First off, it took us a day to drive down there. A day. We were invited a month or so before the actual event, so we couldn't book shows to play leading up to the big bopper. It would have helped with the pounding boredom and insane task of driving non-stop, but I'm not complaining. Really. DragonCon is well worth any sort of trouble. I just wanted to let you know how hardcore we are.
A full day of driving.
Now, here we are. The initial buzz has worn off, as well as any remaining "con-crud" inhabiting my body, so it's with great honor that I finally present to you...DragonCon, 2012! If you made it this year, you know. You just know. You understand what it's all about. But if you've never set foot inside a circus of comic books, cosplay and really big swords...here ya go.
Our booth was settled in the main hotel (this behemoth of a con spans across multiple hotels) and was open twenty-four hours a day. For whatever reason, the bands were the only ones with this never ending schedule of hocking, selling and shilling, so you're kinda fucked if you're into that "sleep" thing.
Most guys pack up for the night and re-open in morning. Unfortunately, we're not like most guys and have a truckload of merch. We've been down this road before, so it was with a sadness in our hearts and a constant flow of overpriced, hotel coffee in our hands, we knew what we had to do -- stay awake for an entire Goddamn weekend.
We took turns throughout the day, and our dad stayed up through the night while we slept for a few hours. Our hotel wasn't easy to get to, so it was all kinda in vain. By the time we got to the place, we essentially just turned around and headed back.
Man, the first night we all stayed up, straight from the van and into the con. I thought I was dying, my insides hurt, my brain was fried, etc. But it was worth it. I think.
And yes, people dress up. IT'S THE BEST PART. That's Jimmy and I with He-Man. Just go ahead and say it.
"That He-Man's portly as all get out."
"He-Man? More like 'He-Manatee.'"
"By the power of Twinkies, ho!"
There? Feel good about yourself? Can we move on now?
Most of the day I was super stoked and excited to shoot TONS of photos of us with anyone who dressed up as that guy from that sci-fi show or that anime no one's ever heard of. These people are my favorite part of conventions. It's just so much fun. Sadly, the thrill was gone after any caffeine wore off, hence, lack of any of these photos. I feel like I missed so much, but it's hard to care when you just don't care, ya know?
Fortunately, I had enough sense to take a photo with the "Kali-Ma Guy." He even went the extra mile and pulled out a fake heart from my chest. I then made a Diarrhea Face and it got weird.
One of the cooler parts of DragonCon is the artist gallery, where people sell anything that constitutes as art. If you've ever wanted a centerpiece in your home that borders on confusing, tacky and brilliant, this is the place for you.
BUT THE COOLER PART is all the comic book artists, and artists in general, who are there to shake hands, sign your shit and potentially be on the "Calabrese Artist Hit List." These people are prime for the picking, and we buttered up quite a few associates. We met Dave Baker, who we've always had our eye on for art, and who was really stoked on the idea for some possible collaboration. I think the free CD helped.
There's a guy who goes around drawing people, apparently for free. I assume for tips, but I also assume that Davey didn't bother. Davey hates tipping. Maybe that's why the guy drew him with lazy eyes and a beak.
This girl was great. It's such a rad thing to meet fans, but it's even better when your fans are fans of other great music. That sounds wrong and full of myself, I know. It's, well...she like The Cramps, Subhumans, so on and so forth. I like those bands, too. They're the sensai and I'm the young student. When someone likes us, too, it makes me feel legit, like we're finally leveling out with the top dogs. Or something. I'll shut up now.
Really, the only other photo with cosplay nuts.
Not necessarily because of these guys, but seeing everyone dressed as superheros, crime fighters and comic book villains, I realized how much I want to wear spandex. I realized I never have, and if I don't act fast, I don't think I ever will. It looks so free and comfortable and weird. And I really wanna do it, some way, somehow. Am I closet cosplayer?
And, of course, the show:
Thanks to everyone who came out to see us play, said hello and kept us occupied and entertained. It was a hell of a task to pull off, but we did it. We did it 'cause it's fun, exciting and because of any woman who dresses as Catwoman. Good gravy.
Rock and roll commandos, man. Get on it.