Thursday, September 11, 2014

Beth's Dragon Con Recap Part 2

If you want to hear the intro or know about all the stuff that happened Thursday and Friday you'll have to go back to my last post. This here is all about Saturday and Sunday. Where the real action is, or something...

Saturday I got a late start. Not because of a hangover or anything. I planned it that way because I had wanted to stay out later Saturday night, and felt like I shouldn't short myself on rest. If I'd had a room this is where I would have watched the parade, and then gone back to my room for a lengthy nap. Since I had no room in which to do that I decided to skip the parade for having the energy to do more stuff later. I think the parade has also gotten really overwhelmingly crowded ever since they decided you had to have a badge to even get near a hotel. The parade is the only event of the weekend you can drop by for without having to get a badge so I get why so many people show up. It's just a little too big a mess for me to deal with. I have also started getting this weird crowd claustrophobia as I've gotten older. It's not small spaces or crowds that bother me individually, it's the inability to move or get away. I just keep thinking "if there's a zombie outbreak right now I'm going to get eaten or trampled." I'm kind of a control freak too so being swept along with no say in where I'm going or ability to decide how I'm getting there makes me pretty anxious. I know it sounds like I should not be a Con person with those weird quirks, but I was fine most of the time because I was in open areas so much of the weekend. I don't know if that makes any sense or not, but hopefully I've justified missing the parade.

I learned much to my annoyance why all of my friends with hotels rooms were MIA during the larger part of the day. As soon as I stepped out of Peachtree Center I was stuck. Not in some kind of radioactive goo or anything cool like that, but because there was literally a wall of people trying to get to the Con hotels. It should have taken me 5 minutes to get from the train station into the Hyatt. It took 20 minutes. Things have gotten so spread out, and are so clearly not marked that the many people who only come down for that one day have no idea where they're going or how to get there. A lone traffic cop can only do so much when 500 people are asking him “which way is...?” at once. This is why getting the lay of the land on Thursday is key my friends. Use the quiet time to peruse your pocket program, and know where it is you're going. That'll save your shoulders getting bumped on Saturday by people like me who know where they want to go, and don't feel like waiting behind you while you get your bearings. Not trying to be a dick or anything, but even without the pocket program the website has so many great maps that you should be able to get a handle on things before you find yourself at a crosswalk, not knowing which way to go, and pissing off the few hundred people who are standing directly behind you trying to move along. I guess that does make me sound like a dick, but then I'm a planner. I like to know where I'm going, how to get there, and try to prepare for shit that's going to get in my way. I just forget sometimes to plan for other people's shit to be one of the things that get in my way. I ended up missing the tribute to Rik Mayall, and the ESW Doctor Who panel, and in the crush of trying to get through crowds and meet up with people missed the Joel Hodgson one man show, the Voice Actors of Mass Effect panel, and the Doctor Who Classic Series which were all happening at the same time. Why does do much stuff have to happen on Saturday, and only Saturday? I mean I could have skipped the Doctor Who thing because I've seen so much of the older stuff, but Joel Hodgson and Mass Effect sounded really cool. Cool in a super nerdy way I mean.

But I did really want to see the Guardians of the Galaxy panel so lining up for that around 4 o'clock meant missing the Larry Niven panel, Nerf Herder, and the Episode VII panel. So I stood in line for an hour and a half (which is really my limit, and even that would have been unbearable if it hadn't been for the sudden torrential rain that cooled things off quite a bit). By Saturday evening I would have given someone's first born child for a shower and some dry underpants, and by that I mean it was really hot and gross outside. I do not mean that my underpants were damp for any other reason than that it was hot and humid, and everyone was really sweaty. Look, let's just forget I brought the underpants up in the first place. But the Guardians panel was really good. My only problem with the panel was that James Gunn held his phone up and had the audience say “you suck Rooker” into his phone because he's been getting harassing messages from Michael Rooker, and wanted to get him back. It's not that I think the man is that great, although he's pretty cool, it's just that I've seen Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer a few too many times not to be kind of scared of the man. So going on record even as just one voice among 2000 was too far for me to go. The big hint we got for the next movie (which I'm sure he's said in a ton of interviews already so this probably isn't anything new) was that Star Lord's father isn't who you think it is. To him, the whole point was to take a bunch of outcast characters and give them a new life. Just like why he threw Howard the Duck in at the end. Howard isn't getting a reboot, unless there's enough interest in which case I'm sure they'll work something out, but James Gunn loved him as a kid and wanted him to get another shot at being as cool as him remembered. So anyway, back to Star Lord's father. James Gunn said he didn't just want to go down a checklist of what you were expecting. This makes the interweb idea of it being Adam Warlock far more possible, to me at least. In the movie he was described as being both an angel and an asshole, and given Gunn's spaceship of misfit characters thing he's already got going on I don't see why he wouldn't try to rescue another character from obscurity. Both James and Sean were funny and humble and had a very genuine appreciation for their fans. What really blew me away was that they weren't compensated in any way for appearing. James didn't even charge for autographs. I also heard a rumor that Chris Pratt was wandering around the con in his stolen Star Lord costume. Not as a guest, but as a big nerdy fan. If true; this combined with how James Gunn described his disgusting and inappropriate sense of humor on set, make him the best movie star ever. Sorry Paul Rudd, you've been replaced.

After that it was time for more food which made me miss the Whedonverse Trivia, but I'm sure I would have been crushed anyway. I don't spend nearly as much time dissecting “the verse” as I am sure many people do. And then it was on to see the Gonzo Quiz Show V which I thought held great promise as it featured Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff of MST3K, Doc Hammer and James Urbaniak of The Venture Bros., and a special appearance by Terry Gilliam. With that many funny people I assumed I would been in for a lot of laughs. Sadly, I was not. There were a few chuckles, but not at all what I was expecting. Very sad. So we took off early in order to get a seat for Phantom's game show Who's Eff is it Anyway. I was happy to see such a big turnout, and even though the emotional scars may never fully heal it was the funniest thing I saw all weekend. I tried to describe it, but the description just came out sounding uncomfortably unfunny so I deleted it. I know he's planning another one soon so you'll just have to go and see for yourself. Hopefully it will also feature the lovely Lady Miss Flex and Sexy Wolverine as well because they were a big part of what made the show great. When that was over all of my friends took off to see Nerf Herder, but as the supportive friend and employee I am I stuck around to see a few minutes of his Things viewing. I was surprised by how many people showed up who had seen it, and even more surprised to see that this “movie” has a 4.2 rating on IMDB. I know that's low, but it's much higher than I was expecting. Sadly, I had to leave to catch the train before the proper cables were brought in, but since I've seen it twice already I'm okay with that.

On to Sunday. My husband had the day off after playing the Star Bar the night before (they moved Drive-Invasion to keep from competing with Dragon Con so I don't know why anyone would book a show on the Con's biggest night, but that's just me I guess) so he decided to come down for the day. A $40 pass for the day wasn't too steep, and the line for one day registration was pretty manageable. This was also my only visit to the Sheraton this weekend, and besides hotel guests and people registering it was pretty dead. The only problem with having my husband around was that I knew I couldn't drag him to stuff like the Sherlock panel so we opted for hanging out, and meeting up with friends. I had wanted this to be my day to hit up the vendors at Americas Mart, and the Walk of Fame as well since I knew the crowds would be a little bit smaller than Saturday. There was still a line to get into the Walk of Fame which I was not willing to stand in just to look at celebrities. If I'd been willing to shell out for someone's autograph or had the possibility of even standing around and chatting for a minute it would have been different, but with crowds of that size it's just not going to happen. We instead decided to try Americas Mart so I could once again contemplate buying a Jayne Cobb hat. Yes we were playing the “punch every time you see a Jayne hat all weekend”, but I've always wanted one. I'm going to go out on a dangerous limb here and say that Firefly may be my favorite Joss Whedon show. Definitely more than Angel, but kind of better than Buffy sometimes too. Gasp! I know I've just spoken blasphemy, but that's just how I feel. Maybe someday I'll do a post to try and justify this stance, but that's way too much to put in here when I'm already close to 2000 words. Anyway, there was also a line for Americas Mart, but I had heard about the side entrances so we were able to walk right in. And we walked right in to a big ole mess. They crammed way too much stuff in to that space. If someone stopped in front of a booth you were just screwed since there was no way for you to get around them with the traffic coming the opposite direction. The aisles should have been about 2 feet wider. I felt bad for the less busy vendors as people seemed to duck into their areas just to get out of the way for a minute. Lady selling the dragon puppets, I'm sorry. I bought a few Red Dwarf decals because that was on my list of allowable purchases, and I went with a Deadpool t-shirt over the Jayne Cobb hat because a shirt seemed more practical. I had also recently added the same shirt to my amazon wish list so I felt justified in buying it. I know there was a whole lot of Deadpool around that weekend, but I've been a big fan for a long time so I didn't feel like I was simply caught up in the hype of the Con. I'll also get more into the ubiquitous-ness of Deadpool much more in my costume post to come next week.

Americas Mart sapped my husband of all his remaining energy (I really need help with finding another way to refer to him) so he headed home while Sharron and I went to the Makeup Makeover Challenge. There we discovered that Face Off would be unwatchable without editing. It was crowded so we had to sit at the back, and even with the large screens sitting above both sides of the stage it was really hard to tell what was going on. It was also pretty boring to watch makeup artists prep and paint for 2 hours before we got to see anything come of all their work. After about half an hour we decided that it was time for a few drinks before I headed home. I had to work Monday (damn retail), and needed to call it an early night.

Next year I know to ask for Monday off, and that will be my Walk of Fame and Americas Mart time. And now that I've gotten my first year of general coverage out of the way I will not feel bad devoting much more of my time to panels. Hopefully I'll be invited back next year, and be able to bring you many more in-depth nerdy musings. Who knows, maybe I'll even get to spend more awkward time with celebrities. I'm sure that will be amusing for everyone but me.

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