It is commonly known that in the geek world, the fall season is busy. There are a crap ton of conventions and other such nerdy things to attend and spend a lot of money on. This past month I have attended Dragon*Con and AWA (Anime Weekend Atlanta) as they are in my backyard.
This was my first year attending DC and I went for only Sunday, as it had the most things that I wanted to attend. First, some things that I had always heard about the insanity that is Dragon Con:
-There are a million-billion people there.
*Not quite a million people, but it was pretty damn close. There is a reason this convention has spread out to numerous hotels.
-It is a constant party.
*I didn't attend any parties but when we were leaving at like 2 AM there were a lot of random groups of people dancing outside, so I believe it.
-There's too much going on at one time.
*That is the honest truth. Thank god for the fact that the program went online the week beforehand so that I could go through and see what was going to be going on so that I could plan accordingly. Without having done that, I would not have had nearly so good of a time.
So yes, there are a million people doing a million things while they party. But it is so freaking worth it to go at least once in your life. Just keep calm and have an idea of what you want to see/do and everything will go just fine.
As for my experience, it was pretty tame. I didn't dress up, though some of my friends did, so I didn't have to worry about messing up my costume or getting all gross and having people take pictures of me every few feet. We found a really good parking place 2 blocks away from one of the hotels for $3. Waiting in line kind of sucked, but when doesn't it? The first panel we hit was actually in the same area as the badge pick-up line so we went from one line to another. But watching The Guild with Zaboo and Vork was awesome, plus we got to see an episode that hadn't been aired yet.
We hit the smaller dealers room for about an hour, mostly because of the crowd. It was really hard to move because the rows were pretty narrow and people just don't know how to move. From there I went to a book signing for Sherrilyn Kenyon, which also moved slowly. For those of you people out there that don't know how to behave at a book signing, here are the rules:
1) Don't bring the entire series to be signed. 1 or 2 books is all you need a signature in. If anything, start at the beginning and work your way through if you can hit multiple signings.
2) Don't hold a five minute long conversation with the author. They won't remember you in 15 minutes. This experience is for YOU, not them. Say hi and thanks for writing/drawing/creating this thing that I love so much, keep up the good work, have a good day and then LEAVE. The next person wants their 2 minutes too.
3) Don't bad talk after you leave a signing. Just because they didn't say "OMG, let's be best friends for life, you should move in with me!" does not make them rude. Yes, their jobs are to make their readers happy. But that doesn't mean that they should be expected to act like your best friend. Just remember this: If you had to do 7 or more hours of talking/signing/picture taking in a day for nearly an entire month.. how would you feel? Would you really be able to be 100% patient and nice? I know I wouldn't, so don't expect them to be.
Anyway, rant aside...
I'm glad that I got to get a book signed, even despite the line and wait, because I'm that sort of nerd. I like to see the person that creates the world that I lose myself in for hours at a time. I like to say "thank you, you made things better for me by writing this book". So far I have gone to 2 book signings, one for Kim Harrison and now the one for Sherrilyn Kenyon. But there are still others on my list, so hopefully I can one day mark them off.
After the signing we walked around some more, got some lunch, hit a few more panels and had fun. The last thing that we did was probably one of the most fun things I have ever done at a con: Dub Your Own Hentai. Yes, ladies and gents, we went there. And waited for like 2 hours in the holding cell of doom so that we could watch animated porn and make it funny and slightly less awkward. Because, honestly, hentai rooms are always kind of awkward. Everyone knows that everyone else is getting turned on and trying not to show it, until they just have to go to the bathroom to take care of business.
At least with this panel the point was laughing and not getting off. And oh god was it funny. I almost peed my pants laughing it was so funny.. and because I couldn't leave the room to pee or my seat would get taken by someone else. But it was worth the pain and agony to hear the things some of the people came up with. We had Sean Connery, Kermit the Frog, Forrest Gump and a few other normal accents and voices dubbing our porn. You can be sure that I'll be going again next year.
So the highlights of Dragon Con 2010: watching the Guild, getting a book signed, watching porn with funny stuff said during it.
Two weeks later Anime Weekend Atlanta rolled around and we went. Now, some history. My first convention ever was AWA in 2002, so this con has some nostalgia for me since I lost my Con Virginity to it. I have only missed 1 year since then and can't wait until I can say "I've been going to AWA for 10 years" even though that will make me one of the Old People at the con. ;_; How did it happen to me?
Anyway, Friday night I went with Carol and our friend from out of town because there was a panel that I had to miss the previous year going on. The Ouran Host Club Challenge. Basically the way it works is each Host Club member has a team of fans and they do various challenges to win the prize. The prize just so happens to be the love of the main female character, Haruhi. We close Team Glasses, Kyoya, as our team. I participated in the first challenge, the Fluffy Bunny Marshmallow game. Basically, we played telephone with marshmallows in our mouths. It was hilarious. Our friend participated in the Dance Off and won an iron on patch, that he gave to me (squee). Carol helped in the last challenge which consisted of making wedding apparel out of crepe paper. Sadly, our team didn't win, we tied for third place. But it was a lot of fun and it makes me even sadder that I missed it the year before... but I won't miss it next year. In fact, I will go in costume from the same show to be even more awesome.
Then we went to Wal*Mart to buy food and hair dye. Carol lost her badge in the parking lot. We dyed my hair red so that I could be a proper ginger Companion. And then we played Rock Band for hours before going to bed for a few hours.
Saturday morning had us in costume and ready to go to the con.
Our costumes were:
Me- Amy Pond (Dr Who)
Kristy- Donna Noble (Dr Who)
Carol- Gwen (Torchwood)
Cathe- no costume but she had the Dad Cat from Azumanga Daioh.
Michelle- Soi Fon(Bleach)
Frank- Kisuke (Bleach)
Dennis- James (Pokemon)
While they waited in line for badges I hit the artists alley to say hi to a few friends and got stopped like 3 times to have my picture taken. That kind of set the mood for the day. I'm guessing that all the pictures that didn't get taken at DC got taken at AWA to make up for it. Seriously, I think this year had me stopped more than any other year, which is awesome. Next year will be even more epic if we get to do the Kyoshi Warriors from Last Airbender like we wanted to do this year.
As is pretty normal for AWA, we spent a lot of time in the dealers room and in video panels. We watched the Iron Editor, which is basically Iron Chef with AMV's. The winner was awesome, the loser was so bad that we didn't even think that their entry was a real video. Sad, yes, but the winner was pretty awesome. If I can find a link to it, I'll post it.
We had dinner at Chow Baby that isn't Chow Baby anymore.. but will always be Chow Baby to us. For those of you that don't know what Chow Baby is, here's the simple version: Salad bar do it yourself stir fry. And boy is it awesome.
After dinner, Kristy, Cathe, Joy, Mish and Frank left for home because it was like 10. Carol, Dennis and I stayed since I only had the one day pass and wanted to make it worth while and they didn't care so much about going home. To our luck there was a panel that we wanted to go to. It was an MST3K style anime room run by some pretty funny guys, one of which had been a judge during the Iron Editor panel. He was still asking for a cheeseburger and fries when we got there. We watched Sailor Moon S, which is horrible but not as horrible as Sailor Moon Super S. As huge Sailor Moon fans, Carol and I spent the next hour in teenage happiness as the things we hated/didn't understand about the world of Sailor Moon were poked fun at.
Then we went home and slept. The End.
So yeah, my September went by pretty awesomely. Plans for next year are already in the planning stages and money is slowly being stored away to pay for them. Here's hoping that I get to do the costumes I want to do.
-Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica (either the Marine or New Caprica)
-Kaylee from Firefly (cover alls AND the layer cake dress)
-Renge from Ouran Host Club (school uniform)
-Kyoshi Warrior (full make-up and green outfit)