Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tales of Dragon Con 2015

By: Selina Leavitt

(Seen Above: A picture of my dog, Honeybear, just before my husband and I left for Dragon Con in Georgia)

Hey dice fans!

There’s no movie today. Instead, I’m going to be showcasing all the awesomeness that happened at Dragon Con!

As expected, I met some amazing people over the weekend, though I missed a lot more than I met. There was just way to much available to do it all.

Remember this guy?

Mat Fraser (Cast Offs, Kung Fu Flid, Chemical Wedding) played Paul the Illustrated Seal on American Horror Story: Freakshow (2014). Throughout the series, he portrayed Paul in such a way that made him seem relatable.

Many of the cast members from last year’s season of American Horror Story were there, but I only chose to meet Fraser. 

In my opinion, he was one of the most authentically talented actors of the season.

Although my favorite character was actually Ma Petite played by Jyoti Amge, I have the insight to realize it was mostly because of a belief that she is super adorable. Fraser, on the other hand, is just an insanely good actor and had the ability to really make me care, and root for, his character.

Fraser was a really sweet guy, too.

Celebrities at cons can get fatigued pretty easily – with good reason, of course – so I don’t really expect much interaction when I get to talk to anyone. I just hope they don’t sneer while I ask whatever I wanted to ask. Mat Fraser, however, was smiling and seemed genuinely happy to be there. It made it even more exciting to meet him.

Robbie Amell (The Hunters, The DUFF, Struck By Lightning) was more what I expected. He seemed tired, but I certainly don’t hold it against him.

Dragon Con 2015 had roughly 70,000 people attending, not including the presenters and volunteers. By the time I got to meet Robbie, he’d probably been through about 10,000 of them. Could you imagine meeting 10,000 people in a couple of days, each one of them knowing you and you knowing none of them? It’s terrifying to me. Like prosopagnosia (the disease that prevents you from ever remembering faces).

Despite probably being exhausted, Robbie was perfectly pleasant. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get to ask him anything because a line had already formed behind me that extended pretty far.

What I should mention is that, of the two Amells present at the con, I decided to see only Robbie.

I have nothing against Stephen Amell (Arrow, Heartland, Hung), and I certainly wasn’t scared of his line. I spent the majority of the weekend on lines. Didn’t seem much different than a trip to Times Square around Christmas time. Never-the-less, I decided to only meet Robbie.

I personally believe that Robbie Amell is the better actor of the two. If there hadn’t been some kind of behind-the-scenes political bullshit that ended The Tomorrow People before it’s time, I believe Robbie Amell would be just as big, if not bigger than, Stephen.

It might not be a popular opinion, but it’s mine.

While I was waiting in line to meet Robbie, my husband and I bumped into a very familiar face. He wasn’t there to present or sign anything. He was just hanging around being a fan.

Who knew Kane (aka Glenn Jacobs) from WWE was a geek?

That’s my adorable husband, John, in the picture with the big man.

Unfortunately, when we went to get on line for John Barrowman’s (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Arrow) Q&A session, it was already capped. That was one of the big things I was looking forward to, so that was kind of a bummer. Instead, my husband and I raced to where Barrowman would be signing autographs after the show and were one of the first 10 in line.

Needless to say, we were waiting for a very long time. It was fine though, because we were surrounded by interesting geeks.

At one point, one of the volunteers regaled us with the story of the first time he saw Barrowman’s bare butt. It was a cute story at the time, but trying to write it out makes it seem like one of those “you had to be there” moments. After that, John’s husband (Scott) and his sister (Carole) joined us and began telling more cute little stories.

Finally, John arrived and the signings began. He spent 15 minutes interrupting himself after every signature though.

“If you ask me to take a selfie, she…” John Barrowman said as he stood up on his chair and pointed to the Dragon Con volunteer beside him, “will make me say no. So don’t ask. Just take one.”

Despite the sheer amount of fans he must have seen by that point, Barrowman lost none of his pep and charm. Of course, he’s a special case. There’s not a person in this world more fabulous than he is.

So we got our sneaked shot of him and had our Vortex Manipulator signed and went on our merry way.

Felicia Day (Dollhouse,  was later that day and she was just as amazing as I thought she’d be. She was genuinely apologetic when she allowed a disabled person in front of me on line, though she didn’t have to be. There was no reason to be apologetic. He had this awesome arm full of what I think were tattoos of signatures and he was wearing the greatest chainmail shirt I’ve ever seen.

Far as I’m concerned, he’s a better geek than I am and deserved to go first.

Felicia was in a rush, having another panel in an hour, but she still took the time to talk to every one of her fans in that line. She signed my copy of her book and I got to tell her what an inspiration she is to me.

I haven’t read her book yet. I was able to pick it up a couple of weeks ago, but I’m currently in the middle of The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini and I never start reading one book in the middle of another. It throws me off.

I don’t know what the book says, but it doesn’t matter. Felicia Day is one of my favorite people in existence. She is the geek queen and I had to fight my instinct to bow to her when I finally got to her table.

Her Q&A was hilarious.

My favorite thing to do at conventions is go to panels and Q&As. Sure, I’ll meet with any of my favorites that happen to be around, but I really enjoy learning the opinions of people with work I very much respect.

One of the Q&As I went to was for Laurell K. Hamilton.

I’ve been reading the Anita Blake books for something like 10 years, give-or-take. I don’t love every single book (Jason did nothing for me at all), but many of them are among my favorites (like Obsidian Butterfly or, more recently, Affliction).

It was great to hear Hamilton rant about her next book in the series and ramble on the way I do when I talk to my husband or my best friend about my latest project. She made me feel less weird.

And sure, I know Felicia Day insists that “no one’s weird on the internet (almost),” but in real life we all believe we are.

Hearing Laurell K. rant the way I do was like seeing myself in one of my favorite authors. Then when I asked her what her method of keeping track of red herrings was and she answered, “sticky notes,” I nearly died laughing.

I use index cards. The walls in my corner of the living room are plastered with them.

I think I felt normal for the first time in my entire life.

Laurell K. Hamilton was witty and funny and the passion she exhibited for her characters and stories made me love her as an author more than ever. If I can become half the author she is, I will be happy.

Jonathan Maberry is another of my favorite authors. I went to a couple of his panels over the weekend and got to talk to him in the vendor area where he was selling his new book in the Rot and Ruin series. If you read my post from Sunday, you know what came of that.

I also got to meet Mercedes Lackey, which was phenomenal. My first none-YA book ever was from her Oathbreaker series and it’s probably her fault I fell in love with fantasy and writing. I went from Judy Blume to swords and heralds and epic storylines.

I got to tell Lackey about her impact on my life. I’m never sure if anything like that will ever be remembered by the person I tell, but I always feel like it’s important. We all want to affect someone.

The weekend wasn’t all panels, interviews and signing sessions, of course. We did a lot of partying, too.

Kilt blowing with Jennie Breedan was one hell of an experience. Yeah, it’s what it sounds like. Web Comic Artist + Leafblower + Men in Kilts = FUN. I did add some pictures below, but I kept it clean.

There were a ton of vendors and creative cosplayers as well. I simply didn’t have enough film for it all.

Now that I’m suffering through the worst con crud ever, I regret nothing. Furthermore, I can’t wait for the adventures next year will bring. 

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