Dragon*Con 2011 Coverage: A Dr. Who And A Doc[tor] Hammer
Since I was unable to attend Dragon*Con this year I asked if any ultra-dedicated volunteers would like to write some coverage. Katie Delz, who is one half of the Hench 4 Life Podcast (now nestled in at its new home), graciously answered my call and here's what she experienced.
This Labor Day weekend, Dragon*Con has proved why it is often nicknamed "Venture Con". The show has always had a certain tight-knit popularity associated with the convention, but this year the fans showed a strong presence. While most of the Venture-related happenings occurred on Sunday, there were a few things to tide us all over until the main event.
Friday held the promises of "Quiet Time with Doc Hammer", hosted by Marc of The Venture Bros Blog. Boasted as an intimate discussion with the co-creator of our beloved show, "Quiet Time" had quite the turn-out. Fans packed the room located in the Hyatt to ask questions and hear what Mr. Hammer had to say. Doc started off the panel by stating that this panel is "unscripted and unprepared for" as are most of his panels, and that the official Venture panel is on Sunday. The floor was open to anything fans wanted to ask, even if they were Venture-related questions. To get a feel for the conversation, some questions that were asked included "When is the last time you had a real job?" "When did you lose your virginity?" and Doc talking about his recently passed cat, Robespierre. It should be noted that at the end of every panel that Doc attended, he had "Venture swag" to hand out to whoever wanted it. This included buttons that were hand made by him, and limited edition 'Jacket' CD's.
Saturday was clear of any Venture events, but it was the calm before the storm of things to happen on Sunday. The official Venture Bros. Panel was a packed house. Panelists included James Urbaniak and Doc Hammer, with moderation by Ken Plume. Venture swag in the form of either Season 4 on Blu-ray, the 'Jacket' CD, and Shallow Gravy shirts were handed out to those with good questions. As far as Venture Panels go, this one was void of any typical questions. In the middle of the panel, Ken Plume called up the sorely missed Jackson Publick to say a quick hello to all of the fans. Jackson mentioned that he was currently writing the next season "as we speak". Doc also stated that the next season of Venture will be out within a year, and that he probably cares more about the show than any fan does.
There was no signing following the main panel, unlike years before, but there was a special Venture Party hosted by The Venture Bros. Blog located at the Pulse Bar and Lounge in the Marriott. The utter dedication and fan presence really showed during this event. Costumes that had never been done before were scattered around the bar. Some unseen costumes included, but were not limited to: Hoodrat Molotov, Thug Henchmen, Pirate Captain, Shore Leave, Hector, Mommy Long-Legs, and "Naked Brock" as seen in 'Victor. Echo. November.' Of course with this many immaculately costumed fans, there was much opportunity for photos and even a costume contest. Doc and James joined the fans to sign and take photos. It definitely felt like a turning point in the popularity of the show. The loft portion of the bar was packed with fans just excited to see all of the different cosplays and to have a chance to chat with Doc and James.
To wrap up the insane weekend, Doc and James were on Gonzo Quiz Show III: Beyond Thunderquiz. This is a celebrity quiz show panel hosted by Ken Plume and Widgett Walls of needcoffee.com. It has become a Dragon*Con staple of absolute insanity and occurs late at night after most of the audience (and some of the contestants) have been imbibing. The highlight of the show was the theatrics of Sylvester McCoy, who was sat next to a straight-faced Doc Hammer. If I could convey into words what I'm sure a YouTube video will show, I would. But for now I will try to paint a picture: Sylvester, carrying on in a drunken manner. Doc, mostly trying to keep a straight face. The game? "Truth or lie." The contestant is handed an envelope with a truth or a lie, and they must convince the other team that what is in the envelope is true. Sylvester opens up..or rips up his envelope. Doc helps him piece together his torn message and convey what is written. In the most exuberant voice, Mr. McCoy says "I was once a bouncer for the Rolling Stones..oh that is a complete and utter lie!" I have never in my life seen Doc laugh so hard, as he could not keep his stone face on for that.
So class! What have we learned today? Dragon*Con is magical and almost a mecca for any Venture fan. I'm sure as the years go on, the fan power will only become more apparent at the con. If what Doc said was correct, next Dragon*Con will occur as the new season has debuted. But of course, this means we need you guys there! Dragon*Con 2012 anyone?