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How many places can you see Thanos, the Dread Pirate Roberts, Tinker Bell and zombies all at once? Not many, I’ll tell you that.
Something called Dragon Con is not something that would garner my attention normally. Even though I live with three guys who are into games with lots of orcs, wizards and superheroes, and we watch movies with…well, lots of orcs, wizards and superheroes….I can handle only so much of the nerd-dom.
I’ve known about Dragon Con for a long time. Some of the organizers are friends of ours and Greg went a couple of times when we lived in Atlanta. Still, not something I ever thought I’d be interested in attending myself. I mean, a sci-fi convention is a bit much for me. Little did I know…
A Weekend at Dragon Con
My husband and youngest son flew down to Atlanta last week to attend, and I have been floored at the stories and pictures they brought back. Floored and a little jealous.
Just to bring you up to speed…Dragon Con is not just a sci-fi convention. It’s totally unique in that it’s the first and largest multi-genre convention covering pop culture, sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, comics, music, literature, and a long list of other interests (lover of all things British…they’ve got it!). You can click here to read the history of how the convention started and has grown.
One more thing you need to know…the word “cosplay”. Cosplay is dressing up in a costume as a character from a book, movie, TV show, anime, comic, or video game.
And in my husband’s words, “It’s worth going just to see the cosplay.”
Something that I admire about Dragon Con is that their policies encourage family-friendly costumes during the daytime hours. Of course not everyone obliges, and my husband said he saw several people that he felt crossed the line of “family-friendly”, but in general, the policies are followed.
“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”
So what do you do at a convention like this? Well, to begin with – – there’s a parade.
- Star Wars storm troopers
- The Crazy 88’s (from Kill Bill)
- Every superhero you could imagine
- An army from the movie 300
- Rows of handmaids, jawas and elves
- And on and on.
Even after the parade ends, the parade of characters, it seems, never really ends. Here’s a series of texts my husband sent me Saturday afternoon.
Besides the parade and the amazing people-watching. there are three floors of vendors to browse so you can stock up on all of your favorite geek merchandise. My husband said that as soon as they walked in and got to the first booth, my son was ready to start buying. They decided to make a plan to browse a lot more before getting their wallets out.
Funny story: My son asked my husband at the decal booth, “How many do you think I could put on my car before it would start looking tacky?” lol. They agreed that two was a good place to stop. He got the Dharma Initiative logo (from Lost), and Attack on Titan (anime), BTW.
“You can’t handle the truth”
Getting to hear from actors from your favorite shows and movies isn’t something you get to do every day. Nor is being able to ask experts on your chosen topic that pressing question you’ve got. That’s what panels are. And there are loads of them.
My guys sat in on panels with some of the cast of Stranger Things, Agents of Shield, Five Nights at Freddy’s, and more. My son was excited to get to ask a question in one of the panels he was in, and in another, my husband (the Disney expert) got to share some updated Disney facts that even the panel members didn’t know.
My husband recorded Evangeline Lilly responding to a question about the Lost finale:
“Ferris Bueller…you’re my hero”
Interested in meeting celebs? Got you covered.
Here’s where I got a little jealous. My guys got to spend some time visiting with Henry Ian Cusick —- Desmond from Lost, y’all. (Have I mentioned that we loved Lost??).
I was walking through Costco Sunday afternoon when my husband texted me that they had just chatted with him for like 5 minutes. My response, “Gah! Too cool! Now I’m crying.”
In all honesty, I didn’t cry. But I did tear up. It’s not that I was so jealous (although I totally was), or am so taken by an actor I’ve never met. No. At that moment I was re-living The Constant with Desmond, and feeling all the feels.
Just FYI, if you want to take a picture with or get an autograph with a celeb it’ll cost you. But many will talk to you even if you aren’t buying…that’s what my guys did.
And may I say, Henry Ian Cusick was a real gem. Greg said that instead of sitting back behind a table, he stood out and really interacted with people. And when they said they weren’t buying anything, but still wanted to meet him, he didn’t just say hi and move on, he asked them questions and chatted for some time.
Some other franchises that had actors there included
- Dr. Who
- The Expanse
- Agents of Shield
- StarTrek Discovery
- Warehouse 13
- The Flash
- …and a ton more.
Besides Desmond, I was sad to miss Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy and the really nasty British soldier in The Patriot). He’s a fantastic villain, isn’t he?
“Let me ‘splain..No, there is too much. Let me sum up”
Honestly, there is too much on the schedule to even begin to cover it all. But let me mention just a few especially family friendly things…
- Dress as your favorite character from Princess Bride and play a role play game
- Hang out in the massive arcade, even playing favorite games from the 80s
- Compete in a Smash Bros. tournament or the British Obligatory Silly Walk Competition (for real)
- Play one (or 10) of the available family board games
- Paint and take home a gaming mini-figure (like a soldier, for example)
- Learn about puppetry
- Like I said…way too much to tell!
If we had gone a few years ago, we definitely would have incorporated homeschooling into the trip. Dragon Con would be a goldmine for making smashbooks! There are loads of topics that you could study and integrate into your school.
Do I think I’ll go next year? I’d definitely like to! What about you? Sound like something you’d love, hate or tolerate?
And let me ask—which costume above was your favorite??
Oh! P.S. While my husband and son were in Atlanta they visited some locations from Stranger Things and The Walking Dead. My husband said that seeing the walls of Alexandria was pretty awesome!