Saturday, September 10, 2016

DragonCon 2016 Recap

Holy Bananas, folks, another year of con has come and gone.  There are so many things to tell you! First off there was a hurricane that was coming up the coast.  It brought a lot of wind and sprinkles of rain.  The weather was AWESOME it was in the 70's and with the wind it was not ungodly humid and sauna like.  WOO HOO for hurricanes that are just down the coast.

This year it seemed like there were more people arriving early and staying late.  Usually there was a huge influx of people on Thursday.  This year it was on Wednesday.  Also, there were more people there on Monday than in years past.  Cool!  There were events on Thursday this year also.  The Geek Sing-a-long was a hit and so was the wrestling.  Both were a lot of fun.  The Marriott got a whole lot of new furniture.  It was EVERYWHERE.  It took them 2 days to get it all stored for the con.  It was beautiful while it was out.  I know people are still mourning the Volpin pattern Marriott carpet.  The new one is not all that great to look at.   BUT, when you look at it from the higher levels it is sooo cool.  ALSO, this helps for people who are lost.  The stripes are perpendicular to the sky bridges to the Hyatt and the Hilton so if you are following the lines, you are going the wrong way...see, there is something good about the change.  Besides, folks, this is not the first time the carpet has changed in the Marriott.  Have a cheer, in a few years they will change it again and we will mourn this one leaving.  LOLOLOL

I was on a panel for the first time.  YAYYY Conquered that fear of public speaking.  I helped out with the DragonCon Newbies group and led a walking tour for the first time.  WOOOOOT.  I got a Pic with Daredevil and a Fucking Pissant as my mom calls him.  The amount of great panels I attended were immeasurable.  The friends and fellow geeks I got to hang out with are too many to mention.  You know who you are.  Thanks for another great con!

I had a photo op with this one guy and I was worried because he portrays a particularly unpleasant character.  When I got in the photo line it was not very long.  I was kind of nervous.  Sometimes celebrities are hit or miss with the con scene.  In this line I decided I would go to his fan panel that I was not previously planning to go to.  I usually try to avoid the chaos of the celebrities if I can.  Since his photo line was so short I was worried there would not be a full room for his panel.  I went over to the Hyatt to get in line and it was about 20 minutes before the panel was to begin.  The line was told long before I got there that it had been capped.  WHAT?!?!?  The end of the line went all of the way around the Hyatt and began to lap itself.  YAYAY!  I was wrong and he did get DragonCon Love.  I am so proud of my people for not giving him the cold shoulder.  Everyone that was in line did not get into the panel.  I have a friend who was in the line before it began to lap itself and she did not get into the room until 30 minutes after it started and someone had left.  HUGS to all of the people who waited in that line!!!!

Charlie Cox, aka Matt Murdock, Daredevil from Netflix or Tristain from Stardust was the most amazing celeb I have met.  That says a lot.  John Barrowman is hard to top....ok maybe they are tied.  When getting a celeb photo op you are herded in like cattle and are with the celeb 10 seconds tops.  With Charlie, he introduced himself, asked my name, where I was from and if I was having a good time.  WHAT?!?! This is the coolest celeb ever!  Most just say hi and bye.  That is if you are lucky...This is NOT bashing on celebs...it is just that there are so many fans and such little time. I am sure it is tiring for them.  Please do not think that I have anything unpleasant to say about celebs.  This is just saying that an encounter with one went above and beyond to make those 10 seconds smashing!

This year there was a very distinct difference between good and bad panels.  I went to two in the same room and the same problems were there for both panels.  Difficult to hear...we were told to NOT close the door.  Not sure what that was about and the panelists were not prepped in any way.  Very chaotic.  Another toughie was about Genetics...I get that this is a very scientific topic..however it was supposed to be about Harry Potter.  I think it was about genetics and then just throw in some Harry Potter references.  Kind of a bummer.  There were lots of kids in there and if I thought it was a bit difficult to follow, I am sure they did too.  There was a panel that the Tolkien track puts on every year.  Westeros vs Middle Earth.  The panelists were given a topic and told to research it ahead of time and they would be given an allotted time to talk about it.  This was so well planned.  The panelists were prepared and organized.  This is one of the best panels I have seen in awhile.  Then again, I have never been to a bad panel put on by the Tolkien Track.

I found a new track I really do not know why it took me so long to find.  It is the Fantasy Lit track.  Charlotte and Angel, the track directors are delightful and put on two great panels that I saw.  Both were organized, interactive and they knew their subject matter. The other panel I saw of theirs was DragonSex.  This was the funniest panel I think I have ever been to. They had Todd McCaffery there and they talked about how dragons have sex. It was appropriately inappropriate, there was a rocket scientist who told us how much time the dragons had to have sex in the air before they hit ground...It was 6 minutes if they did not extend their wings and if they extended the wings it could last up to 2 hours.  LOLOL There was a sign language translator...HOLY COW was he into the discussion. There was a hearing impaired person but she did not speak English so there was an ASL interpreter that was translating to a hearing impaired translator who could then translate from English to French SL. The French guy was the funniest thing I have ever seen.  This interpreter was so animated that by the end of the panel we, the audience, were all doing the SL gestures in response to him. I think all three of those folks probably had more fun than the rest of us put together.  So not planned and so amazing.

The Newbies walking tour was new for me this year also.  I stood at the door and gave away tickets to get you into the groups for the tours.  I did this for awhile.  While this was going on, we answered questions while we waited for the next group of 20 to fill up.  When it was time for me to take my group I think things went well.  I stopped my tour more than expected but I think the more info you can give the better.  I had a pair of girls that started at the front of the group and the further we went, the further back they got in the group until finally they and my wrangler went missing.  We waited to see if they could catch up but unfortunately they never did.  We got back to the beginning room and did more Q&A.  I had so much fun.  A Big Thanks to Kim, Kevin, Sue and Michael for setting this up.  I think this is sooo invaluable to anyone who takes the time to stop by.

All in all, this was another AMAZING year.  I did not fangirl out or embarrass myself so that was great.  Met more new folks and tried more new things.  I can't wait for next years adventure.