For more pics from Dragon*Con 2009, visit my Flickr Photostream and Galleries!
Let me preface this post by stating I had never been to a sci-fi convention, or any other fan convention before. Dragon*Con was my very first fan convention and boy did it start off strong.
My friend Shannon, and her husband William, were kind enough to let me stay with them. Shannon accompanied me to Dragon*Con and was a great sport . . . going to see all the panels I wanted to see, even if she had little interest in the panels I had to see.
So, we hopped on the Marta (Georgia’s subway system) friday and made our way to the Sheraton to pick up our badges. While a great many people had already descended upon Atlanta to indulge their inner geek, I was amazed by the lack of people at the hotels. As we approached the Sheraton, Mary McDonnell was standing outside with a couple of staffers. It was all I could do not squee out of sheer geek fandom, but we kept on as if she were any stranger on the street.
As we entered the ballroom assigned for pre-registration badge pickup, tightly gripping our hot pink postcards, we passed the typed sheet of paper which promised a 30 minute wait if we were at the back of the line and the line filled the entire ballroom. We were pleasantly surprised to see the line filled only half of the room. Having received twitter reports of insane wait times and registration closing early from people who attempted to pick up their badges on Thursday, it seemed the gods were smiling on us and we would enjoy a fairly quick process.
And so we started our Dragon*Con journey with what I refer to as the “mad hamster death march.” Back and forth, we weaved through the stantions to find our place at the end of the line. Slowly the line eeked forward. About 20 minutes in, one of the staffers made an announcement that people whose pre-registrations were processed through Ticketmaster were in the wrong room. Seriously? 20 minutes and now they make an announcement? I would love to say this was my only frustration with the on-site logistics. Alas, it was only the beginning. Let’s just say if your last name begins with a letter between P and S, you will be in for an extended wait. Bring a book/magazine/portable gaming device/phone with web access. Enough about that for now.
We began our fangirl experience with the Buffy/Angel panel. The celebrity guests were Kristy Swanson, Felicia Day, Charisma Carpenter & Julie Benz. All of the women were gorgeous of course.
While we Felicia Day fans were definitely in attendance and the panel did become a bit Felicia-centered, it was a great panel. I was most amazed that Kristy Swanson really hadn’t seen the television series, I will always love her as a Buffy.
Oddly enough, the panel was the first time the women, with the exception of Charisma Carpenter & Julie Benz, had met. They all have a great sense of humor and shared wonderfully funny stories.
Posted on Twitter – Missing soulpatches, spider bites, 6″ heels, frankenpussy and @kelleyclark! #Buffy / #Angel panel=best first panel ever! #Dragoncon
If you’re looking for more Felicia Day, check out Season 3 of The Guild. Look for Charisma Carpenter to make a guest appearance on The Legend of the Seeker. You can catch up with Julie Benz on the new season of Dexter and see her on the big screen in Boondock Saints 2.
By the power of twitter, I met Kelley Clark! If you aren’t already following her on twitter (@kelleyclark), you really should. She is a kewl chick and super nice!
Continuing the Whedon fandom, we managed to get into the Firefly panel. Ron Glass was the only guest, but that man could hold my attention for years! Like a championship athlete, he entered the ballroom giving high-fives as he ran down the aisles.
As someone so correctly pointed out, Ron’s laugh is infectious. There is something truly amazing about him that I just cannot describe. One immediately gets the sense he is an unbelievably kind and thoughtful person. He is humble and self-deprecating, qualities that make Ron all the more loveable.
Ron was extremely candid and shared with us what an emotional experience it was when Firefly was cancelled, telling us it was the closest to heartbroken he had been with regard to any theatrical event.
He is incredibly interesting and one of my dreams in life is to sit and have a conversation with him. Though I have no idea what we would talk about, I get the impression he would be captivating no matter the topic.
A fun fact that still blows me away is that Ron Glass does not have a computer. In all, Ron has a distinct way of touching your heart and he makes me so proud to be a loyal Browncoat!
Stargate SG-1 Colin Cunningham, Gary Jones & Ben Browder were on hand to entertain Stargate SG-1 fans and entertain they did. Watching these three interacting was like seeing live sketch comedy. All three are hilarious and friendly.
There were plenty of funny stories shared and we learned about multiple name changes and sweater vests, a theory on why Major Davis was never promoted in his 10 years of service and how Ben Browder felt about replacing Richard Dean Anderson.
All three of these actors have a place in my heart and I cannot wait to see them again! Colin will be appearing in the new season of Sanctuary. Ben has a multiple projects pending and Gary
Edward James Olmos canceled his appearance late the week before Dragon*Con. However, the Battlestar Galactica panel was chock full of guests including Alessandro Juliani, Kandyse McClure, Michael Trucco, Michael Hogan, Kate Vernon, Luciana Carro & Kevin R. Grazier. There were even a couple of additional guests who joined us via cell phone – Kate Vernon’s daughter and Edward James Olmos!
Though he was 3,000 miles away, a cell phone call proved Edward James Olmos will forever be Admiral Adama with dedicated fans more than willing to follow him in the next war against the Cylons. This panel provided the most intense experience of Dragon*Con. If you have not experienced 2,000 passionate BSG fans united in “So say we all,” you are missing out.
With stories of prosthetic limbs, tubs of goo and the science behind destroying a base ship, the BSG panel provided a little bit of everything, even 6,000 calorie cookies (don not ask)!
If you are like me and you yearn for more Battlestar Battlestar “>Galactica, do not forget to pick up a copy of Battlestar Galactica: The Plan on dvd October 27, 2009.
TrueBlood: Southern Discomfort
Rounding out our first day at Dragon*Con, we attended a discussion panel. The panel was hosted by fans of the HBO series TrueBlood and the books written by Charlene Harris, upon which the series is based. Among my fellow fans in attendance, we found ourselves seated by Kelley Clark again. I told you she was kewl.
The panel was an opportunity for open conversation about the books versus the tv series, a chance to share opinions on the series so far and the best statement made at Dragon*Con.
@kelleyclark Posted on Twitter – Overheard: “GLBT? That sounds like a sandwich!” #TrueBlood panel at #dragoncon.
When Shannon and I finally made it back to her house, we were exhausted. Admittedly, we probably did way too much on the first day. In hindsight, it actually worked to our advantage. Our bodies were aching, but it was a great way to start a convention and we had a truly FANtastic day!