August 31- September 3
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By Marcia Patterson
Dragon*Con (D*C), held in Atlanta, Georgia is the largest annual convention in North America for fans of science fiction, fantasy, horror, comics, art, games computers, animation, science, music, television and films. It is also a completely fan-run, not-for-profit adventure, which this year attracted a record 31,000 attendees.
STARGATE SG-1 PROGRAMMING
As a staff member for the American Sci-Fi Television Track, it was my pleasure to help host three Stargate SG-1 panels, all attended well. We counted over 200 fans!
Overall, Stargate SG-1 is still a fairly new fandom. I host stargateguide.com , a Stargate and Stargate SG-1 collectibles fan site, so it felt natural for me to gather some info and print a digest-sized STARGATEGUIDE. Drawn from information from gateworld.net, www.stargateguide.com and geos, the STARGATEGUIDE DIGEST included a mini-episode guide, star pics, bios and character bits, additional character and alien pics, collectibles info, website links, plot summaries for seasons 1-3 and more. At my own expense, ‘cause I love the fans --I produced and printed about 100 copies of the STARGATEGUIDE , but we could easily have given out three times that many!!
Here are some pics of SG-1 fans in full regalia, courtesy of Joseph Finn:
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31
"Stargate SG-1 Debriefing" – a discussion of SGC’s most recent missions and the latest declassified reports on the SG-1 team’s possible move to the big screen.
Just before the panel, I raced down to the exhibitor’s area and was able to pick us some samples of the new Stargate SG-1 CD case, olive drab t-shirt, and cap, to show off. Thanks to Holzheimer’s Distributing at www.holzheimers.com, the new west coast distributors for Stargate SG-1 merchandise. He also gave us a stack of promo mini-posters for SG-1. We were happy to get anything SG-1!!
For the panel we had a lively chat concerning the entire current season as well as past episodes. I discovered that at least 75% of the fans at the panel paid for Showtime just to be able to see first-run episodes of Stargate SG-1 (Will Showtime experience a significant dip in subscribers when SG-1 departs ??? Oops, Showtime!) Those not connected to the internet were eager for the latest news.
In between panels, I went down to the Exhibit Hall and sought out Hal Wamsley, from the new Stargate SG-1 Official fan club through Lightspeed Fine Arts Inc. lightspeedfinearts.com Hal also played a Jawa in "Star Wars". He told me that he is a huge Stargate SG-1 fan! He instantly offered to attend our next panel to give us info about the new official Stargate SG-1 fan club. The club already has about 1,500 members even without any serious advertising. The club directors hope to tag the end of each episode with fan club information, much as the official website: stargatesg-1.com is tagged at the end of each show.
The roleplaying event was so popular, we could have had three full SGC teams. We even had Hathor come back from the dead! (see pic below)
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
Stargate SG-1: Black – Who does Col. Maybourne really report to?
Here, we speculated ---wildly at times---on the dark possibilities of SGC intrigue. Is that really the president that Commander Hammond is speaking to on the red phone? What has happened to the technology that has already been acquired? Is the SGC bugged---by our side? Is Col. Maybourne really a "good guy"?(---nah!!) Is Apophis truly dead? Just who is this mysterious larger and more powerful enemy that has now loomed on the horizon?
As the final panel for the American Sci-Fi television track, SG-1: Black was a fitting end while holding lots of promise for next year’s Dragon*Con. We had such success, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if our programming was expanded by a panel or two.
SO WHAT IS DRAGON*CON?
D*C is a place where, for four days, you can live out your fantasy to become whatever character or characters you wish. Some fans change into different personas as often as three times a day. Others simply wear casual clothes, mostly t-shirts and comfortable footwear (comfy---or your feet will pay dearly!). Dragon*Con is very affordable with a membership fee ranging from about $45 for early registrants to about $75 at the door. So, if you room with one or several others, you can keep your costs really low, leaving more cash for the fun stuff.
When you arrive, after grabbing your badge & pocket program, you’re off to figure out your con itinerary. The diversity of programming at D*C allows for fans of almost any genre to find a full and varied schedule. However, this is no small task, as D*C hosts over a dozen separate fan tracks including: Star Wars, Star Trek, Xena/Hercules, X-files, Comics, Space & Science, Anime, Writer’s, American Sci-fi Television and a children’s track. And that’s just the beginning…
In addition there’s the MAIN programming which covers media stars & events that attract hundreds or thousands---such as the legendary COSTUME CONTEST, the DAWN look-a-like contest or chats with John Carpenter, John Rhys-Davies, Mark Hamil, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, "Elvira", Alice Cooper, James Doohan or the cast of Babylon 5.
Then, you’ve got to at least sample the all-night concerts and filking marathons. During the day you make your runs to the dealer’s room, the art show, the exhibitor’s hall…oh, and rush past the flyer tables brimming with all manner of flyers and posters and buttons and business cards- the smallest I saw was about an inch square—and folded in half!
Meandering through the con, if you don’t encounter DANGER WOMAN at least once, you haven’t experienced a true Dragon*Con legend. You never know who you’re going to be standing next to, behind or in front-of---"celebrities" are everywhere at any time of the day or night.
In the open foyers you can dance to Celtic, urban, new age or rock bands, sway with the drummers on the terrace and chatter at the fan tables and….get my drift? There’s no way to do it all, so you make sacrifices and leave as little time as possible for sleep. A popular t-shirt was printed with -- "I’ll sleep when I’m dead". And so you plow on, snapping pictures with cameras or with your mind’s eye.
The charity auctions for art and collectibles are loads of fun to watch or perhaps you can grab a bargain while contributing to a worthy cause.
On the last day, D*C traditionally wraps with ROBOT BATTLES. These homemade mechanical demons bludgeon to bits all robot contenders in their category until winners are crowned….and the con officially ends. Mark your calendar now for next year’s Dragon*Con --August 30-September 2, 2002
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Are you a fan of Farscape? Virginia Hey was a huge hit at Dragon*con 2001. Read on...
DRAGONCON 2001 - VIRGINIA HEY - FARSCAPE’S – "Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan"
One of the American Sci-Fi Television Track’s very special guests this year was Virginia Hey. This was her first appearance at Dragon*Con in Atlanta, Georgia---Ms. Hey even paid her own way to be with fans!
Little did we know how popular Ms. Hey would be. Fans were so eager to see Virginia Hey, that several dozen camped out in the hall for an hour before her first panel---just to get a seat. As soon as the prior panel ended, fans rushed in and the room was filled to overflowing. They gathered along the walls and into the aisles. We moved tables and chairs to fit more in and still they were backed up into the hallway and down to the next room.
I warmed up the crowd with a little discussion (stalling!) while wondering how in the world we were going to get Virginia into the room at all. There was not a spot to spare. Then someone suggested body surfing her to the front of the room, and I quipped she would probably get into that…she is such an open and warm person.
At last she arrived and somehow, Aaron, our Track Director, managed to squeeze with her through the crowd, and I had the pleasure of introducing her to her D*C fans.
Though the room became quite warm because of the crowd, Virginia happily chatted away, letting her fans ask questions and taking as much time as she needed to answer. (If you’ve visited her site, virginia-hey.com you’ll know what I mean).
We learned that Virginia indeed misses Farscape and her role as Zhaan, yet she has many new possibilities ahead of her including perhaps a role on "Andromeda". She is an extremely spiritual person and enjoys new age philosophy. She will also be making more appearances around the country as she has recently secured an apartment in Los Angeles. The second panel, though moved to a room three times the size, still couldn’t hold all who wanted to see Virginia. Guess we’ll have to move to MAIN programming next year!
In the audience for the first of Virginia Hey’s panels was a fan dressed as Scorpius himself. Virginia had been chatting away and suddenly she saw him and squealed with delight! She loved the wonderful costuming, and told us of the Farscape fetish party to be held later.
Scorpius courtesy of Chad
Fraley himself! See more of his pics [go]
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