For each convention I attend, I never know what to expect. But year in and year out, Dragon Con continually exceeds my expectations!
Dragon Con 2013 was no exception. This year, I arrived a little earlier than usual. As a first-time member of the Dragon Con Press, I arrived on Wednesday and took the pre-con tour, to get my bearings. On Thursday I picked up my Dragon Con badge and that night a special movie screening of Zombieland was paired with a great costume contest (including cash prizes and Dragon Con tickets) at The Fox Theatre. Apparently, these Zombies prefer popcorn to flesh:
Friday was serious business. First, I registered for Extras Casting Atlanta before working my way through the ominous crowds to attend Futurama: From the Woooorld of Tomorrow. This panel featured five of the featured Voice Actors of the show. It was sad to hear the talented actors discuss the (SECOND) impending doom for Matt Groening’s under-loved animated opus, but it was great to hear some fun behind-the-scenes stories of the stars. (Check out these great children’s costumes from the Dragon Con Masquerade):
After getting some great cosplayer photos meandering throughout the hotels, I eventually wound up at AMC’s The Walking Dead Cast Q&A panel. Unfortunately, after getting not-so-great seats and witnessing Walking Dead/Zombieland Zombie Tony Gowell entertain the audience for 25 minutes, it was finally revealed all four expected actors (Michael Rooker, IronE Singleton, Steven Yeun and Scott Wilson) were no-shows. The audience did NOT react too kindly at this revelation. In fact, all of the aforementioned actors were in attendance at the convention. So, either they were jerks and blew off the much-publicized panel or preferred to stick around the Celebrity Walk of Fame and get paid for autographs. Either way, they were missed. I didn’t dare waste my time to try to catch their later panels.
My next stop was attending the Destination Truth panel. I’ve heard Josh Gates speak at past conventions and he always impresses. At Dragon Con, his globe-hopping urban-legend investigator Erin Ryder made her first Dragon Con appearance. Josh shined in the spotlight and Ryder’s stories of Gates were instant classics. They showed a gag reel of the show’s humorous moments and took many questions from the audience. Later, I visited the Voice Actors of Walking Dead, where Chris Pope (The Space Pope) moderated a panel consisting of Dave Fennoy and Melissa Hutchison of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead. All this walking and hurry-up-and-waiting wore me out, so after a few adult beverages and a snack before heading back to The Fox Theater to attend Mythbusters: Behind the Myths Tour.
Saturday morning started off with a bang. The Dragon Con Parade was a spectacle unto itself. Luckily, I was located in a reserved space accompanied by Atlanta’s Finest and a blockade. Luckily, I was located right next to the Dragon Con TV hosts, so there was plenty of wisecracking to spare.
Later that day, I ventured through the multi-storied Vendors Room and was totally overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. An unexpected party broke out for the remainder of the day. Naturally, Dragon Con is known as a week-long party. Somehow, it lived up to its legendary title. In fact, I had a lot in common with the guys from The Hangover!
That night, I checked out the rave and then walked around to discover Dragon Con at 4 AM. I was blown away! This is when the party REALLY breaks out!
Sunday morning I arrived way too late to attend William Shatner’s panel. I was really looking forward to hearing him speak. Alas, it was not meant to be. Instead, I spent the majority of the morning watching the Robot Battles: Microbattles matches. I can never get enough of that whiff of ozone when one robot destroys another.
I wandered into the Marvel Superheroes (and Supervillians) Cosplayer photoshoot, which had been delayed due to inclement weather.
After an early-evening dinner at Trader Vic’s, including samples of their Whiskey Barrel and Gargle Blaster, we were off to attend the Dragon Con Masquerade.
Monday brought on a visit with the Cosplay Deviants. Check out the interviews with Madison Valentine, Porphyria, Hex Hypoxia, Envy Us and Freckle Sue. The gals were great sports to chat so early in the morning. As I was leaving, I ran across the Troma Entertainment booth, where I got a quick lesson in self promotion by Troma President Lloyd Kaufman. I wrapped up the convention by attending the main course of the day: More Robot Battles!
Wrapping up the week-long celebration, I popped into the Closing Ceremonies panel, where organizers revealed the year’s attendance numbers: 57,000. It’s official, the show is a success and growing every year! Can’t wait to return next year! Dragon Con should definitely be on your radar for 2014! It should be everyone’s Must-See Convention!