It’s the Wednesday after Dragon Con. The hotel lobbies are empty and quiet, the food courts aren’t running at full speed in order to fuel 70,000 hungry nerds, my friends have all dispersed back to their homes which are scattered all across the country, and I’m not wearing a costume.
Dragon Con 2015 is officially over and I’m here to break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of the four days I spent on Planet Nerd (conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Atlanta). And when you’re done reading the post, hop over to check out my Dragon Con 2015 photo album for all the cosplay photos your heart desires.
Seeing friends. I have so many amazing friends that live all over the United States and I only see them at Dragon Con. Sure, we keep in touch by email, Facebook, Twitter, and the occasional podcast, but all of that pales in comparison to actually seeing them in person, giving hugs, chatting over delicious tiki bowls, snarking at the Masquerade, and participating in an impromptu Star Wars trivia throwdown.
Science of the Martian. This panel was put on by the Dragon Con Science track and was by far the best panel I attended all weekend. A panel of 5 real-life scientist broke down the book, dissecting all of the science-y elements and walked us through what was real, what was fake, and what was absolutely impossible. All in all, while there were a few parts that made them stabby, all five agreed that the science was fairly plausible and we might eventually actually make it to Mars. I’m just not holding my breath that it will happen in my lifetime.
Meeting Matt Fraction. Last year, meeting Kelly Sue DeConnick was one of the biggest highlights of the con, so it’s no surprise that meeting her equally talented husband makes the list for this year. Both Matt and Kelly Sue were on a Heroes and Villains panel where they broke down their favorites, talking about which characters they loved to write, and were generally the delightful humans you’d expect them to be. And then after the panel, Matt was kind enough to stop and sign my Hawkeye #1–and I don’t think I stopped grinning for the next hour.
Warehouse 13 Cast Panel. I was late to the game with this show, I watched all five seasons on Netflix and Amazon long after the show had ended, so this was my first time getting to see the cast on a panel. Only Joanne and Eddie made it to Con this year, but what they lacked in numbers, they more than made up for in enthusiasm. Eddie was engaging and thoughtful and clearly adores and respects his fans, while Joanne was gracious and lovely and took every chance to make fun of Eddie. If you haven’t had a chance to watch this show, I highly suggest you look it up.
Badge Pickup. In all of the years I’ve been attending Dragon Con, the badge pickup line has always been the root of so many complaints. But with the implementation of the barcode system, pickup is a breeze. I was in and out in less than five minutes, and I had even misplaced my postcard! Kudos to the staff for figuring out how to make this entire process quick and painless.
Line Management. I normally steer clear of the large panels for currently airing tv shows, but this year Stephen Amell had made the trip all the way to Atlanta for Con. So I decided to suck it up and brave the crowds for one of the Arrow panels. And boy, were there crowds. The panel was located in the Atrium Ballroom and none of the line volunteers seemed to be communicating with each other. People were hovering in the lobby, waiting in line down by the valet parking, and lining up right outside, and the volunteers had to try to merge all three lines into one. It did not go well. There’s a lot that the staff could learn from this experience in order to make the lines run more smoothly and keep the peace. Let’s just hope they figure it out sooner rather than later.
Cranky People. Look, it’s Atlanta, it’s Labor Day, it’s hot, and it’s crowded. All of these things stay the same from year to year, and you know what you are getting into. Having to listen to people bitch constantly the entire time they were there made me want to turn and ask them why they even bother. For the sake of everyone around you, save your constant bitching for your hotel room or the car on the ride home. Try to keep things positive while at the Con and in turn you and everyone around you will have a much better time.
Missing my bestie. This was only my second Con without my partner-in-crime and BFF, Teija, and it was WEIRD. I kept turning around in a panel to whisper something snarky only to remember that instead of sitting next to me she was off on an adventurous cruise. I know she had an absolutely epic time on her trip, but hopefully next year she’ll be back and ready to take on Con with me.
Missing friends. There were so many other friends who had to miss this year for one reason or another and it was sad not running into them in the halls, or grabbing dinner at Benihana, or shouting out to them as they marched by in the parade. I know they’ll all be back and I look forward to seeing each and every one of their faces next year.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get to work on all of my costume plans for next year. Have to start early, you know.