Friday, September 19, 2014

Dragon Con 2014: Sunday & Monday.

[See Friday and Saturday posts, too!]

It's hard to top the day I met Adam Baldwin.  But there were still two more days of Dragon Con....

Our first Sunday panel was one of the smaller rooms on the Mariott Atrium level, but it's so much quieter at 9:00 a.m. that I really didn't mind.  And it was much easier at that hour to get pictures of fun costumes, like this "Doctor Who" one:

Are you my mummy?

Of course, one of the risks of early morning panels is that the guests may be too hungover to get there on time...

Two of them showed up on time!

Vincent Caso (Bladezz), Sandeep Parikh (Zaboo), and Jeff Lewis (Vork) were scheduled for a panel on "The Guild".  Vince and Sandeep arrived on time, though Vince promptly excused himself to use the restroom (and immediately cracked a Red Bull upon his return) while Sandeep told us that Jeff had slept through the photo session they were all supposed to have done before the panel....

Not a morning person.

...though he arrived a short time later, looking like this.

That hair needed help.

Vince jumped up, licked his hand, and helped Jeff with his hair.

Vincent Caso (Bladezz), Sandeep Parikh (Zaboo), and Jeff Lewis (Vork) of "The Guild".

But I have to say, I did not mind the unprofessionalism at all (though I'd probably have felt differently if it had been my photo session Jeff missed).  "The Guild" started as a low-budget web series largely shot in people's homes, so the completely informal tone the panel took right from the start just seemed to fit.  (Written and produced by Felicia Day, it's clever and brilliant and hilarious, and you can check it out here, or stream it on Netflix.)

We got seats in the second row, so we barely had to zoom in with the camera...

Fake crying.

There was lots of fake crying on Jeff's part as the other two continually ribbed him for being late.

Apparently the Red Bull went right through him, because Vince excused himself for a second trip to the bathroom...

...and started on the next Red Bull as soon as he got back.

Great Codex cosplay.

This Codex came in a group along with Bladezz, Vork, and Clara.  Sandeep gave them a hard time for apparently not having any Asian or Indian friends (to cosplay as Zaboo and Tinkerballa, the two non-white members of the guild).

Really, though, this ended up being my favorite panel of the weekend.  The guys were hilarious and completely down-to-earth, and the informality of the whole thing made it feel less like they were celebrities and more like we were all just hanging out and having a chat.  Afterward, Casey even managed to hang back and shake Sandeep's hand (Zaboo's his favorite character on the show)!  I was quite jealous.

No clue who they are, but those wings were incredible!

While I waited for my next panel, I happened to be standing near these two while they unfastened and spread their wings--which was quite an endeavor!  It took them close to ten minutes, and there was a crowd of photographers waiting to snap pictures by the time they had finished.  I'm not sure what they're from, but my pictures do not do the details of their costumes justice!

Padme likes pizza.

I had to get a shot of this Padme eating pizza.

Peeta Mellark of "The Hunger Games".

This Peeta cosplay was fantastic!  I spied his camouflaged arm and had to get a picture; as soon as I asked, he whipped out his paintbrush and posed for me.

Jed Brophy (Nori in "The Hobbit" trilogy, as well as various characters in the LOTR trilogy), Adam Brown (Ori in "The Hobbit" trilogy), Craig Parker (Haldir in the first two LOTR movies), and Billy Boyd (Pippin in the LOTR trilogy).

Casey split off to get in line for a panel with Terry Gilliam, while I managed to get into a panel with guests from "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" movies.

Craig Parker and Billy Boyd--my seat was pretty far toward the back of the room, so often my best view was on this screen.

Though I loved the LOTR movies (books, too), it's been years since I last watched them, and I've only seen the first Hobbit movie and wasn't overly impressed, so this panel wasn't high on my list of priorities.  But I figured why not try to see Billy Boyd and Craig Parker (whom I also knew as Darken Rahl in the short-lived "Legend of the Seeker"), if I had time?

I'm glad I made it on a day that all four of them were scheduled, though, because Jed Brophy and Adam Brown were just as entertaining as the other two--so much so that they even had me itching to give "The Hobbit" a second chance sooner rather than later.

Billy even sang for us:

I'm sure there are better videos of the moment elsewhere online, but this is the one that I took.

I had a couple hours to kill between that panel and my next, while Casey was in his Terry Gilliam panel, so I wandered a bit.  (...Not all who wander are lost...though, honestly, I often am--I have the worst sense of direction...)

Star Wars Disney princesses.

There were tons of Star Wars/Disney princess mash-ups, like these ones.

Evil League of Evil!

And I recognized this Evil League of Evil ("Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog") as I was passing them in a crowded area, but I did manage to get a quick picture!  I think they're dressed as Penny, Moist, Bad Horse, Captain Hammer, and evil Dr. Horrible.

Me with my favorite blogger, Jen Yates (of Cake Wrecks and Epbot).

I browsed the art show and artists' alley next, and ran into Jen Yates, who writes my very favorite blog, Epbot!  I was hoping to catch her there, which is where I found her last year, too.  This year, I had the presence of mind to ask if she'd mind getting a quick picture with me.  Hers is the only blog I check daily--love it!

While in line for my next panel, the Xenomorph from Friday happened to walk by, so I got a much better picture this time:


Is that costume not amazing?

Penny from "Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog".

This Penny ("Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog" happened to walk by, and when I jumped up from my seat in line to ask for a quick picture, she gladly posed for me--which resulted in a chorus of depressed "Aww"s from everyone nearby who recognized the character.

This year, I found that one of the perks of going to panels alone is that if you're near the head of the line, you may be able to snag a single seat nearer the front of the room as the volunteers try to fill every seat.  I was able to get a seat in the front row for this "Battlestar Galactica" panel!


I did not zoom in AT ALL in the photo above.  That's how close I was!

Michael Hogan (Saul Tigh), Mary McDonnell (President Laura Roslin), Kate Vernon (Ellen Tigh), Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek; also, Apollo in the original series), and Tricia Helfer (Cylon Number Six) from "Battlestar Galactica".

"Battlestar Galactica" was the show I worked my way through during most of my pregnancy with Kaylie, so in some ways I feel like it defined that time of my life (much as "Doctor Who" defined my pregnancy with Wil).  The first season or two were so good....and then every character I loved in the beginning either died or morally disintegrated (or died and then was revealed to have morally disintegrated...), with the exception of two that somehow managed to survive and still be likable by the end.  I remember feeling rather depressed by the end of the show's run (though I loved the twist in the finale), but more recently, I introduced my brother to the show while he was living with us this summer, and we hadn't gotten to the depressing stuff by the time Dragon Con rolled around--so my most recent memories of the show were all good ones!  I think having good feelings about the show as I came into this panel made it that much more enjoyable, and getting a front-row seat made it extra special.

Mary McDonnell, Kate Vernon, Richard Hatch, and Tricia Helfer.

I was never the biggest fan of Laura Roslin in the show, but I found I was actually very impressed with Mary McDonnell in the panel.  The "suggested" theme of the panel was "May the Gods Watch O'er Us", the ideas of theology and religion in the show, and the moderator came with a number of loaded questions.  If you've not seen the end of the show, I'll avoid giving details of the ending, but it does end with the suggestion that we are living in a deistic (even monotheistic) universe, which apparently caused a bit of backlash among the fanbase (because apparently it's not okay to believe in God and be a sci-fi fan--that's a sentiment I've often subtly felt as a Christian who very much likes sci-fi, and one that I think is unfair and, quite frankly, stupid), and the moderator wanted to know how the actors personally felt about the way it ended on that suggestion.  I really liked Mary's response about allowing the writers/creators the freedom in their work to follow their vision and not "ours" (you can hear her full response here, from 19:45 to 21:06).  The ideas of sci-fi and God are not incompatible, and it bothers me when people will only accept atheistic sci-fi as "good"--isn't the entire idea of the genre to explore and extrapolate every reasonable possibility?  I love when sci-fi presents new ideas of a higher being (or beings), whether or not it's an idea that I agree is true, because that's the point.  And I loved that Mary defended the freedom of someone to have a different idea than the standard atheistic one.

That was my last panel of the day, so Casey and I spent the rest of our evening exploring the vendor's halls (CRAZY--way too many people for that to ever be fun!) and wandering around admiring costumes.

Portal cosplay.

Neither of us are video gamers, but Casey did play Portal on my brother's XBox, and he very much enjoyed it (it's on my to-do list).  We saw a lot of great Portal costumes!

Jareth and Sarah from Labyrinth.

There were also quite a few Labyrinth cosplays.

Dancing Doctors.

We happened by this group of Doctors (and Amy) dancing, and joined the throng snapping pictures.

Iron Man, I don't know, and Captain America.

I was super bummed that this photo didn't turn out, because Iron Man turned around took off his helmet seconds later to engage in serious-looking conversation with the other two, and I didn't want to interrupt.

I did get one more shot as they parted ways--Iron Man's costume in particular was just too amazing to leave out!

Ivan Drago and and Rocky Balboa from Rocky IV.

And we caught this great pose by Ivan Drago and Rocky Balboa.

There are always a zillion Stormtroopers.  This one was lounging at the bar.

The Night's Watch ("Game of Thrones").

And I spied these fine fellows of the Night's Watch by an escalator.

Dr. Horrible.

I asked this Dr. Horrible if I could get a picture of him, and he offered to pose with me instead. :-)

(By the way, see my purse with the TARDISes on it?  I made that one, and a brown one with "Firefly"-themed fabric on the flap, to coordinate with my geeky shirts for the weekend.  I'm working on a PDF pattern and a full tutorial for it, which I hope to post soon!  I use them all the time now.)

More Star Wars Disney mashups.

More Star Wars/Disney mashups--I do love that Belle is reading Shakespeare's Star Wars!

Buddy the Elf (Elf).

Casey found Buddy the Elf and had to get a picture with him.

Barf (Spaceballs).

And Barf, from Spaceballs.  He and I have very different tastes in movies...

Casey and me in our "matching" shirts.

...but at least I got him into "Doctor Who"!  And if he won't like Ten the best, Nine's pretty darn great, too.

That wraps up our Sunday, but since Monday was such a short day (everything's over by early afternoon), I'll include it in this post instead of writing up another.

I found the TARDIS!

Would you believe I didn't find this TARDIS in the Sheraton until the last day?!  Of course I didn't know about it on the day I actually wore a "Doctor Who" shirt....

Ron Glass (Shepherd Book) and Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb) from "Firefly".

The big panel for me on Monday was the final guest panel on the Whedon track.  I got in line as early as I could, and it paid off--once again, I happened to be in the right place when a volunteer announced an open seat in the front row!

Ron Glass and Adam Baldwin.

It was awesome being so close!  And while I still dislike Ron's no-pictures request (you can hear his reasoning here from 11:48 to 13:05), I chose to enjoy the opportunity to be in the moment and just appreciate the panel, without leaning around heads or upheld cameras in front of me.

Ron Glass and Adam Baldwin.

Of course, I didn't actually get any good pictures of the two of them, since I felt like I couldn't sneak my camera out in the front row during the moments when both were laughing and looked happy...

But still.  It's a "Firefly" panel, and I love Adam Baldwin, so it was still a great time!

Sam Huntington (Josh), Meaghan Rath (Sally), Sam Witwer (Aidan), and Kristen Hager (Nora) from "Being Human" (U.S. version).

Since we really didn't have anything else to get to, I talked Casey into going with me to a "Being Human" panel.  I've watched the first couple seasons of the U.S. version (and all of the U.K. version, which is better, in my opinion), and Sam Huntington was Mimi-Siku in Jungle 2 Jungle (a childhood favorite of mine), and Sam Witwer was in a few episodes of "Battlestar Galactica" and he seemed cool on "Tabletop", so I thought it would be cool to be in the same room as them and maybe hear a little bit from them....It took about two minutes for us to decide "Eh, that's enough" and duck out!  I think I needed to be a bigger fan of the show than I am to really enjoy their on-stage antics, but I'm glad I at least tried.

Instead, we headed to the Whedon track closing panel, where we got to interact with several volunteers on the track as well as the track director/moderator and give some feedback on our experiences with panels on that track.  If you find you have a favorite track, I'd recommend going to the closing panel!  Fan feedback is what helps the tracks improve and expand, and I found it was also very enlightening as to how the individual tracks work and what goes into the beginning stages of planning for next year.  If I ever volunteer, the Whedon track is where I want to be!

And that ends my Dragon Con 2014 weekend.  It was an absolute blast, and I've already purchased our memberships for next year!  Hope to see you there! :-)


  1. Given how conscientious you are about proper crediting and referencing, I found it hilarious that the only credit you seem to have forgotten in this post was the Xenomorph - because, you see, the way it's written, one might think that the Xenomorph is a character from the Ice Cube classic "Friday". Perhaps the Xenomorph was just chillin' in the 'hood in the background and most of us didn't notice him?

    So just to be clear, everyone, the Xenomorph is in the movie "Alien" (and Aliens, Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, etc.)... NOT the movie "Friday" (nor the movies Next Friday, Friday After Next, etc.). Got it? Glad we could clear that up :-)

    P.S. Zaboo is my hero

    1. .....I have literally no idea what you're talking about, hon.

    2. Feeling slightly less confused, having gone back and re-read that bit of my post....if you'd actually clicked on the word "Friday", it links to my post covering Friday of DC, in which I posted a poor picture of the Xenomorph taken at the "Alien" panel, and promised a better picture in a later post. Which this is. :-P

  2. You're just covering for the fact that you haven't seen the timeless classic, "Friday" ;-)