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Dragon*Con Countdown: The Costumes
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By TechGOnzo

Dragon Con Countdown: The Costumes I’m standing at the bottom of Nashville’s Union Station stairwell watching a guy wearing a skirt take pictures of Catwoman and Poison Ivy (that’s the photo at right). This seems somewhat reasonable to me since I was invited to the photo shoot days before, however, I cannot say the same for my fellow Nashvillians, who when passing by would slow their pace to take in the situation. One of the passers usually looked somewhat amused and then immediately stated the obvious while another passer would pronounce the absurdity with a contorted facial expression.

Such is life in the southern United States, with the exception of one long weekend for the past 20 years, where the capes and cowls take over the city of Atlanta’s largest downtown hotels for Dragon*Con. If the Legion of Super-Heroes ever became a reality, it would look like this minus the powers. It is a 4-day pocket dimension where you’ll bear witness to Adam West-era Batman eating tater-tots next to the Blob who chose the salad platter. The costumes are everywhere.

“Dragon*Con is all about costuming,” says the photographer, Derek Deweese, who regularly dresses up in multiple costumes for the event, which actually isn’t restricted to super-hero attire. A variety of people mimicking characters that spans across every genre: sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, etc.

Unlike Halloween, where favoritism and familiarity are the only factors for your costume, Dragon*Con allows for the vague, the random, and the strange. Anything goes — anything.
“At Dragon Con, caution tape is a costume, and Slave Leia is considered tame,” says Jessica Molinaro who braved the sunny 90-degree July weather in an all black vinyl Catwoman suit for the photo shoot. She’s been working on her costume for a while and chose it because the Batman villainess is a favorite character.

“You really just have to decide what’s most important to you. Accuracy, your favorite character or originality,” Molinaro says. “There will be at least one person (at the con) who will really appreciate what you’re wearing,” so in other words, do exactly what you want.

Kilt Checking Handlers
Deweese, a seasoned Dragon*Con attendee, says there are other factors people may want to consider when choosing a costume, such as how it will handle when moving around and who will avert disasters before they happen.

“Different costumes can cause different problems,” Deweese says. Scantily clad females may have to avoid costume malfunction and grabby hands (usually only from people outside of the con) while A really good costume may lead to never ending vortex of people snap pictures, thus missing a fan panel.

“I dressed up as Hagrid from Harry Potter last year and happened to be near someone in a Dumbledore costume so we turned around for a few pictures but more and more people started gathering,” he says. When other Potter characters joined the group, the crowd taking pictures grew even larger. “If you don’t have someone moving you along it’ll never stop.”

The “skirt” Deweese is wearing is actually a utility kilt (I’m not making this up) that facilitates the belongings of his costumed friends who don’t have the luxury of pockets. During the convention, he’ll wear the kilt and act as a handler for one of the days, helping navigate from panel to panel and prevent possible emergencies.

Dragon*Con is held Aug. 29 – Sept. 1 in Atlanta, GA. For more information visit and be sure to check back for more coverage here at Geeks of Doom.

[Derek Deweese predicted an armada-sized number of people wearing nurse joker costumes — If this large gathering of cross-dressing clown villains happen to perform show tunes, the live stream will be available on GoD immediately – TechGOnzo]


  1. A friend of mine had one of those ‘utilikits’. Its a skirt. We never let him live that down.

    Comment by Log1c — August 18, 2008 @ 11:16 pm


    Comment by mo — August 19, 2008 @ 2:03 am

  3. As a woman, I find guys in utilikilts to be quite sexy and assured of their masculinity. Why follow the norms of the uptight people?

    Comment by Ann — August 19, 2008 @ 9:21 am

  4. Why can’t DragonCon get guests like Thomas Ligotti, Robin Spriggs, Mark Samuels, and Kelly Link?

    Comment by HeddieJ — August 19, 2008 @ 10:28 am

  5. Please post more pics like this!

    Comment by Harry Johnson — August 19, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

  6. It’s a kilt, just not an typical one you’d see at most Celtic Games. I have a traditional kilt with sporran, etc. It’s not a skirt.

    Comment by Beene — August 20, 2008 @ 8:39 am

  7. Remember ladies. Body paint is legal. Pasties are NOT. You must at least wear the equivalent of a g-string if nothing else. Literally.

    I heard of couples who come with 24 costumes for the whole weekend. The best is when you have three generations of the same family in a group costume.

    Most overheard costume comment at D*C?

    “It’s not a costume, it’s my lifestyle.”

    Comment by Kar — August 20, 2008 @ 3:20 pm

  8. A utilikilt is only a skirt if an undergarment is worn. Otherwise, it’s a kilt.

    My hubby owns five kilts, three of them utilikilts. We don’t do the con, we go to Burning Man which is held the same weekend. Kinda like a con, with costumes and crazy happenings, except there’s no pasties required, and the participants ARE the show, no celebrities, and it is dusty and there’s no vendors because no money is allowed … and no, I guess it isn’t like a con.

    Comment by maggiemayday — September 9, 2008 @ 8:44 pm

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