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Dragon*Con 2003: Spiked at Dragon*Con
© Gary Mitchel
February 16, 2004

Another Dragon*Con has come and gone. This year makes my fourth, and once again I had a ball. Three days celebrating with others who love things I do and normally get made fun of for liking. That is one of the best reasons to attend Dragon*Con. Where else can you spend a holiday weekend wallowing in your inner geekiness?

Dragon*Con has just about everything, which is why I love it and it's the only real con I try to attend every year. There are whole programming tracks dedicated to Star Trek (it's a fandom law, there must be some Star Trek in any convention).

British sci-fi, such as The Prisoner, Red Dwarf, and Doctor Who, is also covered. (Side question: Why isn't it ever "Dr." Who? It's always spelled out. These are the thoughts that keep me up at night. No, I'm not in therapy, why do you ask?)

Then there are the Buffy, Stargate, and Star Wars tracks, along with a general American Sci-Fi track that covers every show that isn't big enough to get one of their own. There is a huge Star Wars presence, with storm troopers in almost division strength.

Then there are the anime rooms, the Tolkien Trak, the Writing Trak, the Dragonriders of Pern Trak (which is what started Dragon*Con), the movie rooms, the late night concerts, the costume contest, and more. If it's in the sci-fi, horror, or fantasy area, there is some time devoted to it somewhere in the con. You just have to find it.

Besides all of that, you could also spend the entire weekend gaming, be it tabletop dice slinging, LARPing (and not just Vampire LARP, but Star Wars, modern military, and more), wargaming in Mage Knight, Hero Clix, or Warhammer flavors, or card and board games if you wanted. Every year I plan to go down and sling some dice, but I never really have the time.

I'm too busy attending panels or wandering the exhibit hall and dealers rooms. Between those rooms, there are more than enough goodies to strip any geek of his hard-earned shekels. I personally blew almost as much as I pay in rent every month this year.

Speaking of said dealer's room, this year I was mainly after something I normally pass on: Celebrity autographs. I'm usually content just snapping a pic of the people I like, shaking their hand (trying to not go spaz on them) and leaving it at that. I have no idea what changed my mind, but this year I wanted those autographed publicity shots.

So I made the effort and spent the green, around $20 a pop. I collected Babylon 5's Stephen Furst as Vir (Moon Faced Assassin of Joy!) and Mira Furlan as Delenn (sigh...), Richard Kiel as the Kanamit from the "To Serve Man" episode of The Twilight Zone. (He even signed it "It's a cook book!" but first checked that I had seen the episode, so to make sure it wasn't a spoiler to do so. Classy guy.)

Then I got Ray Park as Toad from X-Men, and Bill Mumy as Anthony Freemont from the Twilight Zone's "It's A Good Life." I'd like to say I chose that character instead of his famous Babylon 5 character Lenier or Lost in Space's Will Robinson just to be different, but he guilted me into buying it. I had complimented him on the follow-up episode in last year's new TZ run and had snapped his pic while he did the "Cornfield" look at me. It's still a scary look, by the way. After the pic, he pointed out he had pics of him and his daughter (she played his character's daughter in the episode), and she had signed them in advance. When you bought one, he would then sign it as well and she got half the profit. How could you turn that down?

Next: Me vs. the cast of Buffy

Continued . . .
Gary Mitchel is a contributing writer for RevolutionSF. Blue becomes him.

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