Lords of the Rings

Dragon*Con 2012: Panels, Parade, Parties, & MOAR!

I’m sure some of you spent your Labor Day weekend outside, at a barbecue, maybe attending a nice fair or festival. Whatever you did I hope you enjoyed one of the last holiday weekends before we move into the seasons of less sunshine and more obligations. Me? Oh I raged for four days straight at the biggest nerd party of the year: Dragon*Con. Honestly, the weekend has been coming back to me in bits and pieces, especially as I scan through my Twitter account and think, “Huh? When did I tweet that?”

For those unlucky souls unable to attend Dragon*Con this year we here at Nerd Bastards tried to bring as much of the experience to you as our little smartphones would allow. I made sure to live-tweet panels I attended and our #DragonCon tweets – those I had room to tag anyway, for full panel live-tweets you’ll just have to search @nerdbastards during 8/31-9/1 – are available to check out, but here are a few of my favorites.

Barrowman just mooned the audience to start the #Torchwood panel! And I didn’t get a picture! DAMMIT! #DragonCon

- nerdbastards (@nerdbastards) August 31, 2012

Yes, you read that right. John Barrowman kicked off his panel by mooning us. This was at 11:00 am, so good morning Dragon*Con, indeed. It’s really of no surprise, but Barrowman is one raunchy fella, his panels should come with an explicit warning. All the hijinks aside – of which there were many including Barrowman screaming, “Buff man!” running out into the audience and fondling a mostly naked man dressed as a Spartan from 300 – we did get some interesting info about upcoming projects. For instance, Barrowman knows who his secret, millionaire character on Arrow really is and says, “it’s AWESOME.” He also shared he is totally on board for more Torchword once he gets the call. And of that upcoming Doctor Who 50th anniversary, Barrowman added as an actor he’d understand if he wasn’t included, but as a fan he’d be “exceptionally disappointed” and “gutted” to not be involved. I think I speak for just about everyone when I say I’d love for him to be in Who‘s 50th and I really hope they don’t overlook him.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP

Later that day I attended The Guild panel, which was their first panel after finishing their shoot for Season 6. As Felicia Day put it Dragon*Con was, “the best wrap party ever!” Joining her was the entire Guild cast: Sandeep Parikh, Amy Okuda, Robin Thorsen, Jeff Lewis, and Vincent Caso, and the camaraderie among these guys is so apparent. It’s easy to see why the little web show has been such a success because these guys genuinely have a blast making it. We can expect to see Season 6 of The Guild premiering in a few weeks on Day’s own Youtube channel, Geek & Sundry. Plus! Any Legend of Neil fans (Sandeep’s other web series? Get excited because it’s finally coming to DVD and you can pre-order it here!

There was also an excellent gender-bent, crossplay group of Guild cosplayers that I am very sad I was unable to grab for a photo. I implore you to Google them. But, the cast of The Guild was asked what kind of a group cosplay they’d like to do,

Asked what group costume they’d like to do, the response is Winnie the Pooh! @amyokuda would be Piglet, @sandeepparikh would be Roo…

- nerdbastards (@nerdbastards) August 31, 2012

.@feliciaday would be Tigger, @robinthorsen would be Pooh, and there was confusion over whether @jeffylew would Eeyore, Rabbit, or Owl.

- nerdbastards (@nerdbastards) August 31, 2012

I think Jeff Lewis is most like Rabbit. But seriously, could we get the cast in Winnie the Pooh costumes for their next music video? Which, by the way, they don’t have any official plans for but they’d definitely like to do another.

On to the Lords of the Rings/The Hobbit panel which featured quite the star studded lineup. There was the hobbit Billy Boyd, the elf Craig Parker, the dwarf John Rhys-Davies, and the wizard Sylvestor McCoy. Out of all the panels I went to this was by far the best auditory experience because of the splendid range of accents. But firstly, Boyd wanted everyone to be aware of his band, Beecake, and to spread the word. There was hint maybe they’d play Dragon*Con next year, so get sharing!

It was interesting to hear the differences in filming, especially with the necessary prosthetics, between LOTR and Hobbit. Remember how awful it was for the hobbits to put on their feet? Apparently now Martin Freeman has what are basically a pair of slippers he puts on to don his hobbit feet. And Davies was especially “horrified” and “miffed” when he heard how simple the dwarves’ makeup is this time around. If you’ll remember Davies had a bad allergic reaction to Gimli’s makeup, but he suffered through it for us. What a gent! Oh, which reminds me,

Davies kinds of wishes he had Orlando Bloom’s number to hand out to girls who’d ask for it. “Out of sheer malice.” LOL #LOTR #dragoncon

- nerdbastards (@nerdbastards) September 1, 2012

HA! Now wouldn’t that be funny? Davies also mentioned he was about to fly out to record for the special features on the Blu-ray of Indiana Jones! So, there’s that to look forward to.Finally, not on this particular panel but at a comedy concert later that evening McCoy played spoons with Molly Lewis and it was phenomenal. I can’t recommend enough seeing McCoy if you ever get the chance, he’s a born entertainer.

The last panel I live-tweeted was The Venture Bros. (I also covered The Venture Bros. costume contest later that evening.) and in their own off-the-wall style, creators Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick played the panel like an old 70s talk show called Let’s All Smoking! It was basically Doc and Jackson interviewing James Urbaniak as if they knew nothing of The Venture Bros. all while puffin’ on their electric cigarettes and enjoying the refreshing taste of Fresca. Probably the funniest panel I went to and the only one that shared footage! They previewed a handful of clips from their upcoming Halloween special, expected to aired around Halloween – duh! – and from what I could see I believe the boys have changed hairstyles, again. They just keep growing up, don’t they? What with their clones having been destroyed and all. After some more “interviewing” of star Urbaniak, Doc and Jackson traded taking questions from the audience in where they themselves braved the crowd. Speaking on next season, which we can expect around Spring next year,

“This season is very much for you guys.” -Doc. There will be lots of new characters & old characters we didn’t even know were characters. – nerdbastards (@nerdbastards) September 2, 2012

The way this show has progressed is mind-bogglingly. To know there will be even more characters introduced and apparently plenty of old characters whom we didn’t even know mattered returning, blows my mind. How many more voices can they manage!? Oh, and speaking of voices, hands down the best quote of the panel,

Jackson in The Monarch voice: YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE MY KHALEESI! #VentureBros #DragonCon

- nerdbastards (@nerdbastards) September 2, 2012

It really doesn’t get any better than that. Let’s All Smoking! Brought to you by Fresca.

Dragon*Con is well known to be a mecca of cosplay, and it all culminates in the parade on Saturday morning. And it’s not only sleepy, hungover congoers who come to watch, it’s almost like all of Atlanta shows up! In order for you to have something of the Dragon*Con Parade experience I recorded as much as I could and have uploaded everything into one, handy, little playlist. I apologize ahead of time for the shakiness, the idea to record was a last minute one and I managed it all with an iPhone. Still, you’re able to see most of the parade and the impressive display of cosplay, so check it out! I also cut the videos into short clips in case you’re only looking for say the Ghostbusters or Star Wars groups, you can skip ahead.

Ah, the Dragon*Con party scene. It’s kind of hard to narrow down just when the party starts and stops because it’s happening all weekend! Not only is the party raging all weekend, it’s going on everywhere! The reports I was hearing this year was that Dragon*Con 2012 attendance was its largest attendance ever, somewhere around the 55, 000 range. Cram all those people into five hotels in downtown Atlanta and it looks kind of like this,

That’s only one area of the Marriot lobby, but I think you get the idea. But, unlike larger cons, say SDCC of NYCC, the crowds at Dragon*Con are always jovial and helpful. Usually because everyone’s drunk and not grumpy from waiting in line all day. Why? Well, the drunkenness is prevalent. I was properly hungover for the first time in years Monday morning. Plus, Dragon*Con has a strict “no line forms until an hour before the event” policy. It’s totally rad. They also clear out the rooms in between panels so no one can hold a seat all day in one room preventing other attendees from getting in if they didn’t get up at 3 am to line up. Dragon*Con lives to serve and I’m impressed they can still manage this with their crowds growing every year.

While strolling through this massive crowd I was able to snag a quick interview with a very convincing Brigadier who told me a little about his Dalek,

Stupidly, I was a bad reporter and didn’t grab his name. If you’re in this video let me know!

Moving off the con floor because, seriously, congestion, if you’re looking for a good place to hang at Dragon*Con I cannot recommend the karaoke in the Hilton enough. I swear every night I ended up there. Here’s a taste of the atmosphere. Oh, and your speakers will thank you if you turn the volume down for this one. Drunken nerds can be loud, go figure.

Nerd-lebrities are also known for making appearances at the karaoke, look,

That’s right, a special appearance made by Nien Nunb! Okay, so it’s actually @BrianKameoka in an incredibly awesome costume, but I feel it still counts for famous. Though if you’re looking for real stories of celebrity encounters I did dance, Gangnam Style, adjacent Felicia Day, Sandeep Parikh, and Grant Imahara at the Heroes and Villains Ball Saturday night. In fact, they left soon after. Wonder why…

Finally, to wrap things up I hope I’ve convinced at least a few of your to join us at Dragon*Con next year. Tickets are already on sale for the cheapest price you’ll ever get them, so buy now if you’re considering going. To end things, here’s some final cosplay shots I was able to grab with a shitty iPhone camera. Enjoy!

Categories: Lords of the Rings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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