I Survived the 2018 Dragon Con Parade

This is a post about hygiene, playing cruel tricks on your friends, and the Dragon Con parade. Let’s begin with that last one.

This year marked the 13th year that our “cardboard stormtroopers” marched in the Dragon Con parade in one form or another. I had to skip last year’s march due to a nasty cold I contracted at Play On Con 2017, but this year I was back in the mix – albeit well out of shape and without a solid plan once the parade was over –  I have learned through experience that my body is in charge of things from that point Continue reading I Survived the 2018 Dragon Con Parade

Robby Hilliard Awarded 2018 Reinhardt Award

This weekend my friend Robby Hilliard was presented with the prestigious Hank Reinhardt Fandom Award, ostensibly for his service to Dragon Con’s Filk Track where he has served as Director, but also for his contributions to fandom in general. Robby is a ding-dang, top-notch, A#1 Nerd, and I’m glad to know him.

In case you got hung up on the word ‘Filk’ in the previous paragraph, all you need to know is that it’s a musical genre featuring lyrics with sci-fi/nerd-centric themes, and is associated with Continue reading Robby Hilliard Awarded 2018 Reinhardt Award

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

26 Things Not to Touch at Dragon Con

After dancing dangerously close to telling Dragon Con to “get off my lawn” over the past few years I have turned a corner and am now finding joy in people who are new to the convention scene.  If I had only one piece of advice to give to these people it would be “stay hydrated”.  Adequate hydration is part of the formula for maintaining your body’s immune system, making it far less susceptible to illness and injury. My second piece of advice would be “don’t touch anything” from the following list.

#26 People

Duh. Don’t get near them. People are the number one cause of disease among humans. Look it up. I am correct about this. Just stay away from them. They will only sneeze on you, attempt to lick you, or break your heart. Generally they will attempt to do all three in that order.  People are as bad as they sound so get ready to hear an awful lot about them and the things they do in this article.

#25 Elevator Buttons

They’re round, they’re shiny, they light up when you push them, and they will take you back to your room so that you can change into your next costume. Guess what? Lots of people like to use these buttons. A whole lot.  Records indicate that a single button in the west bank of elevators in the Marriott Marquis was pressed 832,729 times between Continue reading 26 Things Not to Touch at Dragon Con

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

Tom Baker Shada Unvailable in US iTunes Store

This morning I was astonished to see an article in The Guardian stating that the BBC planned to release the completed version of the long lost Doctor Who episode ‘Shada’ today on the iTunes store. The episode from 1979 was abandoned (until now) due to a BBC strike and has been a sort of white whale for those of us who count actor Tom Baker as Continue reading Tom Baker Shada Unvailable in US iTunes Store

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?

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?

The Betrayal of Steve Sansweet

Today one of the people in my circle of friends became infamous for the systematic theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Star Wars collectibles. I cannot believe that it was his goal to become reviled by the fans of one of his most beloved fictional universes or to be publicly castigated on Twitter by the actor who played Luke Skywalker.

Steve Sansweet, who many of us early Star Wars fans looked up to for guidance when he began publishing an annual Star Wars collectibles price guide, confessed that his sense of trust had been badly damaged after discovering numerous thefts of rare items from Continue reading The Betrayal of Steve Sansweet