Oxhorn’s Dragon*Con 2011 Photos & Cosplay
First off, if you posed for a pic with me at Dragon Con, send it to me using my contact form and I will post it here!
For the second year in a row, I was graciously invited to Dragon*Con by the fine folks at the MMO track, this time for their 25th anniversary (you can find last year’s gallery of cosplay and costume photos here). This year they had 50 thousand people show up–10 thousand more than last year! I brought the lovely @NovaDomina with me, who had never been to a con like this before. Needless to say, we both had a blast.
Day 1 – Travel to Dragon Con 2011
I managed to get two days off from work, thanks to my awesome boss. Friday found Nova and I traveling from Seattle to Atlanta. Our flight left at 5:15 in the AM, so we wolfed down our bacon wrapped pancakes and sped to the Seattle airport just in time to catch our flight. Since I booked our tickets the DAY before the flight (never transfer money between bank accounts if you need any of it for three days, ugh) we didn’t get to pick our seats beforehand, so fate found me asking the nice people around us if they wouldn’t mind swapping seats so we could sit together. Thankfully, the fates were kind and we sat together for both flights–Seattle to Pheonix, Pheonix to Atlanta.
Arriving in Atlanta was a shock to my poor Seattle senses. I came from coolness and landed in hotness. I melt at these temperatures, so we hopped in our rental car as soon as we could and cranked the AC. Our hotel was thankfully right next to the airport so our travel was over soon. The drawback to finding a hotel close to the airport, however, is that airplanes roar over your room every night, all night, something I didn’t think about until it was too late. I don’t mean airplanes way up in the sky making those lovely white trails; no, the runway was less than a mile from our hotel, so the planes were coming in so close to us that we could see people peering out from the windows. After four days of this, I’ll never make the same mistake again.
Anyway, the hotel had a pool and after a nice relaxing dip, we sawed some serious logs.
Day 2 – DragonCon 2011 Images of the WoW Costume Contest
We woke late, missed our continental breakfast of hotel waffles (coasters) and hotel muffins (missiles), jumped in the rental and raced to downtown Atlanta. I had only been here once before (last year) and Nova once when she was a kid, but I strangely remembered my way around fairly well. It might have had something to do with the magical GPS thingy on my phone, but I’ll chalk it up to an awesome memory–a side effect of drinking good scotch.
We first arrived at the Marriott Marquis and started taking pictures like crazy, many of which you can see in the gallery below. The hotel lobby was wall-to-wall humanity and it took us a while to orient ourselves. Many of the costumes were amazingly creative and very well done. Some of them were very unclassy. Now, I understand the temptation of wanting to be accurate and ‘true-to-the-character’. But ladies, those pencil-waist big busted anime babes were designed by horny men, not to practically exist in this world but titillate. Therefore, you’re forgiven if your jumblies aren’t exactly as voluminous as a couple of beach-balls, or if your skirt ends at your knees instead of your crotch. After all, you don’t expect yourself to lift the two-ton solid-iron sword that your favorite heel-wearing super heroine wields, do you? So ladies, as lovely as your bits and pieces are, keep their value by sharing them in the bedroom only and not in a hotel lobby. The harder your goods are to see, the more spectacular the sight. Everyone has seen moonbeams, but few have seen earthbeams.
Sadly, Nova and I saw way too much flesh–sightly and unsightly, saggy and droopy, cankles and muffin tops, stretch marks and scars, acne and sores–from guys and gals alike. As Nova said to me after seeing a woman walk by with nothing on but body-paint, “This is a straight guy’s paradise”. Straight un-classy guys, that is.
I was supposed to be judging a World of Warcraft costume contest soon, so we had to find the right room. We raced in just in time and got set up. The fine fellows of the MMO Track had the whole thing organised and a little spot saved for me with my name on it. I had the pleasure of meeting my fellow co-judges; ckknight, the famed coder extraordinaire, and Robin Thorsen and Amy Okuda, cast of the very funny The Guild series.
We saw 20 contestants, all of them excellent, and at our judging pow-wow we all agreed pretty quickly which ones should win. The judges’ votes only counted for half; the MMO Track staff had the other half. When all was said and done, we had a fine selection of very talented costume creators with awesome prizes supplied by Guild Launch. I’m happy to say that no elf won the top four prizes.
After the contest, Nova, SheDevil, her man Bryan and I went for some steak then made it back in time to attend the World of Warcraft ‘Darkmoon Faire’ that was going on at the Sheraton. We met some great people, had some of Kevin’s infamous ’pie’ (which was delicious by the way), chatted with some fans and played some games. I punted some gnomes, and actually got one through the goal on the second try.
After the Faire was the big MMO party, with lots of music, dancing, booze and people. The MMO Track fellows managed to leave all sorts of sweet swag on the tables for the fans–it was a great time! We stayed for an hour or so, made some new friends and then headed back to the hotel for the night. I. Was. BEAT.
Day 3 – Oxhorn’s DragonCon 2011 Video Presentation
Another night, another late morning. Washed, brushed, ate, drove, paid for parking; back at the con. My talk was at 4:00 in the Sheraton. It took us so long to get up and ready after a late night of hanging out with awesome MMO geeks that we didn’t arrive to the Sheraton until around 3:00. Thankfully, the staff had everything under control. They managed to shoo out stragglers from the previous panel and they hooked me up with some high-speed internet so that I was able to record the video below. They didn’t have an HDMI hookup so I was unable to show you all the videos I played during the panel, but at least you can see my mighty beard throughout the thing. Watch the replay of my panel below: Making Money Making Machinima.
Making Money Making Machinima – Oxhorn at Dragon*Con 2011
I always love giving presentations like this and meeting the fans, face to face. It was a blast seeing so many sweet people! I took a lot of great questions and afterwards, stayed for photos, autographs and handshakes.
After the presentation, Nova, SheDevil, Ryan and I explored some of the shops in the Marriott, where I bought Nova a small derby. If you come to Blizzcon this year, you’ll see her in it! We then went to Gibney’s Irish Pub, where SheDevil and I tied in a smoke ring competition (we couldn’t get past 11 each–rarg!).
Food, Guinness, parking, hotel, tired, sleep–out by midnight.
Day 3 – Labor Day Photos at Dragon*Con 2011
We decided to do whatever we wanted. With no Oxhorn stuff keeping us to a schedule, I left my derby at the hotel room and we wandered around the con for fun. I got a few more pictures, we explored a lot of sweet shops and managed to find Nova a Halo t-shirt, since Halo is her favorite game ever. We explored until the shops all closed and then drove to a cigar bar that everyone on Twitter and Facebook kept urging me to visit; Highland Cigar Co.. I have to tell you, the place was amazing. Big black leather chairs, heavy ashtrays, a lovely walk-in humidor with every kind of cigar you could possibly imagine, and the friendliest barkeeper around. I selected a hand-rolled A Fuente Gran Reserva, ordered some 10 year-old single malt Laphroaig scotch and did what I’m unable to enjoy by law in Seattle; I smoked a cigar in a pub. Nova had some Guinness and we enjoyed a relaxing hour in the coziest cigar bar I’ve ever visited.
Labor Day was an easy day with not much to report, although it did pour hot rain the whole day. Food, cigars, scotch, a relaxing evening and a bit of writing: the end to a perfect Labor Day.
Day 4 – The Return Flight from Dragon*Con 2011
I include this day for the sake of completeness, but there’s nothing much to report. Our flight was delayed twice causing us to miss our connecting flight; we got bumped to a different airline and were threatened with missing it also, but all ended up ok and we made it back to Seattle on time. I even had a chance to publish this post during the five-hour flight from the plane’s $10 wi-fi. Enjoy the photos from DragonCon, and be sure to vote for me in about.me’s contest!