REVIEW: 2018 Dragon Con: "Absolutely Awesome...Mostly"


About a week and a half ago, downtown Atlanta was overtaken by an army of geeks and nerds for the annual event known only as Dragon Con. So, some of you out there might be asking, "What is Dragon Con?" Well, it's a convention that combines various fandoms and genres over the course of 5 days in select hotels in the downtown Atlanta area. The event has garnered a decent amount of attention as one of the premiere events on the East Coast. So the next question becomes, has the event earned all of the attention that it has garnered? Well, as one of my favorite horror characters, Newt, states "mostly..."

Cosplay

One element that is a given when attending attending any Con is the prospect of seeing some great cosplay. Fans attending Cons often spend weeks (even months) preparing the costumes that they eventually don at the show. For some, the incentive to cosplay may come from a desire to compete in a costume contest - where there's typically a monetary prize. However, for others, the validation that comes from people asking to take photos of them in their cosplay is enough.

At Dragon Con, I can undoubtedly say that the cosplay that it has on display is comparable only to San Diego Comic Con - which is saying something, especially since Dragon Con is considered "smaller" than its San Diego contemporary. If you don't believe me, just check it a sample of them below (the rest you can see here).

Venue

Unlike many other Cons that typically feature at a convention center, part of Dragon Con's appeal is the fact that it uses a set of hotels for all pretty much all aspects of its programming. Because of this feature, it can provide programming & activities from the top of the morning to the wee hours of the night (more on the latter, later). For those who need to decompress or "get away" this aspect of the Con can be overwhelming as the show can feel inescapable. Therefore I would say for those who dislike crowds, this Con may not be for you.

Programming

As mentioned before, Dragon Con is unique in that it houses its programming in the same exact place where many of its attendees reside: hotels. As a result, being an event that goes from Thursday-Monday during Labor Day Weekend, there is no shortage of things to do at Dragon Con. From the panels to the parties, there is an embarrassment of things to do at Dragon Con. In fact, the app that breaks down the extensive assortment of programming often acts as only "general blueprint" of someone will eventually end up doing over the course of the week.

Now, commenting further on the parties, there's a reason why many have coined Dragon Con as "Nerdy-Gras." Each night there a handful of diverse-themed events to choose from. Therefore if you someone who enjoys the nightlife as much as day activities of a Con, then this show if for you!

All in all, upon making my way to Dragon Con for a second time, its safe to say that it is an experience unique unto itself. As a Con that provides non-stop access to activities for its attendees (for better of worse) each day, if you find yourself bored at Dragon Con, you probably doing it wrong.

Grade: B-

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