Aug 29, 2011

Dragoncon 2011

...has concluded!

This year's Dragoncon is done and you get to share in all of the sights and sounds!

In the coming days, there will be lots of things to share, inspire and check out:
  • Lots of great pictures
  • Notes and information from discussion panels
  • A downloadable podcast of recordings made during Dragoncon (my first)
  • More links to artists and valuable resources to engage and inspire
  • Audio recordings of discussion panels about Manga and comics 
Keep an eye on this blog for updates and information!

This was the highlight of my Dragoncon weekend, meeting Ernest Borgnine in my Snake Plissken costume. Borgnine played the role of Cabby in Escape From New York. On his autographed picture he wrote, "To Mike Lyman, a real mean Snake."

Very cool!

Dragoncon is one of the largest costuming, comic book, sci-fi conventions in the country, and thousands of artists, geeks, nerds, craftsmen, costuming enthusiasts and fans descend on Atlanta each year, not to mention a lot of celebrities. To learn more about previous Dragoncons, check out these links:
  • For a crash course about Dragoncon, click HERE
  • To see some of the pictures from previous Dragoncons, click HERE
  •  ...and HERE
  • To read some notes from an Anime and a writing discussion panel I attended, click HERE
  • PBS has an excellent hour long documentary about Dragoncon which is well worth watching. It won an award for best documentary, I heard! Check it out HERE! 

Below are the pictures from this year's Dragoncon, followed by scans of a lot of promotional cards that are everywhere, created by artists and writers to promote their work. Some of the cards are very nicely designed!

Once again, Dragoncon was insanely crowded; During the wait to get the Dragoncon badges, someone added their own commentary to the sign (click for a larger view)

Case in point, the walkways between the hotels were jammed with people. If you are claustrophobic, this is not the place for you


I was Snake Plissken once again, the only Snake Plissken there

A phenomenally well done costume from the movie 9. He created the costume before the movie came out, using pictures from publicity stills as his guide. Very impressive!

A steampunk-looking metal robot. The woman on the right is controlling it. The remote control is concealed in a chocolate chip cookie!

Here's another view of it. Imagine an army of these things racing over the countryside, on the attack!


You see some strange things at Dragoncon...

The Tron lightcycle was very cool. A lot of work went into the cycle and the costumes!

This model Enterprise is insanely well done, with lots of fiber optic lights that illuminate the nacelles and the saucer section, and the shuttlecraft hangar has sequential lights the blink inwards. VERY cool!

It looks ready for filming in a movie

Parade Staging Area - Centennial Park, Downtown Atlanta
I didn't march in the parade this year, which worked out well, because I was able to take a lot of good pictures of the costumes and vehicles as they got ready to move out. The parade staging area was at Centennial Park, where participants gathered to get into position. There was a lot to see!


Two Batmans tossing a bomb back and don't see that every day

There were more cardboard superheroes this year


There were a lot of Ghostbusters in the parade this year, and several Ghostbusters vehicles. There are now Ghostbuster groups around the country. These two movie have spawned a specific costuming group, with impressive results!

This was the most impressive Ghostbusters ambulance. The one used in the film was a 1959 Cadillac, which are extremely rare. The group from Texas found this one anxd spent two years fixing it up. It was driven to Atlanta, and got lots of attention on the trip!

The Ghostbusters group picture

Some other Ghostbuster vehicles

Steampunk nurses, from the video game Bioshock, I believe

These Iron Man costumes are nothing short of exceptional! They clanked noisily when they walked, attracting a lot of attention. I don't even want to know how much time, money and effort went into building them. This is an example of the costume making brilliance you see at Dragoncon

My wife Deb in her Franky costume, from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. It's not quite complete; it's missing the leather yoke that fits on the shoulders, but it's almost there

Below: Gandalf the White


Right: the woman in the Narnian witch costume, from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, looks just like the actress who played her in the movie!


Below: I love this one. It's very retro, like the space-age chicks you used to see on the covers of 1950's era sci-fi magazines, with big bowl helmets and ray guns. Very charming costume!

My wife Deb on the right with Angie and Randy,  two 501st Legion members who are wearing costumes from V, the TV series

While the Marriott Marquis is a futuristic looking and gorgeous hotel, the Westin is no slouch either. Being in it is truly like being on some futuristic Star Wars-type planet. Some of us went over in costume to take pictures and admire the gorgeous interior of this building, which is one of the tallest in the area.

The observation deck and restaurant levels are spectacular. The restaurant level is just below the observation deck, and the restaurant slowly rotates 360 degrees as diners eat very high priced entrees. Above, there are several observation stations that ring the round building from which you can get spectacular views of the surrounding city. It's like being on Coruscant!

On the walk back from the Westin Hotel Deb noticed a rolling fog come in at the rooftop level, resulting in some very cool pictures. I stood on the street corner and snapped pics of the fog playing with the lights on this building, like the building was celebrating Dragoncon too!

This shot makes the city look like Gotham City, or a Blade Runner building

Promotional Cards

The tables around the hotels outside conference rooms quickly become covered with promotional postcards, created by artists who are trying to attract attention to their work, website or event. They are carefully designed to attract attention and hopefully increase the sales of their work, or attendance to their event.

Some of them are quite clever!