If you missed part 1 of my recap you can go here to get caught up.
Now where were we? Oh yes, Thursday evening. I hung out with Rich near the ballroom where DCW would be happening, and had a few drinks to ready myself. I don’t know if it’s because everyone new about the new official start day or wrestling has just gotten that popular, but the line went on forever. We stood with the Hooligans in the overflow area for ages as the line just kept coming. It was starting to look like the room would fill before we could get in. That was certainly not going to happen to us so we started frantically messaging Schweck (who was inside reserving our rows of seats) to come out and get us. He finally did, but once inside it turned out that some interlopers had joined us. I didn’t mind sitting in the second row; until Noel and Rebeccah left for another event, and Rich moved to the first row. So there I was all alone with only a few total strangers in my row. I stuck it out for a little while. I did get to see Sting, Lita, and Ric Flair at least. After a bit I did miss having someone to talk to so I wandered off in search of something slightly more social. I ran into Dave, Ryan Cadaver, and Nicole at the Hilton and the dance party of foolishness began. “Hilton World” was a nice touch. I like that they went with a theme, and apparently so did some of the people wearing inflatable dinosaur costumes. I mean, it did fit with their whole thing after all. Once the dinos hit the floor the DJ decided to make it extra, and played “Walk the Dinosaur “. Look it up youngsters. Much drinking, dancing, and general silliness ensued. Things got even better once wrestling let out and a bunch more people joined the party.
As Nicole, Ryan, and I were all taking the train back and forth every day we decided to call it a night while there was good safety in numbers. Honestly I’ve never felt unsafe in the host hotel area during Dragon Con. I still plan on doing my best to get a room next year though. While it may be fine downtown, by the time I get to the final stop of the night things are much more sketchy. Luckily I’m smart enough to order my Uber before I get off the train, but that still leaves me walking alone through not the nicest area at 1am to get to the pick-up point. Leaving just when things are getting good and stupid sucks too. There were also many times over the weekend when I would have paid any price for a place to take a nap. Sunday especially. I had a panel at 10am, and then another at 10pm. And this was after doing the Big Damn Game Show Saturday night. I want to take a nap right now just thinking about it.
Anyway, I knew Saturday and Sunday would be long days so it took it very easy on Friday. MARTA decided I would take it even easier than I planned by having delays (again). I got in at 4:30 and had to eat before someone got cut. The food court still wasn’t bad so I got some homophobic chicken bits (Chick-fil-A in case you didn’t know. It’s better than the racist pizza they were serving in the hotels. Or is it? Okay, they’re both horrible options, but that hate chicken is so tasty). I think I made it just before the dinner rush, but I also finished in time for FLCL panel. It’s my one of my favorite animes ever, and it’s finally getting a new season. Apparently Gainax was holding up the rights, but as soon as they were sold Cartoon Network snatched them up. There will be new characters, new wackiness, and all new songs from The Pillows. One of the best things about FLCL is always the music so this is extra exciting. We got to watch the first new episode, and even got free t-shirts at the end of the panel. Woo hoo!
After that I had a little more time to kill so I went wandering again while doing a bit more brushing up for my first panel. It was Night of the Living Dead so there wasn’t much brushing up to do, but I like to be prepared. I know that movie better than the back of my hand (when did I get that cut on my finger?). I think it went pretty well (I don’t know why I don’t remember much about this panel. I was completely sober so liquor had nothing to do with it. I have never had a problem with public speaking, but I guess this was different. That’s the only reason I can think of for not being able to give you more details), but the best part was that there was someone I knew on my first panel. I didn’t know Nicole very well until this year, but she really knows her horror and is very cool. I’m glad I got to know her and Ryan both better this con because they kick ass. I was tired by the time that panel ended though, and with Saturday and Sunday looming large in my mind I figured I should call it an early night. I had to panels to be ready for on Saturday, and I was still a little tired from having a bit too much fun Thursday night. I am at least wise enough in my old age to know better than to try and bounce back by keeping the party going.
I was feeling energized and ready for panel action on Saturday morning. Unhappily, the train system tried to screw me again with another breakdown. I’m going to rant again for a second. Over labor day weekend we have not only Dragon Con, but also a football thing that I know nothing about but attracts a lot of people from out of town. There’s Black Gay Pride that weekend too. Not only does that make for an interesting mix of people downtown, but it also makes it one of the busiest weekends of the year (if not the biggest) for our mass transit system. Get your shit together Atlanta! Anyway… I was excited for our 1pm Video Game Character Hall of Fame panel because Dave had been so busy he asked me to do the legwork on this one. All of our lovely panelists helped hash out the format, and were great to work with, but Dave just moderated and left a lot of it to me. Really, it wasn’t just a discussion of characters like the title might lead you to believe. It was a competition where we picked our favorite old characters, and let the audience decide the winners. Link ended up running away with the grand prize (as I knew he would), but then we had the audience pick best villains. Kefka (Final Fantasy VI) not only won the popular vote, but was determined to be the victor in a fight with our favorite hero. I call foul! The best thing to come out of the panel was the spur of the moment decision to change the name of Adrian Fahrenheit Tepes (or Alucard from Castlevania) to Albert Thermostat Dracula. I’m still laughing about it even writing it now. If you think that might be funnier if you’d been there then don’t worry. Dave will be posting the audio of the panel soon.
After that I had a little more time to kill before the Beetlejuice panel I was doing at the Westin. Dave was going to be on this one, but decided that eating was more important since the game show prep was starting just as the Beetlejuice panel wrapped up. He’s so selfish. I was a little nervous about being on a panel for the horror track without anyone else I knew on the panel or in the audience. I’m super into horror, and didn’t want to make an ass of myself in front of the track director. At least if I screw up in American Sci-Fi Classics guys they kind of know who I am, and might cut me some slack.
But once again, I find myself going long. I don’t want to be one of those “too long, didn’t read” people. I think it’s better to keep you coming back than drain your attention span to the limits. But be sure to check back very soon for what I hope will be the final installment of my Dragon Con recap. The way I’m going though I could be working on this thing until next August. We’ll just have to see…