Supernatural Dallas Con: The Boys Return (Close to) Home

The Supernatural convention in Dallas is always fun because it’s the closest we get to the boys’ hometown (until next year, when the con moves to their actual hometown, Austin!). That means they’re rested and have friends and family joining them and everyone is in a really good mood. That was the case for this con too! And it was equally fun for me because I had lots of friends there too.

I was excited to escape from the Philly winter to warmer Texas, only to arrive just as the giant Texas ice storm was ending. There were still piles of ice along the streets and slippery patches, and many people had stories of digging out their ice-encased cars that morning.

The convention center and the surrounding area was turned into a magical place, looking like a fairy corridor instead of a pathway through a parking lot.

And every branch or railing was a work of art if you looked closely enough.

Climate change, not fun. But really pretty for Liz’s camera to capture for posterity!

My intrepid friends came to pick me up at the airport anyway. #SPNFamily.

Friday was hosted by the lovely Jason Manns, as Fridays often are, in his comfy Mr. Rogers-esque sweater.

I caught some of David Haydn Jones’ panel on Friday – I love that he always dresses the part of wherever the con is, and this time was no exception. Cowboy David!

He’s working on a new song for karaoke, which is still a secret, but I’m looking forward to it.

He had only good things to say about Supernatural.

David: On my first day, Jared, Jensen and Misha were so collegial. Then they gave me a Bentley and a grenade launcher – I was a kid in a candy store!

What’s not to like? Well, actually the fire in that scene – which was real!

David: When you see that fire behind me, that’s real. Jared and Jensen were like, I’m outta here!

David is a great story teller. He told a hilarious story of that gag reel moment when he was attempting to say ‘chupacabra’ over and over, which was funny enough. But when he was saying ‘chupa chupa’ apparently in Spanish that means ‘sucky sucky’ so… very dirty.

David: There’s a whole fic on Ao3…

Also David, though I can’t remember context: You can always trust this audience for testicle humor.

David said that Ketch was originally conceived of as a sort of East End brawler – who sounds a lot like Billy Butcher on The Boys. He did have some more serious things to say too, including how being onscreen can exacerbate any kind of body dysmorphia someone might have. On the other hand, dressing up for a living is fun.

David: One of the fun parts of this job is getting to cosplay for a living.

Briana Buckmaster couldn’t be at the con because she’s filming a movie, but Kim Rhodes had her join the panel a bit through Facetime anyway!

Kim told the amusing story of her favorite memory from filming Kung Fu – which wasn’t actually from filming at all. Richard Speight, Jr. was directing, and they were walking back from lunch when a guy stopped Richard and asked for a selfie with him, proclaiming himself the worlds’ biggest Supernatural fan (and never noticing it was Kim there). As he walked away, Richard scoffed: “Not the biggest!”

They also apparently had a lot of fun on the Kung Fu set voicing the actor lobsters who were sometimes more well treated than some humans lol.

Like David, she had all good things to say about Supernatural.

Kim: I’ve been fortunate to work on shows where people who are at the top of the food chain make sure that no one gets fucked. Jared and Jensen were the same way. I’ve been so lucky to work with generous, lovely human beings. There’s not an atom less on Supernatural that it felt like my birthday.

She had kind words for the fandom too.

Kim: The greatest gift this fandom gave me is permission.

I love the way Kim greets fans, so full of joy each and every time.

It’s what she writes about in her chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood, powerfully.

She also had a visit from a tiny but awesome fan who joined her onstage – adorable!

We all had a delicious home cooked meal at a friend’s house on Friday night (and some homemade cherry cobbler which, mmmmm) and then I collapsed like I almost always do on Friday nights at cons – which meant I didn’t get to go to karaoke. The problem with the con being at a convention center is that it’s a little difficult to get back and forth, so once I was dropped off at my hotel, that was it for me!

On Saturday, we had a panel with Smallville’s Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, which I’d really enjoyed at the last con too – this time they had a table, which confused me when I came in because it looked for a moment like I’d wandered into a conference instead of a convention. Michael played his guitar in between the two answering questions.

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Excited for ‘Walker: Independence’? Justin Johnson Cortez Is!

As a long-time Supernatural fan, there’s a lot to be excited for this fall on television. There’s the prequel, The Winchesters, on The CW, with Jensen and Danneel Ackles executive producing, and Jensen Ackles’ guest starring role on ABC’s Big Sky (with none other than Reba as the big bad). There’s the return of Jared Padalecki in Walker for a third season (yay!) and a prequel for that show as well – Walker: Independence (nicknamed ‘Windy’ by its director and thus captioned that way in all my saved files), with Padalecki exec producing. At some point, Gotham Knights with Misha Collins will join the party. There is both excitement and controversy about all these shows because fandom is fandom, but I’ll be watching and reporting back in some fashion here (assuming I have a prayer of keeping up with all this TV!)

Although Jared won’t be appearing in Walker: Independence, his executive producing keeps it in the Supernatural extended family, and there’s a lot of buzz about the show, which looks absolutely beautiful in terms of location and cinematography. This week I got a press release spotlighting principal actor Justin Johnson Cortez, whose character Calian I’m excited to meet, so thought I’d share. (Parentheticals added because … because I’m excited!)

Native-American/Latino actor, writer, producer and all-around creative Justin Johnson Cortez is set to star in Walker: Independence, premiering Thursday, October 6, a spin-off prequel of the hit CW series Walker. He’s also set to star in the upcoming indie film “Gift of Fear”, which highlights the major crisis of missing and exploited women devastating Native populations across the US and Canada.

Set in the late 1800s, Walker: Independence begins with Abby Walker (Katherine McNamara) left for dead after her husband is murdered. She survives thanks to the Apache tribe who tend to her injuries and Calian, her Native guide who takes her to Independence and an uncertain future. On her quest for revenge, her path crosses with Hoyt Rawlins (Walker and Ten Inch Hero alum Matt Barr), which ultimately leads to an entangled relationship for the three characters. (Intriguing…). Johnson Cortez takes on this role with the weight of his ancestors on his shoulders – a Native Yaqui, he learned to speak Apache through an Apache translator on set. He also did the majority of his own stunts, including some impressive ones on horseback. (Looking forward to seeing that!)

“When this opportunity came up, I was a bit nervous because I wanted to make sure that the character was going to be represented in a positive way”, Johnson Cortez, who is Yaqui and Latino, says. “I didn’t want to represent the same old image of Native American characters onscreen, assimilating into Western culture, so I’m excited to dive in deeper and show the complexities behind this character. There is a way to tell this story by sharing his interests and curiosity in the town in the expansion of the West authentically. That’s going to come out when exploring his past through his history and experience in the world up to that point.” 

Born and raised in Santa Paula, California, just outside of rustic Ojai, Johnson Cortez still lives in the rural house he grew up in. As a youth, he loved and excelled in anything athletic from skateboarding, surfboarding, snowboarding, football, baseball, to riding dirt bikes and motorcycles. It wasn’t until his mid-20s that he began showing an interest in acting and began taking classes, which ultimately led to getting signed with a manager and agent. Around this time, he also began writing as well, as he didn’t see roles that featured characters like him. Half Native Yaqui and half Latino on his mother’s side, he was disappointed in the lack of representation in film and television. He additionally has another project soon to be announced which highlights the lives of Native people in an honest and impactful way. Cortez has also guest starred on Fox’s 911: Lone Star and Lucifer. He also served as actor/writer/director/producer of the short film The Fall, a 2020 Skins Fest official selection.

A true handyman and artist at heart, Johnson Cortez enjoys using his hands to build custom furniture (his whole home is filled with his craftsmanship), riding his motorcycles, painting and doing art/stencil work out of wood blocks, and spending time with his wife Rachel and two daughters Olivia and Evelyn.

I was already looking forward to Walker: Independence for its fascinating premise, talented cast and its gorgeous locations and cinematography – now I’m even more excited!

And as a lifelong Supernatural fan, I’m so proud of Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins and the entire cast for all the great story telling and wonderful entertainment they’re putting out in the world.


You can read the Supernatural actors’ feelings

about the show and the fandom (and fandom

itself) in Family Don’t End With Blood and

There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done –

links here or at: