Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Adventures in Fangirling: Dragon Con 2013

It's been almost two weeks, and I am just now getting around to writing my Dragon Con post. What can I say? No rest for writers! Especially writers preparing for release.

When my husband and I first decided to go to Dragon Con, I was a bit nervous. We're not exactly very social, and tend to shy away from events that have large crowds. Heck, we go to the movies during the day for that reason. So you can imagine how anxious I was at the thought of sticking us in large crowds packed together like sardines.

Surprisingly enough, it didn't bother us that much. We had a few moments of being completely overwhelmed, but in the grand scheme of things, it didn't matter. It did keep us from certain events, like the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Ball. We tried to go, but the entire bottom floor of the Marriott seemed to packed with people who were trying to get in. We couldn't even discern where the line was through the massive crowd pushing their way towards the door and being redirected by the Dragon Con volunteers (poorly, but in their defense, there were A LOT of people to herd around).

This is me, all smiles as we set out for Atlanta.
I didn't take anymore pictures after we hit traffic.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. We started out Thursday to Atlanta, getting a bit more of a late start than we wanted. Pre-registration was until 10pm, so we weren't really worried about it since we'd still be there by four or five o'clock. Well, what was supposed to be a three hour drive turned into seven hours because of a wreck and a GPS that insisted on taking us around our ass to get to our elbow. By the time we finally got to the hotel, the Dragon Con Facebook feed said they were shutting down the pre-registration lines. So we decided we would get an early start in the morning to register and then head to our panels.

We met two really cool people at the MARTA station who were also first timers, Amanda and Joel. We decided to stick together and headed to registration. The line was HUGE. It wrapped around the building twice. We were pretty sure we were going to be there all day. Luckily, the pre-registration and registration system is very effective. We ended up only being in line for I think about an hour or so. We took one look at the John Barrowman line after that, and decided to go grab some lunch instead. I'm kinda bummed that we didn't get to see him, but we were convinced that there was no way that many people in line would fit into the room for his panel. Turns out, we were wrong. I had a friend who jumped into line 15 minutes before the panel started and still got in. Lesson learned: Trust the lines. But our tummies were full and we did a little bit of exploring, having fun with our new friends until we all got in line for Richard Dean Anderson.

I love that guy. I wish I had pictures, but our camera and our phones weren't agreeing with the lighting, so they are all blurry. He was a hoot. We split up with our friends after that (the guys exchanged numbers) with plans to meet up at the Doctor Who ball. We headed to the Timey Wimey Puppet Show, which was hilarious! I seriously suggest you check them out on YouTube.

After that, we headed to Exploring Folklore in Stargate, which was very interesting. We got a message from our friends saying they were pooped and heading back to their hotel, and then we headed to the Doctor Who ball. And then we promptly fled to the MARTA station. Which is a shame, because we were dressed in the style of Doctor Who (I like to call it cosplay light hehe).

Clara and The Tenth Doctor. Sort of.

We decided to sleep in the next morning. I think we finally made it there around noon. We visited the vendors, scoring two Doctor Who shirts and various other stuff I can't think of at the moment. Then we headed off to get our picture taken with Richard Dean Anderson and Christopher Judge. Yup, I got myself in the middle of a scifi fangirl sandwich. =D It was awesome and that picture will be on our wall in a frame soon. After the picture, we went to the Stargate SG1 Reunion panel. Richard Dean Anderson and Teryl Rothery were both late (traffic was a nightmare and they were driven around, obviously), so the rest of the panel told us not to cheer when Richard Dean Anderson came out, but to do a slow clap. Then they asked one girl near the front to be the lone crazy fan, which she did perfectly. It was hilarious. Directly after the panel, I was thrilled to see a sizable group of Stargate cosplayers joining together for a picture.

Then I took a picture with a Daniel Jackson look alike, meaning I've come that much closer to making my dream of meeting Daniel Jackson (or at least the actor who plays him) come true. He had a British accent, too. So I met a British Daniel Jackson. Amazing how much hotter Daniel became in my eyes with that accent...

We stayed in the Westin (our favorite hotel of all, by the way--we are staying there next year) for a writerly panel from the Urban Fantasy track called Supernatural Playlist: Music in Urban Fantasy. Now, I don't write urban fantasy (yet), but I do read it a lot and was very happy when Within Temptation was brought up and referred to as pretty much *the* sound of urban fantasy in general. I recognized a few of the authors from local panels. It was a lot of fun, so my husband and I decided to stick around for the world-building panel afterwards. I was going to go to the Buffy Horror Picture Show in the same building, but I was overwhelmed by the lines again. But I'm glad we stayed with the urban fantasy track. It was a lot of fun and a nice reprieve from the large rooms and masses of people.

We called it a night after that, but MARTA was so packed that it took us two hours to get a train. I think that alone convinced us to stay in a host hotel next year.

We slept late Sunday morning (since we didn't get back to the hotel until around 3am). When we got to Dragon Con, we basically milled about. I decided to take a look at the Walk of Fame. This is where the hubby got a bit overwhelmed. We did one round and he took pictures of me with a lot of people (only the cheaper ones--I can't exactly afford to pay $40 for a photo op, even if it does come with an autograph). James Marsters was there signing autographs, but not taking pictures. Since I missed him on the Buffy panel and we hadn't blow our budget yet, I decided to pay for a Froggy Photo with him. I didn't get a digital copy, though, so you'll have to use your imaginations. Oh, heck. Or I'll post the picture I took of it with my phone.

 I continued to make my rounds, getting pictures with Noel Clarke (Doctor Who), K.C. Collins (Lost Girl), Paul Amos (Lost Girl), Kristine Sutherland (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Alex Zahara (Stargate SG1, Once Upon a Time, Arrow, Sanctuary, Blood Ties, and much more), and Christopher Judge (Stargate SG1--yes, I had to get another picture with him). You can check those pictures out below, along with some of the awesome cosplay we came across. After I was done squeeing like the fangirl I am, we went to the Defiance panel. Those guys are awesome. They talked about a lot of stuff, including their process (Jaime Murray had an awesome answer using animals for movement). Some where along the way, my husband and I realized we had failed to watch the last two episodes....so, yeah. Got spoiled. Oops.

Moving on! The Defiance cast got a kick out of the cosplayers for the show. So much so that Grant Bowler got some of them to come up afterwards so he could get pictures with them. He even had his phone out so he could get some.
We picked up my picture with James Marsters after that and called it a night. Then we fought with the GPS again since it insisted on telling us that there was a TGI Fridays where apartments clearly were. We ended up at the Fuddrucker's we had passed over an hour ago.

Monday was an early day for us since it was the last day. We packed everything up, checked out of the hotel, and headed to the MARTA station. We got there in time to be one of the first in line for the Annual Stargate Hangover Panel, which was hilarious. I absolutely adore Dan Payne, I really do. He's so funny. Then I headed to the Lost Girl panel, where Paul Amos had decided to cosplay as Zoie Palmer since she had to cancel.
He kept the wig on the entire time, and even answered some questions as Zoie. I was entertained. But I was also sitting next to a very smelly person, so I was ready to get the hell out of there.

And that was it for our panels. I had something lined up for every hour so we'd always have back up plans, and that worked out really well. We got to see the things we most wanted to see (with the exception of Mythbusters and John Barrowman) and had a lot of fun. We met up with Amanda and Joel one more time to browse the vendors, then I was thrilled to meet a writerly friend Katy Sozaeva and ended up tiredly rambling a lot more than I intended to. After that, it was definitely time to go home.

I'm so glad we went though. We've already recruited two friends to come with us next year, bought our memberships, and booked our room at the Westin. Let the countdown to DragonCon 2014 commence!

Doctor Who Cosplay:

Claras! Or rather, Clara and Oswin. =)
 Stargate Cosplay:

She's a Stargate! Complete with an unstable vortex! How awesome is that??

Other Cosplay:

A Tale of Two Wookies:

My husband actually thought I had run into the real Abby from NCIS
Look closely...wait for it...wait for it...
The first person to guess who this is gets an ebook copy of
Heirs of War (after the release date)

Waving My Fangirl Flag High:
 Alex Zahara was so incredibly nice and down to earth. He heard me say I run a fan thing for Stargate (it's a small thing, but was bigger a few years ago), so he gave me a free autograph. How cool is that?

 The Lost Boys..er, the Boys from Lost Girl, er...Men of Lost Girl? Hotties, dammit!

 Mrs. Summers herself (aka Best Mom of a Supernatural ever) and Mickey (aka best transition to badass ever)

When Christopher Judge's agent said he wanted to take another shot just to be sure he got it, I didn't argue at all.

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