HOLY BANANAS FOLKS, DRAGON CON IS OVER. This year was amazing as always so here is my recount of what happened...sort of.
For those of you who are not familiar with Dragon Con, it is a four day gathering of all things nerdy in Atlanta, GA held over Labor day weekend every year. This is in the loosest sense comparable to the more well known ComicCon. The main difference between the two is that ComicCon is industry driven, DragonCon is fan driven. This con is put on by the fans and for the fans of all things geeky.
At Dragon Con there are programming tracks that break up the different genres of fandom, Currently there are over 40 tracks and it grows and changes every year. Some of the tracks are: Alternate History- for the Steampunk crowd, Horror for all of the Cthulu lovers out there, Costuming-I think this one is self explanatory, Brit Track for all things Brit, Classics for those who like older sci-fi and oh so many more.
I check into the hotel Tuesday and watch as all of the con goers arrive. I love to watch the before the con and how it organically grows as the furniture is moved out, signs moved in and people arrive. Wednesday, I get the GoPro fired up and I do my pre-con walk-throughs. I go to all of the hotels and look in all of the nooks and crannies. I make sure I know where my favorite tracks have moved to and the fastest (at this time) ways in and out of that area. I check out the two food courts and the vendors center (what I can get into). I record it all and watch it later when I am jonesing for next year. I do the obligatory pre-con dinner at Sear and love every bite.
Thursday I watch all of the people arrive and this year there were several tracks that had events going on so I went to a few. There were lots of music groups this year and there were several new stages for them to show off their skill. Kinda cool.
Friday the chaos begins. The cosplayers come out in force. There were so many great costumes this year. Every year is great and maybe I just got lucky but this year seemed to be better for what I saw. I saw a very plus size woman as Wonder Woman just own it. She was amazing. So were the guys dressed as the "Wet Bandits" a.k.a. Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci from Home Alone. Cool.
This year, more so than the rest seemed a lot more crowded. I was turned away from several panels that were over crowded. I am not talking big celebrity panels, but smaller ones. Adult Oragami was one. HUHUH?!?!? I got to the line 30 minutes early then someone comes out of the panel room and tells us that the room is already full. For oragami? Holy cow. Evey year is busy but doggone, this was bad.
I went to the Dealers Room(s) at America's Mart and crowded does not describe it. Rumor has it that at one time the fire marshal came to limit people. I do not know if that is fact or not, but I would not be surprised at all. When I first got there it was not too bad but people kept filing in and it got to be too much. Once in the rooms it was so hard to navigate and find your way out. Crazy mess. Supposedly there is a plan in place for next year to move the hall in to building 2 of the America's Mart and that has more floor space for walking between the individual vendors. I am all for this. WOO HOO.
Saturday was the parade which I avoid like the plague. Way too many people for my liking. I go to panels during the parade and have a good time with smaller crowds. People start to trickle in after the parade and then the insanity begins. In the Marriott you can barely move anywhere, no matter what floor you were on. The Hilton and Hyatt were barely any better. YUCK. It took me almost an hour to get from they Hyatt to the Hilton. This year the Hilton was busier than it had ever been.
As always there were several parties. I wandered into a Star Trek party and danced with some drunk Klingons. Had a moment with some Elven Kings doing the YMCA at a Hobbit party. I had a blast at all of the parties I went to.
Sunday and Monday were much better in terms of crowds so I was able to go to so many more panels and gatherings. Friends, new thoughts, ideas and fun. My favorite Monday panel has been the same for the last several years. It is Namarie-Into the West put on by the Tolkien Track. Basically it is a recap of what they did this year and suggestions for next year. Totally awesome as always.
Monday is also kind of fun watching the mass exedous. Kinda sad but fun too.
I do not want to recommend Dragon Con to anyone because then it will just make it more crowded for me. Selfish I know but damn, it is so crowded I do not want any more people there. BUUUUTTT if you have the need to feel at home with people of your own kind, like I do, Dragon Con is the place to be at home with thousands of people who will show you nothing but love in your choice of nerdery.