Back to Dragon Con

21230893_10155733036584524_1844308872797651683_nIt’s that time of the year again: DRAGON CON IS ALMOST HERE!!!! I am once again excited to be presenting on a few panels this year, talking about a few of my favorites fandoms/shows and proudly representing Sci-Fi Party Line. Here’s where you can find me geeking out over the weekend:

Friday, August 31

  • Arrow Season 6: The Fall of Team Arrow (Friday, Aug. 31, 11:30 am. Marriott M302-202) – Things are falling apart in Star City. Problems with Team Arrow, problems with family, people leaving, years of complications & compromises make the newest threat to the city more visceral than ever before. 

Saturday, September 1

  • Beyond the Books: Harry Potter (Saturday, Sept. 1, 11:30 am. Marriott A601-A602) – Pottermore and plays and prequels, oh my! Join us for a fan discussion of the ever-expanding universe of Harry Potter material.
  • The World of Shadowhunters (Saturday, Sept. 1, 5:30 pm. Marriott A707) – Come geek out with us about Cassandra Clare’s popular books. We’ll cover the Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices, Dark Artifices, short stories & more in the Shadowhunters universe!
  • Always & Forever: The Originals Fan Panel (Saturday, Sept. 1, 7:00 pm. Westin Chastain 1-2) – A moderated fan-panel discussion of the hit show’s fifth and final season.

Dragon Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 70,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. This year’s event will take place August 30 – September 3. Ticket information can be found on the official website.

You can read more about my experiences at Dragon Cons past at this link.

 

 

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Going back to Hogwarts

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This is a blog post that has circulated quite a few times in the past few years, as a way that I’ve introduced myself in the Potter fandom. It’s a pretty condensed version of a more detailed, longer post that I once wrote but that has since been long lost into the vast universe that is the internet. HPANA – and the friends that I met there – are a very large part of how I got so involved in the Potter fandom, and subsequently into other fandoms, and the Sci-Fi/Fantasy community in general. At a time when I had become very unhappy in life, very unsure of who I was, and pretty much cut myself off from everyone, this site and it’s members welcomed me, embraced me, and made me feel like I had somewhere I could go and be completely myself: no pretenses, no fakeness, no trying to be someone I wasn’t. It didn’t matter my race, my background, my religious preference (or lack thereof), my job, my status, etc.; they became my friends because we shared one single common interest in a book. Wouldn’t it be great if all relationships could be that simple?

You know the bond that people feel towards their sports teams, their Alma Maters, their fraternities and sororities? Fandom gives the same feeling to those of us who don’t share (or simply don’t care) about those other experiences. It gives us a different way to meet new people, to bond and to learn to accept people as they are, similar and different.

(Re-blogged from a post from 2010).

I decided to re-visit this post for a couple of different reasons today: first, because it makes me smile to be able to go back and read about something on the internet that had a positive impact on my life, and make me happy. So much of what I see online these days is just so damn depressing, disheartening, and discouraging. I needed a smile on my face today, and the previous post did just that.

The second reason I am posting this is because it is very relevant to a long-awaited event that I’ve been planning for a couple of years now: this weekend, I am going back to Hogwarts and – for the first time I will get to meet, hug, and hang out with some of the amazing people I met because of this little book series called “Harry Potter”. Evelyn is traveling from Indonesia; Siti hails from Thailand. Karen is coming from Washington state, Alisha and her family are coming in from N.C. All of us have been online friends since 2005, when I stumbled onto a site known then as H.P.A.N.A. (Harry Potter Automatic News Aggregator).

Throughout the years, we have exchanged annual Christmas/holiday cards, participated in a Secret Santa exchange (this year will be number 8!). Along with others who for various different reasons were unable to make the trip, we have supported each other through life’s successes and defeats; marriages and divorces and babies being born and loved ones transitioning – we have maintained these long-distance bonds of friendship for longer than I ever imagined was possible. Through Harry Potter, they have become this amazing extended family and I will cry with joy and laughter the moment I am able to hug these women and share the experience of the Wizarding World with them.

“Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home”. – J.K. Rowling

 

 

 

 

 

Sleepy Hollow star Nicole Beharie confirmed for Dragon Con

That loud squeal you just heard was me, sitting at my desk at work, excited about the fact that Nicole Beharie is coming to Dragon Con.

Beharie is one half of the dynamic team of Witnesses from the FOX hit show, Sleepy Hollow. In the show Beharie plays Lt. Abbie Mills, a gifted sheriff’s deputy whose dreams of training for the FBI are curtailed when her mentor is killed by a Headless Horseman. Her world is turned topsy-turvy when she realizes that the supernatural elements she’s dreamed of since childhood actually exist and are alive and well in her hometown. She teams up with Ichabod Crane, a Revolutionary Was soldier who has awakened from a 250-year magical sleep, to fight the evil supernatural beings they encounter in an attempt to stop the Apocalypse.

One of the things that I absolutely love about Beharie and her portrayal of Abbie is that she is one of the few female characters of color that we see on TV today who can portray strength, depth, vulnerability, intelligence and sexiness…without taking her clothes off. Her character’s personality – her loyalty, her sarcasm, patience and understanding with the out-of-time Crane, her ability to think things through without letting emotions get involved – the character of Abbie is very good, without being unrealistic. She is (in my opinion) the epitome of “one of the good guys”, and it makes Abbie Mills one of the best characters on TV, period.

And let’s not forget that unmentioned but unmistakable attraction to Ichabod Crane. 🙂

Ms. Beharie will join her previously announced co-stars Tom Mison (Ichabod Crane) and John Noble (Jeremy Crane/Henry Parrish) for panels, autograph and photo op sessions.

Dragon Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. This year’s event will take place September 4-7. Ticket information can be found on the official website.

You can read more about my experiences at Dragon Cons past at this link.

Official Press Release: RECORD CROWDS EXPECTED IN DOWNTOWN ATLANTA FOR DRAGON CON 2015

New Dragon Con logoRECORD CROWDS EXPECTED IN DOWNTOWN ATLANTA FOR DRAGON CON 2015

Cosplayers, Gamers and Pop Culture Fans Return for Annual Fantasy, Sci Fi & Gaming Convention

More than 400 Actors, Artists, Authors and Creators Will Give Talks and Meet Fans.

http://mediarelations.dragoncon.org/2015/08/19/record-crowds-expected-in-downtown-atlanta-for-dragon-con-2015/#more-1572

ATLANTA – August 18, 2015 – More than 65,000 people are expected to pack downtown Atlanta over the Labor Day weekend as Dragon Con, the internationally known pop culture, sci fi, fantasy and gaming convention, returns for its 29th consecutive year.

Dragon Con fans will travel from every state in the nation and a few foreign countries to participate in the four-day convention, where they can meet their favorite actors, artists, authors and creators, and talk about the stuff they love.

Guests More than 400 guests, from the worlds of movies, television, comics, literature and other universes, will lead panel discussions and meet with fans.  Battlestar Galactica’s Edward James Olmos, Star Wars’ Peter Mayhew, internet personality Felicia Day, as well as John Barrowman, David Ramsey, and Stephen Amell, all from CW’s Arrow, head an all-star guest list.

Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek’s Lt. Uhura, will serve as grand marshal of the Dragon Con Parade.

And, at this year’s Dragon Con, Sesame Street meets Peachtree.  Famed puppeteer Caroll Spinney, who recently retired after 45 years performing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, as well as Muppet performer Steve Whitmire, who has performed Kermit the Frog since 1990, will appear at the convention.

“We’re very excited about this year’s guest list.  We have attracted guests from some of the best shows on television today, including Arrow, Game of Thrones, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and Once Upon A Time,” convention co-chair Rachel Reeves said.   “We also have guests from fan favorite shows from recent years, such as Warehouse 13 and classic sci-fi shows such as Doctor Who.”

Cosplay Dragon Con is well known for the quality of its cosplay – or costume play – and that tradition will certainly continue.  The nation’s top cosplayers will show off their best work during the show, participating in costume contests every night of the convention and promenading throughout the five host hotels and the streets of downtown Atlanta.

Cosplay competitions remain a mainstay of Dragon Con, including the queen of competitions, Dragon Con Masquerade, which is both the oldest continuously run competition in fandom as well as one of the largest in the world.  Dragon Con is also thrilled to introduce the newest competition, The Chôsen, which will premiere at Dragon Con Night at the Aquarium.

Parade Atlanta’s largest parade, the annual Dragon Con Parade, will step off Saturday, September 5 at 10 a.m.   To better accommodate parade spectators, the parade will have a new route.  Beginning at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue, the parade will head south on Peachtree, east (left) on Andrew Young International Boulevard and north (left) on Peachtree Center Avenue. It will end on Peachtree Center Avenue between John Portman Boulevard and Baker Street, in front of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

The new route is now a little longer – .9 miles, from .8 miles last year, and brings the route closer to the North Avenue MARTA station, in addition to the Civic Center and Peachtree Center stations.  Parking downtown is expected to be tight, and Dragon Con encourages parade spectators to consider taking MARTA.

Gaming Perhaps better known for the celebrity guests and cosplayers, Dragon Con is also one of the largest gaming conventions in the nation.  Taking up most of the Hilton Atlanta Downtown and parts of the Sheraton Atlanta, gaming at Dragon Con features voice actors, game designers and other guests from the worlds of table top and video gaming, as well as the opportunity to play tabletop and LAN gaming in casual and tournament formats.

Official Charity Earlier this year, Dragon Con selected the Lymphoma Research Foundation – Georgia Market as its official charity for 2015.  Through auctions and other charity events, plus a dollar-for-dollar match up to $50,000 from Dragon Con, the convention will raise money to support this important community organization.

In 2014, the convention raised over $115,000 for its official charity, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and collected 535 pounds of food.  Through the Superheroes community service program, Dragon Con fans contributed more than 900 hours of community service.

Dragon Con also conducts the largest convention-based blood drive in the nation.  Last year’s annual Robert A. Heinlein “Pay It Forward” blood drive attracted a record turnout, with 2,972 attendees donating more than 6,000 units of blood and blood products, benefiting LifeSouth, which serves more than 40 hospital in the Atlanta area and 110 hospitals in the Southeast.

About Dragon Con

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than about 3,000 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

You can follow my Dragon Con experiences here and at the Sci-Fi Party Line Dragon Con page, and read more about my experiences at Dragon Cons past at this link.

Sleepy Hollow star Tom Mison added to guest list for Dragon Con

Sleepy Hollow's Tom Mison will appear at Dragon Con. Credit: Brownine Harris/FOX

Sleepy Hollow’s Tom Mison will appear at Dragon Con. Credit: Brownine Harris/FOX

Ichabod Crane is venturing out of Sleepy Hollow.

Tom Mison, who plays the loveable and out-of-time Ichabod Crane on FOX’s Sleepy Hollow, has been announced to appear at Dragon Con Labor Day weekend. Mison joins cast mate John Noble, who plays his son Jeremy Crane/Henry Parrish on the hit show loosely based on Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” tales. In the show, Mison’s Ichabod Crane is awakened after a 250-year bewitched sleep to join forces with Lt. Abbie Mills, as the biblical witnesses of Revelation with the purpose of averting the apocalypse. Crane and Mills fight various demonic forces – sometimes from within their close circle of allies – while Crane slowly learns to navigate life in the 21st century, all while connecting the present day with events from the past.

Sleepy Hollow‘s season 3 premiere is scheduled for October 1.

Dragon Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. This year’s event will take place September 4-7. Ticket information can be found on the official website.

You can read more about my experiences at Dragon Cons past at this link.

Harry Potter‘s Chris Rankin announced for Dragon Con

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FINALLY!!!

Chris Rankin, who played the “Head-Boy-know-it-all” Weasley brother Percy in the Harry Potter films, has been announced as one of the latest additions to the Dragon Con guest list.

Movie fans didn’t get to see much of Percy in the films, but book fans know that Percy’s “prodigal son” story arc was one of the great lessons taught in the series – about the importance of family, forgiveness, and unity.

Chris is (so far) the only Harry Potter guest confirmed this year.

Dragon Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. This year’s event will take place September 4-7. Ticket information can be found on the official website.

You can read more about my experiences at Dragon Cons past at this link.

So yeah, I’m just a little bit late on my Dragon Con recap…

dragoncon2014…I mean, it’s only been two weeks since it ended. I’m still suffering from PCD (post-con depression), combined with the hustle and bustle of real life, but I at least want to talk about some highlights.

My Dragon Con was a bit different this year because I didn’t actually get to do much. I spent a whole week prior to Dragon Con SICK, and so by the time it was here, I was physically exhausted. But here are a few highlights from the weekend:

Friday: I got to attend only one panel on Friday and it was one of the main ones I wanted – Karl Urban. Let me tell you, I’ve been attending Dragon Con since 2007, and have attended other cons as well, and this was one of the best panels I’ve been to. From the time he hit the stage to the time he walked off, there was nothing but nonstop laughter, jokes, memorable anecdotes and wisdom. He told about the pranks he likes to pull on set with the cast and crew, and spoke very highly of some of his co-stars, especially Vin Diesel. I even got to ask him a question – his answer can be seen in the clip below:

All in all, it was worth the three-side-of-the-hotel-wall wait in line. 🙂

Saturday: Was a pretty cut and dry day. I worked at Froggy’s Photos, manning the tables where people could stash their stuff while they waited for photo ops. Was able to get my photo taken with Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter movies), so that pretty much made my day. However, due to some miscommunication issues regarding my badge, I couldn’t stay for the evening and went home early. Again, it was probably a good thing because after working all day I was exhausted. Having con crud before the actual con sucks, in case you didn’t know.

But my picture with Evanna was pretty damn awesome! 🙂

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with Evanna Lynch at Dragon Con 2014. Photo by Froggy’s Photos

And as an unexpected bonus, I went to Starbucks to do a coffee run for the staff, and bumped into Osric Chau, who plays the prophet Kevin Tran on Supernatural. He was there not as an official guest, but as a con attendee, but was still nice enough to take a photo with me. Such a sweet guy!

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with Osric Chau at Dragon Con 2014. Photo credit: Hanako M. Ricks

 

Sunday: Sunday turned out to be the best day for me. I participated in a panel for the Whedonverse track, called “Growing Up to Save the World”, where we discussed teenage antagonists in shows/books such as Teen Wolf, Harry Potter, Buffy, and others (the discussion got taken over by Teen Wolf discussion, which was totally okay with me since my daughter got me addicted to the show over the summer).

After that, I FINALLY got to do something I had been waiting the whole weekend for: meeting Cat, the founder of the podcast I get to occasionally co-host, Sci-Fi Party Line. Cat and I have now known each other for about 5 years, and this was the first time we had been able to meet in person. And then (even though I’m so ridiculously out of touch with anything Whedon-related on TV), I went with her to the “Agents of Whedon” panel, where I got a chance to see Carl (another co-host from SFPL), whom I hadn’t seen since 2011(?) Anyway, that was also a fun panel to go to, and it made me want to sit my tail down and get around to knocking off Buffy and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from my “need to watch” list.

Next year, I will definitely make it a point to do more during the con, as there was so much I missed this year. I will be sure to take my Vitamin C, pack my Zicam, and whatever else I’ll need to be energized and ready!

Hanako (@hmrpotter) and Cat (@fancyfembot) from the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast meet for the first time :)

Hanako (@hmrpotter) and Cat (@fancyfembot) from the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast meet for the first time 🙂

Cat (@fancyfembot), Carl (@robominister) and Hanako (@hmrpotter) at Dragon Con 2014

Cat (@fancyfembot), Carl (@robominister) and Hanako (@hmrpotter) at Dragon Con 2014