Sunday, September 07, 2008

From Dragon*Con to Dragon Cult

Well, the vacation I had planned all year for turned out to be quite the disaster when I caught a good dose of a summer flu that's been going around. It knocked me flat on my ass for a good week and put the Dragon*Con trip in doubt. The one silver lining was that this virus reportedly had a semi-hallucinatory effect on its victims, and I was able to return to the semi-lucid/half-dreaming state I walked around in for the first 20 or so years of my life. The most fertile time seemed to be the threshold time before sleeping or while simply resting. I had almost forgotten how wild my internal life had once been. Another blessing in disguise, I suppose.

Still pale, puffy and extremely sweaty, I dragged my fat ass to Dragon*Con. We made it there just in time for my 5:30 X-Files panel. Fans vented their frustration at the film's washout at the box office, and I spent a good deal of time assuring that the film will indeed turn a nice profit and will likely be a hit on DVD. I also shared my controversial "Skinner is Gay" theory, which was well received by the Philes.

Of course, Vicky and I really only went to Dragon* Con to play with Joe and Cyndi's Sphynx cats. Smeagol was a bit sickly (and stinky) but charming as ever. Here, Poopsy auditions for the next Hellboy graphic novel. You may think these cats look ugly as sin, but spend 5 minutes with one and you'll want one for yourself.

Indulging in a bit of high-concept Situationalist provocation, I dressed up as the Ben Cooper Thor, a joke no one under 40 would possibly get. I was mostly ignored but two fans did accost me, drunkenly shouting it was the best Thor costume ever (which it would've been, had I been wearing a solo Thor t-shirt)

Dragon*Con was frickin' mobbed, a much bigger crowd than last year. Getting through the dealer's rooms was impossible on Saturday. Perhaps because of the throngs, a lot of the better costumes didn't come out until late at night. And the real elaborate costumes seemed to be AWOL this year (it's hard to enjoy a con when you spend 4 days in a row posing for pictures).

The Dawn Lookalike contest was a big smash. My only regret was I was still too sick to drink at the after-party, which was again held in the penthouse of the terrifyingly designed Marriott. Joe hired Batman as a bouncer, a good choice since this guy was the size of a tractor trailer.

Dragon*Con is basically the Greenwich Village Halloween parade stretched out over four days. Vicky's favorite scenes were people in elaborate costumes sitting around chatting, or having breakfast, or waiting in line at Starbucks.

A lot of kids this year, including Sweeney Toddler here, well-coached by his Tim Burton obsessed mother, of course.

The Trek festivities were at the Sheraton, which just joined the circuit this year. I don't know if people couldn't find it or if the fans have moved on, but the Trek events seemed pretty dead. Like "Klingon Karaoke" here. They had all-night showings of British Cult TV right downstairs from our hotel room, which was kind of surreal. We saw the pilot episode of Doctor Who, which we both agreed was excellent and wondered if some DW DVD's were in our future.

The Hyatt was the most packed with party-hearty types, but Vicky and I didn't dig the vibe there. The Mariott was a lot less crowded and you could get better shots of the costumes, like the Batman Family here.

Or of these seven-foot tall twin sisters. I didn't have the balls to ask them where they came from or what they did for a living.

A bit less scary was this celebrant, who put the "man" in "Catwoman."

Vicky got to meet her hero Adam West and found out it's usually best not to meet your heroes. He looks great for his age, but was kind of a dick.

I'm pretty sure this was a husband and wife, but you can never tell at Dragon*Con. We probably could've assembled a pretty decent recreation of the Sgt. Pepper's album cover had we the energy.

This decadent trio was dressed up in their Eyes Wide Shut finery, which set the tone for the coming week in Minneapolis. Hurricane Gustav was bearing down on the Gulf, summoning memories of Katrina (or Ka-Hathor-Ein-A) three years earlier. Which is only appropriate since Gustav was the middle name of Carl Jung, who gave us the understanding of signs and wonders expressed through symbol.

The pregnancy of Sarah Palin's 17 year-old daughter (alleged father is "Levi John's Stone") accompanied Gustav's landfall, setting the stage for Palin's star-making appearance on Wednesday night (pictured above). Obama's appearance at a makeshift Parthenon in the Mile High City suddenly seemed like old news.

As tempting as it is to shoot those particular fish in a barrell from now until Doomsday, I left Dragon*Con resolved to get my act together. As much as I love this blog, it's very difficult for me to put the kind of time into it that I have been over the past year and nearly impossible for me to blog and work on my own projects. Being officially middle-aged now, I can't keep putting off my own creative work. The blog may have been keeping my writing chops up, but the fact is that all it readies me for is journalism and the sad fact is that journalism pays for sh*t.

I'll keep the blog up and will update it from time to time, but the grim reality is that I can't put the kind of work into doing this blog and do my own creative work, given that I am extremely busy with my paying work and all the rest. I hadn't really intended for the Secret Sun to become what it is. My original goal was to promote Our Gods Wear Spandex and then develop ideas for my movie book. Speaking of which, I still intend to get that book going, but I've decided to do it Larry Gonick style. The visual nature of the subject matter will lend itself quite nicely to that format and the novelty of it will hopefully garner some attention a straight prose book would not.

Anyhow, thanks to everyone again for contributing to the discussion here and drop by once in a while for updates. I'll be lurking in the Synchroverse and will let you know what I'm up to. The graphic novel project I'm working on is chock full of ideas and concepts we've been looking at and I hope to have something happening with it early in the new year. In the meantime, my main man Sonny Burnit just started a blog you may wanna check out: The Son is Burning...

Catch y'all later, CK


  1. Thank you for all the time and effort you put in this blog, hopefully you know by now that it meant/means a lot to more than a handfull of people.
    You insights have sometimes been smart, sometimes eye opening, but never dull or plain. I for one cant seem to devote much time to reading and validating the sync blogs since Kentroversy passed on, so it would seem that work is the universal panacea, after all.

    Fare thee well,


  2. It was a fun ride, Chris. You were a key element in my initiation into the esoteric and the syncnificant. Shine on you crazy diamond.


  3. Yep, that is DragonCon! I haven't been in years. Thanks for the photos, I miss it.

  4. How cool! The cat is awesome. Thanks for posting the great pics!

  5. Hi Chris and great to read another post! Hope you're feeling much better. As you wrote, you didn't intend for Secret Sun to become what it has. That should tell you that all your terrific yet painful effort was worthwhile in contributing to the understanding of this mess of a world, by so many others. I certainly hope that you will continue to enlighten us and as bartholomew added there are a lot more than a handful of people who appreciate you. You are appreciated, distant and knowledgeable friend! Take care and all the best,

  6. Good post. Never been to any con show. I thought you and everyone else might find this story interesting:

    Interesting, to me.

  7. That's really funny! I met Adam West when I was 5 and he thought I was a girl, which is not good for a youth! hahaha! Great blog