Dragon Con is almost here!!!

dragoncon2014

5 MORE DAYS!!!!!

 

It’s finally here, time for the streets of downtown Atlanta to be taken over by cosplayers, celebrities and fans en masse! Dragon Con – the largest multimedia, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film – will take place in Atlanta next weekend, August 29th – September 1st, and the guest list contains something for everyone: a little bit of 70s/80s nostalgia, some sci-fi/fantasy, big names, new names – Dragon Con will have it all.

 

Here’s a look at some of my favorite shows/movies/book fandoms that will be well represented:

Harry Potter – You guys know it just would be a post worth mentioning if I didn’t talk about the HP guests first! 🙂 Two actresses from the series will appear for the first time at Dragon Con: Evanna Lynch, who plays the faithful and loyal (if a little quirky and eccentric) Luna Lovegood; and Scarlett Byrne, who is known as that annoying girl from Slytherin/Draco’s girlfriend, Pansy Parkinson. Byrne is more recently seen on television as Lexi in Falling Skies.

It’s the 80s baby!! – Enthusiasts of the 1980s period of television and film will be well represented this year, with guests from popular cult classics such as The Princess Bride, The Karate Kid and The Outsiders. Recently, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Martin Kove, Cary Elwes have all been added to the guest list. Actors Nancy Allen (Carrie, Robocop), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Gil Gerard and Erin Gray (Buck Rogers), and John Ratzenberger (Cheers, various Pixar films) are just a few of the “blast from the past” names that will appear.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV – So much to choose from! We have actors from returning favorites (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy, the Stargate universes), as well as a few of the newer shows (Defiance, Once Upon a Time, Arrow, Lost Girl). Cast members from popular shows Warehouse 13, Being Human and True Blood will appear; all three shows will have ended by the time Dragon Con begins (the last episode of True Blood will air this Sunday at 9EST on HBO).

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film – Dragon Con will have mutants (Patrick Stewart and Shawn Ashmore of the X-Men films), futuristic cops (Peter Weller and Nancy Allen from the original Robocop film), and pirates (Kevin McNally and Lee Arenburg from the Pirates of the Caribbean films); Karl Urban (Star Trek, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Chronicles of Riddick, RED) will make his first Dragon Con appearance.

Personally speaking, I – along with a few of my fellow co-hosts from the Sci-Fi Party Line Podcast – will be at Dragon Con the whole weekend. We will be recording shows, blogging, and generally having a grand old time, considering this weekend will be the first time most of us will have ever met in person, although we’ve been recording the show for years. You can find all of our combined posts on our Dragon Con portal at http://www.dragoncon.scifipartyline.com.

I will be speaking on two panels related to Harry Potter during Dragon Con. The first is Shipping Wars in Harry Potter!, which will discuss one of the largest shipping debates ever, Ron/Hermione or Harry/Hermione (I am of course on Team Ron!). This panel will be held on Saturday, August 30 at 10 pm. The second panel is Growing Up to Save the World, which will discuss the roles of teens from several different fandoms (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Buffy, Teen Wolf, etc) and their roles in “saving the world”. That panel will take place on Sunday, August 31 at 1 pm.

J.K. Rowling announces details for “Pottermore” website

Pottermore logo from official website

For Harry Potter fans, the wait is finally over: this morning at 7am EST, author J.K. Rowling released a video announcing the launch of Pottermore, a new, interactive website that will be the ultimate experience for fans of the best-selling books and films.

From the official press release:

For this groundbreaking collaborative project, J.K. Rowling has written extensive new material about the characters, places and objects in the much-loved stories, which will inform, inspire and entertain readers as they journey through the storylines of the books. Pottermore will later incorporate an online shop where people can purchase exclusively the long-awaited Harry Potter eBooks, in partnership with J.K. Rowling’s publishers worldwide, and is ultimately intended to become an online reading experience, extending the relevance of Harry Potter to new generations of readers, while still appealing to existing fans. As the Pottermore Shop develops, it is intended that it should include further products designed specifically for Harry Potter fans, offering a potential outlet for Sony products and services related to Pottermore. In keeping with Harry Potter’s international appeal, the site will launch in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, with more languages to follow.

In the new website, the storyline will be brought to life with sumptuous newly-commissioned illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone. On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience. As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup.

 Fans of the series have been speculating about what Pottermore would be ever since last week’s announcement that Rowling would be working on a new, Potter-related project. Guesses included eBooks, a digital version of the long waited “encyclopedia” that would offer extensive background information in the Harry Potter world and characters, and some sort of RPG (Role-Playing Game). Looks like Pottermore will be a combination of all of that, and more; the press release states that eventually a Pottermore Shop will be available, which will offer products specifically designed for Harry Potter fans.

The full details from the press release can be viewed at this link.

“Harry Potter” Fan Artists Needed for New Mugglenet Project

Image Credit: Mary Grandpre, Scholastic

Are you an artist who loves the world of Harry Potter? Want to see your art featured in (what I know will be) a best-selling book, with proceeds going to help the HP Alliance?

Well, Harry Potter fansite Mugglenet is looking for a few good artists for their latest project: a book of fan art based on the work of J.K. Rowling’s best-selling series. The project (which is being spearheaded by News Editor Keith Hawk – who also happens to be one of my best friends) will be taking submissions until April 17th.

This is the full announcement as it was posted on Mugglenet’s Fan Art page:  **Attention! MuggleNet.com has received permission from WB and JKR representatives and is underway creating a new MuggleNet Harry Potter Fan Art Collection Book to be published sometime in the near future! All proceeds from this book will be given to the Harry Potter Alliance. If you are interested in having your artwork included in this special collection, please contact: keith@staff.mugglenet.com for the details. All art and required forms are to be submitted by midnight Sunday April 17th, 2011.**

This is a great opportunity to share great fanart with people outside of the Harry Potter fandom, as well as helping a great cause! So send those submissions to Keith before April 17th, and let’s spread the Potter love!!

HPANA to survive 2010 and beyond?

HPANA to survive 2010 and beyond? – HPANA

This is a cause that is true and dear to my heart, because without this website, hmrpotter  – let alone the Hanako that you know today – would not even exist.

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.

However I can support this site – now and in the future – I will, because I can say sincerely that without HPANA and its members, I would definitely not be the person that I am today.

Originally posted in OCTOBER 2008 at http://potterprofiles.ning.com/profiles/blogs/introduction-1

I guess I’ll start this blog off with an introduction.

My name is Hanako. I am 33 years old and have been married for 13 years (although we’re currently separated). I have three children: 2 girls ages 12 and 10, and a boy age 6. All of my kids are Potter fans as well. Between the 4 of us, there are 2 Gryffindors and 2 Slytherins.

I got into Harry Potter in March 2005. I was working as a Media Secretary in my kids’ elementary school and we had gotten a shipment of brand new, donated books from one of the local banks. In this shipment was the 5-book Box set of HP (this was right before the release of HBP). Now, I had heard of Harry Potter before, but never was interested because of all the “bad press” surrounding it; in other words, I was one of those people who was making judgements on the book without reading it. I had been contemplating reading the series for a few weeks by then, but we never had the books available in the library, because the students kept checking them out. So when we got the box set in, I told my boss/friend that I wanted to take them home to read them before we put them into circulation. Since Spring Break was coming up, I figured I could take about 2 weeks, and it would give me enough time to read all of the books.

That was on a Thursday. I was finished with all 5 books by early Sunday afternoon. And I was hooked.

And I still had no clue whatsoever as to how big the Potter phenonmenon really was.

After reading the books a second time through, I took them back to work and shared my thoughts with my boss/friend. He was pleased that I loved them, because he had been trying to get me to read them for a few months, knowing that I would enjoy them.

Back then, I was also not very active on the internet (my, my! how things have changed! LOL) But I started hearing words like “fandom” and “online communities” and once again, got curious as to what all the fuss was about. I decided one day to go online and type in “Harry Potter fans”, and WOW. I was not expecting the number of websites that came up! I randomly picked one to visit (HPANA), and was amazed. You mean there are hundreds of thousands of people who are into this stuff?Online? I couldn’t believe it.

Then when I found that many of them were not kids but – in fact – adults, I began to get a bit more excited. I joined HPANA, and was very active on there for a few years, but since then I’ve joined several other Potter fan sites, and have gotten more active on my Facebook, Myspace and LiveJournal, which is where I spend most of my online time now.

I’ve been to a family-oriented HP gathering, Enlightening 2007, that was held on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania back in 2007. I’ve been to Dragon*Con twice now, and went last year for the first time because I found out that Matthew Lewis and James/Oliver Phelps would be there (that’s me and Matt together in my profile picture). I got to meet them all last year, and got to talk a bit more with Matthew this year when he came back to Dragon*Con. I started reading fan fiction almost 2 years ago, and have written a few pieces myself. I’m slowly getting involved in cosplay, and I belong to a local Adults only Harry Potter group that meets once a month. Oh yeah, I also collect stuff: dolls, stationary, trading cards, books, magazines, etc. You get the picture!

So yeah, HP has become a very huge part of my life. I’ve met friends from all over the world, and it has helped me thorugh some very rough times in my life over the past few years. Most importantly though, I think HP has helped me to understand that there’s nothing wrong with being different, for liking things that others don’t like, and to be comfortable with who I am. Yes, I’m a “grown-up” who fell in love with a children’s book. But that children’s book has helped me find out who I am as a person more than anything else in my life, other than my husband and children.