Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dragon Con 2012

Yesterday was my first time at a convention, any convention, ever. A lot of my friends and co-workers go to them, but I either had terrible timing or less than flexible resources to attend. The amount of people there was staggering, and it was a miracle that I didn't get separated from my group in the mob of casually dressed and costumed people.

Oh, the costumes. So many costumes, some amazingly fantastic, others less so. There was a group of Halo soldiers with home-made costumes. Some of them were glowing too! There was a group of them, all different colored armor. It was really neat. The guy that sat next to me for a rest said he made his out of foam and that the lights were Christmas lights. Brilliantly done, good sir. One of their daughters was with them too, and she was dressed as one of the grunts. Oh my god, it was the most adorable thing I had ever seen as far as science fiction game monsters go. There was also Xandir from Drawn Together. It was Xandir, not a guy dressed as Xandir, but XANDIR. The guy acted like him, looked EXACTLY like him. It was amazing. I am ashamed that I didn't snag a picture of him. Really sweet guy, too. Last special mention was Thor. Not just any Thor. You know how some people aren't really built for the character they're portraying? This guy was built to be Thor. He had the muscles, the hammer, the outfit, and the coolest thing of all, was that he happened to be walking by an air vent outlet that made his cape wave all cool and heroic behind him. That girl had to have the best Thor picture at the entire convention. Brawn and brains all in one. It looked so neat.

I think out of sheer luck I missed the scary ones that my friend Kyle kept seeing everywhere. Maybe my brain was overwhelmed with the amount of people.

The store were interesting too. Some of the t-shirts were amusing, and the steampunk stores had a lot of cool-looking gadgets, my favorite being the pocket watches with the gears showing inside. To commemorate the event, I bought a little bottle with watch gears in it from a girl next to one of my friend's booths.

The art show was one of my favorite things about Dragon Con. So many amazing pieces of art, and if I had the money, my car couldn't hold everything I would by. I wrote down the names of artists that I liked, some for their content and style, others for their technique. So many gorgeous pieces of art, sculptures included. Some of the dragon sculptures I saw looked real, like stuffed heads mounted on a plaque. It was really exciting to see so much variety.

Meeting R.A Salvatore was my hands-down favorite event. He is the author of the Icewind Dale Trilogy and other books in that series, and I'll have to hunt down some of his other books and read those now that I know they exist. You know how you meet some famous people and they turn out to be complete jerks? Not Salvatore. Funny, considerate. Thumbs up to him in my book. He deserves every ounce of success he has.

We lucked out completely in getting his autograph. For my boyfriend's birthday, I got him Charon's Claw, Salvatore's latest release, but I couldn't get it before they closed the e-signing feature. I felt kind of bummed that I couldn't get him a signed book, but oh well. Don't cry over spilled milk, and he was very happy with it anyway. On Sunday, we went to two of Salvatore's panels, and we brought the unsigned book with us in case he did feel like signing autographs. In the first panel, he was talking about a game whose world he helped write. There were a lot of people in that panel, but not an insane amount, and afterwards, he was more than happy to talk with his fans, pose for pictures, sign books and other things. Such a nice man.

The second panel we went to was insane. There were people winding all down the block. There was no way in Heaven, Hell, or anywhere in between that we would have been able to get close enough to him for a book signing. There was a girl we stood next to in line who was telling us about how distraught she was that she waited for two hours in line for his signature only to be turned away at the last minute. I felt really grateful that we were at the right place at the right time. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. Salvatore, for signing my boyfriend's book. It meant more to him than he'd ever admit.

At the final panel we went to, one about writing and publishing, I met one of my friends from SCAD, someone who I hadn't seen since before I graduated. It was great to see her again. She looked like she was doing very well, and coming across her was such a pleasant surprise. It was a good conclusion to Dragon Con 2012.

My first experience at a convention was a good one, and I hope to go back next year.

Prepared.