Dragon*Con, September 3 – 6, 2010. Atlanta, GA

Dragon*Con, September 3 – 6, 2010. Atlanta, GA

As October begins I wanted to get a Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man blog entry in about Dragon*Con. Dragon*Con 2010 has gone and passed, it ended a month ago and I’m still thinking about it. Dragon*Con is an entertainment juggernaut in Atlanta Georgia every Labor Day weekend. What is Dragon*Con? To quote the official Dragon*Con web site http://dragoncon.org/  “Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe! Dragon*Con is hosted by four hotels that all are in close proximity of each other (The Marriott, The Hyatt, The Hilton and The Sheraton). Here are pictures of the Hyatt & Marriott lobbies during a typical day during the convention:

Hyatt DragonCon 2010

Dragon*Con has been going strong for the last 24 years. My first visit to Dragon*Con was in 1999. I’ve been going for almost every year since then; I have missed a few years since 1999, but have gone 4 years straight up to this year. I did more partying in my early years at this convention. As I get

Marriott Lobby DragonCon 2010. The place to be to show off your costume!

older it’s becomes more of a fan boy con for me. The things that I enjoy the best about Dragon*Con is the gaming, costumes, panels and the celebrity signings and appearances. I also enjoy the old friends I connect with again every year here and the dealer rooms, which provide a lot of cool, unique and hard to find items.

Dragon*Con has something for everyone. It’s got the freaky side with the late night debauchery parties. It also has a wide variety of live music and entertainment. The con has a wide variety of panels that cover celebrity appearances, educational classes, auctions, and a mish mash of other sci-fi and fantasy related events. Dragon*Con also provides a daycare center and many activities for children. One of the highlights of Dragon*Con is the parade downtown that passes the Hyatt hotel on Peachtree street which include every one of all ages showing off their best costume creations.

Speed Racer and the Mach 5!

Speaking of costumes, lets talk about that. Dragon*Con by far has the best costumes I have ever seen. When you wear a costume at Dragon*Con you have to bring your “A game”. I have been to many nerdy sci-fi, fantasy and gaming related conventions in my time. Being the nerd I am, I’ve lost count on how many I have been to. Dragon*Con has the best and most creative costumes I have ever seen. This is what makes the convention the best place to people watch. My girlfriend and I got into the costume fun too. Jane went as the character Abby Sciuto from the popular TV show “NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service”. I went as Woody Harrelson’s character Tallahassee in last years movie hit Zombieland (2009).

Abby and Tallahassee rockin out with the costume masses!

A pro photog tacked us down!

I met another guy who dressed as Tallahassee at Dragon*Con. Who wore it better? I think I did!

Tallahassee's! Who wore it better? Guy on the right, right?

I get a lot of questions about the quest for a good costume for Dragon*Con. I will post another blog entry on that subject shortly.

Some of the most popular costumes this year were Superhero’s, and characters from Iron Man and Kick-Ass. But the biggest trend this year was Steampunk costumes. What is Steampunk? Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Specifically, Steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often-Victorian era Britain—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy. For more info on Steampunk go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk

Steam Punk Gang

Steam Punk Family

Superhero costumes were big because of Dragon*Con’s world record attempt of the most costumed superheroes in one location. Unfortunately the record was not met from what I heard. The record is somewhere between 1200 to 1300 participants I think. However the Dragon*Con attempt was impressive. Here are just a few that participated:

One of many different Superhero group shots

Here is a collection of other great costumes that I thought should deserve some attention.

Bossk with a wookie head

The Hangover Guy

Hit Girl from Kick Ass!

Mickey Mouse Indiana Jones! My favorite costume at DragonCon2010.

Gaming is one of the things that draw me to Dragon*Con too. They have a large game room in the Hilton that cover a wide variety of game for people to take part in. Most of them are role-playing games, board games and card games. I’m a big fan of the Star Wars and Star Trek CCG (Collectible card Games). Even though these games are now out of print and no longer in production there are still plenty of people playing these games. I hosted and ran a Star Wars CCG “Cube” tournament.

Star Wars CCG Cube Tournament!

I’m an autograph card collector. It’s one of my hobbies related to the collectable card gaming I do as well. My hobby with CCG’s started 1995. Since then I’ve been to many conventions with celebrity appearances and autograph signings. I’ve chosen to collect autographs on cards cause they take up less space than 8 x 10 pictures. Cards are easier to display too. I have over 300 autographed cards from TV and movie actors. Most of my collections cover celebrities from Star Wars, Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings, Stargate, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, Harry Potter and now True Blood. Most of the autographs that I have I got signed in person with the celebrity. The rest I got from friends that had them signed for me from conventions I couldn’t travel to.  Dragon*Con has an impressive variety and large turnout of celebrities from Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and action movies and TV shows. This is where I spend the most money, on autographs.

This year the celebrities I was looking forward to meet and get autographs from the most were, Stan Lee, Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell and actors from TV shows like “Firefly”, “True Blood” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. The road to Stan Lee’s autograph turned out to be a near clusterfuck. I bought his autograph online prior to the convention so I could have a “priority” line placement, meaning I would get his autograph sooner and not have to wait in line as long. When I got there for his signing the volunteer staff fucked up the priority line placement arrangement. Fortunately I was standing next to someone bitching out loud to the organizers about he got screwed like me. We were then escorted into the signing room with Stan Lee and asked to wait in a “side line” for 10 minutes before we got about autographs. I had Stan Lee sign my trading card I had with his image drawn as the superhero “Mr. Marvel”. Stan was the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics. He was very cool and thanked me for coming.

The Legend that is Stan Lee autographing my card!

I saw one of the weirdest things during Stan Lee’s autograph session. Whether it has been on TV or a movie we have all seen fans get celebrity autographs on part of their body and swear they will never wash it off or get the autograph permanently replaced with a tattoo. As I’m waiting in my “side line” I see this guy approach Stan Lee’s autograph table. The dude takes off his shirt to show his all over back tattoo of Spiderman’s face and a bunch of other supporting characters from the Spiderman comic books that Stan Lee co-created. This dude wanted Stan Lee to sign his back so he could get it tattooed permanently. Some of Stan Lee’s handlers were hesitant in letting this happen, but the gentleman that Stan is, was gracious and signed this dudes back. Thank god this Spiderman fan shaved his back before Stan signed it. Check out his freshly autographed back:

This is one serious Stan Lee Spiderman fan!

Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell from the TV show Quantum Leap were there supporting their recent turns on their other sci-fi shows Star Trek: Enterprise (Scott Bakula) and Battlestar Galactica (Dean Stockwell). These were important autographs for me to get cause these guys don’t make a lot of convention appearances.

Scott Backula and Dean Stockwell together again!

The other important autographs I was chasing was three actors from the HBO True Blood TV series Sam Trammell, Nelsan Ellis and Michelle Forbes who was also on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. Speaking of Star Trek I have been trying to complete my Star Trek Next Gen “bridge crew” autograph card collection. The only two I needed are LeVar Burton (Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge) and Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher). Levar was here this year at Dragon*Con and I got his autograph. Now all I need is Wil Wheaton’s autograph to complete my quest. I got Patrick Stewart‘s and Brent Spiner’s autographs last year at Dragon*Con. Who new that Will’s autograph would be the toughest to get and the last one I need. Go figure. My good buddy Cat said he would give me a card he got autographed by Wil Wheaton, so that’s cool. Awesome, thanks man!

The other autograph I was very happy to finally get was actress Summer Glau from the short-lived but awesome TV series “Firefly” (2002) and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Her signing line was such a bitch and took very long to get through cause she took her time with each fan and took a lot of pictures with fans that were paying an extra $10 bucks for the picture with her. When I finally got up to her for the autograph I decided to pony up the extra $10 bucks for a picture with her. It was worth it, cant you tell? Besides she like my shirt, she told me so.

She liked the Chewie shirt!

Overall I had a great time. It was nice to have a hotel room to go back to after a long day and or late night at the convention festivities. Even though Dragon*Con is only 10-15 minute drive from my home, it felt like a much deserved vacation or “stay-cation” that I have been looking forward to all year. It’s a month later and I’m planning my next 10-15 minute drive for next year.

More Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man Blogs coming soon and an in-depth look into the “A-Game” costume creation for Dragon*Con.

 Till next time…peace out – Spartan Phoenix

PS: Here are some more Dragon*Con 2010 pics to check out:

Iron Man 2 Dancers


Tracy Lords autographs my Highlander CCG card!

The picture above was taken last year but I thought I would share it!


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