September 02, 2003

Chris' Weekend Dragon*Con report (2003)

This past weekend, Melissa, Matthew and I attended Dragon*Con (they're pretty picky about that "*") with Craig & Heather. This is the first time I've stayed overnight, or even attended more than one day of it, and let me tell you, it's a whole different experience. Melissa came dressed as Frodo, quite well, I might add. Her friend Heather made her an excellent replica of the "Fellowship Cloak" from the movies. She got some well-deserved attention from Connies and her on-line home, TheOneRing.net (seen at http://www.theonering.net/scrapbook/group/957/view/8230), and she even became involved in probably the most memorable event of the weekend. But I'll save that for last...

First surprise of the weekend: While reading through the guest list, I happened upon the name of fellow Lipscombite Josh Krach. Apparently he did the story for a “Justice League America” comic line a few years back and is getting his foot in the door of the industry. I still swear to God that Ben Affleck was channeling him in "Chasing Amy." Kathleen was there, now a PhD in Child Psychology, and with the pesky degree out of the way, they moved back to Georgia with all haste. They just moved into their new house in McDonnough (sp?) on Saturday. He's a good comic book writer, also doing Graphic Design to pay the bills.

"Josh's Happy-Fun-Time Horror Web Comic"
Go to http://www.NextComics.com/ and choose "Full Dark"

Next, whilst enjoying the refreshments at the "Con Suite", (such as “Spam-Balaya” and “Spam ‘N Grits”), who would pass me by but TREVOR, complete with shaved head and Pirate do-rag! ("Heh HEH!!") He's working IT Support like 90% of the other Con people here. (I overheard someone say that if a bomb went off at DragonCon, the entire southeast would be plunged into an I.T. dark age. Probably right.) Add all of this together with the chance meeting of Keith and (I assume) his wife at Target last week, and I'm starting to think that Lipscomb Hall 1993 was some sort of temporal Nexus, kind of like 1955 was for “Back to the Future.” I even ran into a co-worker and someone I marched with in the Parkview High School Band. ("Yes, I played the flute. NO, I don’t have any stories about Band Camp.")

Melissa met up with some fellow Hobbits, and we all went across the street to the Hyatt, where everyone hangs out in the lobby with their costumes to get photographed. I saw everything from Rocky Horror to a classic Nosferatu to some convincing Logan / Wolverines. There was even a group of G.I. Joes & COBRA's. (Too many to name, I'll send links to the pictures when I get them all scanned.) We took off with the Hobbits around 10 PM to get dinner, and when we returned, it was literally wall-to-wall geeks. It took 20 minutes to cross the lobby. We quickly decided it was time to go, so Melissa said her goodbyes to the other "Ringers", and Craig & I waited downstairs, next to a table where a top-heavy "Strawberry Shortcake" and a Gen-X Alice in Wonderland were flashing judging cards on the men who walked by.

(And now, the part where Melissa got Infamous.)
Melissa got into an elevator going up, in an attempt to ride it down to meet us. when it returned to the Photo Lobby, a hotel worker told her and another Hobbit to clear out, they were commandeering the elevator. Melissa told them that her son and I were waiting downstairs, that she waited 15 minutes for this elevator, and made some helpful suggestions of where they could stick that suggestion. "Okay, fine," said the worker, "but move back." And what turns the corner but a group of 8-foot-high characters from the children's book "Where The Wild Things Are." Melissa never liked this book, in fact it gave her the creeps. And now, the huge Chicken of the group was coming to join her in a cramped elevator. She and the other Hobbit were clawing at the back of the glass elevator to get out. The crowd, who loves a good cross-over, totally ate up the "Hobbits Terrorized by the Wild Things" irony, raised a cheer, and it became the most photographed event since Jerry Springer appeared on stage with GWAR. So many flashes were going off that I saw the light from downstairs. By early counts, this appears to be the most memorable event of the Con for most people.
DCON2003_Mel and the Chicken

When she met us downstairs, Melissa looked as if she'd just been forced to watch "Gigli" for 24 hours straight, "Clockwork Orange" style: She was sweating, her eyes were dilated, her hands were shaking and she barely was able to stutter out that she had to get out of here NOW. Craig and I were happy to oblige. I can admit it, I'm just a pedestrian, twice-a-month gamer geek, and I was WAY out of my depth here. Dragon*Con is the three days of the year that the geek is top of the food chain, and everyone has a shot at getting laid, even if it is with a fellow geek. When it gets to be the last night of the Con, most of the lukewarm fans have left, and what remains is the most hardcore of the crowd, trying for one last (or first) fling before the spawning season is over for another year. You may laugh, but it IS like watching a National Geographic special.

All in all, this was a great experience. Even Matthew enjoyed it. I know what better to expect when we do this again, and we have lots of pictures to remember it, (again, scans & uploading pending). I'd highly recommend it to all of you.

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