Guest Post: “Nerdgasm!” Proletariat Member April B Reviews Dragon-Con 2011 !0
Nerdgasm! (AKA 4 days at Dragon*con which is the what the classier folks called it in their Emmy award winning documentary)
See even my title is nerdy! April Conwill here, proletariat member who decided during a conversation with the podcast’s J bell that I would name myself special correspondent to Dragon*con and report back on the spectacle that is all things nerd. An attendee of small conventions over the years, this is my second dragon*con and it’s a hell of a ride.
A friend I attend the convention with tweeted this summer “if Comic-Con is nerd Christmas, then Dragon*con is nerd Mardi Gras “or Nerdy Gras as it were. This is true statement if ever there was one. There are costumes, a parade, loud drunk people, flashing lights, crowds, funny smells! It’s as if bourbon street has been magically transported to the indoors of 5 hotels in downtown Atlanta. On Labor Day weekend. Dragon*con is the largest strictly sci-fi and fantasy convention in the US, boasting over 40,000 members and growing. It has film and television actors, authors, comic book artists, musicians, comedians, and on. There is literally something for everyone of the nerdy variety. This year the guests ranged from oldies but goodies Christopher Lloyd and Beau Bridges to the reigning modern king and queen of the nerds, Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day. Literally any tv show or movie with Star something for the title was there. Practically every fandom you can think of is represented.
The goal of dragon*con is to remain in a constant state of what I like to call nerdgasm. Basically it’s that moment when something so awesomely nerdy happens that it makes all you suffered through to get it totally worth it. Last year, I shared an elevator with Jewel Staite AKA Kaylee from Firefly. My friend made special underwear for her favorite actor to sign, which he did and posed as if they were in a kung fu movie poster for their fan photo. Edward James Olmos got the whole auditorium to chant “so say we all” after the Battlestar panel. Sean Patrick Flannery was behind me on the escalator. Dennis O’Hare revealed he based his Russell Edgington Mississippi accent on Haley Barbour and told a funny story about being asked to bite a Dominican bodybuilder’s neck for a photo. Not to mention the small nerdgasms you get every 5 minutes when you see an epic cosplay. (Cosplay I only learned last year is the proper term for dressing in costume. Why we damn nerds need a technical term, I do not know) Where else can you see Batman, Superman, the Mad Hatter, Wayne and Garth, Barf from Spaceballs, Thor, Iron-man, Han Solo, Chewy, Spock, the Joker, Alan from the Hangover, Jules and Vincent, the dude, Silk Spectre, Wolverine, Deadpool, Hal Jordan, Kenny fucking powers, the Doctor, Admiral Adama, Sookie Stackhouse, and Spike all standing around drinking together? See attached photos/and or vids.
Sadly, I had hoped to make the Nerd Aristocracy a larger presence at Dragon*con. I tried to take photos of people holding my trusty homemade sign and I handed out stickers. But there is so much going on, it proved difficult. And some of the cosplayers refused to be in the photo with the sign because they are “under contract”. (Made me suspicious of their actual nerd cred) I also tried to record video interviews for some nerd on the street action. They had no sound because 40,000 people on sugar, red bull and alcohol tended to drown out what we were saying. So I guess Ryan and Jonathan will just have to bring the aristocracy to the con next year. Here’s hoping.