Dragon Con 2013: One Geek’s Perspective, Part Four (Sunday & Monday)

by Aaron Einhorn

Sunday

Waking up on Sunday morning was a bit surreal. Where I had gone to bed in a hotel where you literally could not see the floor looking down from our room, I woke to an almost entirely silent hotel lobby. But then, this was where people had been partying HARD the night before, so I’m certain that many of them were sleeping it off.

But there was no sleep to be found in my morning. Why? Because I was off to see one of my favorite authors. Jim Butcher, writer of The Dresden Files had a book signing from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. (with a lunch break in the middle there), so right at 9:30, I was there in line.

I should have arrived earlier. The line had already snaked back and forth five times by the time I got in line. Fortunately, Christina and I were told by a helpful DragonCon staffer that “He signs fast.” We were given instructions on how to help keep the line moving quickly, and fortunately, most people seemed to listen, because by 10:45, Christina and I had gotten to the front of the line.

I wasn’t having a book signed for myself, because I didn’t actually think to bring one. But I did have a copy of the graphic novel “Welcome to the Jungle,” which was actually a Christmas present from me to my Mother-In-Law last year. I had previously obtained a signed copy of Butcher’s “Ghost Story” for her at San Diego Comic Con, but that was an instance where he had signed a huge stack of books and left them sitting at a bookshop at the convention. It wasn’t personalized. This time, I would meet the man himself.

Since I didn’t have a book to have him sign, I asked him to sign a copy of my Dragon Con badge, which he was happy to oblige me with. So, when the time came, I went up, handed him my book and badge, and told him “Although I really love all your books, my favorite has to be your Spider-Man novelization.” Butcher’s eyes lit up when I said that. “Thanks! I’m really proud of that one. Poor Rhino, he doesn’t get enough respect.”

jim_butcher_autographs

It could have been a glib response, but I like to think I left an impression on him.

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After getting his signature, Christina and I made a trip to visit our friend to borrow a pair of red boots so that we could be both American Dream and U.S. Agent for the Big Marvel Shoot, and then it was back up to our room to change.

Arriving at the Big Marvel Shoot, the two of us went over to the Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D. subgroup shot, which was a lot of fun, despite the threat of rain. Every time the thunder clapped, we heard a cheer from the Asgardian shoot. “Damn it, Thor!” became a common refrain.

Photo Credit: Paul Cory Photography Christina and I are in the lower right corner.

Photo Credit: Paul Cory Photography
Christina and I are in the lower right corner.

Sadly, a large bout of rain chased us away from the shoot before the actual large group shot could occur, although we later heard that it did happen, just delayed a bit.

Photo Credit: Marvel Comics We weren’t here, but it still looks like it was fun.

Photo Credit: Marvel Comics
We weren’t here, but it still looks like it was fun.

From there, we went back to the dealer’s room for some last minute purchases (new colored contacts for me), returned the boots we had borrowed, and then returned to our room to change into civilian clothes. I was going to then attempt an almost mythical action among Dragon Con costumers – I was going to go to a panel.

The panel in question was “Seriously Funny Ways to Get Rejected,” and for this author who is currently suffering through a wave of rejection notices from agents he has queried, it was exactly what I needed. It was fun, enlightening, reminded me why I need to stick with it, and gave me another agency to query. So, win-win.

From there, we made our way to the final SCF gathering.

Unlike the first night’s gathering, I was far more relaxed at this one. First off, I had now actually met most of the people at the gathering, at least briefly. Secondly, I had been shooting alongside them all day, and while I still admired their costumes, I now was able to see the costumes up close and realize that, hey, my costumes aren’t all that bad next to theirs. I still look up to many of the folks I’ve met on that board, but I now see myself as their peer, which is pretty awesome.

There was food, there was drink, there were a lot of hugs, and a lot of laughs. There were more names than I can remember, and many, many new additions to my Facebook Friends’ list. It was a great way to end the convention. As a friend of mine has long since stated in his signature file “Costumes are fleeting. Friends last a lifetime.” To many of these folks, I started Dragon Con as “the guy who wore Jack of Hearts,” but I think that by the time we left Sunday night, I was just Aaron.

Back to our room, and packing ensued. We had a 10:10 flight, which meant that we needed to be at the airport and checked in by 9:00 a.m., so we wanted to be checked out of the hotel by 8:00 a.m. Morning was going to come early.

Monday

There was some small kerfluffle with our checkout and using gift cards, but it is my sincere hope that it will soon be worked out. If not, expect me to fill in many more details here later. The flight home was uneventful, and soon enough, we were back to Columbus, Ohio with our daughters and our dog.

Dragon Con was exciting and fun, although huge and crowded. I know from crowed events, having been a several year attendee of San Diego Comic Con, but I fear that Dragon may have outgrown its space. I’d love to return next year, but for now Christina and I need to evaluate the costs versus the amount of fun we had. Seeing so many amazing costumers was great, standing in line and fighting with crowds was less so. Still, if you’ve never been to Dragon Con, I highly recommend you give it a try.

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