Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Doodle 036 - There and Back Again, or How We Did Dragon*Con and Lived to See Another Con (part 1)

Ah, home, sweet, cat-filled home... it really feels as if we were gone for a bit over 2 weeks, when in reality we were just gone a handful of days.

Remember how I was freaking out about packing, not knowing where I was getting myself into and running off to Dragon*Con?

Well, this is part one of what happened... along with today's doodle.

Friday was quite a busy day, got up early, ran off to work, had my semi-annual work review (did great BTW), finished odds and ends that I didn't want my poor co-workers to get stuck with this week, ran out of time and had to go to a doc's appt that took quite a chunk of the afternoon.

By the time we finally hit the road it was, I believe, 6 or 7, we were tired, hungry, I was cranky because they had taken blood samples, and frankly that freaks me out more than I would like to admit, plus we had 5 hours of driving ahead of us. Still, thanks to Spotify and Google Maps, plus snacks, we managed to make it to the ATL in one piece.

Driving through rural Georgia in the dark, just as thrilling as it looks.

As we entered downtown Atlanta and neared our hotel, we started to spot a rather large crowd of Doctor Whos... and Green Arrows, and Lokis, and Captain Americas and... well, you catch my drift. We knew we were in friendly territory, Dragon*Con was in full swing and we had arrived right in the middle of its first night. Sorry, I was so tired and overwhelmed by the crowds I didn't take any photos.

We unloaded the car, got lucky finding the next to last spot for it in the parking garage, and got to our room. We didn't really have any plans, it was well past 12, we were tired, and we thought we would just crash after trying to pick some tracks, panels, etc and get ready for the next day.

Yeah, that didn't work. You see, Andrei's cousin, Ryan, was working at Dragon*Con this year. He is kind of a big deal in the comic book industry (he has a resume so long I won't even bother trying to remember it... but it is quite impressive), he was the primary reason for me to get Andrei to the con since they hadn't seen each other in ages.

The moment Ryan heard we had arrived, he came over to meet us. Many hugs later we were all walking to his hotel and spending quite a chunk of time talking and shooting the beeze. We finally left and ended up going to bed at nearly 4 a.m. in the morning.

Ah... good, sleep deprived times were ahead.

We managed to sleep about 3-4 hours before having to get up, get breakfast and drag ourselves up a very steep hill towards Peach Street for the Dragon*Con parade. We got there late enough to be about 5 people deep from the parade, so, I really don't have a lot of good photos... I did try though:

Check us out! Right in the middle of a sea of people. Feels like Disney World in the middle of July.

Weeping Angels! Daleks! Woot!

Ecto arrives

Oh look, the skeptics are here!

What is that in the back?

Oh! A rock monster! Cool.

Zombie hunting... incidentally, the Walking Dead actually filmed not too far from this spot.

Good old fashioned Munster family values.

The Incredible Hulk!

The USO girls, so cute!

Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor on the very left. Yes... I watch My Little Pony.

While the parade was going on, Andrei ran off to meet Ryan, and appeared again several minutes later holding something for me:

I was officially... official. Redundancy, it is good for you.

Dragon*Con membership acquired! Ryan was a sweetheart and gifted me one. Andrei ran off again to get himself a 3 day one and I went into the Hyatt to see what the Lord of the Rings panel's line looked like.

Peeps watching the parade from their balconies... Canada and Cobra representing!
I walked to the front of the line and sheepishly started to walk myself to the back end... by the time I reached some stairs that had no people sitting on them I felt hopeful and asked the peeps in line if that was the end of it... they laughed and said no, that the fire marshal just wasn't allowing people to sit on the stairs and that the line was still going outside... I chuckled and pressed onwards, out the door and onto the street. By the time I got to the end I figured only about 150 to 200 peeps were in front of me, so I put my stuff down and sat down for my nearly 2 hour wait.

Here is a photo of what my view was while I waited. Look! a building taller than 6 stores! Woot! (I live in the boonies).

You can see a Rainbowdash and a Sealab 2021 guy in the back.
Aaah, tall buildings relax me.
I spent my time just people watching and trying to adapt my comfort zone to "Super crowded" instead of my normal "3-4 people close by" limit. I get very anxious when I am in crowds, but I get over it easy if I have time to sit down and take it all in. My long-forgotten city girl training kicks in, and I start being completely OK with the idea of loosing my precious sphere of personal space.

After a while Andrei managed to find me and not long after that we were moving orderly into the ballroom where the panel was about to begin.

To keep us entertained, the Dragon*Con folks would run text bumps and silly nerdy parody commercials. I found most of them hilarious, and they kept us happy.

Just like watching Adult Swim!
I am a big LOTR fan, my mom used to read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to my brother and I every night before bed, when the first movie came out I was there for the midnight show and also for the third one, we watched the second one while visiting my folks in Belgium, so we didn't do a midnight showing then.

Anyway, here are some pics of the stars:

From the left: Silvester McCoy, Craig Parker, Billy Boyd and John Rhys-Davies.
Billy and Craig laughing together about on-set anecdotes.

John probably telling a joke.

Billy staring at me for no real reason.

Silvester being awesome/hilarious.

 I loved them all, specially Billy and Silvester McCoy... seriously, Silvester is a riot, I really wasn't much of a fan of his going into the panel, mostly because I, apparently, am too young to have seen a lot of his work (ahem... yeah I'll go with that, that's my story and I'm sticking to it), but after how much he made us all laugh I am now a fan indeed.

They mostly reminisced about LOTR filming and Silvester tried his best to NOT talk about the Hobbit, which made for great comedy.

After our first panel Andrei was getting into the whole con groove, he wasn't sure he would like it (he is a nerd/geek on denial, the man knows so much about Star Trek for example, that it can be a bit scary), but he was loving it.

On our way to the artist alley we took several photos of costumes:
Batman, Superman and Doctor Freeze duke it out old style.

Monster Display.

Bolin from The Legend of Korra. Bolin is my favorite :)

Sculptor working on a "Fruit Monster". Made me want to sculpt again.

I digged her wings, they were awesome!

Isn't this Fluttershy cosplayer precious? I asked her about her element of Harmony (the necklace), she said she worked with a metal worker to craft it. Too cute.

Assassin's Creed cosplayers

Game of Thrones anyone?

Fooly Cooly (FLCL) anime cosplay. She crafted the guitar herself, had the fan in the back and everything.

Merida was a very popular costume this year.

This guy was so cool, he sparkled like crazy.

Toddlers and Tiaras, Dragon*Con edition!

Companion cube cosplay with cake included.
We visited Ryan and his friend Sean down at the artist's alley and watched them work for a while before going to lunch:

Watching the professionals do their thang.

Ryan talking with his fans.

We used the rest of the day gawking at costumes, getting acquainted with where everything was, and hanging out with Ryan again after he was done with work.

We ended up at the Marriott taking photos of awesome costumes... (sorry, it was hard to take good pics while being packed in like sardines)

This was hilarious to watch walking about

Russel from Up!

Voltron was in the house.

I have NO idea how she was keeping her costume on... the guys were going ga-ga over it of course. Oh, she's Witchblade.

Venture Bros time!

Hawk Girl - Andrei said she had won a competition and that she looked even cooler with her mask on.

A mildly crowded Marriott

Burlesque Power Rangers, I thought they were great.

I don't think we went to bed until at least 2 a.m. that day, but we were hitting our stride and thanks to the Dragon*Con app I knew what I wanted to do the next morning... The True Blood panel.

But for now I'll leave it here, I had a very late night work shift yesterday (didn't get to bed until 4 a.m.), drove back home and have been fighting the not-so-mythical ConCrud® so I can get back in the office tomorrow.

I know our cats were missing us like crazy, they kept meowying at us for about 2 hours after we arrived... and so, I doodled this:

Where were you and where's my food? - Blue pencil and mechanical pencil on plain Moleskine notebook. Aprox 15 mins.


LeAnn Woodward said...

Did you get to meet up with Jen and see her costume in person?

It looks like it was a blast! I know my hubby would never go for that kind of thing but his best friend, who by extension is one of my best friends would LOVE it! :)

Dixie Cyanide said...

Stumbled across your blog looking for photos of us, I was the Red Ranger in the burlesque power rangers group. :D Awesome blogs, I'll definitely be back!