Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I'm going to do a quick overview day-by-day of all my Dragon*Con highlights, the better to enable your geeky vicarious living. Deal? Deal.
So, let's get to it!
We arrived Thursday evening to meet up with my parents and pick up our badges. I mention this because you may remember the badge debacle from last year; some people waited over 6 hours last year to get the pre-reg badges they'd already paid for. D*C assured everyone that the system had been improved this year, but we waited to get our badges at the door regardless - just in case.
As it turned out, a few days beforehand the head of media relations at D*C, a wonderful guy named Dan, contacted us and offered John and me media passes. Woot! We still waited in line with my parents for theirs, though, and the cash line took 15 minutes, tops. I'm glad we didn't pre-register! From Twitter I learned that the average wait time for pre-registered attendees ranged from under an hour to about three hours - an improvement over last year, to be sure, but still nothing to rival the cash-at-the-door line. (I hear the trouble was the new system crashing and the printers breaking down from time to time, causing back-ups.)
Now, on to the actual con!
Our first day, Friday, we all dressed to the steampunky nines. My parents looked pretty fabulous, too, if I do say so myself:
We started the afternoon with a rather tedious steampunk panel, and then split from my folks to go see David Nykl. Nykl played Dr. Radek Zelenka on Stargate: Atlantis, and since we'd never seen him in person we had no idea what to expect.
I'm happy to report that Nykl is amazingly, astoundingly entertaining, and the hour simply flew by. For his entrance he burst through the door, came most of the way down the center aisle shaking hands all 'round, and then literally jumped onto the front table so we could all see him. The moderator begged him to come down for safety reasons, though, so instead he stood on a chair - later sitting precariously on the chair back - a wonderful consideration for us shorties in the audience.
The SGA scripts would often include a note for Zelenka that read simply "cursing in Czech." Now, Nykl actually is Czechoslovakian, so he usually really would curse ("cover your children's ears!") - but one time, on a dare, he instead said, "I can't work with these actors anymore!" - and it's in the episode. (Sadly, he couldn't remember which one.) LOVE.
[Update: Here's the episode. Thanks, Courtney!]
Moving on, we went to a delightful panel with Kate Mulgrew, Garret Wang, and Robert Duncan McNeil from Voyager. John and I have recently been watching Voyager from the beginning, and he's become quite enamored with Mulgrew. Fortunately, she did not disappoint. Funny, charming, poised - really, they all were, and the camaraderie was wonderful between the three of them. (Garret's nasally impression of Kate is hysterical, too. "There's coffee in that nebula!")
Directly after that was a TNG panel with Brent Spiner and Gates McFadden. I'd thought Wil Wheaton was supposed to be there, too, but for some reason he wasn't, which was a shame. Still, a good time was had by all.
Throughout the day I was tweeting hints, and we had quite a few fans find us for their prizes. I'll never get tired of a stranger shyly approaching and saying, "Jen? Are you Jen?" The funny part is that most of you didn't really know what I look like, but you *do* know John, so he was the give away. In fact, one girl ran up to a woman John was standing next to in the crowd and cried, "Are you Jen Yates?!" Ha!
My first surprise of Dragon*Con actually came on Thursday night, when Paul of Paul and Storm tweeted that I - I! - was the one celebrity at D*C he most wanted to meet. Paul and Storm are a comedy music duo most famous for their appearances at Wootstock, the geek-fest headed up by Wil Wheaton, Jonathon Coulton, Adam Savage, and various other nerderati. I've only ever seen these people on Youtube, so I was pretty psyched to learn Paul even knew who I was, much less wanted to meet me. We spent the weekend trying to connect - much harder than you'd expect, as large as D*C is. More on that in my Sunday recap.
And now, the part you've all really been waiting for: COSTUMES!!
I'm going to be putting almost everything on my Flickr account later, but for now here are some of my favorites from Friday: (I didn't have time to enlarge them all, so just click to enbiggin'.)
Here's a blast from the past:
Ok, I'll tell you:
It's a Land Strider from The Dark Crystal! The face was attached to the crown of the cosplayer's head, so she had to look straight down for the full effect.
I rushed up to this girl and excitedly asked if that was the Wheatley puppet - but it's not! So that means there were at least *two* amazing Wheatley replicas at D*C this year. (I later found the gal with the puppet, but she was always surrounded so I never got to talk to her! I have pics, though - stay tuned for those.)
Speaking of doppelgangers, couldn't you swear this was Tilda Swinton as the White Witch?
I loved that she stayed in character, too, always dropping the smile just in time for the camera.
I still need to watch more of that show - our friends even got us the whole first season on DVD, so I have no excuse. (Also, these two look familiar. Did I post a pic of them from MegaCon?)
I later spotted these in the Vendor room, which was kind of disappointing - but they still look frickin' awesome, even if they are mass-produced.
I spotted at least half a dozen TARDIS dresses at the con, but this was the only guy I saw as the iconic blue police box:
No idea what this is from, but WOW:
Check out the giant flowers on her skirt! Gorgeous.
[Edit: I'm told this is the Red Queen, and the flowers are roses from her garden. Thx, commenters!]
Now off to work on the next batch. Stay tuned!
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