WHOlanta 2019: What a Goodbye! (and a fond look back)

After 15 conventions,  WHOlanta (formerly TimeGate) has ended. The last one wrapped on May 5,  and it went out with a bang and not a whimper!

My husband and I have had the privilege of covering the convention for the past 10 years and every year I have thought “This is the best group of guests imaginable,” and it always was. This year we got to meet the charming and feisty Janet Fielding, who played Tegan. Tegan was the companion to the 4th and 5th Doctors from 1981-1984.

  1. janetfieldingjanet                                   Janet Fielding

Ms. Fielding is not the first of the Doctor’s Companions we have met at WHOlanta. We also met Sophie Aldred, who played Ace to Sylvester  McCoy’s Doctor, Louise Jamison, who played Leela to Tom Baker’s Doctor, Nicola Bryant, who played Peri to Colin Baker. In addition, we met the Mistress, Michelle Gomez, and Camille Coderi, who played Jackie Tyler, Rose Tyler’s mother. We were also delighted to meet Colin Baker, the sixth Doctor, twice! Z(n addition, we heard wonderful stories from writers. men who portrayed monsters including Cybermen and Daleks, producers, script editors, and so many more. All of them were wonderful and their stories were among my favorites. This year, those included  Brand Manager Edward Russell, monster actor Jon Davey, Robert Allsop, and Jason Haigh-Ellery of Big Finish.

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Colin Baker

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Camille Coduri

Then there were the regulars, such as Lt. Moxie Magness,  Chief Cosmetologist on the Starship Enterprise, who wandered her magnificent way into a Doctor Who convention and stayed. Moxie is a marvel and we are going to miss her so much! There’s also Louis Robinson, Ken Spivey and so many more!

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We feel so honored that Alan and Susan gave us the chance to be part of this all these years. How we will miss the convention but the WHOlanta Facebook family will go on!

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221B Con Atlanta GA April 5-7 2019

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221B Con is a Sherlock Holmes convention that takes place in Atlanta every year. It was held on April 5-7 of this year at the Atlanta Airport Marriott.

The convention covers everything about Holmes Over the past few years,221B Conhas grown in size each year, with a very loyal following who return each time and new people who go home and spread the word. Many of the panelists are authors either of books. or of “fan-fic,” which is stories written by fans which are very popular online. Others are podcasters, such as the Baker Street Babes and the men who present “Geek Vs.”

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This is truly a convention for people who love Sherlock and enjoy using their brains. That is not to say it is not fun, because it is. But there is not an emphasis on cosplay, although it is welcome. Gaming is minimal, although if you ever see a quiz show being presented by Geek Vs. anywhere, including 221B Con, hurry to get involved (the whole audience participates.) It is overall a quieter convention, but deeply satisfying.

Another thing that convention attendees like is acquiring new stuff, and this convention always has a great vendor’s room. It is also a good source of free stuff, or “swag.” This year, for instance, the Tea Room, which is a place to rest during the convention, had many free books, two of my favorite words in the English language!

If you like Sherlock in any form: books, movies, television series, or anything else, you will love 221B Con! See you in Atlanta next year!

 

AnachroCon 2019 Feb. 15-17

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Dr. Mozingo-Gorman

From February 15-17 at the Atlanta Airport Hilton the past and the present visually collided, with ladies in bustles and men in suit pant and vests rubbing elbows with others in jeans and sweaters, It was time for AnachroCon, the convention for fans of time travel, history, science, literature, and science fiction.  There were subject areas (‘tracks”) for all of these, and kids’ programming as well. Families and individuals could also play in the game room at any time, day or night. Vendors sold jewelry, books, leather goods, and clothing. It was a marvelous time!

The guests sharing their knowledge in presentations this year included author Stephanie Osborn and her husband who created balloon hats and animals for all the children and some adults  Lee Martindale was there, an author and beloved staple of Atlanta conventions. Others who fans look forward to each year are astronomer and mead maker Philip Sacco and Dr. Dea Mozingo-Gorman, a forensic anthropologist who shared glimpses into the far distant past.

For those whose interest lies in cosplay, there were tracks for costuming and fabrication. Dr. Who fans had their own track. There were dances and music from special guest Tuatha Dea. There was even a car show!

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There was so much more to see in do during these three magical days. AnachroCon happens every year around this time. If you’ve ever wanted to travel in time, plan to attend next year!

 

DRAGON CON’S DRAGON AWARDS PUBLISHES ITS 2018 BALLOT

 

Fans-Focused Awards Recognizes Excellence in Fifteen Categories of Fiction,

Comics, Gaming, and Filmed Entertainment

 Third Annual Awards Will Be Announced at Dragon Con over Labor Day Weekend

 

ATLANTA – August 7, 2018 – Dragon Con’s Dragon Awards, a fan-chosen awards program to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy literature, comics, gaming, and filmed entertainment, has published its 2018 ballot.

The Dragon Awards are decidedly a “fans’ choice” award. All fans – not just Dragon Con members or attendees – are invited to select the Dragon Award winners by voting – for free – on the third annual Dragon Awards ballot.  The full ballot can be viewed here:  (link)

All voting will be done electronically and only via a ballot emailed to each confirmed voter.  To vote, fans must register on the Dragon Awards website: (link) Ballots are then emailed in batches every few days through August.

Fans have until Friday, August 31st at 11:59 p.m., Eastern, to register.  Voting ends 24-hours later on Saturday, September 1st at 11:59 p.m., also Eastern.

Winners will be announced on Sept. 2rd at Dragon Con, which will be held August 30 to September 3, 2018 in Atlanta.

“Fans – the people who not only read, watch, and play, but also love, science fiction and fantasy – are in the best position to recognize this year’s most beloved works,” said Pat Henry, president of Dragon Con, Inc. “When a work is recognized with a Dragon Award, it means it captured the imagination of a substantial number of voters.”

The Dragon Awards were introduced in 2016 as part of the 30th Anniversary of Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, sci-fi, and gaming convention. More than 8,000 people voted for their favorite works in the 2017 campaign.

To accommodate as many creative genres as possible, awards will be given in each of 15 categories covering the full range of fiction, comics, television, movies, video gaming, and tabletop gaming.

The ballot was selected in an open nomination process.  Using the dedicated Dragon Awards website, fans were invited to nominate one (and only one) of their favorite properties in any or all the award categories.  Nominations ran from early April until July 20 The best and most popular of the nominated properties were elevated to the ballot.

Further details are available on the awards website awards.dragoncon.org. Please direct all inquiries to dcawards@dragoncon.org or mail them to: Dragon Awards, PO Box 16459, Atlanta, GA  30321-0459 USA

About Dragon Con

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than about 3,000 hours of comics, film, television programming, costuming, art, music, and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

DRAGON CON GAMING IS FOR PLAYERS ONLY

Here”s an official press release from Dragon Con.

Over 140,000 Square Feet of Gaming Space Dominates AmericasMart, Featuring ‘Round the Clock Gaming Plus Panels with Top Game Designers, Voice Actors, and Industry Experts

 eSports Tournaments in 15 Different Games, Live Streamed on Twitch

 Overwatch Payload Tour Stops at Dragon Con to Celebrate Cosplayers in the Overwatch Universe

 ATLANTA – July 26, 2018 – Dragon Con, one of the largest gaming conventions in the nation, will roll out a basement full of games, from the latest and most popular video games, rarely seen board games, and the first role-playing computer game played by the man who wrote it almost 40 years ago.

“Dragon Con’s gaming program is for players, whether you’re a hardcore gamer or just have a casual interest,” said convention co-chair David Cody.  “Players can join friends playing the most popular games available or take some time to tryout games you can’t find anywhere except Dragon Con. Our games library features hundreds of games that can be checked out by any Dragon Con member.”

 

Some 85,000 people are expected to attend Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, and sci-fi convention, in 2018, filling downtown over the five-day Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30 to Sept. 3, with events and activities across AmericasMart Buildings One and Two and five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta.

 

Taking up more than 140,000 square feet in AmericasMart Building One and the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, gaming at Dragon Con will feature the full array of gaming including PC and console games, board games, miniatures gaming, role-playing games, collectable card games, and even LARP games.  A large selection of modern arcade games from Japan and Asia not usually seen in the United States alongside classic American cabinet-style arcade games will be available for ‘round the clock free play.

The gaming hall opens at 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 30, and stays open through 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3.

Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch Payload Tour stops at Dragon Con this year to celebrate the fantastic Overwatch-oriented cosplay with a photo experience that puts cosplayers into the game.

They will be joined by several members of Blizzard’s in-house creative team including historian Sean Copeland, senior writer Andrew Robinson, and senior writer Christie Golden.  We will also have a trio of voice actors from the Overwatch franchise, including Anjali Bhiman, who voices Symmetra; Charlet Chung, who voices D.Va.; and Lucie Pohl, who voices Mercy.

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Video game pioneer and American astronaut Richard “Lord British” Garriott, who created the Ultima and Tabla Rasa games, will play his first published game – 1980’s Akalabeth: World of Doom – on an original, fully restored Apple II computer.  Akalabeth is widely considered to be the first role-playing game written for computer.

 

eSports, sometimes called professional gaming, has seen a surge in popularity over the past decade with the growth of spectatorship fostered by the introduction of live streaming platforms.  Amazon-owned Twitch, Dragon Con’s broadcast partner for its tournaments, has approximately 1 million viewers at any given time for its eSports and related programming.

 

Tournaments will include Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite, Injustice 2, Brawlhalla singles and doubles, Streetfighter V: AE, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, Gundam Versus, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Rivals of Aether singles and doubles, Smash 4, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and League of Legends.

 

Dragon Con attendees can watch professional players and teams compete against each other live, while their gameplay is broadcast to overhead screens.  Gaming fans at home will be able to watch the gameplay via Twitch.

 

In addition to the Overwatch guests, key gaming guests for 2018 include voice actors Kellen Goff, Heather Masters, and Julie Shields from the Five Nights at Freddy’s game franchise, voice actor Mark Meer, best known for his role as Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect trilogy, and former Epic Games president Mike Capps, whose company developed Fortnite, Gears of War, and Unreal Engine.

 

The Kids Gaming Adventure, a series of 45-minute sessions designed to introduce 6 to 12 year olds to board games, collectible card games, roleplaying, miniatures, and LAN-based video games returns for 2018. An accompanying parent is required at all times.

About Dragon Con

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than about 3,500 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information on the Overwatch Payload Tour, please visit https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/news/21659397

WHOlanta 2018 – what a blast!

WHOlanta 2018 took place last weekend at the Atlanta Airport Hilton. This was the first time the convention had been there, and it turned out to be an excellent convention space, with lots of room to gather in the lobby between panels. The crowd took to gathering around the marvelous Tardis replica, which also sometimes played most un-Tardis-like music. There was also a large vending room area, with plenty of space to move around and browse.’

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The Tardis

When not hanging out or buying things, con-goers were delighted to get autographs and photos with special guest Louise Jameson, who played Leela, companion to Tom Baker’s Doctor. Ms. Jameson also gave two delightful interviews, one with convention director Alan Siler and one with vivacious singer Cat Smith. She was an utter joy and a lovely lady.

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Cat Smith and Louise Jameson

Other entertainment included a cabaret to benefit the non-kill anima; rescue FurKids, and The Masquerade, which allowed attendees to show off their costumes. These were hosted by the magnificent Moxie M. Magness, Chief Cosmetologist on the Starship Enterprise. Moxie is one of the funniest people we have ever met and an integral part of WHOlanta; The climax of the Cabaret this year was when she smashed her ukelele, because “after all, it is a Who convention.”

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Aside from all of that, there was kids’ programming and gaming, and many panels full of lively discussion about Doctor Who, other science fiction programming, literature and video screening.  In the evening, many adults took advantage of the hotel bars.

It was a blast, a great escape from the everyday world. It will occur at the same time next year, and we plan to be there! How about you?

Below, it’s me as the Girl in the Fireplace and waiting for the Doctor in the incredible props exhibit in the basement.

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