Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dragon*Con 2011, Day 2

Saturday was light on panels for us. We started with another steampunk lecture, but really the most interesting part was meeting some of our fellow attendees beforehand:

There was a handy backdrop set up in the back of the room. Check out all the detail on these ladies!

Steampunk Girl Scouts:

Her backpack had lights and sound effects, too:

Our only other panel that day was a Back to the Future Q&A:

We were waaaay in the back, and unfortunately - and surprisingly - we couldn't hear a word Christopher Lloyd said. He is amazingly soft-spoken! All that reached us through the speakers was a barely audible murmur - except when someone asked him to say, "GREAT SCOTT!" - which he did, and with enthusiasm. :D It was such a shame, though; he was the main one we all wanted to hear!

Now THAT is an awesome Jareth. (See? Geek girls do everything better!)

We spent most of our free time Saturday in my favorite place at Dragon*Con: the art rooms. Upon first entering Artist's Alley we ran into Jason Thomas. Well, actually, his booth partner chased us down the aisle and asked us if Jason could draw me a free sketch. (Like I'm going to say no to that!) It turned out he's a CW fan!

Here's Jason and my finished cake-loving robot sketch:

As you can see, Jason makes *adorable* robot and monster art. He even gave me two t-shirts - he's wearing one of the styles in the picture. So. Cute. And his paintings are fantastic, too. You can see it all on his website, Red Rocket Farm.

While Jason was drawing my cake 'bot, reader Amber found us and gave me *another* amazing gift:

Why yes, that IS a painting of Darth Vader riding a My Little Pony over a rainbow. (Careful there; you're drooling.) In fact, Amber is the one who painted my Spock Carrot Jockey for me at last year's Dragon*Con. Needless to say, she is AWESOME. (I had to ask several times if she was sure I could actually have it. "Really?" "Really." "No, seriously: REALLY?")

So as you can see, I was spoiled rotten before I even made it 30 feet inside the room.

Outside the gallery again, I of course had to get a photo with a group of Ghostbusters:

I'm wearing my Ghostbusters/Pacman shirt, naturally. (And those are the famous yellow boots, for those of you who were searching but never spotted 'em.)

We also ran into one of the steampunk Ghostbusters:

John had the camera at this point, and he likes to tell people he's photographing, "Now you're a tiger! You're a tiger!"

So, uh, here's the guy being a tiger:

(And check out the pack! Sweet!)

A few more costumes from around the con that day:

"Fabulous, Harry, I love the feathers."

The Wheatley puppet! YES!! (Though I'm still bummed I didn't get to talk to her.)

Ohhh kaaaay.

This next one's a lousy picture, but do you recognize the characters?

It took me a second, but then I was screeching, "Labyrinth! Sweet!!"

Saturday night was the Jonathan Coulton/Paul and Storm/Molly Lewis concert - practically a mini Wootstock - so I was super excited to go. For some reason it started over an hour and a half late, though, which meant we spent about two hours in the Marriot lobby costume-hunting while we waited.

Now, if you've never been to Dragon*Con, it's hard to explain just how crowded the place is. This convention takes up five enormous hotels and entire city blocks, but the lobbies are so filled each night it can be quite literally hard to move. This is part of the challenge - and fun, if you're a bit warped like me - of getting costume photos. You can't back up. The lighting is horrendous, everyone's in the way, everyone's moving, and it's hard to get the cosplayer to look at or hear you. Plus you often can't reach that awesome costume you spotted from 50 feet away before the person has hopped on an escalator and gone up or down a few levels:

Kind of like this group of Nerf Punks I chased all over the hotel. Heh.

And, if you're short like me, often times you'll dive into the thick of an enormous crowd only to find you can no longer *see* the costume you wanted, because you're packed in like sardines and aren't tall enough to look over all the head and shoulders around you.

If that sounds like a nightmare to you, then I wouldn't recommend costume hunting at Dragon*Con. :)

Usually I love the challenge of it, though, and use my shortness to squirm and squeeze through the crowd, dancing through drunken parties, ducking foam weaponry and mechanical wings and any number of other unwieldy costume bits, all to smoothly jostle my way into position for the perfect shot.

I've even learned the photographer's sign language: just catch the person's eye, hold up your camera, and raise your eyebrows. They almost always respond with a nod: no talking needed until I yell out a "thank you!" and rush after my next target.

Saturday night while waiting for the concert, though, my energy level tanked. After walking all day on not enough sleep I was pretty well done in by 9pm. Suddenly, it wasn't fun. It was crowded and miserable and stifling with no where to sit. So, I slumped against a railing and handed the camera off to John. He was a trooper, too, scoring some fabulous shots for me:

Daft Steampunk! Ha!

An elegant steampunk witch:

Check out her "broom."


Eventually, after a pack of peanut M&Ms and some restful wall-leaning, I regained enough energy to take over again.

Check out this fun gender-swapped Joker & Harley:

And a nice Hogwarts group:

Complete with mini dementor.

And another "only-at-Dragon*Con":


The rest of Saturday's photos will be on my Flickr soon, so check there to see everything.

We ended the night with the concert, keeping my parents out waaaaay past their bedtime but still having a great time. If you've never heard of the Wootstock performers, I highly recommend going to Youtube and watching some of the show there. (Here's Coulton singing Still Alive from the D*C concert.)

We're on the home stretch now; just one more full day and the Steampunk Exhibition to go!


  1. I love the last photo. I must have giggled for 5 minutes. :D

  2. Oh my goodness, I started having a mini panic attack just reading your description of the crowds! I think I'll leave my *Con experiences right where they are - on your blog :) Thank you for such great photos.

  3. Those guys are awesome! I love men who are manly enough to dress like princesses. :-) Is that a tag hanging from Aurora/Sleeping Beauty's dress?

  4. The drag Disney Princesses almost made me tinkle... I laughed so hard and long... I made my husband look at it, but he didn't find it as entertaining. Clearly he has no personality... :P

  5. That is the scariest Tinker Bell I have ever seen.

  6. ohmigosh! Those "princesses" are awesome... So much detail to find... I can't decide which one is my favorite... Tinkerbelle is quite interesting.. I love the leg, and of course, true to the character, full beard. And then there's Alice.. the flamingo purse and smirk... Ariel has just the TINIEST waist!! And then there's the, um.. wrecks? Does Briar Rose/Aurora/Sleeping Beauty really have one, if not two, bottles of beer? I can't see everything clearly... And Cinderella.. usually the star, but here.. not so much.

    *BWAH!* those guys are quite awesome.

    I only wish they had shown up at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.... muahahah...

    Seriously, I think they've made me happier than they really should, but it could be because I'm heading to Florida tomorrow and Disney on for the weekend. WOOT!

  7. OMG The hat guy! I always loved that exchange in Labyrinth. To this day I'll quote in a horrible accent attempt, "Would you listen to this crrrap?!"

  8. "The way forward is sometimes the way back."

    You have such wonderful photos to share, Jen. I really, really love living vicariously through you.

    And I have to say the male princesses just made my night. So clever and strangely appropriate!

  9. The 13th picture is Hello Kitty ( and Keroppi (

    Apparently, they both felt the need to dress up for DragonCon, as she appears to be dressed as Slave Leia and he's dressed as Jabba the Hutt!

    WV: Mingsta - member of the Mongo Mafia!

  10. ....Okay, the last photo makes me really need to go find some of my gay friends (I don't have enough! Dammit!) And find a way to convince them to do something like that last photo. I will ply them with baked goods and make the costumes if I have to. I just need to see that done with really PRETTY men.

  11. wow..more great photos, Jen and John. I particularly like the Dragon*Con Drag Queens. But where is that elusive shot of you and YOUR costume?? I mean we've seen John in his awesomeness....

    Looks like a fabulous time, despite the crowds. :-)

  12. I was also excited about the Labyrinth characters (I have a somewhat better photo at if you want to steal it :) )!! My fiance thought I was a bit crazy I think though, lol.
    We were going to go to the JoCo concert, and miss some of the MMO Party (a tradition for us, we even got engaged on stage there last year!), but if it started late I'm glad we didn't - the MMO Party was fantastic, we ended up dancing w/Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, and the gals from The Guild all night!

  13. That Snape in the Hogwarts group was at LeakyCon! He was awesome and took pictures with EVERYONE.

  14. I'm so happy you're able to go into those sorts of crowds and get pics like these. I'm with cheezyk - I think my brain would melt down and I'd be "lights are on but no one's home" after about 5 minutes of that. (I can't even go shopping - anywhere! - in the last couple weeks of December!)

    I think the SP witch is my fave - how awesome was she?! :D

  15. Such beautiful steampunk! I die! Those two women in the first picture look amazing. I don't think I could handle the crowds...but I'd love to dress up and see other people in costume!

    You may have already seen this before, but while googling "sweet potato and steampunk" (yes, I google random things sometimes), I found this AWESOME steampunk Mr. Potato Head:

  16. You know, until this week, I had no idea what you looked like. Two pictures of yourself in one week! My world has been rocked.

  17. I am jealous of those princesses. Why? It has a little bit to do with their self confidence, but mostly their ability to find sparkly shoes in their size. I can't ever find cute shoes that fit my huge feet (size 12 women, and those dudes had to have feet at *least* that big). Did you happen to ask where they found them ;)


  18. The steampunk Girl Scouts kind of look like the Fireside Girls from Phineas and Ferb! (Why yes, I *do* have a three-year-old obsessed with that show, why do you ask?)

  19. I love the hello kitty Leia and Keroppi jabba the hut!

  20. Oh. my. gosh. PLEASE tell me that the girl who did the darth vader riding a MLP has a shop somewhere!

    Seriously, darthvaderponygirl (that is your new name), I need one of those bad boys post-haste!

  21. peacock girls is so ridiculously adorable! *swoon* *crush*

  22. and the boy princesses are epic. i get so feministly angry about the princess thing. those guys made my day.
    WV: Ullen. I can no longer have ullen feelings toward princesses.

  23. The Drag Disney Princesses RULE! Thanks for that and all the other fabulous photos! Made me feel like I was (almost) there...

  24. male disney princesses = BEST PHOTO EVER!

  25. Fun!
    OK is it just me or does peacock girl maybe need a skirt? Or some leggings? or something? I'm not objecting to her bare legs, she's lovely, but it's like the costume just stops....

  26. The guys in the last photo look like they lost a bet. I can't stop laughing, especially since the guy on the far left (Tinker Bell) looks just like my dad. Awesome!

  27. Kristina - I believe you are right about the Fireside girls. I too have a 3-year-old (and a 6) obsessed with Phineas and Ferb. Seriously, people without little kids don't know what they're missing! A Dr. Doofenshmirtz costume would have fit right in there. (Curse you Perry the Platypus!!!!)

  28. Love Jareth but can't take my eyes of the buldge.

  29. I was also in line for the Joco show, so all these photos are an awesome reminder!

    I was sad I never caught you. I was dressed as Idris from Doctor Who, with a TARDIS purse :)

  30. That girl Jareth makes me feel funny. XD *cough*

  31. I so love the man-princesses. Especially that half of them have beards of some sort... adds nicely to the effect :)

  32. Love all the photos, looks like a blast! Does anyone else have a really hard time getting the site to load? It takes forever almost every time, no matter what computer I'm on.

  33. Love me some LABYRINTH ;)

  34. @ kpetro - Ack, that stinks! What browser do you use? And does it say at the bottom of your screen what's taking so long to load? (Sometimes it'll say "Waiting on XXX" while it loads.)

    Of course, my photos lately *have* been really photo-intensive, so that might be the problem.

  35. Kristina, aren't you a little old to be watching Phineas and Ferb? Hey, where's Perry?

    I have a 16-year-old who loves the show, and my husband and I enjoy it, too. We've been known to quote it a time or twenty. :-)

  36. Your Wheatley puppet girl is on Deviant art. Look for ~TRP-Chan. ^_^

  37. Oh, man, I have the BEST photo of the Disney prinesses with Tinkerbell pulling the most classic bitch!face ever. EVER, I tell ya. lmao

  38. The Disney Princess Stunt Doubles are on Facebook! Here is the link...!/pages/Disney-Princess-Stunt-Doubles/159326294151522

  39. so i was trying to drink so water while reading this post, and when i saw the last pic i literally starting choking on it because i was laughing so had. this isn't the first time this has happened while reading your blog. when will i learn to stop drinking and reading?


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