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WHO TO SEE AT DRAGONCON 2018: PART FOUR

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:

https://atlbyday.com/2018/07/19/who-to-see-at-dragon-con-2018-part-four/

https://atlbyday.com/2018/06/28/who-to-see-at-dragon-con-2018-part-two/

https://atlbyday.com/2018/06/21/dragon-con-2018-who-to-see/

Dragoncon Halo Cosplay

Who To See At Dragon Con 2018: Part Three

It’s time for Part Three of the Gnome Queen’s “Who to See” at Dragon Con 2018. Let’s take a peek at the Guest List.

At the top begins with Costume and Prop Designer: Robert Allsopp. Allsopp has worked with countless theatre companies around the world including the Tokyo Opera, the Royal Opera House, and The Met Opera. Allsopp has also provided costumes for films such as the Thor sequels, 47 Ronin, and 300: Rise of an Empire. He was also the main costume and prop designer for the award-winning London production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Golden Globe-nominated actor and director Tom Cavanagh will also be making an appearance on September 1st and 2nd at Dragon Con. Cavanagh is known for his acting and directing of Warner Brother’s The Flash as well as an extensive television, film and theatre portfolio. Cavanagh also works closely with “Nothing But Nets” which aims to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria in Africa.

For those of you interested in martial arts, Ninkage ryu bujutsu Grandmaster Sabutai Musashi will be in attendance as well. Ninkage ryu bujutsu is a Japanese martial arts system which includes weapons-study such as Kenjutsu, bare-handed techniques, Iaijutsu, and the art of the sword. Grandmaster Sabutai Musashi was inducted into the United States Karate Alliance Hall of Fame in July of 1992 and has been providing demonstrations at Dragon Con since 2005.

One of my own personal picks includes award-winning actress Jennifer Morrison. Morrison has starred in a variety of films and television shows such as Once Upon a Time, House, M.D., Mr. and Mrs. Smith and How I Met Your Mother. Morrison also owns the film production company: Apartment 3C Productions where she directed her first film: Sun Dogs in 2017.

For those of you who enjoy comics and music, then I would definitely try seeing Afua Richardson. Richardson is a comic book creator as well as a musician and singer for the band: Waking Astronomer. She has been dubbed an “Honorary Woman of Marvel” for her works which includes the Blade the Hunter series, and is a Nina Simone award recipient.

Best-selling authors Kevin J. Anderson and Cheree Alsop will also be attending. Anderson has written countless novels including the Saga of Shadows trilogy, and the comedic horror series Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Alsop has also published over 40 books in a variety of fantasy genres and has taught for the League of Utah Writers.

Another renowned actor in attendance includes Eddie McClintock.  McClintock is known for his work on Syfy’s Warehouse 13 as well as starring as Jack Payne in the USA Network’s series Shooter. He will also be hosting the Dragon Con Masquerade on September 2nd.

For fans of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, then get ready to meet Victoria Atkin. Atkin is the voice of Evie Frye, the first playable female character of the franchise. She also starred in the post-apocalyptic science fiction television series: Extinct.

Actor and Improviser Lucky Yates is another key addition to my list of personal picks. Yates is the voice of Dr. Krieger on the hit FX television show Archer, and can be found at Dad’s Garage Theatre House over in Edgewood.

And finally, for those of us who remember The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod (it was amazing don’t deny it) then get excited to see author Zac Brewer. Brewer is a New York Times best-selling author and goes by the nickname “Z” online. Z is a prominent LGBTQ+ advocate and travels around the country to raise awareness on mental health and bullying.

To view the full Guest “Who to See” line-up, check out http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=guests 

For my final Dragon Con 2018 “Who to See”, I will be focusing on the “Attending Professionals”.

Bye for now!

 

Funday Sunday feat. the 7th Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival

When people think of Sundays, many anticipate the dread of the weekend concluding. No one enjoys going back to work or school; however for the Gnome Queen, I view Sunday as a unique mystery. Anything can happen and its usually less crowded throughout most of Atlanta.

My Sunday began with the FIFA World Cup Tournament Finals. I watched the game with some good friends and food, but unfortunately had to see France beat Croatia 4-2.
Viva la France.

Later on, I celebrated National Ice Cream Day with the Giant King at Sub Zero Ice Cream. Sub Zero is located across from Centennial Olympic Park and uses liquid nitrogen in its creation. Customers can mix and match countless flavors and milk-bases including Diary-Free, Fat-Free, or Custard. The flavors and bases can then be mixed with add-ins which is then frozen using the liquid nitrogen.

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Sub Zero Ice Cream
I got the Brownie Batter and Amaretto mixed with Andes Mints and Cookie Dough Bites while the Giant King got Peanut Butter and Chocolate mixed with Peanut Butter Cups.

He loves his peanut butter

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The 7th Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival
Afterwards, we hit West-Midtown for the main event of the night: The 7th Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival hosted at Actor’s Express. The Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival occurred both Sunday and Monday evenings, and included 60 one-minute plays by some of Atlanta’s established and emerging playwrights and directors.

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Kevin Qian & Joshua Quinn
Each play also featured an assortment of many talented Atlanta-based actors and actresses, which included my loving Giant King.

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Post-Show Chatter
The plays were broken down into “clumps” of 10 and were organized based on theme. Many of these themes included current political trends, cultural references, and overall social issues. Each “clump” was unique and provided an interesting outlook on the modern world.

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Post-Show Chatter
My choice “clump” was definitely the first one as well as various plays from clump 5 and 9. Out of all of the plays, Hard Candy by Steve Yockey was hands-down my most favorite. It was humorous and involved a dangerous argument over Gobstoppers and Jawbreakers. (Cough Cough Gobstoppers rule.)

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Post-Show Chatter
The commitment and work of each playwright, director, and cast member made the night extremely entertaining, and I am excited to see the creativity at next year’s show.

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Actor’s Express Season 31 Play Guide
If you’re interested in seeing more shows at Actor’s Express, check-out their website https://www.actors-express.com/

Dragoncon Halo Cosplay

Who to See at DragonCon 2018: Part Two

Welcome back to the Gnome Queen’s ins-and-outs of Dragon Con 2018.

Let’s jump into the Performers of “Who to See”.

Beginning with the Brobdingnagian Bards of Austin, Texas, the group’s musical style has been described as a unique mix of Scottish and Irish traditional-folk music. Voted “Best Folk Act” at the 2007 Austin Music Awards, the Brobdingnagian Bards are back for another reunion show just for Dragon Con. So if you want to get in touch with your Celtic roots, these are the ones to see.

Next includes the self-described “bawdy, nerd-folk comedy band” The Misbehavin’ Madiens. The Misbehavin’ Madiens have incorporated their love for pirates (same) and performing together since 2012. The band’s musical style is a combination of feminism, LGBTQIA+ representation, parodies, sex-positive music, and much more. I’ll sure to be catch their  show, and of course take some pictures.  

If you’re into cello music with a meowing cat keyboard, then The Doubleclicks are the duo for you. Sisters Angela Webber and Aubrey Webber have created songs involving dinosaurs, cats and Netflix since 2011. The Doubleclicks have also been featured on several NPR programs and their newest song “Afterparty for One (Frozen Pizza Song)” released this past February.

Another fan-focused band hails from the wizarding world of Charlotte, NC: Hawthorn & Holly. Since 2007, Hawthorn & Holly have been playing songs about Harry Potter and have cast a major spell in the wizard rock community. Along with HP, Hawthorn & Holly have also written songs about The Hunger Games, Dr. Who, and many other fandoms.

For those of you who truly want to be entertained, then the “geek-rock” god Tom Smith is the man to see. He incorporates pop culture, fantasy, adventure, and so much more all into one exciting show. Smith is adored by pretty much everyone who has seen him and has been performing at Dragon Con since 2004.

My two personally picks are DJ Nemesis, and Tom Kenny & The Hi-Seas (keep drinking that hater-ade). DJ Nemesis is an amazing mix of techno, house, psychedelic and countless other genres. Nemesis has been a DJ since 1997 and has played all over the world.

Tom Kenny & The Hi-Seas are a fun, rock ‘n’ roll dance-party that believes in having “as much fun as humanly possible”. The band features the beloved voice actor Tom Kenny, along with the Hi-Seas’ band leader Andy Paley. The Hi-Seas have a rotating cast of musicians who’ve toured and recorded with artists such as Lorde, Cheap Trick, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

You know I’ll be in the audience for both performances.

Finally, the Kings of Dragon Con’s “Who to See” Performers: Atlanta Radio Theatre Company (ARTC). Founded as a non-profit in 1984, the ARTC have been dedicated to the world of audio theatre (radio drama) and have adapted countless literary works from Bram Stoker to Robert Louis Stevenson. The ARTC’s first live performance: H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu”, was presented at the inaugural Dragon Con in 1987 and have performed at every Dragon Con ever since.

They truly are Dragon Con royalty.

For the full Performers “Who to See” line-up, check out http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=performers_list

My next “Who to See” will include the Dragon Con 2018 “Guest” section.

See ya then!