You’re probably well aware by now that I’m a huge fan of Dragon Con. I know I’ve been mentioning it multiple times within the past few weeks. Over the past eight years, I have attended the con 7 times. I didn’t make it down there last year because a dear friend was getting married and I couldn’t afford the trip. This year, I’m making my triumphant return.
In the Beginning
I travel in wide nerd circles. Needless to say, Dragon Con appeared on my radar some years back and it was one of those events that I’d always wanted to attend. In 2008, I finally made it. I hopped on a plane and flew down to Atlanta, GA to be among my fellow nerds. After that first year, I was hooked.
That year, I roomed with a couple of friends of mine (hi, Mark and Cynthia!). Cynthia is a vendor at the con and I always make it a point to stop by her table frequently. If you’re interested in seeing what kind of stuff she makes, you can follow this link. If you’re at the con, stop by her table, Creativi-C Designs, and say “hi.” Tell her I sent you.
The con seemed almost overwhelming at first glance. First, there was the incredibly long line to pick up my badge. A con-goer could expect to spend a few hours on their first day there just waiting to pick up their badge and pocket guide. One year, some people blew up some balloons and the crowd tossed them around. Someone later made a balloon enterprise. It was amazing. At least hanging out in the line meant you made some early friends at the convention. Chatting with people while waiting for stuff is always fun.
Eventually, I learned to relax and just start going with the flow of the con. I picked out the panels I wanted to see and did my best to make them. A couple of years after that, I started using Twitter to try and coordinate hanging out with my friends at the con so I wasn’t just racing around trying to find them.
My Home Away from Home
It’s difficult to really articulate what truly brings me back year after year. It’s the whole package, really. I love wandering around the convention and seeing all of the people in costumes and the various groups of nerds just giggling with each other. I’ve made so many friends and gotten to be closer to friends I already had.
Over the years, I’ve roomed with a bunch of different people. I’ve had some great times and some not-that-great times (ask me about my late-night cleaning abilities sometime). I’ve gotten to randomly talk to people who I later found out where celebrities (Dana Snyder). I’ve run past celebrities while trying to make it from Point A to Point B. I’ve gotten to sit in and listen to a number of great panels.
This year, I’m looking forward to returning to the stages of a couple of fan tracks as a panelist. It’ll be my third year as a panelist. It’s a bit of a funny story how I got started doing the panel thing. I’m in this Dragon Con group on Facebook and one of the other members was talking about being a panelist and I mentioned that it’s always been a dream of mine to talk on a fan panel. He suggested applying for some of the panelist openings for one of the fan tracks. I signed up for 3, was informed that I was on 5 prior to the convention, and discovered that I was on 7 once I go there. One of those panels was for a show that I’d never really seen. Yes, I spent the night before the panel researching. That’s just how I roll.
10 a.m. – Under the Dome: Chrysalis Stephen King added to the Dome story this year. Panelists will share thoughts on Season 2 as it unfolds with emotional politics and mysteries.
4 p.m. – Quantum Leap 25th Anniversary Every Scott Bakula show and movie is really Sam, still leaping.
5:30 p.m. – Wizard of Oz Anniversary: Because, Because, Because Oil yourself and put ’em up for this salute to the greatest flying monkey movie ever.
7 p.m.- Friday Night: Sci-fi TV Death Zone Fond memories of the killing fields of quickly canceled sci-fi TV shows on Friday nights in the 1980s and 1990s.
10 a.m. – Geek Year 1984: Classic Sci-fi Roll-A-Panel A 20-sided die decides which classic Sci-Fi TV shows or movies from 1984 this panel will geek out about.
4 p.m. – Real Ghostbusters: The Best & The Beautiful Favorite episodes are discussed with a crowd of gatekeepers and keymasters.
5:30 p.m. – Cary Elwes: A Career of Unusual Size The star of Princess Bride, Men In Tights, and more excellent things discusses his career. (I will be moderating this panel. This means chatting with Cary Elwes. If one of you lovelies could take pictures/record this panel, I would be much obliged.)
8:30 p.m. – Truly Outrageous: Female Heroes From Classic Sci-fi Female heroes throughout geek history are the best ones. Here’s why.
10 p.m. – Bodice Rippers & Angst Blood, sex, and gore fill many popular historical and genre shows. A discussion of which shows do it right and which don’t.
This con will always be near and dear to my heart. It should be near and dear to yours as well. This site wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for someone asking me if I had some site or blog somewhere where I posted my thoughts. I created this site soon after. I owe a lot to Dragon Con and am looking forward to many years of adventuring in Atlanta to come.