Firstly, to all of those who attended Dragon*Con and introduced yourselves to me, thank you! It was wonderful to meet several TFN, RS, and FC readers and listeners, respectively.
Dragon*Con, while only my third convention overall, was my first, large, fan-based convention. To sum it up in one word? Wild.
I had the privilege of covering the event from two different angles: the first as a reporter for TFN and the second as a panelist on the Star Wars track. Both experiences provided me with a unique perspective, and I had the opportunity to see the hard work put forth by all of the volunteers and staff members of Dragon*Con.
Day One consisted of touring the various con facilities, which are expansive to say the least. Split between various anchor hotels, mainly the Marriott Marquis, Hyatt Regency, the Sheraton, the Hilton, and the Westin, many ballrooms and small conference rooms had simultaneous panels occurring. Luckily for me, a fair amount of the Star Wars panels were being held in the devoted track room.
The Star Wars track room was decorated with 3-D dioramas of various scenes from the saga. I freely admit to having a strong preference for the plush space slug scene complete with asteroid garland. (Ahem.)
There were several artists of different franchises set-up in the Artist's Alley, and I saw the familiar faces of licensed SW artists, Randy Martinez, Matt Busch, Denise Vasquez, and Cat Staggs. Everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves!
I had the pleasure of hosting the first “Meet the Stars of Star Wars” panel with guests Ashley Eckstein, Daniel Logan, and Peter Mayhew early, Friday afternoon. There was a fair turnout and everyone in the audience had a special treat watching Ashley get inducted into the 501st. There were some exceptional moments during the panel, and each of the panelists had a very sweet and moving answer as to why and how Star Wars fans have impacted their lives.
Later on in the evening, I attended several comic book panels as well as a great Original Trilogy versus the Prequel Trilogy panel. There was a healthy respect for all of the movies, and the event proved great for conversation during and after the panel.
Friday night at Dragon*Con is basically the tail-gaiting event to the big game (Saturday). The late evening found me roaming the side streets of Atlanta and marveling at the amazing cosplayers as well as searching for a decent restaurant serving late night meals. Accompanied by a group of fellow enthusiasts, our love of all things geek, and in particular Star Wars, led us late into the night.
In order to keep coverage appropriate and family friendly, I’ll stop here. : )