraising stage right now,” Smith said.

Interested parties may donate to her project via GoFundMe HERE and can listen to the podcast to learn more about the project HERE.

To take a peek at Amazon’s page for Jackie, click HERE.

I know that I am personally looking forward to reading all of the Cemetery Tours books. I am on Chapter 3 of the first book, and it is tough to put down! So, thank you, Jackie, for your imagination, talent and honesty!

Grapevine steps back to its prehistoric roots

By Stacey Doud

DinoSignGrapevine Parks & Rec is once again transforming the Botanical Gardens into Jurassic Park (without all the violence) from March 21 until April 5. This exhibit honors Lake Grapevine’s place in the Woodbine Formation, which consists predominately of sandstones and shales, and occurs in exposed outcrops in north central Texas and southern Oklahoma,

Called Jurassic Gardens, visitors can enjoy and learn about the many animatronic, life-size dinosaurs that once roamed the land they’re standing on. There are many other activities, such as a “bone dig,” some simple carnival games and many opportunities for learning.

The cost is $10 per person, with children 2 and under receiving FREE admission. Tickets go on sale Sunday, March 1, 2020 at https://gograpevine.com/event/jurassicgardens/.

But wait! There’s more!

After the sun goes down, visitors can experience the exhibits in a whole new “light” during Dinos After Dark. On Fridays, special guests will give special presentations about paleontology. On Saturday nights, popular dinosaur movies will be shown. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Both activities will be held from 7pm – 10pm and the cost is $10 per person (children under 2 are free).

The Movie Line-Up:

Jurassic Gardens Basic Info:

  • When: March 21 – April 5, 2020
  • Where: Grapevine Botanical Gardens, 411 Ball Street
  • Times: Monday – Friday: 12pm – 6pm; Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 6pm

For more information, directions and tickets (after March 1), visit Grapevine Parks & Rec.

Grapevine, TX: Not JUST ‘The Christmas Capital of Texas’ Part 1: Hotels

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Photo Courtesy of Grapevine CVB

It may still be a bit cold and rainy in Grapevine, TX, but that doesn’t stop us from having fun! The Christmas Capital of Texas is also a must-see town all year long, with several festivals and more vendors, stores and entertainment venues than I can count!

Keep reading to get a peek into what’s worth it (on a budget), what’s family-friendly and what’s the most fun – all from a local resident!

***

If you’re coming to town with no real agenda, make sure you stop at the Grapevine Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, located at 436 S. Main St., which is the “main drag” here in Grapevine. The knowledgable folks there will be able to give you advice and literature to tailor-make your vacation into what you want it to be.

The Usuals – Hotels:

Of course, Grapevine is famous for the Gaylord Texan Resort and the Great Wolf Lodge year-round. If you’re planning a vacation at either of these venues, check sites like GrouponGrapevine CVB and the venue’s site to learn about any deals or specials that are going on.

Both venues are located minutes from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW). If you fly into Love Field, I’d recommend renting a car with a GPS if you’re not familiar with the area. There’s lots of construction going on on the highways and many drivers never replace their “blinker fluid.” 🙂

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The Gaylord Texan Resort

The Skinny: The Gaylord Texan is hard to beat. No matter what time of year it is, they always have something special going on. They recently installed a water park to compete with Great Wolf – it’s smaller than the Wolf, but there are less children running around and all of the amenities are first-class, but so are the prices. The Gaylord is operated by Marriott, so if you are a Marriott Rewards member, you can cash in your chips for discounts, free rooms, etc.

The Great Wolf is, well, full of children. The amazing indoor/outdoor waterpark and inside games guarantee that your little one (and probably you, too) will have a blast! You can go get breakfast in the morning in your pajamas, have all kinds of souvenirs made, and the kiddos can play “MagiQuest,” which is described on the Great Wolf website as such:

Explore the lodge and take part in the adventure of a lifetime! MagiQuest turns Great Wolf Lodge into a live-action game where you’re the star. You’ll choose a special magic wand, top it with extra powers, and set off on a quest. Play for a few minutes or all day. Be sure to take your wand home and continue your adventure on your next trip to Great Wolf Lodge.

Or “ShadowQuest:”

Take your quest to the next level, young Magi! We need your help to battle the Shadowlord and collect runes in this challenging interactive adventure. The ShadowQuest guidebook provides secrets and clues to help you cast spells and complete your mission to save the light before it vanishes forever. When you succeed, you’ll receive a medal for your courage!

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Photo Courtesy of the Great Wolf Lodge

The rooms can be fun, with a separate area for the kids that resembles a treehouse, while the adults have a traditional King or 2 Queen bed set-up adjacent to the bunk beds. Of course, “regular” rooms are also offered, housing one King or two Queen beds and no bunks.

The bottom line is if you don’t want to be surrounded by children, then skip Great Wolf. Go to the Gaylord or the many hotels located in Grapevine, such as the Embassy SuitesHyatt PlaceHilton Garden Inn or Springhill Suites. There are also plenty of motels – Super 8 and Motel 6 being among them.

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Photo Courtesy of the Great Wolf Lodge

Restaurants abound in these areas, so you can have your pick of whatever you’re craving. For some guidance on local fare, click HERE.

NEXT: LOCAL DELIGHTS THAT YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF

Texas Renaissance Festival announces multi-year expansion with new pirate museum, giant slide

By Rebecca Hennes

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Photo: Texas Renaissance Festival

The Texas Renaissance Festival recently announced it will expand its enchanted forest area with two large attractions come the 2020 season.

The festival is the largest Renaissance-themed-event in the nation and attracts nearly half a million visitors each year, according to the event website.   Located about an hour’s drive north of Houston in Todd Mission, the nine-weekend event features hundreds of shops, performers, musicians and dancers set on a 55-acre, 16th-century European-inspired village.

For more information, visit https://www.texrenfest.com/.

North Texas Comic Book Show offers thrills for collectors and Cosplayers … and Deadpool’s hiney

The North Texas Comic Book Show was held February 15 and 16 at the Irving Las Colinas Convention Center. This decade-old show caters to comic fans, superhero movie fans and Cosplayers [costume play] of all ages. I was fortunate enough to get a peek behind the scenes.

The Show featured the comic writers and artists that enable characters such as Spider-Man and Batman to come to life on the page, with many characters eventually making it onto the silver screen.

Attendees come to get autographs, buy comics and character-related merchandise and participate in the Cosplay contest, where they can win cash and prizes.

The electric enthusiasm was in the air, as “fanboys” and “fangirls” got to meet some of their childhood heroes.

“This is actually my first convention ever. It was a great experience,” said attendee James Gadsden. “There were a lot of friendly dealers. Even the other patrons were amazing, helping me out, pointing out deals.”

The Show is the brainchild of Chris Latshaw, who found himself dissatisfied with a comic convention he had attended as a dealer in 2011, and decided to start his own show.

I caught up with Chris and some friends in the VIP lunch room, where the comic celebrities and organizers came to grab a sandwich, a drink or just a much-needed break.

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Jose Delbo clowning around with his family

“This show is my baby,” Latshaw said. “This year, we have the oldest living Batman artist, Joe Giella, who started back before Marvel Comics was even Marvel Comics. We have Jose Delbo, who is another artist who comes from a long time ago. He worked on both the Transformers as well as Wonder Woman and a Western Comic at one time called Billy the Kid. We have Bob Layton, who is famous for Iron Man and has been an integral part of what you see in the movies today. He developed a lot of [what you see on the screen] in the comics,” said Latshaw.

There were many artists, including both niche and well-known, who autographed comics and chatted with attendees.

One of the busiest booths housed Spider-Man artist Randy Emberlin, who is now retired from Marvel Comics.

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Randy Emberlin talks to attendees about his run at Marvel Comics

“I have been drawing since age four,” Emberlin said. “Comics actually taught me how to read, so I was reading at age four as well. I mostly drew stuff that was already in comic form back then. I still have a lot of my stuff from back then. They’re drawn in crayon and stapled to look like comics. It’s hilarious to look at now.

“I started inking Spider-Man at the end of 1988. I did it because Erik Larsen asked me to do it. I had met him years before, when he was a kid. He went to DC [Comics] and then to Marvel and then worked on the Spider-Man books. So, when he asked, I said, ‘I’ll take that hand-up any day!’ That was a book anybody would kill to work on,” Emberlin said.

Emberlin retired from Marvel in 2009 after 24 years of employment and now travels around the nation to comic shows and teaches drawing classes to local Portland students.

The other major offering at the Show was the Cosplay contest, which falls under the command of Jacob Long. “Cosplay is basically costume plus play [acting the character]. We just want people to have fun with it,” said Long.

“I came on board with this show in 2014. Cosplay is a natural extension of mainstream media, but it’s also an extension out of comics,” Long explained.

“There’s a community of about 6,000 Cosplayers, mostly based in North Texas,” Long told me. “We are all part of a community called North Texas Cosplay. I’ve been involved in Cosplay since 2012 and I am actively involved behind the scenes.”

The Cosplay contest was different from other contests in that the contestants did not have to be “pre-judged” to enter. Pre-judging in other competitions include minute attention to detail, which excluded many would-be participants.

The contest also emphasized the “theatrical” side of Cosplay. For example, if someone dressed up as Spider-Man, he/she would be judged on the look for the character plus how the contestant stayed in character behavior-wise.

Awards were handed out for best performance, best costume and best in show, which is a combination of both. The adults got cold, hard cash ($100 for first place, $50 for second and third place) and the winning kids got bags full of toys and other goodies.

I was fortunate enough to be able to help out with the contest, directing participants to go to the proper photo spot so the Show photographer could record their appearance for posterity.

The Show is held twice a year in February and July. For more information, visit https://www.comicbooksdallas.com/.

[P.S. I still think Captain America sports America’s Hiney. Sorry, Deadpool]

Former Colleyville resident McKenna Grace returns to Grapevine to showcase her new movie on Amazon “Troop Zero”

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McKenna Grace

By Nelson Thibodeaux

Long time Colleyville resident Fred Monks is the Great Grandfather of McKenna Grace, born in Grapevine 13 years ago and a previous resident of Colleyville before she was moved to the Los Angeles area to pursue her movie career.

McKenna made an appearance at Grapevine Tinsel Town for a private showing of her new movie Troop Zero. Local News Only (LNO) was invited to the premier and attended with approximately 300 friends and relatives of McKenna.

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Read more from NewsBreak…