Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dragon*Con 2011

Labor Day weekend is typically a completely crazy weekend in Atlanta. There's plenty of sporting events (the Braves, the Falcons, the NASCAR race), not to mention all the normal Labor Day activities with sales and that last pull of summer being celebrated.

Downtown Atlanta is something else entirely though. Labor Day weekend is host to Dragon*Con, the largest science fiction and fantasy convention in the Southeast. These type of cons are getting more attention with ComicCon drifting into the mainstream, but it pulls a bigger and different crowd than Dragon*Con.

Unlike its counterpart, D-Con has a smaller, homey feel despite the large numbers it pulls in from all over the US. It doesn't have tracks sponsored by different networks or things like that which keeps the amount of commercialization to it to a minimum. The different tracks will try to cater to what's new and hip this year, provided their track does appeal to that. The Young Adult track has brought in Twilight actors and Harry Potter actors, the X-track this year brought in Supernatural actors (for the first time!), but that isn't always the case. There's always someone from Star Trek, usually a few former Star Wars actors as well. Beyond that there's comic book writers/illustrators, costume designers, voice actors or just people who have done actual research in the scifi field.

I wasn't sure I would be able to go this year, not up until the last hour, which meant I grabbed my ticket the day of, but that was fine. Armed with my 3 day pass, I let myself into the fray. Thankfully it was a lesser year for me, with very few of my fandoms represented with new actors (I saw Tom Felton speak last year and the people from True Blood I remember from the first season), so I wasn't as worried about not getting to do the entire weekend.

The first year I went I spent most of the time hanging out with one of my favorite actors, Thomas Dekker, and missed out on most of the panels that weren't his (not that his weren't great). Last year I made more of an effort to go to different panels. This year was almost strictly panels and not much else.

My favorite was probably the Supernatural panel with Misha Collins just because he's downright hilarious. The two women with him were funny too, but I think he helped that quite a bit. For those who don't watch the show, the last season ended with his character, Castiel, declaring himself God (trust me, that's so random it's not a spoiler). It of course yielded a million comments about him being God which made for even more fun.

I also dropped in on another panel run by my former TA from Computer Science at Tech. We'd kept in touch over the years via the online journalling, but had lost touch. I was glad I randomly spotted him. He's a sweet guy, always has been and I really enjoyed the panel he put together on real life super heroes. Surprisingly enough there was a real life super hero at the panel, and he spoke a little bout what that's like. It seems a little ridiculous, but it was really interesting.

As always though, a fan favorite are the costumes. Every year I talk myself out of dressing up (unless Cressie shows up with a costume for me), and every year I regret it. Next year we'll do something fun and big.

Cressie, my little sister in my sorority and one of my bridesmaids, went all out again this year. She made our costume from a few years ago, and we were picture perfect Beaux Baton school girls from Harry Potter.

This year she coaxed her fiance into dressing as zombie Prince William and Kate in their wedding garb (both of them actually look the parts really well).

For the parade and Saturday she was dressed as one of the USO girls from the new Captain America crew. Apparently they started on Facebook and developed a whole crew of girls all over who did the costumes up. There was a large crowd of them in the parade as well.

My favorite though was Sunday's outfit. Sometimes I think this girl's creativity has no bounds.

Yes, you're seeing that right. She's dressed as the credits from the intro to the Star Wars movie. Her little clutch had the blue font with "a long time ago in galaxy far, far away" and her fascinator in her hair had a little battlestar ship. It was awesome.

Now the bar's been raised for next year. There's my hope always to dress as characters from Terminator, but it isn't easy to do the resistance fighters and be recognizable. Maybe if I put more time into it. We'll see. I'm open to suggestions if you have them though.


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