Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Beth's Dragon Con 2017 Recap: Part 1

by Beth (obviously)

On Thursday morning I woke up with no other plans than to pack my bags, and saunter casually down to Dragon Con. I was only spending the night on Saturday since the Dirty Dirty Con Con Game Game Show Show (abbreviated as DDCCGGSS from here on out) wasn't going on until midnight this year. I was lucky enough to secure a bed in "the Phantom Suite" so that I could stow my shit early. I had more gear than usual since Gnoll talked me into pulling out our Halloween costumes from last year, and cosplaying as Team Rocket from the Pokemon cartoon. I also had to do a "sexy Thanos" makeup for the DDCCGGSS which was definitely a first for me. I figured that if Thursday is the new Friday I'd be better off taking my luggage early. Then, a little before 11am I got an email from media relations that 4 of my 10 interview requests had been approved. Panic time!

Every year that I've been approved for interview requests I spent hours preparing questions only to end up not getting any of the people I tried for. Sometimes I aim too high, but I can't help trying. I'll get you one day Nathan Fillion! This year I sent my requests in without much hope of getting anyone. I hadn't gotten an interview since my first year as a reporter in 2014 when I got to talk to Timothy Zahn. This year I hadn't really prepared for anything because I wasn't expecting anything again. Shit. Good thing I only picked people I knew I'd have a lot of questions for. I got approved for press conferences with Steve Blum (Star Wars Rebels, Cowboy Bebop), Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers, Sleepy Hollow, Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf), and Michael Rooker (everything) as well as an individual interview with Bill Corbett (MST3K, RiffTrax). Holy crap! The only thing I'd planned on doing Thursday was picking up my badge, stopping by Phantom's room, and grabbing a drink before Dragon Con Wrestling began. Now I had all these press thingys to think about too. Luckily, my MARTA commute gives me ample time to research, think, and scribble.
 I arrived at the Hyatt around 2 and proceeded to pick up my badge. After that it was on to "the Phantom suite" at the Hilton. On the way I ran into Oz (or Popeye the Sailor Moon) who was headed the same way. We waited for Sean (the Rad Ranger) and his lady friend before heading to the food court at Peachtree Center for the only time it would be easy to get to all weekend. After that Phantom had to get ready for DCW, the other guys had to pick up their badges, and I had to do some more thinking while waiting to meet up with the rest of the DCW Hooligans. I did some wandering and people watching while waiting for the DCW line, and there were already tons of people in costume to gawk at. Eventually the Hooligans made it to the Marriott, and we started getting surly. While disappointed that Ric Flair couldn't make it, Ricky "the dragon" Steamboat was very nice. Sadly, Kane wasn't used to Atlanta traffic and didn't make it in time, but a good time was had by all none the less. Rich introduced us to his pal Josh "TKO" Turner who was in the battle royale, and seemed like a really nice guy. I ended up with his unicorn hat so thanks for that TKO. It's a pretty sweet hat. DCW had some great stuff this year, but there were too many commentators, and they were tough to hear. It's also disappointing to see Phantom get muscled out of his seat by someone we don't know when this has kind of been his thing for years. Overall it was good though, and we didn't even get yelled at that much. Actually we got yelled at by the guys in the rows behind us more than we did by security. Except for Schweck. He seems to have a security guy assigned specifically to him, but he doesn't really care so it doesn't affect anything that much. The wrestlers seem to still appreciate us though so they brought the show to us several times by sending the matches into our rows. After that we followed drunk Schweck in search of a party, but he was in no shape to find one (he led us to The Pulse Loft for god's sake. Never go up there) so I called it a night early since I had to be ready for Michael Rooker at 12:40 and Bill Corbett at 2:40 on Friday. You'll get the full story on both of those soon.
Once finished with my "professional" duties for the day around 3 on Friday I decided to find some drinks and some people. I ended up running into a lot of people in what we have dubbed "the Spot 2.0" in the Hilton lobby. If you didn't already know "the Spot" is in the Marriott near the Pulse Bar. It's good for crowd watching, and a nice meet up point for finding parties. The new Spot is good for old people with hangovers, tired legs, and those who just wanna chill quietly in a chair for a bit. After eating, drinking, and chilling I decided to go look at famous people with Phantom, and new friend Wilson (oh yeah, I met new people this weekend! I never do that on purpose). Most of the celebrities were packing up for the day (or hadn't gotten there yet) so I guess that explains the lack of lines. I had considered going to a Dark Crystal panel with Lisa Henson, but upon further inspection saw that the panel was about expanding the universe into YA novels. I skipped that in favor of the panel that Phantom was moderating with Tim Clarke (who created The Mystics for the movie). It was fantastic to hear about a movie I love so much, and I kind of teared up a little when he said that he wished Jim Henson could have been there to see how much we love the movies that were his biggest commercial failures (The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth). If you don't love Jim Henson you have no soul. Mr. Tibbs is scared of Muppets so I'm not sure what that says about my choice of husband.
After that I supposed it was time to call it a night. As the crowds get bigger, the wait for public transportation gets longer. I only had the Casper Van Dien interview at 3:20 so was looking forward to sleeping late. Plus, I knew I'd be up late Saturday night and up early Sunday morning for my Steve Blum interview so extra sleep sounded like a good plan.
And, shit. I'm well over 1,000 words here without really getting to the rest of the weekend. I was going to try and wrap things up in a neat bow before posting my interviews, but I guess trying to get through 4 days of mayhem in one post is beyond my power. I'm going to try and get the rest of the weekend up later this week, and then get on to the interviews next week. I gotta get this wrapped up before October so I can get ready for the 31 days of Halloween. It's a busy life at Needless Things this time of year, but we're troopers. Not Starship Troopers, but I've got con crud and I'm still writing so that's something. Would you like to know more? Tune in soon, and keep checking back for more Dragon Con coverage every week. Eventually I'll run out of shit to say, and you don't want to miss that.

Beth got her start writing for a site called Movie Criticism for the Retarded (which has been reborn as dorkdroppings.com. Check it out sometime), but was pulled out of an early retirement to write for Needless Things. When she isn't writing she plays video games and watches bad horror movies while eagerly awaiting the zombie apocalypse. She may try to save her husband and/or their cats, but luckily hasn't had to make those tough decisions yet. Follow beth0rama on Instagram or on Twitter @NeedlessBeth where she doesn't post often enough to be annoying, but updates way more than Google+

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