Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dragon*Con Week 2012: My Extremely Tentative Schedule

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

Dragon*Con starts TONIGHT, motherscratchers!
Well, not really. Right now it’s still eight days away. It takes time to write these things, you know? But for my dear readers the big show starts tonight, and guess what?
I am going to be there.
For the first time ever I am going down on Thursday night. Everybody keeps telling me that Thursday is just so great, so this year I’m gonna find out. So Evil, Sally, and everybody else – I am holding you guys personally responsible if I don’t have the best time EVER.
            There were actually a couple of practical reasons to stay Thursday night, the biggest of which is that I am on a panel Friday afternoon. The “Confessions of a B-Movie Addict” panel is at 1 PM in the Marriot Atrium, room A703. Now, you might be thinking, “Geez, Phantom – isn’t 1 PM late enough that you could get down there like you normally do and have plenty of time to make it?”
Well, sure. That sounds all reasonable and stuff, but I don’t have the best track record for actually getting up and making it downtown. Which is weird, because on days that I work I get up at 3:30 AM. But I just have this mental block. Add in the fact that I always pick up my supplies – beer, snacks, a trusty and disposable Styrofoam cooler – on the way down there and there’s just too much room for delays. I really don’t want to miss being on my very first Dragon*Con panel.
The funny thing is, I’m not even sure I should be on this panel.
Director Faber of the ESO Network dispatched a missive to all of his operatives stating that there were opportunities to be on certain panels if we wanted them. The guys running the American Sci-Fi Classics Track were looking for a few good nerds. I looked over the list - mindful not only of my interests but of things that would conflict with my drinking – and selected “Confessions of B-Movie Addicts” and “1982: Best Sci-Fi Movie Year Ever?”. These things line up with my interests and provide enough material for me to discuss.
Well, the 1982 one does, anyway. Anybody could do that panel. Just look up that year in movies on Wikipedia. It’s nuts. We’ve all seen those. The other one I’m not so sure about after reading the description:

B-movies are not a guilty pleasure.
They're just a pleasure. Revel in 1950s atomic horror,
Corman classics, and more!

See, I volunteered for that one on title alone, thinking of the great VHS boom of my youth. B Movies like Basket Case, Night of the Demons, Night of the Comet, and maybe even Night of the Lepus. Pretty much anything with “Night of” in the title. But I wasn’t thinking about the fact that the “B Movie” predated my birth by a couple of decades. I don’t know jack shit about 50’s stuff. I mean, I know a little, but not enough to talk about it. I know a little more about Roger Corman stuff, and the “and more!” gives me hope that I’ll be able to shoehorn my own ideas of B Movies into the discussion. A lot will probably depend on who else is on the panel. If it’s a bunch of old people I might be in trouble. But I’ll be there. Just like on February 14, 2007, I’m not pulling out.
The other panel is going to be rad because I’ll get to talk about how much I fucking hate ET. And Tron. Fuck a bunch of Tron. It’s on Saturday at 4 PM in the same room.
So anyway, I decided to stay Thursday night. I called the hotel a few weeks ago to find out how much it would be. It was a lot, so I didn’t book it. They said it was fine and that I could likely show up on Thursday and book a room for an extra night. Thursday was looking light. I thought about it and thought some more, made a couple more calls to the Hilton, and finally decided to just go ahead and do it a couple of weeks ago.
They told me they were booked and I would have to change rooms on Friday. And that checkout was at noon and check-in was at 3 PM. This sounded absolutely retarded, but I went ahead and booked, hoping I could stow my stuff in somebody’s room for a few hours. Evil, Monkey and company said that was fine. Evil also said the same thing happened to them last year and they ended up being able to just stay in the same room, so here’s hoping.
Anyway, that’s all the stuff I wanted to point out in my preamble. Look for me all weekend. Keep an eye on Calabrese’s table, as well. I’ll be stopping by there at one point to either thank them profusely for doing a Q&A or to harass them for not.
What follows is everything I am interested in, conflicts included. It’s gonna be a busy weekend.

Thursday
Me and the missus will be heading down in the evening to pick up our badges and check into our room. She’ll be going back home and returning Friday, while I’ll be staying. There are a couple of things going on Thursday night that I’m curious about.
  • 8:30 PM - The Aether Lounge – Westin Atlanta Ballroom – This is a Steampunk-oriented party. Not really my thing, but I got to hear the DJ – Doctor Q – spin at TimeGate and he’s pretty awesome. At the very least I’ll stop by to say hi.
  • 10:00 PM – SS Vendetta/Warchild – Marriot Atrium Ballroom – I think I’m curious about these guys. We’ll see.
Friday
  • 10:00 PM – Inside the Actor’s Gaffe with Barrowman and Owen – Hyatt Centennial Ballroom – Seeing a John Barrowman panel is pretty high on my list of priorities, but I hope he has one scheduled later in the day than this.
  • 11:30 PM – A Bit of A Chat with Sylvester McCoy – Sheraton Grand Ballroom – McCoy’s panel last year was one of the very best I have seen. He is a born entertainer and gave the audience a full hour of greatness.
  • 11:30 PM – Gotham City’s Favorite Sons: Adam West and Burt Ward – Hyatt Regency Ballroom – Of course I want to see this.
  • 1:00 PM – Confessions of B-Movie Fanatics – Marriot A703 – I AM ON THIS PANEL. Come and see what happens on this panel that I may not even belong on!
  • 1:00 PM – Meet the Contestants of SyFy’s Face Off – Hyatt Centennial I – I really liked the first season of this show. It was fascinating to watch as some projects that looked like they were going to be utter crap turned out to be utter crap, while others didn’t. I would definitely check this panel out if weren’t already busy.
  • 1:00 PM – NY Jedi Lightsaber Battle – Hyatt International North – I mention this not because I am interested, but because I find it hard to believe we had to import some Yankees in order to have a good lightsaber battle. I feel fairly certain there have to be some skilled duelists here in the South.
  • 1:00 PM – Warehouse 13: The Stars Look Back – Hyatt Centennial Ballroom II-III – I’d very much like to see this one. Obviously I won’t.
  • 2:30 PM – Eureka: 2012 Town Census – Hyatt Centennial Ballroom – I bailed on Eureka after the timeline switch – I didn’t like the show’s new focus on relationships – but I still love the first three seasons and the few episodes I’ve seen here and there lately. I’d really like to check out this loaded panel.
  • 2:30 PM – A Woman Leading Change! – Sheraton Grand Ballroom A-F – This is a panel featuring Nichelle Nichols. I think it would be very interesting to see if I can make it after my B-Movie panel.
  • 2:30 PM – Buffy & Angel Guest Q&A – Westin Peachtree Ballroom A-F – Marsters, Landau, and J. August Richards. I said his whole name not because I think you won’t know who “Richards” is, but because that is an awesome name. Also, If you’ve never seen a panel with James Marsters, be sure and check one out this weekend.
  • 4:00 PM – Big Damn Heroes! – Westin Peachtree Ballroom A-F – Staite, Maher, and Baldwin. Maybe. Maybe Baldwin. I’m not sure yet. Nobody’s sure. Adam S. Baldwin isn’t sure. He is the perpetual blue balls of Dragon*Con guests.
  • 5:30 PM - Eight Bits of Awesome: Classic 80’s Video Games – Marriot A703 – There’s no way I’ll make this one, what with DCW looming ahead; but I’d definitely check it out if I could. I just want to talk to somebody about Combat.
  • 5:30 PM – Destination Truth – Sheraton Capitol Ballroom – I really like the show and would definitely like to see Josh Gates talking about what he does. I mean, he has a very silly job. Probably kind of freaky sometimes, but still silly.
  • 5:30 PM – Pop Culture Puppets: Beyond Henson – Marriot 101 – A discussion of puppetry outside of the most successful puppet franchise in the world. I wonder if they’ll talk about Meet the Feebles.
  • 5:30 PM – The Never Ending Trial – Sheraton Grand Ballroom A-F – A Star Trek: TNG panel with Wang, Frakes, Dorn, and Burton. I’d like to see it, but after a comment left on another post, I’m not so sure.
  • 7:00 PM – Dragon*Con Championship Wrestling – Hyatt Centennial Ballroom – Do you even have to ask? This is absolutely, positively, THE event of the Con.
  • 8:30 PM – Pinups By the Pool Party – Sheraton Pool – If it weren’t for DCW I would be at this event hosted by Taloolah Love. The ladies from Saturday night’s Burlesque Show will be lounging by the pool. Me and Michael Gordon would have been the best Cabana Boys ever, schedule permitting. Maybe next year.
  • 11:30 PM – What’s New With Troma? – Hyatt International North – A panel with Lloyd Kaufman. I went to one a few years ago and it was pretty great. One of my first panels and one that got me hooked.
Saturday
  • 3:00 AM – DJ Spider – Marriot Atrium Ballroom – Ms. Spider comes highly recommended by none other than the Puppetry Track’s Mr. Beau Brown, so we’ll be checking out her set in the wee hours.
  • 10:00 AM – Saturday Morning Sci-Fi TV – Marriot A703 – If I’m actually up by this time I’ll probably be eating breakfast or watching the parade. But I really like the idea of watching old-school Saturday morning cartoons with Bobby Nash.
  • 11:30 AM – The Dynamic Duo Rises – Hyatt Centennial Ballroom I – Another panel featuring Adam West and Burt Ward. I’d love to catch them, but Saturday mornings are usually tricky.
  • 11:30 AM – Media Tie-Ins: Art or Commerce – Hyatt Regency V – I doubt I’ll make this one, but it does sound fascinating. Peter David, Michael Stackpole, and others discuss working on licensed projects.
  • 11:30 AM – Eureka: Global Dynamics Exit Interview – Hyatt Centennial Ballroom – Another loaded Eureka panel, but with a slightly different group of guests than Friday’s panel.
  • 11:30 AM – Destination Truth – Sheraton Capitol Ballroom – Another opportunity to see Josh Gates.
  • 11:30 AM – A Conversation With Jane Espenson – Westin Peachtree Ballroom A-F – I just want her to explain why (that episode) sucked. That’s not entirely true – I have always found her to be one of the best and most informative speakers on the Buffy Special Features and Documentaries. I’d love to see her in person.
  • 1:00 PM – Mythbusters’ Grant Imahara – Hyatt Grand Ballroom – I think this one would be really cool to attend. I love Mythbusters and the episodes that have featured behind-the-scenes stuff are great.
  • 2:30 PM – Creating Warehouse 13 and the Agents – Marriot Atrium Ballroom – This has all of the WH13 stars at Con, plus Jane Espenson. That’s rad. What’s more rad is that I might be able to make this one depending on when I’m supposed to show up for my 4:00 panel.
  • 4:00 PM – 1982: Best Sci-Fi Movie Year Ever! – Marriot A703 – I AM ALSO ON THIS PANEL. This is the one I’m really stoked about. I could ramble on about Swamp Thing alone for an hour. I’ll be joined on this one by my fellow ESO Operatives. It’s going to be great – seriously.
  • 4:00 PM - Torchwood Q&A: Barrowman, Marsters, and Owen – Marriot Atrium Ballroom – Well crappity crap crap. I can’t see this one. Just because I think Torchwood is awful doesn’t mean I won’t find these people talking about it enjoyable.
  • 4:00 PM – Heather Henson: A Daughter Remembers – Sheraton Grand Ballroom A-F – Argh! I can’t see this one, either. Jim Henson’s youngest offspring reminisces about the life of her father. I bet this will be really memorable.
  • 8:30 PM – Gonzoroo II – Marriot Atrium Ballroom – Every year I say I am going to see one of these variety show type events and every year I don’t. This year’s features Billy West, Phil Plait, Doc Hammer, Jackson Publick, Sylvester McCoy(!), and James Urbaniak. I really, really want to see it. Bet I won’t.
  • 10:00 PM – Heroes and Villains Ball – Sheraton Grand Ballroom – A costume party based around comic book heroes. Sounds good. But I bet the Hooligans will be too drunk to remember it.
  • 10:00 PM – Dragon After Dark Contest – Hyatt Regency VI-VII – This is the pervy costume contest where everybody’s butts are showing. I’d like to see it. I like butts.
  • 10:00 PM – New Puppet Order Screening – Marriot 101 – Four short films from a talented group of puppet masters: Shadow Puppets, A Dark Companion, The Wind-Up Boy, and Maiden to Monster. This screening gets a high recommendation from me and you should probably start lining up at least an hour in advance. This will be cool.
  • 11:30 PM – Film Festival Screening: Horror Comedy – Hyatt Learning Center – Amber Benson and Adam Busch present their project, (whatever). I wouldn’t mind checking this out.
  • Midnight – Calabrese – Hyatt Centennial Ballroom II-III – You do not want to miss this. The best horror rock you’re going to find today.
Sunday
  • 10:00 AM – Inside the Actor’s Gaffe with Sylvester McCoy – Sheraton Grand Ballroom – I very badly want to catch a McCoy panel, but ten AM on Sunday… no.
  • 10:00 AM - Batman and Robin Forever – Hyatt Centennial Ballroom I – Rises… Forever… I see what they did there… Ten AM on Sunday just isn’t going to happen for me, but I do hope to catch one of the West/Ward panels.
  • 11:30 AM - Torchwood: Miracle Day – Marriot Atrium Ballroom – I disliked this miniseries about as much as I have ever disliked anything on television except for maybe baseball. But a panel featuring John Barrowman and Jane Espenson sounds amazing.
  • 1:00 PM – Behind the Brooms: The Sci-Fi Janitors – Marriot 101 – Bob & Carl do a live show. Get there early. Highly recommended. They will make poop jokes.
  • 2:30 PM – The Venture Bros. – Marriot Atrium Ballroom – Every time I have seen a Venture panel it has been a hum-dinger. This one gets my highest recommendation. The first one I saw was also the first time I hung out with the Belligerent Monkey, so you might even meet a super cool person there.
  • 2:30 PM – Spike & Drusilla – Westin Peachtree Ballroom A-F – I’m not going to make this one. But I wish I could.
  • 4:00 PM – TMNT: A Fan Perspective – Hyatt Dunwoody – I’m a little confused on this one, as the title makes it sound like a fan panel but Kevin Eastman is listed as the speaker. I mean, I’m sure he likes the Ninja turtles and all, but he’s a weird choice for a fan perspective. Regardless, I’d like to see this one.
  • 4:00 PM – Destination Truth – Sheraton Capitol Ballroom – Josh Gates again! Check him out!
  • 7:00 PM – Gonzo Quiz Show IV: The Quest for Quiz – Westin Atlanta Ballroom – Another opportunity to catch the folks from Gonzoroo II doing… something.
  • 8:30 PM – Masquerade – Hyatt Centennial Ballroom – I’ve never seen this except on Dragon*Con TV and I doubt that’ll change this year. But it is one of the signature events of Con and something you should at least try to catch on DC*TV.
  • 8:30 PM – Original Blood: Vampires in the 70’s and 80’s – Marriot A703 – This panel will be discussing Lost Boys, Near Dark, The Hunger, and that sort of thing. Back when vampires were scary. Still pretty fey, but scary.
  • Midnight – The Sci-Fi Janitors Present: Late Night Puppet Slam – Hyatt Regency VI-VII – Hilarious puppet filth. Do not miss it this year. This one gets my highest recommendation besides DCW. GET THERE EARLY. It will fill up and leave a lot of sad, unfulfilled people outside leaning against the wall, hoping to catch a glimpse of the yellow-clad pair.
Monday
  • 1:30 AM – Crüxshadows – Hyatt Centennial Ballroom II-III – We’ll end up here. We always do.
  • 10:00 AM– Q&A with Sylvester McCoy – Hyatt Centennial Ballroom II-III – Much like Garfield (the cat, not the President) I don’t do Mondays. But I might have to for Doctor Seven. But there’s no way I will.

Obviously I am only going to do a fraction of those things. I count twenty-two total conflicts, and that’s not even including panels that are scheduled close together temporally and distant geographically. If “Cooking With Captain Jack” is at the Hyatt and ends at 2:30 and “The Sexuality of the Ferengi” is at the Sheraton and starts at 3:00, you’re not gonna make it. But there’s plenty of stuff to do, tons of dealers, lots of guests, and hopefully enough booze. No matter what, I’m going to have fun.
Keep in mind, this is only a tiny representation of what’s going on at Dragon*Con. For the full picture, go download the schedule right now and start planning.
Anyway, I’ll be around all weekend. If you see me, let’s have a beer. Better yet, buy me a beer.

-Phantom



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