Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dragon*Con 2011: My Extremely Tentative Schedule

Miracle of miracles, it’s Saturday afternoon and the Dragon*Con pocket program just went up!
An even bigger miracle is the fact that I was able to take a supposed poo break to duck into the bathroom and download it to my phone and then e-mail it to my work address in about thirty seconds. My Droid X fucking rocks. I never could have done that on the Blackberry.
So give me a few minutes to look over the materials and I’ll be right back with my (tentative) schedule. I’m pretty sure I won’t finish today as it’s already 14:00, but I’ve got Monday and Tuesday to wrap it up.

Okay. It’s Monday morning and I’ve now had plenty of time to play around with the Dragon*Con app and peruse the schedule. There are a lot of conflicts, but you kind of have to go in knowing you’re not going to end up doing about sixty percent of the stuff you plan to do. I’ll usually have three or four absolute musts as far as panels or events and work from there.
Also, a number of folks have been trying to convince me to come out on Thursday night. Apparently that’s a big deal now. While I wouldn’t mind an extra night of partying, I would mind another night away from the family. I feel bad enough being gone Friday through Monday – one extra night would probably cause my guilt/fun ratio to dip into the red. And I’m not even Catholic. But I will be going down on Thursday to pick up my badge, so that’s where we’ll start.
  • Pre-registration is scheduled to start at 10:00 AM. I don’t know that I’ll get down there that early, but I definitely want to be done by 2:00. Last year I had to work on Thursday and went down afterwards. I didn’t get to the Sheraton until after 6:30 and ended up being down there for over three hours, basically missing out on my last family night before the Con. Guilt. Not going to do that again this year.
  • 10:00 – There isn’t a welcome event for the Comics And Pop Art track, I just wanted to point out that if the people running the “CPAC” portions of it are trying to sound like complete assholes with their panel descriptions they should win a prize. Because boy, howdy get a load of these:
Truth, Fiction, and Representation in
Comics–CPAC Event
The Fact Is, Seeing Is Not Believing
and Science and Fiction: De-idealizing
Representations M. Brown; Fri 7:00 pm;
Hanover F [HYT]
The Politics of Comics–CPAC Event
More American than Superman: Green
Lantern, Incognegro and the Legacy
of Lynching and Differential Surface:
Deleuze and the Comic Book M. Brown;
Fri 8:30 pm; Hanover F [HYT]
Comics in the Classroom–CPAC Event
Multiple Literacies for Learning
Environments, The Graphic Lyrical in
Philosophical Pedagogy and Superman
in the Classroom M. Brown; Sat 11:30
am; Hanover F [HYT]
Critical Studies of the Other in
Comics–CPAC Event
Finding the Queer Child and Erasing the
Other’ in Graphic Novel M. Brown; Sat
7:00 pm; Hanover F [HYT]
Comics, Narrative, and Structure–
CPAC Event
The Voices of Cold War and Moving
Through Story Space and Believing a
Man Can Fly M. Brown; Sat 8:30 pm;
Hanover F [HYT]
Comics and Feminism–CPAC Event
The Graphic Woman and Female
Characterization on the Covers of Super
Hero Team Comics M. Brown; Sun 7:00
pm; Hanover F [HYT]

Comics and Philosophy–CPAC Event
Counterfactual Cognition and Ethical
Dilemmas and Social Semiotics and the
study of comic books M. Brown; Sun
8:30 pm; Hanover F [HYT]
Sounds like somebody is trying to suck every last bit of fun out of reading comics. Keep these lunatics away from me.
  • 10:00 – Shatner – I’m going to miss this. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll plan to be downtown by 8 AM so I can check into the hotel and then get in line for Shatner, but I know it just isn’t going to happen. I’ll probably be up until 3 AM doing some last minute thing that I completely forgot about or just plain unable to sleep from excitement. But that’s okay – there are more Shatner opportunities throughout the weekend. I’m much more disappointed that I missed out on preordering a photo with the guy.
  • 11:30 – Sylvester McCoy – I am not, however, going to miss this one. I have been dying to see any of the Doctors in person since I was a little kid. Let alone one of my favorites. This is another reason I’ll miss Shatner. I figure I’ll be checked in by 10:00 at the latest and my very next move will be getting in line for this panel. This is my big “Must Do” event for this year. Of course, even if I do miss it there are a couple of other times Mr. McCoy is scheduled. But I don’t want to rely on those. Hopefully Jeffistopheles will be down for this one.
  • 1:00 – Horror Icons – Tony Todd, Lance Henrickson and Robert Englund get together to discuss how awesome they all are. I hate to miss this one, but I probably will.
  • 2:30 – Supernatural Panel #1 – I love the show and the guests at Dragon*Con are my favorite characters. I’m going to catch one of these panels.
  • 4:00 – Eureka/Warehouse 13 – I’ve watched Warehouse 13 on and off since it started. I like the show and fully intend to catch up at some point. And then there’s Eureka, which up until recently I thought might be a bit over my head. I found it on Netflix a couple of weeks ago and sat down and watched the pilot and the second episode with Mrs. Troublemaker. I liked Colin Ferguson’s sheriff Jack Carter (I haven’t looked into it, but surely he’s named for another Carter who was special for being a “regular guy” among extraordinary individuals? Like, on Mars maybe?); but Mrs. Troublemaker ended up watching the first 14 episodes in about three days. This is unprecedented for her. So now we’re both caught up to halfway through the first part of season 4 and love the first three seasons of the show. The fourth has pretty much left both of us cold. We don’t like the new timeline. I’m willing to go back and give the first four episodes another chance as I was pretty darn tired when we watched them, but she insists it’s boring now.
    Anyway, I might catch this one if Jeffistopheles is up for it. We should be hanging out during the afternoon on Friday.
  • 4:00 – The Walking Dead Cast Q&A – I’ll probably choose the above over this one, but it would be fascinating to see if any of the cast members were willing to talk about what irredeemable asshats the AMC people are. It seems like everything we’ve heard is true, so I can promise you I won’t be watching season 2.
  • 4:00 – Doctor Who: The Tom Baker Years – This is the only time this particular track is scheduled, but I’m pretty sure the Eureka/WH13 panel is going to win the time slot. I may love Doctor Who and Tom Baker is certainly my Doctor; but this is still a fan panel.
  • 5:30 – Scooby Doo and the Decline of Skepticism – This panel is about the various incarnations of the Scooby gang and how the supernatural has been dealt with; from the traditional route of the culprit always being a human criminal to some of the animated and live-action versions where the supernatural exists in one form or another. While I do tend to prefer my Scooby stories be based in reality, I can’t deny the appeal of some of the more fantastic iterations. I’d be very interested in attending this panel if anybody that had ever actually had anything to do with Scooby Doo was on it. As it stands I’ll pass. Just thought this was worth mentioning.
  • 7:00 – DC MOTHERFUCKING W – The highlight of the Con every single year. While Saturday night is the peak of the partying and Sunday night is typically the big finale where we all desperately recognize that we’ve got one last night to live it up until next year; Friday night is alright for fighting. Dragon Con Wrestling is the best wrestling event all year long and we’ll be there front row to yell obscenities at some of the best indie wrestlers in the business today. And some goofy losers who probably shouldn’t even be in the ring.
  • 8:30 – The Dark Tower – Peter David, Michael Whelan and Bernie Wrightson are getting together to discuss my favorite books of all time. If it weren’t for DCW I’d be there.
  • 10:00 – 10th Annual Dragon*Con Parade – I finally got my ass up in time to see this amazing spectacle last year and brother, was it worth it. I did not understand just how impressive it would be to see a mile of nerds in their finest regalia parading down the streets of Downtown Atlanta until I experienced it for myself. I’ll never miss it again.
  • 11:30 – Meet the Stars of Star Wars – Peter Mayhew, Carrie Fisher, Ashley Eckstein and Temura Morrison on a panel. I’m not so sure I need to see Fisher on her own, but it would be interesting to see her interact with these folks.
  • 1:00 – Smallville – The crappy show that lived on well past its prime gets a panel well past its time. But it should be a good one, with James Marsters (Braniac), Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor), Sam Witwer (Doomsday) and Laura Vandervoort (Supergirl) providing commentary. I’d be willing to bet this panel will be more entertaining than the show ever was.
  • 2:30 – Supernatural Panel #2 – Okay, time is tight. But I am definitely going to catch one of these Supernatural panels.
  • 4:00 – Heir to the Empire – Timothy Zahn – the man who revitalized the entire Star Wars franchise in 1991 – discusses his Star Wars books. I think Zahn’s original trilogy is as good as any of the movies and his Grand Admiral Thrawn is my favorite character from the franchise. While I’d love to see this panel, I think it’s going to lose to the next one.
  • 4:00 – The Doctor Who Universe Experience – This is my priority panel for Saturday. Mark A. Shepperd and Gareth David Lloyd – both avowed Doctor Who nerds – will discuss their time in Who-related productions. Awesome.
  • 5:30 – Sylvester McCoy Q&A – Another chance to see the 7th Doctor. If I miss the Friday panel for some reason I will be attending this one.
  • 5:30 – The Walking Dead Cast Q&A – Another chance to catch these folks.
  • 5:30 – DARE! The Transformers Fan Panel – They’re supposed to be showing some of the Japanese cartoons here and discussing Transformers in general from a fan perspective. I have little tolerance for fan panels (why do I not have a panel?), but this might be neat.
  • 7:00 – Doctor Who Viewing Party – This is actually extremely cool, but I’m not sure if I’ll go. Maybe if Mrs. Troublemaker makes it down in time. Dragon*Con is getting to show the newest episode of Doctor Who – “Night Terrors” - two hours before anywhere else in the US. A BBC America rep will be on hand, so there might actually be some cool swag.
  • 8:00 – Comic Book Babes Costume Contest – Granted, we’ll be looking at comic book babes all weekend, but this might be the best place to get pictures for you, my loyal Phantomaniacs. And I do all of this for you guys. Lord knows I don’t have any need to look at girls dressed up like Psylocke and Huntress. At all.
  • 10:00 - Saturday Night Drive-In SyFy Theater – Sharktopus – This was originally billed as being hosted by the MST3K crew, but now I’m not seeing that mentioned. I hope this isn’t going to be some deal where amateurs try to pull of the MST3K thing, because that never goes well. Either way, I fucking love Sharktopus, so I’ll be there at least long enough to grab one of the t-shirts they’re supposed to be giving away. Fair warning: If they run out of shirts before I get one, I will powerbomb somebody through a table and take theirs.
  • 11:30 – Eureka – This one is just for Eureka, so I might get a little more out of it. Sunday morning is always kind of iffy for me, though.
  • 11:30 – Sylvester McCoy Q&A – And if worst comes to worst I have this time slot to catch the 7th Doctor. Hopefully it won’t come to that.
  • 1:00 – Christopher Lloyd – I would imagine this panel would be at least as entertaining as Malcolm MacDowell’s was. Lloyd isn’t exactly a Dragon*Con regular, so this one is pretty close to a “Must See”. Doesn’t mean I’ll make it, but it’s on my schedule.
  • 1:00 - Shatner Live! – This might actually be the best Shatner panel, as it doesn’t appear to be limited to his time as Kirk.
  • 4:00 – Venture Bros! – This is usually one of the best panels all weekend and one of my “Must Sees”. Notably absent this year is Bilderberg Group member Jackson Publick. While he will be sorely missed, his slot is being filled by the always urbane James Urbaniak; the voice of Rusty Venture. I’m glad it’s on Sunday this year because I’ll probably have an easier time making it.
  • 4:00 – Stars of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Crap. This is a pretty stacked panel with Marsters, Brendan, Kramer, Benz and McNab. I really don’t want to miss it, but I also don’t want to miss the Venture panel.
  • 5:30 – Supernatural Panel #3 – Sure, this one is lighter on guests. But it’s at a more manageable time. I can do it!
  • 8:30 – Gonzo Quiz Show III: Beyond Thunderquiz – I always plan on going to these Gonzo events featuring multiple celebrity guests doing who-knows-what and never do. This year probably won’t be any different, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
  • 11:30 – Lat Night Puppet Slam – I’m pretty stoked about this one, I just hope I’m not so drunk I forget about it. Talented costumer, brilliant puppeteer and creator of the hit DC*TV feature Sci-Fi Janitors Beau Brown will be hosting whatever the heck this is. I highly recommend you check it out. I think this is going to be one of those events that gets talked about afterwards and makes people go, “Dammit – I’m pissed I didn’t go to that one!”
  • 11:30 – Eureka – If I get checked out in time I might go to this one; especially if I skip the other ones. I left right after checking out last year because I missed the family too much. That might well happen again this year.
  • 2:30 – Supernatural Panel #4 – Or maybe this one if I missed all the others.
  • 1:00 – Sylvester McCoy Q&A – Oops – looks like I was wrong. The Professor will be here for one last panel, but if I haven’t caught one by now I’m going to be pretty ashamed of myself.

Eliza Dushku has just been added as of Tuesday morning! This means I have a slim chance of making the ultimate Canadian Connection and getting a picture with her and William Shatner! I know odds are against this celestial phenomena actually occurring, but I’m going to do my darndest!
It’s worth noting that there is not a single musical performer that I give a shit about seeing this year. The last couple of years have been just awful. Whoever books the music has been leaning heavily towards niche stuff. Like, mainly Victorian and steampunky niche. There are NINE bands this year that fit that description. Yet Le Sexoflex hasn’t played in years. Neither have GWAR or The Misfits. What about Calabrese; one of the best horror punk bands I’ve ever heard? They were here three years ago and haven’t been back. Don’t get me wrong – there should be a fair share of goth/industrial stuff and the steampunky calliope music or whatever, but rock should get some representation as well. And NO – Jefferson fucking Starship does not count. They built that city on fucking bullshit terrible music.
Anyway, I’ll be around all weekend. If you see me, let’s have a beer. Better yet, buy me a beer.

Until next time, stay creepy

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