Cameras Are a Necessity at Dragon Con

It’s Friday after Labor Day, which means I’ve nearly successfully completed a mostly-full work week after Dragon Con. And I didn’t get sick! Take that, con crud! I’m also mostly done being tired–mostly.

We started the trip with a 7.5 hour drive to Atlanta. I actually love the drive, if only for the combination of religious and pornographic billboards that dot I-75.

We arrived at the Hilton somewhere around 2:30, got to our room, unpacked, and walked over to the Sheraton to pick up our badges. That was an absolute breeze–remember when registration used to take hours? No? Well, me neither, I started attending after that was a huge issue. But it was, at one point. Thank God that’s been fixed.

The remainder of Thursday was spent showing our friend Nut around the area, as it was her first Dragon Con, having dinner with friends, and playing Cards Against Humanity. Always a good time.

Nut, Bria, and I started Friday by participating in the Geek Girls Run Fun Run. This is funny because I hate to run. And when I say funny I mean awful. Okay, that’s not true, it was actually nice to start off a weekend of nerdy debauchery by doing something healthy. I ran at least half of the two-mile course, and was proud of myself for finishing. It also meant I could eat whatever I wanted for the rest of the weekend!

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Friday’s panels included a Characterization workshop with Mike Stackpole, panels about feminism in Star Wars, Star Wars filming locations, a live recording of the FSL Tonight podcast, and an introduction to Star Wars cosplay. The capper to the evening was the new Suits, Sinatra, and Star Wars party hosted by the Star Wars track. We donned our classiest attire and danced the night away. It was a great event and I really hope they continue it in future years!

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Instead of fighting crowds to try to get a spot for the Dragon Con parade, we elected to watch it on DCTV. A fine choice, if I say so myself. I attended two writing-oriented panels: Writing Smart YA Sci-Fi and a workshop about action scenes. Although I don’t write YA, the information was applicable to all SF. We bought some art in the Comics Alley and walked through the Art Show.

Other panels included a packed Episode VII panel, for which I was a panelist, Tropes in Star Wars, and All Kinds of Superheroes, in which Kelly Sue DeConnick and Sam, a little boy, made me feel better about the human race. My friends and I ended the night with a gathering on one of the Hilton landings to honor and celebrate the life of one of our favorite Star Wars authors, Aaron Allston.

Sunday’s panel schedule was light, but good. We attended the Expanded Universe Authors panel, and as usual, it was a great time. I really enjoyed hearing Christie Golden speak, as I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing her at a convention before. (I actually did see her at Celebration V, but don’t remember it very much.) Then we went over to the Appreciating Aaron Allston and AC Crispin panel. It was sad, there were a lot of tears, but also a lot of laughs. They were great writers and will be missed.

The highlight of the day was a small, four person Expanded Universe photoshoot that turned into a huge production with the 501st and Rebel Legions. My friends Nut, Bria, Nic, and I were taking photos in our obscure Expanded Universe costumes (thank you for the photos, Brian!), when along comes the Legions to take their big group photos.

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We offered them the stairs we were on, and they said to get in the pictures with them. Well, okay. Why the hell not?

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Then we decided to kidnap several other cosplayers in order to stage shots.

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We also were witness to the most awkward of family photos.

It was a great morning.

We spent Sunday night watching the Masquerade in our room, and then people watching in the Marriott while wearing our Lego costumes.

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It was very hot so we didn’t stay out long, and sadly went to bed for our last sleep of the con.

After packing up the car on Monday morning, we had breakfast with friends in the food court. Then we headed to the Star Wars track room for the last few hours of programming. Dr. Carol White’s discussion of the family saga in Star Wars was fascinating, even though we missed the first half of it. I love her Monday morning talks. Then I was a panelist for a discussion about Luke Skywalker, which I’d say is a pretty good way to end Dragon Con.

The trip home, as usual, was longer than the trip to Atlanta, but we made it home before 9 pm, which made me happy as I had to be back to work on Tuesday morning. I’m already looking forward to Celebration Anaheim in April (even though I wish it was in Orlando again, grr), but will have to wait a few more months before making plane reservations and hopefully securing press passes. In the meantime, I’ll plan costumes that I may or may not actually make.

Some random shots of the con:

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(One thing I learned at this year’s Dragon Con is that, while an SLR camera is great for taking pictures of panels and for photoshoots, it’s not that great for carrying around and getting random cosplay pictures. And yeah, I have my iPhone, but it’s also not that great for getting quick random shots or faraway shots. Therefore, we’ll probably be purchasing one of those ultra-small cameras before Star Wars Celebration in April. My husband is very happy about this.)

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3 thoughts on “Cameras Are a Necessity at Dragon Con

  1. Looks like an absolute blast. Love the costume pics, even Sailorpool! In that largest SW group shot, I’m fairly certain the Mara Jade at far left was also at Gen Con.

    I sympathize with your camera issues, too. Mine’s five years old and wasn’t exactly cutting-edge when we got it. I have a LOT of blurry outtakes from our last few cons, including a great Mola Ram costume I was SO sure I got. My heart broke when I viewed the full-size, unusable upload later that night. Definitely looking into upgrading later this year.

    1. Aww, Mola Ram. I can imagine how sad that would be!

      I’ll let you know what camera we end up getting. These pictures aren’t even a fraction of the amazing cosplay we saw. It seemed that everywhere I looked there was another amazing costume. I know Celebration will be even better, and I’m anticipating lots of Expanded Universe costumes. 🙂

      Also, does this make you want to go to Dragon Con? 😀

      1. Anne and I agree Dragon Con would be awesome, but Labor Day Weekend is a tough one for us to work out. The road trip logistics of it, weekend holiday time-off procedures with my employer, the budgetary strain of having two August cons precede D*C every year, and a couple other issues have so far put it beyond our means. But still… *sigh*

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