Dragon*Con Report 3
I finally dozed off from all the excitement of actually being at the convention but woke to the sound of someone opening the door to my hotel room. They flicked on the lights and I saw two guys in suits come in the room.
“Nothing to worry about, sir. We’re just hotel security doing routine checks since we know what all you Dragon*Con types are up to. Wait, there is only one of you here. Usually the rooms have about 10 people. That is so sad. Don’t you have any friends?” He asked these questions while his partner starting going through my bags, throwing my clothes onto the floor. I love being woken up at three in the morning and judged by security guards. I’m used to it but I don’t like it. Eventually the second guy announced that I was clean and they started to leave which is when the first guy suggested that I get some friends. I suppose it would have been too much to expect one of them to say “Have a good night” after that.
Upon waking up what I consider to be way too early, I rode a bus back to the con where people began trickling in. The hotels were mostly empty as people were wisely still asleep. Obviously I am not one of the wise people. The booths around the hotel floor were not manned at this time. Even the information booth was deserted. I felt alone. I felt forlorn. I felt empty booths meant one thing; FREE SWAG! The looting began. I grabbed every flier I could. Yes, that’s right. I took fliers. What did you think I was going to take? How low an opinion of me do you have? Really people, I am not a crook (random Nixon reference. It was bound to happen).
The hotels began to quickly fill (like a light bulb being turned on) and Friday’s activities began. A crossplay shoot is the first thing that I can recollect happening. Crossplay is when a person makes a cosplay of a certain character but changes the gender (like Mary Kate Smith portraying Wolverine as female.)
Side note: That is Allen Lee Hansard in the background as Dr. Strange. He runs the Superhero Cosplay Forum, an ultrasecret group that sets up photo shoots at conventions. Oh, wait, maybe I shouldn’t be discussing it…
During the shoot, the photographer lowered his camera and asked “Okay, who let Stan Lee in the shot? Can someone get him out of there?”
That is not what happened. During the shoot a voice off to the side asked if he could get in on this. Everyone looks over and saw Stan Lee standing there. Like anyone is going to say no to him. Heck, he would even be welcome at DC shoot (he did write the “Just Imagine” series.) So he gets in the center and many photographs are taken. One person, as Spiderman (or woman) began to scream in joy after Mr. Lee left. “Stan Lee touched me! Stan Lee touched me!”
You’ll notice that even people who were not in costume got in on this.
The rest of the day was spent walking around between the three main hotels. I got to see the celebrity room (not too crowded), artist alley (somewhat crowded) and the dealer’s room (very crowded). None of these rooms on Friday compared to the mass of people on Saturday. That day was wall to wall people and I spent all my money that particular day tipping for the amount of and type of touching I went through. People were pressed up against me and I could feel hands and bodies touching me in places I have not been touched in some time. It was like a thousand fingers pressing up against me all day long. I felt as though I should be thanking people for this but I am still not sure who to thank.
One of the big draws was John Barrowman. Seriously, every woman I met swooned when his name was mentioned and they declared that was the one person they HAD to meet in the celebrity room. I made the mistake of saying “Ah, he’s not that great.” 43 women turned to face me at the same time. Even women on the other side of the room out of hearing range apparently just knew what I said turned towards me. Their eyes were ablaze (and I don’t say that lightly) and they began to move toward me.
“What did you say” hissed the woman in front.
“You heard me” I said defiantly, standing straight and tall.
“Ladies, bring me the noose.” Now I am not very fast and am not a runner but I was this day. I ran long and I ran far. I did not stop until reaching the sign reading “Welcome to South Carolina.” At this point I turned and walked back just in time to make the next photo shoot. The rest of the weekend women stared at me with narrowed eyes and some even gave me the “I’m watching you” gesture.
The most amazing thing is how I kept running into people I met at previous cons. No, I do not mean stalking when I say run into. The problem arises when they have no recollection of who I am. I say how great it is to see them again and I get a blank stare. They always ask "Have we met before?" My response is "Yeah, we met that one time at that one con where you were cosplaying that one character." Then they nod and say "Sure, now I remember." Below are some people I ran into again.
Victoria Centeno and Lucid Cosplay,
To be concluded next time with what happened on Sunday.