4 hotels (Hyatt, Westin, Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott), seven million square feet of vendors (America’s Mart) or 9 football fields, plus a nationally covered parade, and the panels you could hope for is the answer. The question, what is Dragon Con 2015?
Since 1987, Dragon Con has given a voice and platform to the fan of sci-fi/fantasy. Locals from Atlanta and even around the world come out to support, dress up, sing, dance, discuss, and photograph their favorite characters in the sci-fi/fantasy genre.
Before the convention officially starts, I got a chance to see the hotels up close and personal on the Reporters Pub Crawl. Media Relations Director Dan Carroll and Tour Guide Deena led us through the hotel bars as staff bussed along preparing stages, lights, gifts bags, and badges.
I pose with my friend Anthony as the drinks take effect. Each hotel hosts something different. Celebrities make their way from each hotel hosting panels, answering questions, and connecting with fans.
Day 1 of my excursion was filled with five panels: Extensions of Whedon, Binge Watching, Once: Bad to the Bone, Creating Comics, and Guests of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Extensions of Whedon panel brought together comic artists Rebekah Isaacs and Georges Jeanty, video game designers Ben Lichius and Adam Corgan, and novelist Keith R.A. DeCandido. Each of these artists have worked and are presently working on a Whedon title, such as the Buffy comics, Firefly the computer game, and the novelization of Buffy episodes.
The Binge Watching panelists analyzed the effects of binging and how that makes us all television geeks. The Creating Comics panel allowed comic writers and artists the chance to tell what goes into a comic book.
The Once: Bad to the Bone Panel brought Disney villainesses to the forefront. The three queens Kristin Bauer (Maleficent), Victoria Smurfit (Cruella Deville), and Merrin Dungey (Ursula) graced the Hyatt Centennial Ballroom with their presence, evoked laughter, summoned applause, and mesmerized with their beauty.
Kristin Bauer detailed the distinctions of her character Maleficent, with her portrayal of Pam from HBO’s True Blood.
Merrin Dungey expounded upon her love for Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook), and his kind and charming dreaminess.
Victoria Smurfit delighted in her character’s villainy and how it helped alleviate the stressful moments in her own home.
Two Dragon Con attendees, Kate and Janie, gave their take on the convention and the Once panel:
Kate: “You get to see all the cool costumes, meet some celebrities, and there’s always somebody who is into the same thing as you, or a whole room full of people.”
Janie: “We’ve been following Once Upon a Time pretty closely, and I can’t wait to see the evil queens.”
How are you feeling about the Disney character tie in’s?
Kate: “Sometimes it’s confusing, especially with the choice to bring these specific witches, but I think that they did a good job.”
Janie: “I was really concerned about Cruella as a choice for the evil trio. But her back story was so interesting. They take some liberties with the storylines, but it’s fun and addictive.”
On the Guests of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel, fans got to see B.J. Britt, Edward James Olmos, and special guest Eddie McClintock talk about their time on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The three men delighted in tales from the set, awkward bromances, and Post Traumatic Shield Death.
Look out for Dragon Con Day 2, 3, and 4 coverage coming soon!