Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dragon Con 2011 - A Photo Diary

Hi all, I hope everything has been going well in the blogosphere.  I've been in Atlanta at Dragon Con for the last few days. Needless to say it's been awesome. I really enjoyed this year. Please check out our pics and stories below. This year it was a family affair. I went with my husband, two half-sisters (one from my mom's side, one from my dad's side), aunt, and cousin. Being surrounded by my family made Dragon Con even more enjoyable. I highly recommend going at least once.

The costumes
The costumes are always a sight to behold at Dragon Con.  If you can imagine it, it's been done before.  Some of the panelist mentioned that this was one of the main differences between Dragon Con and Comic Con. Samantha Ferris of Supernatural said that the energy level and the camaraderie distinguished Dragon Con from other conventions. That said, I'd still like to visit Comic Con at least once.

I have only scratched the surface of the costumes at Dragon Con.  Please check out these other folk's websites. There were so many great costumes that I didn't see.
7 Deadly Sins

The Black Swan.  There was a white swan too!
Doctor Who & some of the daleks.  I believe that there were several more.
There were lots of Amy Ponds running around
For those MST3K fans: Crow & Tom Servo with my baby sister (middle...clearly)

Never fails, every time I go there's at least one Cap'n Jack Sparrow

We're off to see the Wizard.
Swamp Thing and a mysterious agent

What a great costume.

My other sister (left), an Ood from Doctor Who, and my cousin (right)

The panels

I went to several panels, including True Blood, Doctor Who, Supernatural, Sanctuary, Battlestar Galactica, and The Walking Dead. Most of the panelist were wonderful. It is so enjoyable to see the people you watch on tv in person.  It's even more enjoyable to ask them the questions you've always wanted to know (within reason) and hear their answers.  And finally it's most enjoyable to find out that your favorite actors are cool and not divas.

True Blood Panel
Joe Manganiello, Denis O'hare, and Charlene Harris.
The real standout in the True Blood panel was Joe Manganiello. Joe was so gracious and wonderful to listen to. Joe came across as incredibly humble and forthright. I also enjoyed Kristen Bauer who plays Pam and Denis O'hare who played Russell. Charlene Harris was great too. She was such a good sport and got to answer at least one question.

Supernatural Panel
(Mark Shepherd)  I apologize for the grainy quality.  I wasn't close to the stage.
The main standout was Mark Shepherd.  Mark was by far the wittiest, funniest, most entertaining panelist I've seen in a long time.  My aunt said that in another panel with Gareth David Lloyd (Torchwood), who by the way is a stinker.  I saw Gareth mistreat a fan at a previous Dragon Con, but that's another story.

Evidently at this most recent panel, Gareth wanted beer brought out.  Mind you it's probably around lunch time.  Some folks drink beers during lunch--nothing wrong with it, but when the Dragon Con staff brought out two beers, one for Gareth and one for Mark, Mark flatly refused.  Spry as a whip, Mark quickly said that he was allergic to alcohol.  Mark said that when he drinks alcohol he breaks out in "handcuffs," so he's been sober for 20 years.  I saw Mark at a later panel and he was equally brilliant.  As a panelist, Mark was delightful and gracious to the fans. You have to see this guy in person.

Jim Beaver and Samantha Ferris were both wonderful as well.  I enjoyed their earnest and down-to-earth responses to fan questions.  Now for the bad panelist on Supernatural, I know that I'm going to upset fan girls and boys everywhere, particularly the girls when I say this, but the worst panelist I saw was Misha Collins.  I know how much people hate finding out that their favorite actor is a jerk, but don't get angry at the messenger.  I so wanted Misha to be cool, but he wasn't.  I was somewhat surprised because I've seen some footage of Misha at other cons in which he was the headliner and he seemed cool.  Perhaps he doesn't share the limelight well?  Perhaps he's better on a one-on-one level.  I've heard good things about him when fans approach him individually.  Perhaps he's dealing with something that we're not aware of.  Misha is being written off of Supernatural after all, but mocking the fans who put you there isn't the way to go about it.  
Misha Collins
Misha joked that people just don't realize how much of a douche-bag he actually is.  Many people think he's joking, but you know, when someone tells you something about themselves you should believe them.  I was super excited to see Misha Collins, but after seeing him I have to say that I was very disappointed.  Whether intended or not, Misha came off very arrogant.  Perhaps he's done so many cons before that thinks he's above this, but Dragon Con is massive and fans don't just come there for one show.
Jim Beaver and Misha Collins
Example: One fan politely waited in line to ask Misha a question.  She said that her sister and her were big fans of Misha and that unfortunately her sister was unable to make it to Dragon Con, but would be watching.  The fan asked if Misha would say "I'm an angel of the Lord, Dean," which is a famous line from Supernatural.  Misha curtly told her that he wouldn't because he wasn't "a dancing monkey."  In turn, Jim Beaver, who was a great panelist, said it for him.  I was in two of Misha's panels and there were other examples of his terse behavior. 
I'm very disappointed because I was such a big Misha-fan.  Misha is clearly a very intellectual guy, but guess what, sci-fi fans are typically an intellectual crowd.  Misha's biting humor towards his fans wasn't like Mark Shepherd tongue-in-cheek romp and yes, I can tell a difference.  I started to wonder about Misha when he directed his twitter fans to buy his friend's book so that he could win a bet.  He told his friend that he could make his friend's book a top ten on Amazon just by giving the word to his twitter followers.  That was the beginning of the end of my Misha fandom.  Dragon Con sealed the deal.  So while I was disappointed at first that Misha was being written out of Supernatural in Season 7, now I feel differently.  Sorry folks, just my opinion.

Battlestar Galactica Panel

Tricia Helfer, Michael Hogan, Mary McDonnell, Edward J. Olmos, Science Advisor Kevin Grazier, & Aaron Douglas

This is always a great panel and it's always my favorite.  Edward J. Olmos is my absolute favorite panelist.  He is so genuine and gracious to the fans that it almost doesn't seem real.  EJO truly seems to enjoy Dragon Con.  This is the third time I've seen him there.  Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol) and Michael Hogan (Colonel Tigh) are equally enchanting.  This is the third time I've seen both of them as well.  Aaron is especially generous to the fans.  The folks I really wanted to see this time were Tricia Helfer and "stands with an airlock" herself, Mary McDonnell.  Both of these ladies were amazing.  Mary McDonnell was giggly and delightful.  Tricia was very genuine and sweet.  This is my favorite panel for a reason.  Every single one of these actors is fantastic on a professional and on a human level.  They are a must see!

Sanctuary panel
Robin Dunn, Amanda Tapping, and Christopher Heyerdahl
Amanda Tapping was a great panelist.  She's done this so many times before, it's old hat, but I really enjoyed the chemistry between the three actors.  You could tell that they all had such a good rapport with one another.  I remember wondering what Amanda was thinking when she abruptly left Stargate Atlantis, now after Atlantis was quickly canceled, she clearly made a very smart move.  Sanctuary is a high quality show and they have a high quality cast.  She indicated that they've been trying to get Richard Dean Anderson on the show for quite some time, so hopefully we will see good ole' RDM back in the saddle with "Sam."

Eureka/Warehouse 13 Panel
Eddie McClintock, Colin Ferguson, Jordan Hinson, Chris Gauthier, and science advisor Kevin Grazier
This was one of my favorites.  Colin Ferguson (Sheriff Jack Carter) is always fantastic.  I've seen him at this con before and he's always gracious and kind.  Eddie McClintock from Warehouse 13 was equally wonderful.  Eddie comes across as authentic and charming.  Eddie and Colin are the kind of guys you want to go drinking with.  Chris Gauthier (Vincent) told some great stories as well.  I really enjoyed him.  The person I was least impressed with was Jordan Hinson (who plays Zoe Carter).  She was somewhat bawdy and attention-hoggish.  She didn't get asked many questions, so I guess she had to insert jabs where she could, but for whatever reason she didn't come off well.

Sylvester McCoy aka former Doctor Who
Sylvester McCoy was charming, humorous, and endearing. He didn't take many fan questions, but he was still absolutely wonderful. Sylvester was quite funny as he told the tale of being a circus stuntman, putting ferrets down his pants, and putting nails up his nose. Sylvester also told us that he will be portraying Radagast the Brown in the new Hobbit films.

Fan Encounters

Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher in the middle of the Leias.  Photo by Fong Dong
My husband went to go see Princess Leia herself.  Whilst in her panel, Carrie Fisher smoked and cussed her way through it.  What can you say about Carrie Fisher?  She's real.  She's a tough old broad and she makes no bones about it.  At some point, my husband was in the elevator with her.  While in the elevator he of course mentioned that he was a big fan.  Carrie kindly said that she "loves all the fans".  We love you too Ms. Fisher.  

Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead
My husband & Steven Yeun
Yet again my husband has an awesome fan story to share.  While walking down the street, he just so happened to run into Steven Yeun who plays Glenn of The Walking Dead.  Steven kindly offered my husband some M&M's and offered to take a picture with him.  My husband refused the M&Ms (crazy right?), but took the picture.  What an awesome dude Steven Yeun is. Thank you Steven for the picture and thank you for offering your M&Ms.

Norman Reedus
Norman Reedus and my sister
This is by far the most awesome fan story of all.  My sister, my cousin, and I were walking away from the con.  I had enough that day, my feet hurt, and I wanted to get out of dodge.  I was walking a little ahead of them when my cousin and my sister stopped around a group of people claiming that the guy from the Boondock Saints and The Walking Dead was chatting with some folks on the corner.  That guy just so happened to be Norman Reedus.  Out of nowhere Norman grabbed my sister and said "hey you, you want to take a picture with me?"  My sister then told him her name and Norman graciously nodded, but his mind was on other things.  There was a scantily clad sci-fi slut waiting in the wings and Norman was clearly drunk off his keister so as quickly as he came into the picture, he quickly disappeared, but hey, he was still a great guy and a good sport to take a picture with a stranger walking down the street at midnight.


    1. I would've been all over that Eureka-Warehouse 13 panel.
      And Crow and Tom never looked better!

    2. lots of crazy costumes, looks like you had a blast.

    3. @Alex-- I really enjoyed the Eureka/Warehouse Panel. I wish I would have gotten their earlier for better pics.

      @Bonjour-- I totally did. Dragon Con is a great time.

      @Harry-- Thanks a bunch.

    4. Are those Warhammer 40K costumes I see? Nice.

    5. Great report, people put so much effort into their costumes and the actors from so many TV shows aswell, amazing.

    6. Awesome, looks like a great time.

    7. How aweeeeeeeeeeeeeesooooome! Looks like you & your family had a great time! Thanks a lot for sharing your picture. I love Swamp Thing's costume.

    8. @Angry Lurker-- Thanks. They really do. One year I hope to put half the effort those folks put into their costumes.

      @A-- It was. You should go.

      @Real Queen-- Thanks. Yep, the swamp thing was one of my favorites.

    9. hah, the sanctuary and eureka/warehouse panels were indeed great!
      Also, Norman Reedus is even more fun when only slightly drunk, which is apparently how he filmed half of All Saints Day.


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