Dragon*Con 2011

Boy howdy.  Dragon*Con.  What a whirlwind of amazing times!

The group of us (Brad, Nikki, Niki, Zack, and me) left Tulsa on Wednesday night thirteen minutes ahead of schedule.  We arrived in Atlanta twelve hours later at 11:00 AM, tired and ready to be out of the van.  I checked into my room at the Sheraton (to a lobby blaring Star Wars music) and immediately went down to registration.  They did a new thing this year where they scanned barcodes on postcards; aside from a computer outage for awhile it wasn’t too awful getting registered and getting my badge.  Thursday isn’t an official Con day, but people start going out in costume anyway.  I enjoyed walking around the hotels and seeing people, including some familiar faces.

Friday is when things got real.  The only panel I really wanted to attend this year was the Back to the Future Panel with Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, and James Tolkan.  I put on my Marty costume and set out to do a little wandering first.  Over the course of the weekend, I’d say my costume was a 3 or 4 out of 10 in regards to demand for pictures, but everyone that took a picture was tremendously excited.  I also got a lot of compliments for accuracy, which made my geek heart swell.  When I made my way over to the Westin Hotel for the BTTF panel I ran into my first other Marty costume.  Although I was concerned about what it would do to the space-time continuum, I talked with him a bit and got some great pictures.  He had an accurate JVC camcorder and the right Aiwa tape player.  I was jealous!

The panel was good, many expected questions.  Christopher Lloyd is a lot like his characters IRL, a little disjointed, but fun.  Afterwards, I did a lot more wandering.  Three of the hotels are joined by sky bridges; since I was wearing many layers, I decided to avoid the outdoors when at all possible.  There were a lot of really amazing costumes this year.  I took way more pictures this time around.  I felt like I was able to tap into the vibe a bit more, too, especially in costume.  There’s an unspoken bond between folks cosplaying.

There were several very popular folks.  Of course, scantily clad women are always popular.  There were a few Rufio’s from ‘Hook’ that got chants wherever they went.  There was a Macho Man running around taking credit for stopping the Rapture.  I saw a Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter give a Star Wars rebel pilot crap for Porkins’ demise in ‘A New Hope’ only to have the pilot berate the fighters and speak honorably of Porkins’ sacrifice.  I saw Lando Calrissian and Captain Sisko get into a duel while the crowd chanted the classic Star Trek battle music.  Cobra Commander raged at Zack’s Doctor Doom shirt.  There was a whole group of Yip Yip Muppet aliens very in character (though they did surround a Captain America at one point and chanted ‘USA!’ instead.)  Jesus took Professor X’s wheelchair.  But probably the most elaborate group was the Pee Wee’s Playhouse folks:

Oh, and a drunken Gryffindor student complimented my costume.  When she went for a high five, I said, ‘Ten points to Gryffindor!’ and got a kiss for my nerd knowledge.  That was pretty awesome.  This blog doesn’t cover everything that happened…that would be impossible.  I hung out with my friends, met up with old friends, rekindled connections, made new ones, learned a lot, taught a little bit, and had the time of my life.  ‘Til next year, Atlanta.

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