Hello and welcome to the final edition of “Who to See” Dragon Con 2018. For the finale, let’s take a look at “Attending Professionals”.
For my lover’s of puppetry and robotics, get ready for an all-star line up of some of the best puppeteers and puppet-makers in the world. Starting with Peter Abrahamson, Abrahamson has created countless robots and puppets for many Hollywood blockbusters such as I, Robot and Hellboy, as well as producing the hit T.V. series: BattleBots.
The world-renowned Kris Bluett-Woolen will also be in attendance. Bluett-Woolen has been working in the puppet business since 1988 and has performed in various countries such as Japan and South Korea. She also recently performed at the 2018 National Puppet Slam over at the Center for Puppetry Arts.
The current Education Director of the Center for Puppetry Arts, Aretta Baumgartner, is to make an appearance as well. Baumgartner specializes in performing while also teaching masks, movements, and puppetry.
Another star-studded puppeteer is Grant Baciocco from Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Baciacco is a comedic puppeteer and is a member of the Jim Henson Company’s Puppet Up! Uncensored troupe. His most recently work has been on the upcoming Happytime Murders film with Melissa McCarthy.
When searching for amazing costume and prop-makers, look no further than “The Wicked Tailor”. Known in the real world as Frank T. Puricelli, “The Wicked Tailor” has won countless awards for his costumes and cosplaying, which includes the 2016 Dragon Con Overall Best In Show.
Professional costume designer and cosplayer “Jinglebooboo” will also be making an appearance at this year’s Con. Her work has been featured in Cosplay Culture, and was a competitor on the popular SyFy series Cosplay Melee.
One of my personal picks is make-up artist: Corey Castellano. Castellano’s work has been seen in countless Hollywood blockbusters and shows which include: The Patriot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pirates of the Caribbean:On Stranger Tides, The Polar Express, Zombieland, and so many more.
Emily Schmidt of Go Big or Go Home Cosplay is a local cosplayer here in the Greater Atlanta Area. She is also a Cosplay Melee veteran and winner of the episode “Throne Off”. She is known for creating her own armor, and specializes with thermoplastics and foam. Schmidt can be found at the Geekspace Gwinnet which is a non-profit makerspace in Suwanee.
For my Rupaul Drag Race fans, the self-proclaimed: “Queen of All Nerds” Dax ExclamationPoint will fabulously strolling through this year’s Con. Dax’s style is based predominately on comic book super-heroines. She has cosplayed some powerful supers, such as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Black Canary.
Award-winning cosplay model Barr “JaBarr” Foxx will also be at Dragon Con. JaBarr’s cosplaying creativity has been featured in the cosplay-themed book: Cosplay in America Vol.2, as well as Marvel’s official website for his rendition of Bishop and Gambit. His #CosplayYourWay campaign encourages all individuals to cosplay regardless of race, size, age, or gender, and describes his own style as “Cosplay Chic!”
Next we spotlight award-winning gaming speaker: Dr. Roger Altizer, Jr. Dr. Altizer has spoken on topics from medical games and designs to the ever-growing eSports Industry. He is also a former game journalist and has hosted countless parties at conventions and fan events.
Speaking of gaming, attendees can also catch Andrien Gbinigie who is a Product Marketing Manager at Ubisoft. Gninigie has worked as a Community Manager on the Assassin’s Creed franchise and is an avid cosplayer.
The Associate Chair of Interactive Design, Game Development, and Motion Media Design at SCAD Atlanta, Eric Allen, will also be around the Con. If you’re interested in learning how to create 3D character rigs, then you should definitely check out his best-selling book: Body Language: Advanced 3D Character Rigging.
Another game-related professor is Shareef K. Jackson of the University of Wisconsin. Jackson teaches a course on Video Games & Learning, and is a STEM Diversity Advocate. He is the founder of the tutoring service Math Looks Good LLC. as well as the co-host for the Spawn On Me podcast.
Now, while most college students who attend Dragon Con are there to ya know, avoid school, Dragon Con actually has an assortment of awesome professors and academics at this year’s Con. These include: Dr. Matthew J. Brown who is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at The University of Texas at Dallas, and is also a professorial scholar of pop culture and comics. Since Dragon Con 2008, Dr. Brown has organized an academic conference which I’ll definitely be attending.
I have to know how one becomes a pop-culture professional scholar.
Biology Professor Dr. Mohamed A. F. Noor of Duke University (Go Blue Devils!) has conducted countless studies on evolution and genetics. As avid Star Trek fan, Dr. Noor has given talks regarding the applied science in the Star Trek universe as well as many other science fiction universes.
Dr. Bethany Brookshire is an award-winning science writer for Science News for Students and Science News which are subsidiaries of the non-profit: Society for Science & the Public. Dr. Brookshire is also a blogger for Eureka! Lab and Scicurious, as well as a presenter for the podcast: Science for the People.
Another personal pick is Scott Harris of the Fernbank Science Center and Planetarium. Harris a Planetary Geologist who’s research includes meteorites and asteroid impact deposits around the world.
And while I know pretty much everyone who grew up in Georgia went to Fernbank Museum at some point for a class trip, I would I definitely recommend returning for one of their Fernbank After Dark events. Visitors can grab a drink while checking out the Dr. Ralph L. Buice, Jr. Observatory for some star gazing and maybe even a shooting star! [Cough, it’s actually a meteor burning up in the earth’s atmosphere, Cough.]
Unfortunately, some of you believe that since October is over a month away, I can’t bring out my spookey-dooky skeletons. Well, in that case let’s grab some ghost hunters: at this year’s Con we have Shawn Boettner and Jordan T. Duncan of Paranormal Georgia Investigations. Boettner is one of the team’s paranormal investigators and Duncan is one of the Co-Directors. Maybe they’ll find a spirit or two.
And finally, the blood-descendant of master horror writer Bram Stoker himself: Dacre Calder Stoker! Dacre Stoker is the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker, and like his great grand-uncle, Dacre has taken a keen interest in the world of vampires. He is the co-author of Dracula the Un-Dead, a direct sequel to the original Dracula which he wrote to “reestablish creative control over” over the original copyright. I won’t lie, there have been some…interesting vampire stories written since Bram’s publication. In 2011, Dacre also created the documentary-film Dracula meets Stoker.
So, there you have it. Thank you for reading Part 4 of “Who to See” Dragon Con 2018: “Attending Professionals”. Be sure to catch the Gnome Queen and my Giant King at this year’s Con. We’ll be cosplaying Afro-Samurai, “Drinker” Bell and many, many more.
See you then!
For the entire Attending Professionals “Who to See”, check out: http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=attending-professionals-view
To read Parts 1, 2, & 3 click here: