It’s Labor Day weekend, which can only mean one thing: DRAGON CON! The cosplay is out in force this year with likely record crowds at Atlanta’s annual geek convention. The thing that really sets Dragon Con apart from other conventions that I attend is the insanely fun nightlife where the geeks invade the hotels in downtown Atlanta. The best cosplay can be found around midnight at the Marriott where you’ll find yourself engulfed in a mass amalgam of amazing cosplayers encompassing every genre imaginable.
This photo set here below covers cosplayers from Friday night, the downtown parade, and Saturday afternoon. Cosplaying legend Yaya Han (Heroes of Cosplay) was the highlight of this set as she manned her booth decked out in a Star Trek uniform. Other great cosplayers include Marty McFly and Doc, a huge foam Cylon, an amazing Tron uniform, and Shonuff from Last Dragon. While waiting in the two-hour pre-registration line we set the over/under for twerking Miley cosplayers at three. We ran into the first one around 1am on Friday night.
Day 4 of Dragon*Con, Monday, offers up a mixed bag of emotions. Most attendees are exhausted and maybe missing their beds at home. At the same time, there are nearly 55,000 geeks, all like-minded, all connected by fandom, in one place enjoying things they love. So looking at faces around the convention toward the end of the day on Monday reveals a little post-con depression. There are a few cosplayers left on Monday mixed with attendees hitting repeats of panels they may have missed earlier in the show and others trying to negotiate last minute deals in the dealer room, the art show, and the two exhibitor halls.
This seems like a great time to look back on the experience and recount my three favorite moments of Dragon*Con 2012.
Dragon*Con is always held on Labor Day weekend, which means that Sundays are basically a whole extra Saturday. In many ways, Dragon*Con Sundays are better than Saturdays. Whereas many conventions are wrapping things up on Sunday, Dragon*Con is still packed with major events, interesting panels, dusty vendor booths, awesome parties, and hot cosplay. On Sundays, the crowd is still crazy thick, but it’s nothing compared to the cacophonic chaos of Saturday’s mass confusion. By this point, most con-goers are aware of Dragon*Con’s nuances and have mastered most of the tricks. Or we’re all just experiencing a collective hangover from throwing back insane quantities of liquor the night before.
On Sunday night we hit the bars at the Hyatt and Marriott and a couple of parties at the Sheraton. The cosplay was out in force. Game of Thrones, True Blood, Iron Man, and Star Wars had a heavy presence at this year’s Dragon*Con. Even Hunger Games made a late comeback in cosplay representation “” I was surprised at the lack of Hunger Games costumes on Friday and Saturday. Some of the more unique costumes included a group of lizard aliens from V, Mary Poppins, Consuela, and Jurassic Park fossils.
Sunday at Dragon*Con is full of panels and workshops, but this day is truly all about the official costume contest. Cosplayers bring out their best but only just under 40 were chosen for the event along with 13 in the children’s bracket.
As usual, the show did not disappoint! Check out our gallery of images here below and pick your favorite!
Saturdays at Dragon*Con always start with a huge cosplay parade through downtown Atlanta. It also is, by far, the busiest day of the convention. This year’s Dragon*Con had the most jam-packed Saturday I’ve ever experienced. The ticket line wrapped around the hotel well past mid-afternoon. The Marriott hotel closed its entrance and only allowed entry through the connecting skybridges. The dealer halls were crammed with vendors desperately hawking their wares to con-goers. Dragon*Con is infamous for its nightlife with crazy, cosplay-filled parties such as my annual favorite, The Last Party on Alderaan, where us geeks let loose, drink ourselves stupid, and dance way past our bedtimes.
I braved the masses and snapped some cosplay pics while gathering loot and taking in the whole Dragon*Con experience. My personal favorites among this set are Marty McFly from the parade with his awesome VHS camcorder, the day-glow Green Lanterns Corps, and the group from Hocus Pocus. Okay, maybe I’m biased on that last one. My wife, cousin, and sister-in-law cosplayed the Sanderson Sisters and I made my debut as Billy Butcherson. We had an absolute blast playacting our roles all night. Nothing covers your shitty dancing like zombie stumbling on the dance floor.