Another Dragon*Con is in the bag, and I have to admit that it was one of the best yet for me. The con has grown so much, and it does not appear to stopping. There is something cool about all of the people, having so much to do, so many things to see, meeting up with old friends, and hopefully I made some new ones. No two Dragon*Con experiences are alike, but I would like to take a moment to talk about mine and what caught my attention.
Friday was mostly panels for me, because there were a lot I wanted to see, and I have to say that my schedule was so much easier this year thanks to the Dragon*Con app. After getting my badge I made it to the What If…Elseworlds panel with Peter David, Mike Miller, and Dave Johnson, which was a fun romp through some excellent comic stories and discussions on the freedom of non-continuity. Also, Peter David is hilarious, especially calling out one fan for how the Young Justice show ruined his characters, when he had written the episodes in question. It is also great when one of the panelists agrees how dumb a recent comic death was, that the guy sitting next to him helped with.
The next was a Women in the Video Game Industry panel that really needed more time, but I was glad to see it packed. The next bit was light hearted and fun, An Audience with James Urbaniak and Dana Snyder, which involved a live radio show and a lot of silliness. Both men are renowned actors and thespians, but are best known as Dr. Venture (Venture Brothers) and Master Shake (Aqua Teen Hunger Force), and they did not disappoint.
I closed out the block with two writing panels, Building Alternate Worlds and Times followed by Critique Groups and Beta Readers. Each had a slew of awesome writers, too many to name, but I will say that it was a pleasure to speak with Delilah S. Dawson again, and to finally meet and have a beer with the wonderful Michael J. Martinez. Friday closed off with a few drinks and meeting some friends for food. And although it may sound like a lot of fun, I took some notes and set up some things for the future as well. This, combined with day two’s networking, was worth the trip alone, but it gets better.
Saturday began with Martinez’s author reading and some time left open to meet friends and wander about. I find that to be a fun part of the con itself, and always discover something fun or interesting. I palled around with Cary and Stephen for a chunk of the day while we traversed the dealer’ area, which is still too crowded, and hit up the gaming floor. I think my two friends were bad luck though, as for the first time in my personal Dragon*Con history, a panel filled when we had actually gotten there an hour early. This seemed to be a common problem this year with panels though, as several I attended were just in too small of rooms or should have honestly been offered at more times. Something I hope to see addressed in the future.
After running into Kim and Danny in the food court I did make it to a wonderful Race and Gender Issues panel, that really needed to be about an hour longer, but after that I decided that it was time to meet up with Evan and Wesley. We could not get into the IT Crowd panel for the same reasons as above, but took the opportunity to go check out some of the cosplay in the Marriot. There was some great stuff as always, and I love the subtle stuff or really obscure characters, like seeing Haley and Jeff from American Dad, or Simon Dark. I thought I was the only one who read that comic book. After some photo ops though it was time to hit up the parties with Jessica, and after dancing with a female Deadpool and talking to a random Fire Emblem character about Smash Brothers, it had been a long fun day. So long in fact that I got on the wrong MARTA train, but that is a story for another time.
My last panel was on Sunday, Journalism and SF with Emilie P. Bush and some other ladies who all had backgrounds in journalism and law apparently. It was an interesting approach to the subjects at hand, and overall confirmed that every panel I saw was interesting in one form or another, also rounding out my networking attempts. I want to thank Andy for letting me pal around with him and his friends for a while, trying the dealers’ rooms one more time and getting the talented and all around nice David Mack to sell me on Daredevil: End of Days and sign it for me.
I had one final adventure as I wandered the hotels and took everything in. Jim Sterling from the Escapist had been tweeting that he was at the con all weekend, and after a vigorous search I finally found him in the lobby of the Hilton. He was not a guest of DC, just an attendee like myself, and it was incredibly awesome to meet someone in the field I am trying to get more involved with. I am not one to get star struck by any means, but this was rather cool and I just had to get a picture. Meeting him was a pleasure, and I may have shamelessly given him my business card, but in the end, it was the perfect closing to my Dragon*Con 2014.
I am already looking into next year, and one must start early for something so packed. I had a great time, and have enjoyed recording it all down here as well. This will be a hard con experience to top, but I am looking forward to giving it a try.