This was my husband's first year doing DC, and my second (though my experience last year was limited, since I did it with two-month-old Wil in tow!). I'd looked up tracks I was interested in online ahead of time, but Casey didn't start planning his weekend until I came home Thursday with our badges and pocket programs. Then he went nuts for hours! He had no idea there would be so many things he'd actually be interested in. As a result, some of our days were pretty full, and there were a lot of times that we split off to pursue our own interests. Friday was our busiest day--we went to four panels together and each did another separately! Five in one day was definitely a record!
We walked into Mariott on Friday morning, and one of the first costumes we saw was this great Kaylee and Simon couple ("Firefly"):
|Kaylee Frye & Simon Tam ("Firefly").|
There are always tons of Kaylees, but not as many Simons!
Our first panel was Casey's pick, and since I didn't have anything conflicting, I tagged along. It was on the classic movie Alien, and the tagline was "Celebrating this [35th] anniversary makes our chests burst with pride". Ha!
The panel was even attended by a Xenomorph! We didn't have a good view of him from our seats, but I got a much better picture of him later in the weekend--I'll post that one soon, too!
The panel was a great start to the weekend. The panelists were very knowledgeable and passionate, and though I was lost for a lot of it (I've only seen the movie once, and it was years ago!), it was still interesting, and Alien is definitely topping my must-see-again-soon list now.
Next, we braved crowds on the Mariott's Atrium level for the Patrick Stewart panel. I hate dealing with panels in the Atrium; that room fits thousands, and most of them wait in the lobby two hours ahead of time to join the line as soon as it starts forming, and it's just mass chaos until then. At least there's a lot of great cosplay to admire while you wait!
|I'm not sure who they are, but I love the aesthetics of steampunk, and these two looked great!|
It's mostly luck where you end up in line, since so many people start forming it at once, so we ended up waiting outside around the block. We passed these TIE fighter and bomber on the way and snapped a quick picture.
|TIE fighter and TIE bomber.|
Here we are waiting in line:
|Casey and me, in line for the Patrick Stewart panel.|
You may recall that Casey designed, and I made, that "Dollhouse"-inspired t-shirt he's wearing.
Honestly, one of my favorite parts of DC is just watching all the amazing costumes go by, and seeing all the creative t-shirts, too. So waiting in line while hundreds of people stroll past is not so bad!
|Nunchuks! Great for kids!|
This kid was great. I think it was a little girl, since there was a baby doll tucked into the back of the stroller, but she and her dad were both dressed in TNMT gear. She was crying while they were walking along, and then her dad stopped to hand her the nunchucks, and the look on her face was adorable--she cheered right up! Too cute.
|Daenerys with her dragon eggs.|
There were a lot of Daeneryses again this year; this was a good one.
|Look, a dragon!|
This dragon was AWESOME! Unfortunately, I never got to see it whole--he had a couple helpers carrying his detached wings as he walked down the street.
|Sir Patrick Stewart.|
We did make it into the Patrick Stewart panel, but we were so far back in the line that the panel had already started by the time we filed in, and we ended up right next to the doors, which were open while the room loaded for another ten minutes, so it was really hard to hear what Stewart was saying. Between the distraction of the doors (which continued to open and close throughout the panel) and our desire to get in line early for the next panel on our list, we ended up leaving this one a little early. But at least I was in the same room as Sir Patrick Stewart!!
In the lobby on our way out, we passed these awesome "Doctor Who" villains:
|Cyberman and Weeping Angel.|
We're big "Firefly" fans. I mean, our daughter's name is Kaylie (yeah, I know we spelled it wrong, but her middle name starts with E, and it was just too many e's in a row!) and our son's middle name is Malcolm, so...yeah, we're fans. We were so excited when we heard that Ron Glass (Shepherd Book) and Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb) would be at DC this year! So our biggest priority of the day was making it into the "Firefly: The Preacher & the Muscle" panel.
|Great Jayne cosplay, complete with Vera.|
Since Adam Baldwin was actually in attendance this year, there were a ton of Jayne Cobb cosplays. This was one of my favorites--his gun, Vera, was amazing!
And I had to get this shot of three cunning hats all in one direction--there were plenty more everywhere you looked!
Ron Glass was running late, but Adam Baldwin showed up on time! (And that's the Whedon track director moderating, if you're wondering.)
|Casey prepares to ask a question.|
Casey is far braver than I am, and jumped up as soon as a line began to form for questions. He asked Adam if fans often see him and start singing "The Man They Call Jayne" to him, and how he feels about that.
|Adam's reaction to Casey's question.|
This face and a low grunt were his answer. :-)
|Look, Shepherd finally showed up!|
Ron Glass did eventually show up. There was some comment about traffic. I guess the journey is the worthier part? ;-)
|Ron Glass (Shepherd Book) and Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb) of "Firefly".|
Unfortunately, I didn't get any better pictures of this panel, because as soon as he sat down, Ron asked if everyone would stop taking pictures after another three minutes, and kindly put cameras away for the remainder of the panel. I was a little disappointed, but I could respect the sentiment of wanting fans to engage with the panel instead of focusing on taking pictures...though I lost a little respect when Ron explained in a later panel that his reason for the request was actually that he had had a bad picture of himself circulate the internet a while back, and he doesn't want it to happen again. (Seriously? If you don't want your picture taken, then what are you doing at a con with 65,000 people?) Anyway, it was still a fun panel to see.
Casey and I split up after the "Firefly" panel. He headed to a panel with Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine on "Star Trek: Voyager"), while I waited for the line to queue for a "Buffy"/"Angel" panel (I could spend the whole weekend in the Whedonverse, really).
|Black Widow (Beth Howard of Wilde Cosplay) and Hawkeye.|
This Black Widow and Hawkeye showed up early for the same panel, so I asked if I could snap a picture. Seeing so many Avengers costumes made me want to catch up on all the movies (I'm so behind, guys!)!
|Julie Benz (Darla, "Buffy" & "Angel"), Emma Caulfield (Anya, "Buffy"), Todd McIntosh (Emmy-winning makeup artist for "Buffy"), and J. August Richards (Charles Gunn, "Angel").|
This was a good panel, too. Julie and Emma are both adorable and very personable, and I was very impressed with J.'s level of engagement with anyone who asked him a question directly (one questioner sat down while someone else responded, and J. wouldn't start his answer till he'd found the guy again and could address him directly!). I was also glad they included Todd in the panel, as he had some great stories to share about working on "Buffy" since the very beginning.
Casey and I met up afterward and ran through the Mariott on our way to our final panel of the day, and guess who we bumped into?
|Ryan Stratis of "American Ninja Warrior".|
Literally, Casey bumped shoulders with him, then did a double-take. We love "American Ninja Warrior", and though we knew Ryan Stratis is from our area, it never occurred to us he'd be at DC! He graciously posed for pictures with each of us. Very nice guy! (Looking forward to cheering him on again next season--he had a great run this year!)
We ended our day with a Monty Python skits and singalongs panel, which was very informal. We ended up realizing that it would probably have been a lot more fun if we 1) were more familiar with the lesser-known Python works, and 2) got drunk first like pretty much everyone else. We had hoped to stick around afterwards to catch the live show of "Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog", but we ended up leaving the Monty Python panel early and heading home for the day. Still, it was a great day!
But not as great as Saturday. (Coming up next!) :-)