Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Dragoncon 2013 diary

Tinkerbell and Superman cosplayers!
I’m baaaack!

Back from Dragoncon, incredibly exhausted and very, very poor now. Well, I was poor before, but how could I not go to Dragoncon?!?

First things first, because I know 90 percent of the people looking at Dragoncon posts just want to see pictures. You can view my gallery of pictures on my Facebook page, and here's a link to view them even if we're not friends!


This year was a lot of fun! As I said in my previous post, my niece and her boyfriend met me in Atlanta Thursday for this year’s convention. I reeled in the crazy and don’t think I embarrassed my niece in front of her boyfriend, whom I’d never met before. He actually turned out to be very nice — and seemed as excited as I was to be there. We both wanted to cosplay, but Brittney (the niece) was like uh-uh, no way! Shesh. I don't know where she gets it from.

We started our adventure by meeting for a late lunch at Atlanta’s Chow Baby restaurant, which is kind of a neat place. If you’re ever in Atlanta, check out this fun Asian fusion restaurant. Then we checked into the Sheraton, and whoa mama, what a crowd. I’ve never stayed overnight during Dragoncon — I always drive in one morning and drive home that same night — but my goodness, it was chaos parking and getting checked in due to the sheer crowd of people doing the same! Chaaaos! Our hotel room was very nice. I kind of didn’t want to leave it, it was so nice. But I did, getting in line to grab my Dragoncon badge since I had preregistered and bought a membership this year. I waited for about 30 minutes in between two guys who were debating whether or not Luke and Leia truly could have had an incestuous relationship in “Star Wars” (I’m not even kidding) and a couple of awesome-looking women already dressed as Harry Potter characters.

Welcome to Dragoncon.

After that me and "the kids"(they're 20-somethings and not really kids, but I prefer to call them "the kids") ventured out to a special showing of “Zombieland” at the famous Fox Theater in Atlanta. That theater is amazing! I can’t believe how huge and neat it was inside. Brittney and I decided it would make a great location to film a horror movie in. Just sayin’. If you’re ever in Atlanta, I highly recommend taking the theater’s tour. You won’t be sorry. 

Friday's "Torchwood" panel

Friday morning we got up insanely early — 6:45 a.m., which is unheard of for me — grabbed breakfast, the kids got their badges, and off we went! It was kind of fun
Friday's "Torchwood" panel
having two Dragoncon newbies in tow as it made me feel quite powerful directing them through crowds to the right places. I fear they would have been swallowed up by the crowds or ended up hostages in the hood if I hadn’t been there to lead the way. And Hotlanta earned its name last weekend, let me tell you. Hot. Humid. I roasted in the sun waiting for a few panels and my face is still sunburnt. (Mental note: Take sunscreen next year).

The kids agreed to accompany me to the “Torchwood” panel in our hotel Friday morning, because my niece is all about “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and both Jane Espenson and James Marsters (Buffy alums) were on that panel. Seriously. I think I was a bad (or good?...hmmm) influence, because I would have Buffy marathons with my niece when she was, like, 7, because no one else would watch it with me, and then she started having marathons on her own and she too became a lifelong Buffy/Joss Whedon fanatic. The "Torchwood" panel was great! Eve Myles is very entertaining to listen to in person, and can I just say that Gareth David-Lloyd is way hotter in person than on TV. I seriously had no idea he was so hot. John Barrowman wasn’t at this panel, but he was on my list to stalk later in the day, so it was all good.

Next, we rushed over to the Whedonverse Guest Panel, with Nicholas Brendan and Kristine Sutherland from “Buffy” and Miracle Laurie from “Dollhouse.” This is the panel that convinced my niece to try Dragoncon. It was a lot of fun. Nick was very entertaining and Kristine told some great stories I’d never heard before about the show. After this, we decided to head to the Walk of Fame (autograph area) so the niece could try and meet both of them. Holy cow, that area was packed and we got there right when it opened! My posse was excited by “The Walking Dead” actors in there and ended up meeting Scott Wilson (Hershel) and the actress who played Tonks in “Harry Potter” instead. Young people — they’re so easily distracted from their goals. Meanwhile, I had gone over to see Eve Myles because I needed her autograph for my “Doctor Who” collection. She was awesome. Turns out she’s a major Wonder Woman fan like me, so we bonded over that in the minute or two we chatted. Next, I went over and got in John Barrowman’s line because, of course, I needed his autograph for my “Doctor Who” collection as well. His line was loooooooong, and I mean looooooooooong. When I finally got up to him, he thanked me for my patience in waiting, signed a pic, and that was it. But I had fun chatting with the folks in line with me, which was a novelty because I don't know too many people who watch "Doctor Who" and enjoy it as much as I do. 

Brittney and her boyfriend with Nicholas and Kristine (Buffy)
Me and John Barrowman
After that, we left the Walk of Fame to find the celebrity photo opps, because Brittney and her boyfriend had decided to get a picture with Steven Yeun (Glenn) from “The Walking Dead” but Steven Yeun wasn’t there Friday. They decided to get a picture with Nick and Kristine instead, something that made my niece’s childhood dream come true. Seriously, she was so happy to have met anyone from Buffy. I should get the Coolest Aunt Award for making this happen. Just sayin.’ I got a picture with John Barrowman, which was an experience. He was grabbing people’s boobs, fake humping them, and tipping people back in pictures. I was nervous, but I think my height intimidated him, so he grabbed me for a very tight hug and said, “Quick cuddle!” Then he spanked my behind before the next person came up. Yep, Capt. Jack spanked my bottom. It. Was. Awesome.

We wandered around looking at cosplayers and found food before going to the Avengers Ball/party. This is where I should note that I am not a partier. I hate parties. I don’t drink. Don’t cuss. Don’t smoke. I don’t even dance. Generally, I don't even like to be around people who do these things. I really should wear a sign that reads WEIRD INTROVERTED WRITER. We staked out a spot in the balcony and took pictures of people in costume. We’re wild party animals, I tell ya.

Around midnight, we went back to our room despite the parties raging all over the place. We collapsed exhausted and...slept. 


"Smallville" panel
The next day was much of the same, except me and the kids went our separate ways. I caught the William Shatner panel and “Torchwood” panel with Barrowman and laughed so hard I almost wet my pants. I met Allison Mack of “Smallville,” which was an incredible experience. I know not everyone was a fan of "Smallville," but I LOVED it — especially the last two seasons when they finally started writing Lois correctly. Chloe Sullivan is one of my all-time favorite characters, ever. Allison was very kind and let me fangirl over her for a few minutes. Got her autograph. Then I went to the “True Blood” panel and was a little underwhelmed. Honestly, this panel usually has hot guys on it, but this year, not so much. Skarsgard? Manganiello? Kwanten? Nope, not this year. I actually left early and caught the “Smallville” panel, lucking out and getting a seat on the front row before the room filled up! Tried going to “The Walking Dead” panel Q&A with its cast, but it was full and no seats were left. I never get into this panel, no matter how hard I try! Ugh. Same with the "Supernatural" panel I had planned as a backup. So I went and grabbed something to eat and...then I left, sad that it was already over for me for another year.

It was a fun weekend. Like I said, I don’t party much, so I was all about stalking celebrities. Once again, I totally missed out on all of the writing panels this year, which sucks because Laurell K. Hamilton was there and Sherrilyn Kenyon, not to mention a ton of authors I’ve met on Twitter who I would have liked to have said hello to.

There's always next year.

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