This happened in 2013: I went to DragonCon

I went to DragonCon in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend 2013. I’ve been to many comic book / pop culture conventions. DragonCon was actually the 4th I’d been to in 2013. Yet, it was unlike any other I’ve seen.

It’s taken me so long to write it up mostly because almost all the photos I took sucked and nothing I had could adequately capture the insanity of that weekend. It was more like Nerd Vegas than a comic book convention. Sure, there are tracks to follow with tons of great panels but the main draw is just the insanity of the hotel bars and parties. Spread across 3 conjoined hotels, 1 nearby hotel and one adjacent building, the convention is probably more sociable than its West Coast competition in San Diego.

In fact, it seems to be the opinion of most DragonCon faithful that San Diego Comic Con isn’t any fun. That is incorrect but it’s easy to see that the things you might be into at DragonCon don’t necessarily exist in San Diego and vice versa.

DragonCon seemed almost to shun the dealers and artists. Artist Alley was in the basement of one of the conjoined hotels while the dealer rooms were in a completely separate building from the rest of the con. I didn’t make it over there until Monday and by that point, I’d honestly spent the money I was going to spend. I heard complaints from some dealers so I don’t think this arrangement was usual or favorable. As a guy who’s primarily a comic book and pop art fan, it seemed DragonCon underplayed the things I was likely to spend money on.

That isn’t to say I didn’t have fun. I made an effort to hit several panels — all were great. I also tried to hit a few parties which — though not exactly my scene — were decently inviting.

I left DragonCon thinking it might be the one and only DragonCon I attend. As though I’d seen it and appreciated it and that was enough. But as I culled my pictures this past week to post something about it, I missed the excitement of it. So I’ll be looking into attending again.

Check out my other con coverage.

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