This weekend marked my fourth adventure to Dragon*Con, the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe! (I stole that from their website since I always get asked exactly *what* Dragon*Con is!
In other words - it's this huge gathering of nerds and geeks and the people who love them! There are elaborate costumes, discussion panels, a parade, celebrity guests, and lots of partying!
First up, the work. As a guest of the con, I was asked to be on seven different panels. Some had to do with Young Adult literature and some were just geek culture fan panels. For example, during the panel I talked about post-apocalyptic vs. dystopian literature, the appeal of monster boyfriends (vamps, werewolves, etc.), and vampires vs. zombies on the YA track. (I was on Team Vampire, but sadly we were vanquished by those pesky zombies. What can I say...they had the numbers!) That might have been my favorite panel as they audience was really into it! Somehow it got kind of political, too, with the zombies claiming to be the "99 percent" and the vampires declaring no exsanguination without representation!
|Team Vampire! I'm on the right - dressed in costume. More on that in a moment!|
|Team Zombie. Look at those brainless losers!|
I also had a chance to participate on several fan panels, which was a lot of fun, though a lot of studying up in the months beforehand. You may love a director or series or author but if you have to be on a panel about them, you'd better know some interesting stuff. My Dark Fantasy and Horror fan panels this year were on Stephen King, David Lynch and The Evil Dead series. I have to admit, The Evil Dead might have been the most fun. Especially since I got to be on it with my beloved Sherrilyn Kenyon. Even if she did rebuke me for not bringing Avalon this year! I did WANT to bring Avalon, believe me. I even had the perfect idea for a costume -- I could be Daenerys from Game of Thrones and she could be my baby dragon! Next year for sure! Anyway, at the Evil Dead panel I gave away the most awesome prizes. Little "Evil Pumpkins" containing actual dirt from the site of the real Evil Dead cabin. (Where they filmed the first movie.) They came from Etsy and a website called TheEvilDeadCabin.com. Everyone was really impressed! We also gave out music inspired by The Evil Dead and some other schwag.
Speaking of schwag, I was quite the shopper at this year's Dragon*Con. A lot of the stuff I bought was dragon related, in conjunction with my new book series that I'm not allowed to talk about until it's officially announced. I got some signed prints from Larry Elmore who did the original artwork for Dungeons and Dragons gamebooks. I'm going to get those framed. It was cool to meet him except some annoying guy kept talking to him the ENTIRE TIME he was signing so I never even got to say a word to him. So disappointing. I have to say, it kind of dampened the entire experience. All I wanted to say was how much I loved his artwork and how many hours I used to pour over those D&D books. I guess that's one of the problems with Dragon*Con. When you have 40,000 nerds/geeks in one town center, not everyone's going to have the proper social graces. haha. Oh well, maybe next year.
My most precious buy this year, however, was a corset dress from the Pendragon shop. I'd been wanting one of their corsets ever since I started going to Dragon*Con but could never afford one. This year I bit the bullet and treated myself. I wore it that night!
|All corseted up!|
I didn't forget Avalon either! We got her a Vamplet t-shirt that says "I give vampyre kisses" (which if you could see how she does an open mouthed kiss, you'd understand!) and a zombie t-shirt as well.
After shopping so long, we decided it was best to head to the VIP room where food and drinks were free! There we met up with Heather Brewer, Diana Peterfreund, Princess Alethea Kontis, Leanna Renee Hieber and others. Including some pretty awesome celebs. Jewel Staite who played Kaylee in Firefly and a bunch of the True Blood cast members including the actors who played Sam Merlotte, Alcide the werewolf, and Arlene the waitress. Heather totally broke the Green Room rules and took a photo with Sam. Better to ask forgiveness than permission.
|That Auntie Heather. Such a rebel!|
Though I would have held out for Alcide if I were her. OMG he's hotter in real life than on TV if that's possible! He was hanging out talking by the bathroom and all the girls in our party kept making excuses to go. :)
|Unfortunately when hanging out in the VIP lounge he wore a shirt the entire time...|
After an unfortunate incident revolving around Heather Brewer and a vampire duck, we decided it was best to leave and go costume gawking. I was actually pretty decked out myself and so was Jacob. I was playing Winona Ryder's character, Lydia Deetz, from Beetlejuice and Jacob was Mad Max. (Though many mistook him for Kyle Reese, from Terminator. Jacob actually does resemble him!)
|For comparison: The real Lydia Deetz from the film.|
|Mad Max or Kyle Reese. You decide.|
My costume was a bit...elaborate...to go walking amidst 40,000 people, but I managed to make it through alive. In fact, we even went dancing at the Last Party on Alderaan, thrown by the Star Wars track. I do admit to ditching my wig at some point though.
I wasn't as diligent at taking cool costume pics as I should have been, having only my iPhone on hand. But there were some amazing ones as always. Here are a few highlights:
|Daenerys and her dragons|
|An amazing Jareth and Sarah of Labyrinth!|
|This guy was in the process of putting on a full-on dragon suit. Not sure how he planned to get around the con...|
|Planet of the Apes!|
|Female Ash from Evil Dead 2|
|Wizard of Oz with a Batman scarecrow|
Sorry my pics aren't awesome - again, iPhones - what can you do? I'd suggest going to Flickr and looking up the most recent Dragon*Con pics for some better costume viewing.
All and all it was an incredible con and we left feeling tired, but happy. I cannot wait to do it again next year!!