A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ten Photos from DragonCon

Yes, this is late. DragonCon was almost two months ago and I’m just now getting the photo essay posted. I offer two weak excuses: I was waiting for the various picture-takers in our group to send me more photos, and I hate working with Bloggerbot™ (Bloggerbot™ is the tool that Blogger™ uses to post pictures). Johnathan and Tim told me that I now have all of their best shots, and Reannan (who you can see in last year’s photo essay here) recently let me know that it will still be awhile before I get hers. So, onward we forge with what we have.

DragonCon took place the weekend after Katrina hit the New Orleans-Biloxi-Mobile area, and had over 20,000 attendees this year. Stationed in the main concourse of the Marriot – which is as central as anything gets at Con – was a “Red Cross Trooper” from the 501st Legion. They managed to collect thousands of dollars for hurricane relief, all of which went directly to the Red Cross. Well done, folks.

Just as you enter the Hyatt from the smoking deck – almost certainly the busiest mingling spot at DragonCon – The Cruxshadows always have their music and merchandise on display. Said display comes complete with their latest CD playing at full volume; I never feel like I’ve really arrived at Con until I’m hit with a blast of darkwave while climbing the stairs towards the Hyatt. My buddy Tim is posed here with two of them, though I’m not sure if those are musicians or dancers (The Cruxshadows have both … and either way, yum).

Another shot of The Cruxshadows girls. These outfits are amazing, though I find the wire hoop-skirt things to be a bit unnecessary and distracting. But the overall look is really hot, so the photo is presented here for all of you fine readers to appreciate (those of you not sophisticated enough to appreciate may merely ogle).

Space Ghost! Space Ghost! I’m in a picture with Space Ghost! That’s me up front; my buddy Todd is in back.

Unlike kids today, Space Ghost is not Coast-to-Coast for me. In fact, he has nothing to do with Cartoon Network at all. Space Ghost was a Saturday morning cartoon when I was a kid, to be watched – along with The Herculoids and Thundar the Barbarian – while munching sugary cereal and waiting for Creature Feature to start at noon. Space Ghost rocks.

We met Jewel Staite and Paul McGillion at the Hyatt Bar on Friday night. Jewel plays Kaylie Frye in Joss Whedon’s Firefly television series and its film spin-off, Serenity (recently blogged about by yours truly here and here). Paul is Dr. Carson Beckett on Stargate: Atlantis. On the far left is Jewel’s husband, a hell of a nice guy who insisted on splitting the bar tab with me … and after I saw it I was glad he did. Next to him is Tim. Notice the formula here: If cute chick in picture, then Tim.

Saturday night we went out to Hard Rock Café for dinner. It sucked. It was way too loud – and this is coming from someone who loves loud music – and the food was just awful. I think this was the last time we were all together at the con; after Saturday dinner I hung out with the lovely Reannan for pretty much the rest of the weekend. Greg and Tim played some LARPs, Johnathan went to panel discussions, and Todd shopped and went to The Cruxshadows shows.

Anyway, note to con goers: Skip Hard Rock in 2006. There’s a Roadhouse right across the street and a Steak & Ale about a block away.

Before I went to DragonCon for the first time I had no idea what Dawn was. Reannan explained to me at some point that it was a comic with a huge cult following; up till then I was pretty baffled by all the redheads in lingerie toting swords around. And that’s what I find most impressive about the whole Dawn thing: The costumes. I mean these women go all out. There are so many – and they are so well done – that DragonCon has a separate costume contest just for them. The other 5,000 or so people who dress up all have to compete in the general contest. Chumps.

An awesome Stewie Griffin costume. I have no trouble admitting to being a fan of Family Guy; like The Simpsons, it’s low-brow humor that is nonetheless much smarter and more relevant than anything the ivory tower elites are writing. A lot of work went into that headpiece, you can bet.

Okay, you need to open up your perceptions here just a bit. What is in this photo? Look closely, and intuit what the combination of images means.

Those, my friends, are Pimpaloompas. Simply brilliant.

Finally, we have Tim with (once again) a pretty girl. I think her costume might actually be another of the Dawns; maybe she just didn’t have the time or patience for the "left eye tears" makeup. Regardless, she’s hot and she has swords, so into the photo essay she goes.

That’s it for this year, kids. Next year I’m going to bring my own camera and make sure to get plenty of my own photos. Relying on others, while it appeals to my general laziness, is unfair and generally nets me fewer pictures for The Zoo. I’ll just have to make it a point to reserve a couple non-drinking hours each day for picture taking at the 2006 Con.

Can’t hardly wait!


Update: I had an e-mail from Reannan waiting for me this morning. It seems I have committed that penultimate geek faux pas ... misidentifying sexy animated women. The costumed lass in the 10th DragonCon photo is not Dawn; she is dressed as Bloodrayne, Playboy's first animated centerfold (NSFW). My appologies to Dawn, Bloodrayne, the person in the photo, and geekdom in general!