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Costumes Worn:
Mrs. Peacock, Clue
Avatar Korra, The Legend of Korra
Emerald Empress, Legion
VICI the Robot, Small Wonder
Triplicate Girl, Legion
Peppermint Crunch, My Little Pony
Banana Surprise, My Little Pony
Coco Berry, My Little Pony
Amy Pond, Doctor Who
Red Mage, Final Fantasy I
Convention Photos:








Dragon*Con is one of the largest pop-culture conventions in the world, with four days of events broken up into "tracks" of interest covering everything from science fiction, fantasy, gaming, comics, film, theater, literature, and art to music, robotics, engineering, space exploration, and paranormal investigation. Held annually over Labor Day weekend in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, programming includes celebrity panels, autograph sessions, workshops, screenings, concerts, art shows, contests, beauty pageants, a film festival, a parade through downtown, a blood drive, and attempts to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.

Convention Overview:
Although Dragon*Con has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last few years, Dragon*Con 2015 shocked everyone by breaking 70,000 in attendance numbers by the end of Labor Day Weekend. Fans from near and far journeyed to the Peach Tree State to celebrate everything pop culture, with featured guests including Karen Gillian from Doctor Who, Nichelle Nichols from the original Star Trek, Peter Mayhew from the original Star Wars trilogy, and cast members from hit series including Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Despite the huge surge in attendance, the convention felt less claustrophobic than in previous years, partially due to cooler weather conditions and a completely revamped Dealer's Room which made shopping at Dragon*Con an enjoyable experience for the first time since dealers were relocated to the Americas Mart complex. Rowdiness late at night, even on Saturday, was tamer than the previous year, with attendees witnessing relatively harmless acts such as an impromptu rave/band performance in the Marriott fountain instead of assholes throwing beer bottles and sending people to the hospital. I witnessed and experienced many random acts of kindness between attendees throughout the weekend, reinforcing that we were there to have fun and celebrate our common interest. I hope Dragon*Con continues find ways to maintain its sense of community and fun in the face of rapid growth; this year, at least, they successfully maintained that difficult balance.

Personal Thoughts:
Sketch, Scarlet and I flew down to Atlanta early Thursday morning, met up with Punzy and Chinako, grabbed our badges and parade wristbands, and hit up to Caribou Coffee for a much-deserved breakfast. That afternoon we checked out The World of Coca-Cola for the first time; even though I could care less about Coke, the museum was a lot of fun to visit. Yes, it’s a gigantic cheesy corporate advertisement for itself, but it’s a well-done gigantic cheesy corporate advertisement for itself, with 3-D motion rides, interactive exhibits, and an actor in an animatronic polar bear fursuit that was absolutely adorable. Especially surprising was seeing memorabilia from various Olympic Games the company has sponsored, such as a display of Olympic Torches including the one from the 1996 Atlanta games. After exploring for several hours, we grabbed dinner at Max Lager's and changed into our Clue costumes for the night. After a group shoot, we relaxed with cocktails at the swanky Blue Dome Polaris lounge at the top of the Hyatt. It was a blast sipping drinks in our Clue suits and gowns with amazing rotating views of the city!

Friday morning I wore Korra and met up with EllyStar as Asami and PatD as Amon. It was my first time wearing the costume, and the boots were so amazingly comfortable I didn’t want to take them off! That afternoon I changed into Emerald Empress and hung out in the Marriott, where I enjoyed freaking people out by making my giant eyeball follow them as they walked by. More people recognized my character than I expected, shouting out “Emerald Empress!” or “The Eye of Ekron!” and I got to chat with quite a few Legion fans which was a blast. That evening I returned to the room just as Sketch, Scarlet, and Chinako were getting into their Animaniacs costumes and Punzy was into her “Hello Nurse!” outfit. When we went downstairs they were just mobbed. It was awesome to see so much love for the 90s show! One guy who was carrying a saxophone came over and played the Animaniacs theme for them, while everyone who walked by shouted “HELLLLLOOOO NURSE!” We went to the Hyatt to try and find the panel where the Animaniacs voice actors were speaking but we couldn’t locate it, unfortunately. That night I changed into VICI the Robot and we all hit up Metro Café for a late dinner with the Animaniacs, which really excited the staff. We got so many adorable photos of them!

Saturday morning we were marching in the parade as the Legion of Super Heroes. Everyone looked amazing, but poor Punzy had forgotten to pack Princess Projectra so she joined us as our “photographer” instead. In previous years we had walked to the parade’s starting point, but a change in format moved the starting point much further away so shuttle service was being offered. We got into a HUGE line by 8:30AM and it was already abundantly clear that there were not enough shuttles running. They were coming about every 15 minutes and we didn’t get on one until 9:45, when the actual parade started at 10! Luckily the group we were marching with was located about halfway deep in the lineup, but there was a long line of marchers behind us still waiting for a ride. This was terrible planning on the parade’s part; it was foolish to not assume most, if not all marchers, would take advantage of of the shuttle with the change in starting point. We were all preregistered to participate; how could they NOT crunch the numbers to determine how many shuttles were needed and how often? At the very least they should have asked us to indicate how many required shuttle transport when we signed up.

The shuttle dropped us a few blocks away from the starting point and we walked to our group just as the front of the parade was leaving the gatehouse. The superhero group was thrilled to see Legionnaires and we got a lot of great photos before it was time to start marching, including one with Superboy and Krypto! Despite the sunny weather it was not overly hot and there was a cool breeze, which we appreciated as we walked. We had quite a few people in the crowd recognize us which was nice; one guy even shouted "Legion!" and slapped his bicep were he was showing off an impressively-sized Legion tattoo! Chinako as Shadow Lass was especially popular, and got plenty of shout-outs. That afternoon we hit up dealer’s room in regular clothes and discovered that although it was in the same complex it was in a different building. The setup was a vast improvement, with good traffic flow and vendors placed on a grid system rather than the stomach twisting labyrinth of the past. Even better, the aisles were LABELED with signs hanging from the ceiling, so I could look up and say, “Hey, I’m in 3C by the orcianas,” and friends could FIND me. As a result it was less overwhelming and claustrophobic and actually enjoyable to browse. That evening I got into Emerald Empress and tried to hit up the aquarium party, but it was sold out. Instead we wandered through Centennial Park and around downtown, taking photos with locals, watching a fire breather perform, and making friends with glitter-hooved horses. GOOD TIMES.

Sunday morning we had a shoot with our Sundae Best My Little Pony costumes with Lionel! Sketch helped wrangle the group and took some additional photos afterwards while we hung out in the Hyatt. These costumes are so comfy and fun to wear and it was amazing to finally have a full group! Lots of little kids asked for photos with us, including a little boy who was beyond excited to introduce us to his Twilight Sparkle doll. That afternoon I got into my Amy Pond costume and Sketch and I tried getting Karen Gillian’s autograph, but her line was a complete shitshow. Her handlers had taken prepayments for autographs the day before (Karen herself had not yet arrived) and handed out IOU tickets. However the people with tickets had no priority in today’s line, which was huge and Karen was over half of her allotted time late. Everyone in line was confused and those who had already paid were understandably upset. Dragon*Con staff were sympathetic but explained this was all being organized by Karen's team and they were just as confused as we were. Sketch and I decided to hang it and left; I have no idea if anyone eventually got the autographs they had prepaid for, but it all just seemed like a terrible mess. That evening we changed into our 8-Bit Theater/Final Fantasy I costumes and did a small shoot at the Hyatt before hanging around the Marriott for one last evening of partying. In the morning we checked out, went for a nice walk through Centennial Park and checked out the CNN center for kicks before grabbing a farewell lunch and parting ways with another excellent weekend behind us!