Connect with us

DragonCon 2011

Dragon*Con Part One

Published

on

If you could have a mythical pet would it be a griffin, phoenix or a fairy?

I love a place where people are able to fly their freak flag confidently and be super cool while doing it.  Women who weren’t the pretty girls in high school can squeeze into their fairy slut wear and middle-aged hetero men who like to play RPG’s (role playing games) can don unitards.  We found a Where’s Waldo in drag.  Many Maleficents from Sleeping Beauty paid a visit, one of which knocked my socks off. [singlepic id=10241 w=320 h=240 float=left] A Latex version of the jester girl villain from Batman was smoking a cigarette outside the Hyatt. One of my personal favorites was a pair of Storm Troopers on vacation.  What do all these characters have in common?  [singlepic id=10245 w=320 h=240 float=right]It was Dragon*Con, and these were the geeks that rule the world.

Now, I am a secret geek and I love to lose myself in fiction.  I am still mourning the end of the Harry Potter, and am desperately trying to revive my passion with my children, Lady “H” and the Viking Princess.  I was overwhelmed with all that Dragon*Con had to offer.

I started off in J.R.R. Tolkien land in the lecture, Heroes of Middle Earth: A Fan-base Discussion.   I found out that the author of The Lord of the Rings saga also contributed to the Oxford/English dictionary and worked in the W’s.  The word “Hero” does not fall into his section, but it was the topic of this lecture.  We went through the characteristics of a hero, and brought to light how many heroes there actually were in this trilogy.  We discussed how the great policies of this work are made from the seemingly unknown and weak.  A hero finds a path to the drama, and this story, it is taken into many directions.  The heroes run the gamut.  Tolkien gave us the classic warrior, Aragorn, who is engaged in a journey to restore balance and become King all the way to the humble Hobbit, Sam Gamgee whose loyalty to Frodo was, in my opinion, the most heroic trait in the series.

Dragon*Con has been around for 25 years, and at the opening ceremony we got a sense of what was going on at its genesis.  For example, Ronald Reagan was president.  Mike Tyson was the world boxing champ.  Stamps were 24 cents. The Simpsons premiered that year, and the most eye-opening fact was that gas was only 89 cents.

Believe it or not I was also able to indulge my writer’s geek itch.  There were many workshops to choose from in this track.  I attended one that was called, Wait, I have a deadline.  It was all about managing time.  This, folks, is my biggest issue with getting you my articles.  I won’t divulge all the secrets, but I will say I was enthused by mystery novelist Cheshire Burke.  This woman is going to school, has a job, four kids and manages to write full length books, on top of it all.  She is a real inspiration to all us mommies out there that want to do more, and make a bigger stamp on the world.  I am very new to Facebook, and there was lengthy discussion on writers using it as a tool.  It resonated with me when Burke said, “I Use the S*** out of social media”.

OK…I’m going to let you in on a little geeky secret of mine.  In the past year, I’ve become a smidge obsessed with podcast novels and one writer in particular, Scott Sigler.  Last year, after I started putting Lady “H” on the bus for Kindergarten, I realized I had ONE HOUR for myself to take a walk.   I started listening to a novel I had saved to my iPod, years before.  The novel was “Nocturnal”.  Hooked, I went on to listen to the first two parts of the trilogy “Infected”, “Contagious” and am anxiously awaiting the conclusion, “Pandemic”.

Just out of “curiosity”, I was off to a lecture on writing about sex, and I gasped when I saw his name next door.  Sigler won out over sex!  Can you believe it?   We got a sneak peak of six chapters from his newest Young Adult story, “Flyer”.  He showed us the newest book cover for “Nocturnal”, coming out April 3rd.   He also divulged that there’s going to be a sequel.  I’ll definitely be getting a flight through bookit.com to Vegas, ASAP, for Siglerfest 2012.  This was just the tip of the iceberg.  I have to say, I get a little star struck (strange for someone who has a been a performer her whole life) and wasn’t able to approach him when I saw him the next day.  So next year, Sigler, expect a bear hug from The Dancer with an Attitude.

This concluded the first day, for me and my trusty photographer “E”.  Weaved in and out of all the events was just walking from hotel to hotel in downtown Atlanta enjoying the fantastical atmosphere.  It was better than Halloween.

DragonCon 2011

Dragon*Con Part Two

Published

on

After a day walking around the Dragon*Con conference getting lost in a sea of mythical characters, zombies and superheroes, it became very clear who I strongly identified with. Can we all scream Steampunk very loudly!!!! This Victorian, futuristic, post apocalyptic society was warrior- like yet pretty and polite. They carried strange elaborate weapons and wore leather, pin stripe and lace. They walked strongly through the dense crowds and conjured up images of tinkers and inventors who have to defend their place on the earth. I’ve mentioned before that I am a little obsessed with podiobooks, and last year I came across a series of books by Mur Lafferty, the “Heaven” series, where these characters would have fit perfectly.

I have mentioned before that I am a self-proclaimed entertainment junky. One of my sick pleasures is the protagonist/serial killer named “Dexter”. So when I saw Julie Benz on a panel, it didn’t matter which to me. She was in fact there for “No Ordinary Family” a show which was unfortunately cancelled after its first season. I did, however, get some good “Dexter ” nuggets. For example, Julie Benz didn’t know Rita was going to be killed off, until she got the script. She didn’t know how, until an hour before shoot. Plus, it was the last shoot of the season. Talk about having the rug pulled from underneath you…

“No Ordinary Family” was a drama with a super natural element. Benz was accompanied by one of her cast mates Autumn Reeser to talk about their experiences. This show was originally geared towards the whole family, but times have changed and people are looking for niche shows. It was a rough year at ABC and they had a tough time slot. Unfortunately, they were only able to produce one season. The devoted audience seems to think “No Ordinary Family”, will become a cult classic. The DVD came out Tue 9/6/11, and this panel convinced me to run out a get one. By the way, it has been turned into, and it may be more successful as, a comic book series.

If you like surround yourself with costumes, collectables, tinker props and get lost in a world of fantasy, Dragon*Con is the place to be. I tend to show my girly colors when shopping opportunities arise and the shopping a Dragon*Con was amazing. Comic books, superhero gear, corsets, art, jewelry and anything geeky can be found at this market. I have completely planned out my steampunk persona from this whimsical market and here are a few of the vendors I’ll be talking to. For my Steampunk accessories I’ll be consulting museumreplicas.com, deliciousboutique.com and Mr. Glenn Barr at glbarr@earthlink.net . For the most fabulous corset I’ll be going to Artemis Leather artemisleathers.com. I was also blown away at the inventions created at Brute Force Studios by Gentleman Genius Thomas Willeford, bruteforcebruteforceleather.com if I am brave enough to start my tattoo sleeve I’ll make a trip to ABT tattoos in McDonough, Ga.

The most exciting event of the whole weekend, and obviously not just for me because the line went out of and 3/4 of the way around the building, was the “True Blood” panel.

“Alcide, Oh Alcide!”, No that wasn’t my internal dialogue, but the woman next to me in line clutching an autographed copy of his face to her chest.

On the panel were Dennis O’Hare (Russell Edgington), Kristen Bauer (Pam Swynford De Beaufort), Jim Parrack (Hoyt Fortenberry), Joe Manganiello (Alcide Herveaux) and the creator of the characters Charlaine Harris.

O’Hare plays a 3000 year old vampire with a well crafted, old, upper class Mississippi accent. At the end of last season, one of the most gripping scenes was when Edgington ripped out the heart out of an anchorman on national news. He gave a speech about how vampires didn’t need to get permission from the human race to exist. Humans were food. As a gay man in real life, O’Hare, has been seeking acceptance his whole life and found this speech particularly liberating. It was empowering for him to say, on screen, that he doesn’t have to apologize or get permission for being who he truly is. Last time we saw Edgington, he was buried in cement for eternity. Inquiring minds want to know, is this the last we see of him?

One of my favorite vampires on the show is the dirty talking bully, Pam. In real life Kristen Bauer is a kind and sensitive. She even got emotional on a couple of occasions. One of which was when she discussed how, even thought this show is set in a supernatural world, it really brazenly attacks the ideas of tolerance.

I am excited to see some of the peripheral characters come into light more and more. Hoyt, played by Jim Parrack, is one of them. Parrack talked about how moved he is about the love relationships in the show. As far as his character goes he says, “There is just so much a person can take before they start killing people.”

The female favorite was the hunky Joe Manganiello, who plays the sensitive werewolf Alcide. He doesn’t see the “True Blood” characters as supernatural, but as people with serious handicaps trying to become human. Manganiello admitted he was a little shy with Alcide’s accent his first season, but fortunately he went to Carnegie Melon University where they drill the phonetic alphabet. This helps isolate and recognize different sounds related to accents and dialects. Alcide’s speech patterns were patterned after an ex-football player, who went to Europe, rode motorcycles and ended up a judge in Jackson, Mississippi. Serious stuff aside, it was hard to concentrate with all the cat calling and hollering going on. I’ll admit I contributed to the noise in the room.

Charlaine Harris is a hoot. The show follows the trend of the books but goes off on its own tangents. Harris is amused by the fact that her books are being read in college. She ventured to say that she might not even understand what they’re talking about. “Am I that deep? …Probably not.”

An audience member was curious about Pam’s Vampire Chemical peel. Bauer said they can make Pam beautiful on the outside, but she will continue to rot on the inside. There will be some physical manifestation of this, such as over pronounced veins. Personally, I am curious about her character’s emotional journey in the next season. I would love for her to become more of a central story line.

Someone in the audience asked who the actors would like to play, other than their own characters? O’Hare would like to try a hand at playing Andy Bellfleur. Bauer is interested in romping around as Jason Stackhouse. Parrack wants to walk in Lafayette’s shoes. Manganiello made up his own ancient Roman soldier turned vampire that resides as king somewhere. Finally, Harris would totally kick ass as Hoyt’s big Mama.

They audience wanted to know, what they’re doing when they aren’t shooting? O’Hare lives in a state of constant panic and because he is a creative being, he’s always seeking work. Manganiello eats a lot and visits his wolf Thunder. Parrack directed his first movie recently with120 Productions Co., does plays, and is joining the staff at an acting school. Bauer loves animals and is an animal rights activist. She paints and stays busy with her marriage (which ended up more time consuming than she originally thought).

When asked what their favorite story lines are, Bauer said she loves the relationship between her character and vampire Erik. She thinks they have a really healthy relationship, as far as a maker and baby go. She said, “They get each other and would both die for the other.” Bauer is looking forward to learning about the genesis of their relationship. I personally love that she was emotional on this panel, and so different from, Pam. She also stated that she loved seeing Sam imitating his brother, the Bellfleur therapy session, and anything Jason Stackhouse does.

O’Hare loves the Jessica and Hoyt storyline. Parrack enjoys that Bill is able to find love after such a long time, and having someone like Sookie look at him so lovingly. Manganiello wants to know what Alcide’s childhood was like, in order to understand the struggle he is having with Debbie wanting a baby. He’s also fascinated with the struggle of Godrick, a monster tired of being a monster, who would rather not exists than be what he is. Harris agreed with the Manganiello, and loves the death of Goddrick, and in a true whimsical spirit, she also said, “I’m a fan of the possum drowning.”

They were finally asked how their Dragon*Con experience was? O’Hare said, “You guys are wild!”, and Manganiello said, “Anytime women walk around in bondage outfits in the afternoon, I am a happy guy.”

Not bad for a bunch of Geeks.

Continue Reading

DragonCon 2011

Addy Miller of The Walking Dead : Dragon*Con 2011

Published

on

 

Addy Miller started acting at age eight when she won the role of Young Dakota Fanning in “The Secret Life of Bees”. Since then, she has over two dozen films to her credit, as well as commercials, print work, and television shows.

Addy’s most recognized work is on AMC’s 2010 new original series “The Walking Dead,” cast as the “Little Girl Zombie” in the pivotal opening scene that set the tone for the entire show. Fans of the show have raved her scene as “Best Kill”, “Shock of the Week”, “Zombie of the Week”, and declared Addy as an “Instant Horror Legend”. Addy’s most memorable on-set moments were receiving personal direction from the great Frank Darabont, working closely with award-winning make-up artist Greg Nicotero, talking with producer Gale Anne Hurd, and hanging with actors Andrew Lincoln and Sarah Wayne Callies. Addy is so proud of having opted to do her own stunts and doing them well. Mr. Darabont was delighted with the result! We had fun with Addy in this quick little interview at Dragon*Con 2011!

[nggallery id=379]

 

Continue Reading

DragonCon 2011

Jim Steranko : Dragon*Con 2011

Published

on

Prev1 of 2Next
← → (arrow) keys to browse

As an illustrator, musician, art director, magician, fire-eater, designer, escape artist, filmmaker, pop-culture lecturer, and publisher, Steranko has cut a ferocious path through the entertainment arts.

The more than 100 innovations he created as artist-writer on Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., Captain America , and X-MEN revolutionized the comics form and, as an illustrator, he painted a multitude of book covers, record jackets, and movie posters, including 30 Shadow paperbacks. He has shown his work at more than 200 exhibitions worldwide, including the Louvre in Paris and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington . His two volumes of The History of Comics have sold more than 100,000 copies and as editor-publisher of the international entertainment magazine PREVUE, he conducted hundreds of star interviews and penned more than three million words. As a filmmaker, he has collaborated with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola on some of their most popular movies.

Prev1 of 2Next
← → (arrow) keys to browse
Continue Reading

Trending