To describe one of the biggest fan run Fandom conventions in the USA as simply awesome would be the most glaring understatement I could possibly make. Dragon Con is a study of human entertainment, a socialization experiment gone to the extreme, and the most epic Labor Day weekend you could possibly have.
This year it brought in over 70,000 fans come from all over the world to embrace like minded people, in a quest of acceptance, experience, entertainment and fun. The Fandom community does so much good through the Dragon*Con avenue that I am proud to be the geek girl fighter that I am today. I was molded, early on by pioneering science fiction conventions like Sooner Con, which I first attended 30 years ago. To see such a difference in those little conventions to the giant, behemoth Dragon* Con and Comic Con have become, it gives me hope for the future.
This year, for the first year ever, I was a panelist, I was an entertainer, and I was so busy, it was beyond exhausting. I am part of the Palmetto Knights which is a group of like minded individuals who come together from all over the steel fighting community to promote our sport, and other steel combat in a non-biased fashion. We are the Switzerland of steel fighting, and I enjoy being a part of such a non-partisan group. This is the second year we have participated as a group with the Armory Track at Dragon Con and it was a huge success.
Being a panelist was a great experience. I was part of the “Fight Like A Girl” presentation. We discussed what it was like to be a female fighter in our various organizations. We had representation from Armored Combat with both Sandra and I, and also HEMA & Stage Fighting with Christine and our moderator Kel spoke about her experiences as an SCA combat archer.
The panel was very well received, we had a wide variety of people in our audience and as soon as the panel was done, women and men alike rushed the stage to get more questions answered and pick up business cards from those of us that had them. I certainly hope we have a similar panel next year and are hopefully able to add more women fighters from more organizations in the future.
I also participated in a couple of the topic specific docents (talks) that were held in the Blade Room of the armory as well as running a fitness panel with my steel fighting brother Trey Sutter. This unfortunately is not allowed on the official schedule due to liability issues but hopefully next year we can get the word out easier and more effectively for even more participation.
HSCT (Historic Steel Combat Team) marched & fought in the Dragon Con Parade and while it was fun, it was HOT and Muggy! I ended up getting a bit of heat exhaustion towards the end of the route, as did a few of our fighters so in the end we had 2 left fighting. But we survived and all of us were walking and greeting the crowd with enthusiasm and verve. I did learn one vital thing, even little kids can leave marks. After letting as many little knights hit me in the chest plate of my armor with a mace, I ended up with some significant bruising across my abdominal wall. None hit really hard but after letting 30-40 kids hit me a few times each, the blunt trauma can cause tissue damage. Its minor but a lesson learned none the less.
All of the fighters had a great time at the event fighting in the first ever Dragon Cup Steel Tournament and to say we were wildly accepted would be an understatement. Every panel we had the opportunity to present, we were turning people away at the door after we met full capacity for the ballrooms we were in. Even the ‘Mythbusting’ docent in the blade room was done twice, just to accommodate more people and we still turned away at least 75 more people who wanted to see it.
All in all the convention was an amazing success for HSCT and we look forward to doing more panels, more fighting and more entertaining next year. So mark your calendars, Labor Day 2016, I will be in Atlanta fighting…where will you be?
As for my own personal experiences for Dragon Con, they were phenomenal. I started going to this convention about 8 or 9 years ago after one of my oldest, dearest friends, Johnny Hunter, invited me and I have been going ever since. I have met more Sci-Fi stars than you can shake a stick at and finagled my way into more places that I shouldn’t have been, more times than I can count. I am tenacious, wicked and more than a little devious but this year was just pure fun.
I spent most of my off time with various members of the Battlestar Galactica stars and it was the highlight of my year so far. From folks I have known for years to some I just met, I had a great time with them all and I look forward to seeing them again next year as well.
I also ran my 2nd Geek Girl Fun Run on Friday morning. After the #FindtheChief2 Pub Crawl and not getting to bed until 3am, I almost didn’t do it but I left other costumes at home so I would have something to run in, so I sucked it up and went. I was happy I did too, even with only 3 hours sleep. Its a great 2.25 mile run and we have a lot of fun doing it. My thrown together Mera/Aqua Woman costume was a hit and we all had a great time. If you decide to come out next year, throw in your running shoes and join us!
My cosplay options were pretty limited this year as I had so much to bring, I ended up even leaving vital parts of my armor at home due to weight restrictions. But I did manage to sneak in my Diesel Punk Wonder Woman costume and it was a huge hit. Next year, I will be shipping some things ahead of time, that way I have everything I want…and need. Because a woman can never have too many costumes!
So there you have it, the run down of my weekend. I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day as well and I look forward to getting back to the next blog in my list next week.