Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dragon Con 2014 report!

I am home! Dragon Con 2014 was an amazing convention, and it has been a while since I've had that level of fun at a convention. Usually I am running about, either checking on booths, running games, attending meetings or trying to run down other freelancers to kill them and claim their power I mean, to talk shop.

This was my first D*C, and it probably will not be the last. It had been a long time since I had been able to relax, and that kind of disturbed me at first. I had time to take naps. I could go where I pleased, when I pleased. I really, really miss that about Gen Con, though for obvious reasons I have to work that one if I am to make money to feed Cokie.

I missed having Eloy with me at the convention. He couldn't make it due to last minute issues and I know he missed every second of it, but there were plenty of people who offered him kind words. Hell, Clint at the "How to Break Into Gaming" panel talked him up! Eloy and Chris Wilde were there in spirit. Mainly because I used Soul Steal on them but the thought counts!

D*C is different from Gen Con in that it is not just a gaming convention. It's a little bit of everything. Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Comics, Gaming...these but scratch the surface! If there's something you want to do at the con you can do it. There was a codebreaker panel and a Skeptics tract at the con. The biggest part of the convention, at least to me, was the cosplaying aspect of it.

Cosplaying is where you design costumes of famous characters, pop culture icons, or characters of their own design. Over the weekend I ran into so many characters that I ended up taking the most pictures I ever had at a con. I saw the many common characters I've gotten used to at Gen Con; Deadpool, Spider-Man, Halo Spartans, etc. At this con I saw home made robot suits, intricately sewn fantasy garb, and many random hilarious characters as well.

Thus began a long line of me wearing bowls as hats.

I also learned that my theory of saying out loud the obscure character someone has dressed as will Make. Their. Fucking. Day! I saw a guy from the 76th Independent Batallion break into a big grin when I recognized his suit and the two Shi'ar Guardsmen were overjoyed I knew who they were. (People thought they were Coneheads!)

All hail Imperator Gladiator!

I'm not going to bore people with summaries of each day, but here are the highlights of the con:

  • The Venture Brothers panel! It was amazing to see Doc Hammer, James Urbaniak, and Dana Snyder in person. They talked about the upcoming season and let people ask them questions. I laughed hard during their panel, especially when they gave relationship advice to someone or when Doc Hammer talked about the first time he jerked off. 
  • I saw the Patrick Stewart panel! Granted, I was in the far back, but he was hilarious. He also suffers from allergies, which for some bizarre reason made it really relate able to him. He talked about his upcoming projects and his acting on stage. He also mentioned how he was trying to get Sir Ian McKellen to come to conventions like that. 
  • Meeting several friends of mine who live in the South was really great. It was great running into Michelle Phillips and her fiance Eric, Michelle Flamm, Nik, Bryan Bailey and his Ingress buddies, Bill Bridges, the Brobdingnagian Bards, JP Gagnon, Clint, JP, JP's boss, James Wulfgar, James Dawsey, Cris, and the guy who roomed with us and I forgot his name. :P A lot of you did a lot for helping me get over any social anxiety I had at the con.
  • It was a little weird for me when I recognized Eric from Facebook and had to figure out how to walk up to him without being weird. "Hey, you're Eric! I've seen your pictures on Facebook." 
  • The Everquest panel reminded me of how I enjoyed playing that game briefly many years ago. I may pick it up again.
  • Live messaging the Star Citizen panel for Dereke was fun, though their Racing simulator crashed midpanel. It was cool seeing the new M50 Fighter/Racer on screen. 
  • I ran into Dana Snyder briefly and asked if he could record a message for Dereke. He said he was about to leave but for me to write a message down for him. "Dear Dereke, get a new friend. This one is WORTHLESS!" He said all that in Master Shake's voice. :P He then apologized and thanked Dereke for being a fan.
  • Trivia contest/biggest failures panel for Venture Brothers! At two points I got a decorative Venture Brothers tote and a pin to let me into the Guild of Calamitous Intent. MUAHAHAHA FEAR MY EVIL!
  • Played Warhammer Quest, which I hadn't played in forever! I wish I could buy another copy of it but they all sell for insane amounts on Ebay.
  • Though spread out among other hotels the hotels were easy to go between. I loved how each hotel had their own specialty. The Hilton was gaming. The Westin was horror, urban horror, the Spectrum party, and others. The Hyatt had lots of trivia panels as well.
  • The Spectrum Party, or GLBTI and Ally party, was amazing. I had a blast with friends there.
  • Artax Entertainment panel was a lot of fun as well! 
  • Oddly enough I loved the Dragon Con TV channel they played in the hotel rooms. I know it had some cheesy skits and jokes at times but I liked how they aired panels for people who missed it or provided cartoons and jokes for people who were bored. 

See? I told you so! Serving dish as a crown, for I am KING OF TRADER VICKS!

One goal I had was to try as much different cuisine while I was in Atlanta. Indy gets a bad reputation for having mainly chain restaurants and I wanted to try something different. Restaraunts ended up being where I spent the majority of my money, but they were WELL worth it!

  • Yami Yami Sushi and Buffet in the Peachtree Center Food Court: Not bad, but their signs were misleading. I thought it was by the pound but instead it was by the roll. The food was tasty, but I ended up paying $20 and not really enjoying it. Apart from their Yami Spicy Roll, most were made up of wet rice.
  • Haveli Indian Cuisine: Horrible place to eat. The food was watery, the Chicken Tikka Masala had this weird smokey flavor to it, and the staff did not seem to want to be there. She seemed completely disinterested in serving anyone, as seen by the fact I never got refills, I had to ask for cutlerly, and not only did I eventually have to ask for my check but she forgot about processing it. 
  • Meehan's Public House: An Irish pub, this place was just fucking fantastic in every way. Great food, great beer, and very affordable. Bill Bridges recommended it and it was great.
  • Corner Bakery Cafe: I ate here twice. Recommended by JP Gagnon, it was a very affordable and great tasting breakfast. The French Toast and breakfast sandwiches are great.
  • Trader Vicks: I liked it, but it was very expensive. The waitress was amazing though, as was the ahi tuna steak. We also did another round of using plates as crowns for this one. :P
  • Sear at the Marriott Marquis Hotel: I only got breakfast here as the dinner was too pricey. The breakfast was good, but there was a huge price hike between Friday and Saturday. At $27, I don't recommend their buffet for that price.
  • High Velocity at the Marriott Marquis Hotel: This place on the other hand was great! Affordable and their special sandwich was amazing. It was packed cause of the other con goers but the speed of it allowed for the line to move down quickly. 
  • Mandarin House Restaurant: Great food, and amazing service! It was funny watching the many different cosplayers eat there. I ate at a table next to some fairies and X-Men cosplayers. The Mongolian chicken, which I ate because I didn't understand the other meals they had (the titles were in Chinese), was great.
  • As for other meals, I either had no time to eat or got hot dogs and pretzels at various places.  
  • A lot of room parties offered free alcohol, and I know we had plenty in our room. Mmm Maker's Mark.

A grouping of Deadpools is called "Hilarious."

The Cons
  • The MARTA, though convenient, is a hell of a walk when you have all your luggage with you.
  • Not enough time in a day to get enough sleep. Events go 24 hours and it's impossible to do everything.
  • The humidity was a bit unbearable at times. Same with the hills. 
  • There was a gentleman who ruined my dinner Sunday night, and even though the manager apologized and comped my meal I don't really like going to bars in Atlanta when the football teams are there. Long story short: A guy objected to the fact I had a table near the bar and he didn't, and he flipped out and well...flipped the table. His wife dragged him out. Nothing else happened, and I was fine. Not really proud of the fact I was paralyzed by fear, but oh well.
  • I'm not a huge fan of waiting in massive lines for hours for panels. The ones I did manage to attend were pretty cool.
  • The elevators were either constantly broken or taken up by people. Even when I was on the bottom floor and needed to board to go up they would sometimes be crammed full. Lots of people used the phrase "You have to go down to go up" or "You have to go up to go down."
  • Cellular reception was shit!
  • The Star Wars trivia contest was so challenging I saw many people walk up, turn in their tests, and say they couldn't do it. I didn't even place in the rankings for it. It was focused more on the minor minutiae of the Star Wars universe such as what type of blasters Jango Fett wielded or what type of generator powered the X-Wing.
  • I had the world's worst hangover Sunday morning. Though it was due to some amazing partying with friends Saturday night!
  • I was not overly impressed with the dealer's room, and the decentralized nature of it drove me nuts.
  • I had a bit of social anxiety about the crowds there. I know, I'm normally very outgoing, but when you see thousands of people in one room it can be a bit nerve wracking. Texts from Kat and hanging out with other people helped break down the barriers.

I do not know when I'll be back but I guarantee you, some day I will return to Dragon Con!

Some day.

1 comment:

  1. I really wanted to go. If you plan on attending next year let me know. Maybe we can team up and kick Atlanta's ass.