The Atlanta Soccer Village

Atlanta Soccer Village Detail 004

Back in the 1990s I stayed employed by moving between Atlanta’s tiny movie industry and a small design practice headed by Laura Heery, daughter of famous Atlanta architect George Heery.  Laura has always been ardent about architecture and urban design, and she was always able to find some truly fun design projects around Atlanta.  I’m always glad that I had the experience to work with her on some of these imaginative projects, even if few of them made it past the concept design stages (that’s the world of architecture).

In then Atlanta had a soccer team called the Atlanta Silverbacks.  I have no idea if they were any good, because I never went to a game. All I know is that we were thrown into an effort to design a soccer stadium that might be part of a larger complex that included Continue reading The Atlanta Soccer Village

Saying Goodbye to The Bandit

My friend Katie Willard Troebs called me today and told me that Burt Reynolds was in heaven with JL, a legendary transportation captain we all knew and loved.  We lost JL nearly a year ago.  JL and his wife Cindy were longtime friends with Burt and have several hysterical tales of regular life incidents with him.  After Katie and I ended our call I began thinking back to the spring of 2010, when I was struck by a sudden, inexplicable nostalgia for the movie Smokey and the Bandit.

Sure, I enjoyed the movie when I was growing up, but I was more of a Star Wars kid which made it kind of odd that I suddenly felt compelled to track down a copy of the original soundtrack from the movie.  At that time I couldn’t find the album in an MP3 format, so I ordered an old CD from someone on eBay.  It was crazy, but the only deal I found was from some dude over in England.  That’s right, England.  When the package made it across the ocean I cut open the envelope only to discover that I had paid for Continue reading Saying Goodbye to The Bandit

Filk Banner Taken at Dragon Con

Update: the banner from the 2018 Dragon Con Filk track has been recovered.

This year the folks who run the Dragon Con Filk track suffered a most grievous loss. Some unknown person removed a handmade banner from their room.

Retiring Director Robby Hilliard’s wife Leigh provided me with the photo featured in this post.

As you can see it’s a one of a kind piece, made even more priceless by the fact that it was created by the late mother of one of the people who routinely volunteer for the Filk track. What a terrible feeling it must be to have her mother’s artwork Continue reading Filk Banner Taken at Dragon Con

Stone Mountain’s Secret Twin

I was driving home last week talking (hands free, mind you) to a friend over in Charleston who informed me that he was considering a getaway to Stone Mountain… in North Carolina. To a native Atlantan like me that last sentence didn’t make any sense because we all know that Stone Mountain is clearly Continue reading Stone Mountain’s Secret Twin

How I Stopped Freaking Out About the Atlanta Comic Con

This past Saturday I was lured downtown by my friend Shawn, who insisted that we needed to check out the new Atlanta Comic Con.  I first heard about the event on Facebook a week or so ahead of time, and naturally wondered if it was connected to the 48 year old media-rich convention held in San Diego every summer (it isn’t).

As you get older you tend to have more responsibilities, so carving out the time for an unknown event like this wasn’t on the top of either of our lists. We had decided to check in with each other that morning to decide if Continue reading How I Stopped Freaking Out About the Atlanta Comic Con

Lesson of Joe: Leaping Before You Look

Tonight I was reminded of a lesson my friend Joe Connolly taught me back when he was Propmaster of the long-forgotten Aaron Spelling series “Savannah”. That fabulous, opulent saga of murder and intrigue by the rich and powerful was actually being produced out of the drafty old storefront of a disused lumber yard more than half an hour north of Atlanta’s state capital . It was so far out of the way that I sometimes wondered if the owner (referred to by some as “Secret Squirrel”) was actually paying Aaron Spelling Continue reading Lesson of Joe: Leaping Before You Look

20 Years of Cosplay Trends at Dragon Con

A graph showing the popularity of costuming groups at Dragon Con from 1997 to 2017

While writing my post What Happened to Klingon Cosplay? I went off on a bit of a tangent on the rise and fall of various cosplay groups as seen at Dragon Con. I decided that this attempt at recording our collective nerd history was so interesting that it deserved its own post.

Star Trek peaked in the 80s and 90s and had entered into its decline by the early 2000s, with Star Wars easily shouldering past to take the lead by the time the new films began to hit. The Lord of the Rings trilogy gave quite a chase and was wildly (wildly) popular, but the much younger Harry Potter series blew past them both to Continue reading 20 Years of Cosplay Trends at Dragon Con

What Happened to Klingon Cosplay?

T'Kuvma, a "new" style Klingon and the first villain of Star Trek Discovery

A dispute about the new Star Trek show Discovery has recently bubbled up online, with several of my younger adult friends stomping their feet, gnashing their teeth, and waggling their tiny fists in the air in an expression of their dislike for the new series. Their complaints range from a repudiation of the darker, more warlike tone of the new series to the fact that CBS has elected to stick the first Star Trek series to air in 12 years behind an ill-advised pay wall in a bid to emulate HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Perhaps the most audacious, unforgivable thing they feel has been done with this new show is the reinvention of the Klingon race (using archival Trek material). It’s almost (but not entirely unlike) the way that Gene Roddenberry allowed makeup artist Fred Phillips to depict the Klingons in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (STTMP), based on drawings by costume designer Robert Fletcher. Turns out that depicting the Klingons has been a bit of Continue reading What Happened to Klingon Cosplay?

BeltLine Creator Launching Post-Apocalyptic Pub “Aftercar” in Atlanta

2017 Wasteland Weekend Cards and Drinks Photo by Thomas Kerns

A few weeks ago my photographer friend Thomas Kerns returned from the end of the world with his camera bursting with images from Wasteland Weekend, the world’s largest full-immersion post-apocalyptic festival. As I was looking through photos of people living the Mad Max Fury Road experience, I was reminded of an obscure posting I’d read earlier in the summer: the visionary who dreamed up the Atlanta BeltLine was going to launch a post-apoc Continue reading BeltLine Creator Launching Post-Apocalyptic Pub “Aftercar” in Atlanta

Dragon Con Turns 31 – Is It Too Big Now?

This aging dragon has certainly grown!

Just look at that graph!

It’s based on data I found on a Dragon Con wiki, which explains that its data was collected from snapshots of the Dragon Con website as preserved on the Internet Archives. I also used numbers from the Wikipedia article on Dragon Con to fill in the graph. Attendance figures for some years differ from those listed in the history section of the current version of the Dragon Con website, but I believe these numbers are close enough to deliver a good approximation of the growth this convention has experienced over the past 31 years. Continue reading Dragon Con Turns 31 – Is It Too Big Now?