Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Wittiest Triathlete at Dragoncon 2013*

I came (late) I saw (too little) and I didn't even get a F*n Tshirt.

- I'm going to be breaking this into two parts. This one will be more of a picture sharing / things I saw that were cool / geek out post that has nothing to do with sports. (well, other than Marathon viewing of Mystery Science Theatre 3000) Part 2 will be a bit more philosophical and will actually tie in with Triathlon (I know, strange contrast from the outside)

If you've been following the blog for any amount of time (or have had the... pleasure... of meeting me in person) you know that outside of my love for endurance sports (which in itself may qualify as borderline geeky) I'm a huge nerd. I grew up on comic books, video games and anime. (Or what qualified as anime in America in the late 80's and 90's) I played competitive Magic: The Gathering for about 15 years... even got pretty highly ranked at one time. Anyways, so yeah... taking a mini-vacation to Atlanta for Dragoncon only made sense as a good "battery recharge" from my race season.

We (myself and Chad, one of my best friends, and also one of my only friends who could "appreciate" the event in it's entirety) loaded into the car early Friday morning and made the 4 hour drive down to Atlanta, only having one or two "oh sh*t" moments of nearly missing our exit once we were actually in Atl. We stayed about 10 miles out from the convention (even getting a room nearly a year in advance it was as close as we could get) at the Holiday Inn Convention... and what a turd of a hotel. I liken it very much to the "levels" of hell portrayed in Dante's Inferno in that each floor seemed to have a different "torment." Floor 3 (ours) was plagued with moisture. Literally laying in bed my covers were soggy. On floor 2 (of course only some floors have an Ice machine...) it was blazing hot and the Ice machine was constantly out of ice. Such are the dangers of "sight unseen" hotels. Fortunately we were going to be spending very minimal time in our Hotel, so putting up with a few discomforts was acceptable.

Our hotel, floor 3. Perfect if you were a Glutton for Punishment. (See what I did there!)

Enough about the hotel horrors. We load our bottles (bike bottles are good for a lot of things besides on the road hydration) with Kraken (rum) and overpriced Diet Coke and make our way to Dragoncon! Full of adventure, amazement, beauty.... and long lines...

Welcome to...LINECON 2013!

Yeah, just the wait to check in was a little over an hour and a half. A few people we met (it's easy to get cozy with your neighbors when you have nothing to do but stand) said the line on Thursday afternoon was so long that they decided to just wait til' Friday. Ok...ok... we survived that setback (and ended up a bit tipsy by the end of the line) and were rewarded with our passes. Now, enough whining from me (for real this time) on to some pictures and the cool stuff.
Great Daft Punk outfit (I kid...I kid...)
The Chess playing Jawa!
Wendy and Ronald... sorry I was a couple of drinks in for this picture...
Galactus, destroyer of paper mache
No idea what they were supposed to be other than hot...
King Hippo!
I assume the look of anger on his face had to do with figuring out how to use a urinal in that suit...
Chad taking a Dragon Uppercut to the chin
Mega Man!
This dude called me a primitive screwhead when I asked for a picture.
Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn in line for a drink.
The start of the parade... although most of what you can see is just the mass of people...
Patrick Swayze's reanimated corpse...
Doc Ock!
These costumes were really good.
Big evil eyeball truck demon cannon thing...
All the Deadpools... All of them.
Want me to drag him out of here and kick the sh*t out of him?
Blasphemy... I'm sure the ark is made of Natural Light...
Noo... don't kill me until I've finished my ale.
Dragoncon really does have something for everybody. You could spend your weekend immersed in any number of things that would leave you without even scratching the surface of everything there. Want to play some obscure board games... there's a room for that. Grind an MMORPG or Frag your buddies in Halo? Yep, it can be done. Drone through a campaign of AD&D for 12 hours straight? No Problem. Meet a ton of Fantasy/Sci-Fi Celebs and pick through a massive art show? Got you covered. Just want to catch a buzz and hit on girls (and guys) dressed as any obscure sci-fi/comic/anime character you can imagine... yeah, no sweat. In fact, the bars (and mini-bars) were some of the premium places to see some crazy light saber duels and robot on robot battles... all while drinking $4 domestics and $7 imports.

As for us, we managed to fit as much as we could (for first timers) into the trip. We attended two retro video game panels (which were both rather unsatisfying... neither group seemed to have any idea what they were going to talk about.) earlier in the first day, and then attended a showing / discussion of AKIRA hosted by Joe Peacock. (who is the #1 collector) Now, this was one of the first (bootleg) animes I had ever seen, so I was interested from the start, but I have to say it was one of the best presentations I've been a party to on ANY subject, but specifically pertaining to how important this film still is to art and animation. Akira is one of only 2 cartoons to ever be shot in 24fps, the other being Richard William's (of Roger Rabbit fame) The Thief and the Cobbler (which is also beautiful... what's done of it.) of course, Akira took two years to make... The Thief is currently at 30+ years (Guinness record) and will never truly be finished. (although here is a link to the "re-cobbled" cut...) Anyways, back to Akira... so much depth and devotion went into that movie... it was mind blowing. This link is of Joe talking about one of the more obscure background paintings in the movie and it's immense level of detail, despite most of it being covered by foreground objects.

Yeah yeah... /tangent. Go watch Akira and the recobbled Thief & Cobbler. They're both pretty sweet and basically still untouched in terms of quality. (and I'm a Disney fan)

Vincent Price in his last role. Also the inspiration for a couple of characters in Aladdin.

We also went to a pretty sweet skeptics meeting with Michael Shermer (of Skeptic Magazine) who had a very good presentation and some thought provoking material, even if it was a bit presumptuous for my tastes...

Also, most exciting for me was the chance to meet and question Lloyd Kaufman, the founder of TROMA (Toxic Avenger, etc) whose movies have entertained me (and generally repulsed everyone else in the room) since I was about 10 years old. I always think it's cool to meet guys that could have been "legit" (Kaufman had a hand in movies like Rocky, The Final Countdown and Saturday Night Fever) but instead went on to be a "B" (or even "C") movie Legend.

I heart the monster hero. (Obscure reference in article # who knows what.)

Finally, after battling through the crowds and the freaks (I mean that in a good way) and the endless maze that is gigantic convention center hotels... we finished off our trip with a marathon viewing of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. "Manos, the hands of Fate" (A classic... what a terrible movie) probably the greatest MST3K episode ever, and an amazing recall to my childhood. I never really appreciated how great MST3K was when I was younger. Now that I can really understand the humor (and drink...) it's even better!

Sadly, real life called and both Chad and myself had to be back on Sunday, so we turned in early (well... 3a.m. early anyways... Dragoncon doesn't really distinguish "time" in the usual sense. There's always a billion people around and inside lighting, so the only way to tell what time it is is by the amount of Karaoke going on and the general level of drunkenness.) and made the unexciting trip back home.

Fortunately, I came back feeling like the batteries were back to fully charged and ready for some serious miles running to be put down. The goal is for a low to mid 1:2x run at the Knoxville 1/2 Marathon next year, and of course to stay injury free.

So ends part 1. I hope you enjoyed some of my crappy photography. Next week I'll be explaining a bit of what my trip taught me in regards to triathlon. (and maybe even life in general)
I know it's a departure, but I hope you enjoyed it. Now go click all the links and learn new nerdy trivia to impress your friends with!

Thanks again for reading

- Christopher Morelock

*In my opinion


  1. Was that the Toxic Avenger in that last picture???

    1. Sort of :) It's Toxie on my shirt, but the thing with the sword is some generic horror creature!