221B is a convention for all things Sherlock Holmes. While fan fiction gets a ;ot of attention, there is plenty going on for those who aren’t involved in it. We have no interest at all in it and we enjoy the Con very much. While it is mainly panels and workshops, there is a dance party and more adult entertainment in the evening. It takes place April 7-9 at the Mariott Perimeter Center.
From the website:
WHOlanta is an annual Doctor Who and British media and culture convention in Atlanta, GA. Formerly known as TimeGate, WHOlanta is the rebranded name of the convention that fans in the Atlanta area have loved for over ten years.
WHOlanta is run by fans FOR FANS. The convention does not profit from sales. Any money you pay for attending the convention goes into making the convention the best it can be. It goes towards paying for the venue, paying for the visual/sound equipment, and for paying our guests. Doctor Who actors aren’t free. And flights from the U.K. can get pricey. So know when you buy your membership, your membership is being used to better your experience at the con.
Attendees come from all over the Southeast, all over the nation and even from as far away as England to take part in the festivities. Launched in 2005, the convention hit its 10 year anniversary in 2015 with special guest Katy Manning and Michelle Gomez. Past Doctor Who guests have included actors Colin Baker, Sophie Aldred, Mary Tamm, John Levene, Colin Spaull and Caitlin Blackwood, script editors Terrance Dicks and Andrew Cartmel, composer Dominic Glynn, film editor Louis Robinson, and more.
The inaugural WHOlanta will take place May 5-7th with currently booked guests Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Camille Coduri and Jamie Mathieson.
AnachroCon is a convention for all ages, with time travel and alternate history its themes. Every year it also has a more specific theme, and this year it was the ’60s: any ’60s. Lots of people come in costume. So there were hippies mingling with belles from the Civil War era and cowboys from the Wild West. Ben Franklin (portrayed by Bill Pacer) directed the History track, and a troupe of sword-fighters who are called Zholdak Kozaky demonstrated their techniques with an impressive duel between a shepherd in a tie-dyed toga and a Western farmer. Attendees’ eyes were constantly entertained.
But there’s much more to this “con.” Like all of Atlanta’s smaller conventions AnachroCon is a thrill for the brain as well as a rest for the soul. If you pay for the whole weekend and get a hotel room at the Marriott, once you step inside those doors you leave your everyday world behind. For three days, you aren’t thinking or talking about work or money or taxes or politics. Instead, you can attend panels where you can discuss Vikings, Doctor Who, or the Cold War. You can bounce from game shows to learning to make mead to studying the sun and the stars.
I love history and archaeology, so this year my favorite panel was “Dead Men Do Tell Tales,” in which anthropologist and archaeologist Dr. Dea Mozingo presented a slide show and talk about how human remains can tell us a lot about the people’s culture, with lots of photos of ancient skeletons. We also enjoyed her panel with Dacre Stoker (great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker} on the origins of vampire mythology, in which I learned more than I ever knew there was to know about what happens to the body after burial. “It’s a Cold, Cold War” was surprisingly fascinating, and the panel on “Bestsellers of the 1860s” was as well. Where else do you get to talk about things like this without people’s eyes glazing over?
In the Doctor Who track, lively discussions about The Doctor, his Companions and The Master and other villains were fun, and everyone was respectful even when they disagreed.
Meanwhile, other people were learning about sewing costumes and creative uses of hot glue, or how to create props out of metal or other materials. There were workshops on how to entertain in high style and panels on how Victorian ladies used flowers and fans to send messages. There was a very popular gaming room as well.
At night there was music. On Friday it was a “Psychedelic ’60s” theatrical presentation followed by “Broadway in the ’60s.” On Saturday contemporary Celtic folk musician Marc Gunn charmed and delighted the crowd with his unique autoharp style, his witty singalongs, and his exuberant movement about the stage. He was followed by familiar con favorites The Gin Rebellion.
In between all these activities, you could visit the vendor room, where there were wonderful clothes, jewelry, books and other treasures for sale; visit the booths to talk to authors and guests and lean about other conventions; visit the lounge on the 11th floor for snacks; or go up to the ConSuite for more substantial food and some of the best conversation at the con. Or you could visit the bar and hang out with your friends.
Cons are this reporter’s favorite form of escapism, and AnachroCon is always one of the best. This year was no exception. A wonderful time was had by one and all.
This is a partial calendar of popular fan conventions in Georgia and nearby and the months in which they occur. It is subject to change. Conventions are in Atlanta unless otherwise noted.
Chattacon. Chattanooga, TN
Tie Travel and Alternate History
WHOlanta (Formerly TimeGate)
Doctor Who and British TV
Sci-Fi Summer Atlanta
Sci-Fi and Media
Anime Weekend Atlanta
The Walking Dead
Harry Potter and fantasy
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