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Dragon*Con Moments, 2011
By Philip Schweier
Sep 21, 2011 - 10:08

Former Marvel Comics publisher Stan Lee, surrounded by some of the company's most popular characters
• When one attendee was being interviewed by local media, he was asked why he put so much effort into his Skeletor costume. His response was along the lines of, “It’s one of those rare moments of the year when having the best, most unique costume makes me the coolest guy at the con, instead of the dorkiest.”

Oh, yeah. “Coolest guy at the con.” That’s like calling Moe the “smart” Stooge.


David Blue of Stargate: Universe
Stargate: Universe was the story of 80 or so refugees from a Stargate Command base forced to flee an attack by randomly dialing the gate. They ended up on an unmanned and out-of-control Ancient starship, the Destiny. Drama came from the reality of their situation, as they dealt with a shortage of supplies, including clothing. As a result, many of the actors wore the exact same clothing episode after episode.

Overheard at the Stargate: Universe table in the Walk of Fame, as a fan greeted actor David Blue. “You are here.”


• While on the floor sorting through back issues in the dealer’s room, I was approached by a man in the General Zod costume from the Superman movies. “Kneel before Zod,” he said. I looked at him and replied, “Your fly is open.” He hurried off in embarrassment.

Last time a man in leather hip boots told me to kneel in front of him, he ended up in the back of squad car. I ended up in therapy.


Louis Ferreira of Stargate: Universe having fun with a fan's bike in the hotel.
• One guy, about 70 pounds over weight, and about 40 of that his bushy hair, wearing the long coat and scarf (even though it was close to 90 degrees in Atlanta) of the Thom Baker-era Dr. Who, wore his con badge on a lanyard around his neck. As he entered a nearby restaurant, he tucked the badge inside his wrap-around XXXL Avengers t-shirt. “That way I don’t look like a geek,” he told his friends.

Buddy, that’s a Tardis that has already sailed.


• I’m as big a fan of Joss Whedon’s Firefly as the next guy (assuming the next guy doesn’t work for FOX). But did any of those people wearing the knitted Jayne hat from the episode The Message actually watch ALL of that episode?

“That hat makes you look like an idiot.” - Richard Burgi as Lt. Womack, to Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb


THIS is what too much fast-food can do to you.
• Con etiquette lesson #1: Fairy wings, capes, cloaks, massive weaponry and anything else that occupies a great deal of air space, does NOT need to be worn in high-congestion areas, such as the dealers room.

Goes double for baby strollers. They invented daycare for a reason.


• Con etiquette lesson #2: If you’re a filker, please don’t filk in the public areas. If we were interested in listening to you warble a few bars about the wonder that is Master Frodo, we’d be in the filking room with you. Otherwise, we’re just trying to get to our next panel with a minimum of fuss.


• Con etiquette lesson #3: Two things are key when attending a con: communication and mobility. The shear volume of people make both difficult, and trying to do both at the same time is counter-productive.

If you must text, step off to the side and get out of the way of other people.


Veteran animator Ralph Bakshi
• Filmmaker Ralph Bakshi thrilled a young audience member when she stood up following a screening of his 1977 film Wizards. The girl, who appeared to be about 7-years-old, told him, “I really liked your movie, and I want to watch it again and again.”  Bakshi then suggested she visit his booth in the exhibitor’s hall, where he would give her a production cell from Wizards. The girl literally leapt for joy before running out of the room in search of her father.

Considering the prices of Bakshi’s production cells started around $200, it’s this kind of generosity of spirit that creates fans for life.


• Mr. Owl, how many times during a science fiction convention does Frank Conniff (Mystery Science Theater 3000, Cinematic Titanic) get on an elevator and is told, “Push the button, Frank?”

The world may never know.


• Overheard in the Hyatt Hotel lobby:
Woman: Who's your favorite captain?
Man: Captain Morgan.
Woman: No. Starship captain.
Man: Oh. Malcolm Reynolds
Woman: No. Star Trek captain. And don't say Sisko!
Man: Is he not a captain?
Man's Friend: I would have to go with Kirk.
Woman's Friend: But Picard was so much better
Man's Friend: Kirk was man. Picard was a manager.


Screen legend Ernest Borgnine
• By his own admission, Ernest Borgnine has never seen an episode of Spongebob Squarepants, in which he plays occassional character Mermaid Man. However, producers seem to appreciate his work and he’s happy to do it.

I suspect that Borgnine could recite his lines and Esperanto and the producers would tell him, “Great work, Mr. Borgnine. That’s a wrap.” He’s Ernest - freakin’ - Borgnine!

Photos courtesy of Dr. Doug Larson. To see more of his 2011 Dragon*Con gallery, click here

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