Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Dragon Con 2013: Day 3 – Saturday

Friday Night

Technically the narrative picks up Friday night after DCW, but it was almost Saturday and I don’t want to still be posting Dragon Con stuff in October, so I’m going with “Day 3 – Saturday”.

I think I forgot to mention this the other day, but apparently the Hilton is hiring Ghost Maids now:
Fine by me.
Also, I want you to look at Doctor Q’s shirt:
No, really look at Doctor Q’s shirt:
Yeah.
We headed to the Hilton Karaoke like we usually do, but it just wasn’t as happening this year. I don’t know why. That’s one thing about Dragon Con – you can hit certain spots that are normally solid, but if you’re a little too early or late you kind of miss the vibe and it’s no good. It’s a little like surfing, I guess. You have to time everything right. I have never actually surfed nor do I intend to, so feel free to ignore that comparison.
I don’t know exactly when it happened, but at some point the rest of the Hooligans went to bed. Or ditched me. I’m not sure which. Luckily for me I ran into Inara and she pointed me in the direction of an improv puppet show featuring Raymond Carr, Lucky Yates, Stacey Gordon, Paul McGinnis, and Victor Yerrid:
Also, there was an adorable dog there:
The show was hilarious. Think Whose Line is it Anyway?, but with puppets. One guy – Paul, I think – was playing host and would assign scenes and take audience suggestions. I learned a lot of things from the show, but I think the most important thing I took away is that if you are a female puppeteer you must have to take really good care of your armpits:
All of those folks were awesome. But I really wanted to pet that dog. I was pretty drunk by the time I made it to the puppet show and it took everything I had not to just go up and hang out with the dog. I mean, look again:
That is one cute little dog.
It appeared to be a Dog With Purpose, which is all that kept me from going and sitting next to it. I didn’t want to mess up somebody’s Sober Companion Canine or whatever. For all I knew that dog was translating English to German or something. It sort of looks like a beagle, but I can’t imagine beagles being useful for anything other than chasing rabbits or treeing possums.
But anyway, awesome puppet show – 5 out of 5.
As I was wandering around alone I ran into two girls cosplaying as Girls Who Shouldn’t Wear Bikinis and decided I had seen enough for the night.
Saturday
I had planned on getting up and watching the parade on Saturday morning and even woke up in time to do so. But something happened that simply doesn’t happen to me very often and I got absolutely terrified about the toy panel at 1 PM.
I don’t know what my deal was, but nerves just hit me like a motherfucker. So I told myself I needed to get some more sleep and really didn’t need to be bothered with the parade, anyway. I then spent the next three hours waking up every half hour or so, panicking, and then falling back into an uneasy slumber. It was a weird and terrible morning.
I managed to get my shit together and force myself to eat some of the snack crap I had in the room. Which brings up another weird thing from this year’s Con – I had no appetite. I usually spend the whole time hungry because I just don’t eat as much or as often as I should. But this year I had to force myself to eat. I’m sure it had something to do with nerves or the added pressure of not only being on panels but running panels; but it’s been a long time since I had anxiety like that and it isn’t precisely what I was feeling. I dunno. I talked to Mr. Beau Brown and he had the same thing going on.
Of course, since he runs the Puppetry Track his deal was almost certainly nerves and anxiety.
Totally unsatisfied by the Nature’s Way protein bar I choked down, I suited up and headed to the Marriott M303-304 with my neat-o new handtruck loaded down with toy-filled boxes.
Before I get any further, I want to thank Billy’s Toys and Comics and Diamond Select Toys for sending stuff for display for the panel. It made a huge difference having that wall of toys sitting on the table and I think created a great visual impact on the audience. I mean, even more than a guy in a purple jumpsuit and wrestling mask.
Photo courtesy of Don Harden
The panel was a massive success. The room was packed – as it was for all of the panels I was on – and I am still receiving kind and enthusiastic words. Come back tomorrow for the full toy panel as part of Needless Things Podcast Episode 10! I’ll have a little bit more to say about the panel itself, as well as more about Dragon con.
I passed this lady on my way to the car to drop off the boxes of toys and thought she looked awesome:
Just before I got to the elevator down to the parking garage I realized I hadn’t brought my car keys and would be hauling that stuff back up to the room anyway. Once there, I realized that it was almost time for the 
 
Super Sheraton Sandwich Showdown

I was super excited about this since it was an event of my very own devising and I thought it was going to be a whole lot of fun. Just the kind of odd, neat thing that might get some attention on YouTube or something. Plus all I really needed to make it happen were a few Hooligans and the bystanders that would no doubt result.
In case you haven’t read my prior explanation, the deal is that the Sheraton Deli is very slow. I felt pretty confident that I could run across Courtland Avenue, get a sandwich from the gyro shop across the street, and return to one of the Sheraton tables before an opponent could get their sandwich right there at the Sheraton. Hooligan Mike had volunteered to be that opponent and everything was set. I had even made a little Facebook event that got a few attendees. But like I said – I really only needed Mike and maybe two other people.
I put on my running gear and headed over to the Sheraton, pretty stoked about this thing. It didn’t have to go perfectly; it would still be funny stuff.
I got there at 3:00. The Showdown was supposed to occur at 3:15. I was a little surprised that nobody was there yet, especially after being told that there might even be more competitors the day before.
As you might have guessed, nobody showed up. Not Mike, not camera folks, not the people who were supposedly making plans to participate. Not one Hooligan made it out.
So that was a fun, self-affirming experience.
Alright - now that’s out of the way. Let’s check out this awesome chick that put together a costume based off a brand-new Wonder Woman concept:
I passed this lady in some awesome costume posing for pictures behind the waterfall thingy in the entryway of the Marriott. I promise this looked really awesome in person, but just looks like another one of my signature blurry pictures here:
After classing myself up a little bit I still had a few hours before the Hooligans’ Annual Chinese Dinner (well, yeah – I was pissed, but they’re my friends – what’re you gonna do?). I spent some time wandering around and meeting new people – something I highly recommend you try to do at some point during Dragon Con. I ran into this guy dressed up as the mayor from The Oblongs:
And also this guy and his pal:
Who I ended up talking to for quite some time about wrestling in general and Lucha libre specifically. It was a great conversation. You know how sometimes you’re just sort of waiting for your moment to say you’ve got to be somewhere or whatever? That didn’t happen here. This guy was really cool and interesting.
Upstairs I came across internet sensation and fellow masked mic-wielder Maestro McKickass interviewing a guy that might as well have been the actual Mick Foley. I am hoping to set up a little cross-promotion with Mr. McKickass and his network soon. It’s all about having the time to do it. I actually have several networking opportunities that have come up as a result of Dragon Con; including one that I’m working on as I write this. For now I’ll just say to expect more toy panels in various places next year if I can make my schedule work.
Just around the corner from McKickass and his crew I found the undisputed Costumes of the Year for Dragon Con 2013:
HOLY FUCK.
Those are two of my favorite costumes that I have ever seen in person. Coincidentally, Centurions is also the subject of Kalan’s next Best Cartoon Ever (of the month). So stay tuned for that. She’s been studying diligently and has put together what should be a great piece.
Also, M.O.D.O.K.:
That was enough wandering for me. It was time to meet up with the Hooligans and have some Chinese food. I ran into Money Ham on the corner of Courtland and Baker and asked him where he was headed. He laughed and said the Chinese dinner that I had scheduled.
You see, I had put up a post on Facebook asking if we were doing Chinese dinner again. No event, no concrete plans. Just a post casually asking. Twenty people showed up for Chinese dinner. Think back to earlier that day and appreciate the HILARIOUS irony that was my Saturday at Dragon Con.
Every other year we have just shown up at the Chinese place and eaten. No big deal. They usually weren’t even that busy. This year, though, word must have gotten out about this place (notice I am not mentioning a name) because it was fucking packed and we were told there would be an hour and a half wait.
To tighten things up a little bit, I’ll just say that we wandered around Atlanta looking for places to eat and eventually gave up and went to the Peachtree Center Food Court. I got Checker’s and went back to my room to eat naked and in peace. After all, I had a live Earth Station Who and the Most Important Event of the Year to get ready for.
Photo courtesy of Phantomaniac Elizabeth Laney
I had to take my jacket off. It was sweltering because the room was PACKED TO THE RAFTERS.
Also courtesy of Elizabeth Laney.
We were recording ESW 49 for the Brit Track over in the Sheraton. I had just enough time to stop and grab a water from the Sheraton gift shop before getting to the panel. I paid for more water than I did beer this year. I don’t know if that’s good planning or bad planning.
The panel – like any episode of ESW – was a hoot to record. I love talking to the Mikes and Jennifer. We were joined by (dude) from the Brit Track and we were also graced with the presence of the inimitable Jevocas Green and his new companion from The Forgotten Doctor. It was a great time for everybody, the room was once again full, and you can listen to the whole thing here:

After the panel I had to stop for a photo op with some Phantom groupies:
And then hail myself a cab because it was time for

Le Sexoflex: The Happy Ending

In which the Sexxxiest Band in the Whole Muthafuckin’ World would perform their last. It was simultaneously thrilling and saddening and you can read all about it tomorrow!

-Phantom

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