Left: The Monarch's Henchmen at Dragon*Con 2007, Atlanta. Photo by Rick Day.
Dragon*Con was so fantastic, I wanted to pitch a tent and stay. 50,000 (!!!) pop-culture geeks in one place is enough to make one hyperventilate, and indeed, I almost did in some of those crushing crowds and packed elevators. The wait to get in on Saturday was almost three hours, and exhausting. Our crew initially found the convention site by following a line of Imperial Stormtroopers up the sidewalk to Peachtree, where we then encountered various zombies and people suffering major radiation burns, multiple slave-Princess-Leias with abs of steel, Braveheart, Batman and Robin, Neo and Trinity, Wonder Woman and Superman, lots of muscular Spartans, as well as faeries, nymphs, pixies, angels, Cthulu (of course he was there) and everyone else in between. Dazzled, we entered the Hyatt and started taking random photographs and drinking in the atmosphere.
In addition to the movie/TV characters, there were plenty of completely original get-ups, including one pregnant bride covered in blood, with baby arms (a doll) bursting through her pregnant belly. The costumes were worthy of the movies they imitated; many were unbelievably intricate and showed a tremendous amount of work, time, money, attention, love. I felt as if I was watching fantasy on parade, and felt so grateful these folks had decided to include me in their imaginations.
As one girl said on a YouTube clip, the beauty of DragonCon is that you can make a joke about the Green Lantern and everyone in the room will get it.
On the gossip tip, Erik Estrada is surprisingly small-statured in person, as is Battlestar Galactica's Aaron Douglas. Lou Ferrigno has not aged. Elisabeth Röhm appears diminutive and delicate, which is not at all surprising. Whenever I see TV-folks in person, I am usually struck by how tiny they are... Good grief, I always wonder if I'd look the size of a polar bear on TV. Probably.
Below are some of the vendors, artists, writers and colorful characters I encountered at DragonCon.
Back Lot Props & Costumes Movie/TV props, set decorations, artwork and costumes. A very popular DragonCon spot!
Toxic Toons T-shirts, stickers, books, prints, DVDs and barware. Beware sexist art, necrophilia jokes, etc.
Fool Moon Treasures create fairy, goddess, dragon, Wicca and other designs out of lead-free pewter: "Our product categories range from aromatherapy to jewelry to sculptures to gift items. Our design themes concentrate on fairies, the Goddess, Wicca, dragons, as well as love tokens and floral." For the sweet faerie or goddess in your life.
Tatua looks to be a movie about a tattooed serial killer, or something. They were passing out snazzy temporary tattoos (wearing one now!), so I figured I'd give em a shout-out, and hope it isn't too misogynist. But there's no plot-description on the website, just a tattooed guy with knives and a lot of heavy metal, which doesn't look like a good sign. (Included on the website is the video Revenge Destroys by Helmet.)
Titan Games & Comics Local favorites, with three locations in Metro Atlanta: Smyrna, College Park and Duluth.
Taylorverse 8.0 is the website of Sean Taylor: "husband, father, friend, writer, comic book creator/editor, coffee nut/barista, cat fanatic, musician/songwriter, web designer, self-professed postmodern existentialist christian mystic, vanity incarnate; v. to possess entirely too much self-confidence." Comic books and mysticism? We're with you, Sean!
The Serpenteens are billed as "the NYC Kings of Horror Rock"--and record on (what else?) Blood and Guts Records. You've been warned.
Dave Cook's monsters look like a cross between Tales of the Crypt and those old monster bubblegum cards baby-boomers grew up with; each tries to outdo the last! Not exactly PC, Dave promises "Girls, Girls and more Girls, shown in True Monster Vision!" Again, you've been warned.
Brian Canfield Mitchell's website, featuring his varied graphite illustrations; he does originals, commissions and prints.
CyphreVoudou is an online store with all manner of bizarre and fascinating items; the home of gothik pyrates. "Come for the Treasure, Stay for the Voudou!"
Yard Dog Press distributed bookmarks advertising the cover of their newest release, a novel titled SABRE DANCE by Melanie Fletcher. The cover, for some inexplicable reason, features a woman who looks exactly like Raquel Welch in ONE MILLION YEARS, B.C., hoisting a sword alongside her ample bosom: "Sergeant Adrianne Roche knew that service in the Queen's Own Sabres would take her to strange new lands. She just never expected to go there in a belly dancing costume." You know you have to read it.
Quicksylver Productions Wanna make your own TV show? These folks are committed to "making the mainstream wider."
Atlanta Horrorfest includes movies, bands, zombies and more--October 4-7. Zombie Walk - October 6.
Misfile is a new comic book; they were giving out adorable buttons with their comic-characters on them, and I got three. Thank you!
Christy Kane's hypnotic, life-sized dolls evolved into Tales of the Sisters Kane, published by Baby Tattoo Books. "Includes the tales of: Lily (who has lost nine fingers, one-by-one, due to her careless fascination with a sewing machine), Polly (who has been unable to stop traveling the world since receiving a pair of roller-skates on her fifteenth birthday), Callalilly (whose unchecked temper has doomed her to becoming a hook-handed piano player), the triplets Hyancinth, Azaleah and Violah (whose baby sister Wisteria has gone missing under troubling and mysterious circumstances)..." The Chiodo Brothers have turned CALLALILLY into "A short film with a moral!" To see the utterly terrific trailer, go to www.christykane.com.
FaerieCon is October 12-14 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. In addition to "the largest gathering of faerie artists ever assembled," there will be two faerie masquerade balls at the Trocadero Theatre. Friday night: the "Good Faeries" Ball, featuring performances by the internationally acclaimed medieval music band Estampie, and the celtic fusion and Faerieworlds headlining band, Woodland. Saturday night: the "Bad Faeries" Ball features the acclaimed German Darkwave band Qntal and guitarist Scott Huckabay.
Rockfic Press asks the always pertinent question: Ever fantasized about a rock star? (hands trembling, she clicked the link, tentatively...)
Ken Kelly's art looks very Conan-ish, but fun. Watch out for those large-breasted captives.
Xiraxia promises that you can "sell your designs without selling out." Upload your T-shirt design to Ziraxia, where other users rate it. They publish your design on T-shirts and you are paid royalties. Some of the designs are fabulous!
Netherworld Metro Atlanta's haunted house, discounted tickets must be purchased by September 21.
Errant Story "As the one and only under-developed, teenaged half-elf in her entire country, Meji Hinadori is pretty sure her life sucks. She can't make any friends her own age, her grades at mage school are a flaming wreck (literally!), and it looks like her last hope to even salvage her inheritance means acing some sort of impossibly insane project...like becoming an insane demigoddess and taking over the world. That shouldn't be too hard, right? Unfortunately, Meji's misguided quest for power takes her straight into the middle of an ancient race war, and suddenly, it seems the whole world wants her dead. Now, with the help of a manfully brooding assassin, an angsty elven ranger, and her sarcastic flying cat, Meji must find the power she needs to save her life... and her grades..."
Evil Brand Clothes for "what to wear on the road to hell." (The devil on the logo looks like Vincent Price in his House of Wax period.)
Red Carpet Tours takes you to Middle Earth (actually New Zealand) on a Lord of the Rings fantasy tour. Erica Challis, webmaster of The One Ring, is one of the tour guides.
Coffee Shop of Horrors offers you the unique opportunity to buy coffee with names like Reanimator and Graveyard Shift. The logo alone might be worth buying the coffee!
Wesley Lowe's novel The Griffin's Gauntlet is about Sharon Amber, swept into the magical world of a kindly old witch, who "recruits her in the hopes of ridding the land of the tyranny of the Dragon King. So with the help of a dauntless knight, a demon sorceress, a faerie enchantress and a cursed bard, Sharon Amber embarks on a quest through the haunted Blackwoods to a griffin's aerie to acquire the Griffin's Gauntlet, the only weapon that can vanquish the tyrant and restore freedom throughout the land." Notable as one of the few book-covers at DragonCon with a fully-clothed heroine!
University of Metaphysical Sciences offers advanced degrees in metaphysics, and ordination in the Universal Church of Metaphysics. I'd love to hear the sermons!
And speaking of which, some DragonCon jokester set up the booths for Skepticality (the official podcast of Skeptic magazine) and Fans for Christ ("freedom in Christ to be what we are") only about 10 yards from each other. They were separated by only a couple of exhibitors, placed at a right angle. Thus, if you talked to the Christians, the Skeptics could see, and if you talked to the Skeptics, the Christians could see. This made me nervous, so I couldn't talk to either one. My Inner Christian and Inner Skeptic are on speaking terms and tolerate each other well, but they would never have booths in the same exhibition hall. Something unseemly about that. Anyway, I figured I'd say hello to them all here, and apologize for not having a prolonged chat. Hey, yall!
On another note, is this where I admit I'd never seen a Christian Goth before?
Monday, September 3, 2007
Left: The Monarch's Henchmen at Dragon*Con 2007, Atlanta. Photo by Rick Day.