I'm a geek - I admit it.
Much like a good friend of mine worships Johnny Depp, I have a girl-crush on
Felicia Day. I've been playing video games before they were cool,
and I still chain-read novels with cover-art featuring pastel horses, medieval
defense weapons, and futuristic space vehicles. Even with all this
geek-cred, I admit I was a little underprepared by my experience this Labor Day
weekend at Dragon*Con, the annual sci-fi and fantasy convention held in Atlanta.
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I was excited to go, of course. My
favorite authors were attending - Diana Gabaldon (author of the Outlander
series) with a copy of her new graphic novel "The Exile
", and Mercedes
Lackey (author of the Heralds of Valdemar series) discussing her "Secret
World Chronicle" podcast novels. Really, though, I expected to be a
little bored outside of those select few panels.
Author Diana Gabaldon. Photo by Nancy Castaldo. Copyright RandomHouse, Inc. All rights reserved
Wow, was I wrong. I don't
think it's possible for anyone, sci-fi fan or not, to be bored at
Dragon*Con. Between the people in costume just walking
around... the parade.... And the panels, oh the
panels. I think there may be a panel for everything you can think of that
might relate even peripherally to sci-fi or fantasy. It seemed like there
were at least thirty things going on all at the same time, from ten in the
morning until eleven-thirty at night, from Friday to Monday. And
that's excluding eating, people-watching, and parties.
Dozens of Star Wars characters marched through the streets of Atlanta during the Dragon*Con parade on September 4th. Photo by Jaime Schilling
The greatest part? There were quite
a few panels that combined my love of geek culture with Disney. In "The
Disney Curse, Revisited," not only was there an in-depth discussion of
the similarities between Disney's "The Lion King" with
Tezuka's "Kimba The White Lion", but also a discussion of how
some of the concepts for Kimba may have been "inherited" from
Rudyard Kipling's story "The White Seal." In "The Rocketeer," Laura Martin discussed how she was hand-picked by Dave
Stevens to color the deluxe edition of his comics, and explained her process in
re-coloring the artwork to make it stand as a unified whole. The best
- "European Animation" showed a full screening of Walt Disney
& Salvador Dali's short "Destino" (For those that
haven't see it, Destino will be included as a special feature on the
upcoming 4-Disc Fantasia & Fantasia 2000 Special Edition. Which is scheduled for a November 30, 2010 release).
Even Ursula, Maleficent and Cruella couldn't resist the charmsof Dragon*Con. Photo by Jaime Schilling
And of course, we attended a large number
of panels that weren't even peripherally related to Disney - from
"The Future of Board Games" which discussed excellent board games
not in the tradition of Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers, to "The
History of the Jet Propusion Lab" the presenters and attendees were
engaged and informative. I wouldn't have considered myself
particularly interested nor knowledgeable about the space program before
attending Dragon*Con - but after attending a few "Space"
panels where the conversation wasn't over my head, I'm now a lot
more interested than I was.
Gandalf the Grey gets down at Dragon*Con. Photo by Jaime Schilling
The next Dragon*Con will be held September
2-5, 2011 in Atlanta. If
you're anywhere in the southeast and have some time available - I
guarantee it's an experience you're not likely to forget.