Sunday, September 9, 2012

Geeky and proud: snapshots from Dragon*Con

STJ with cast member of Buffy Horror
From our roving reporter Sarah Tucker Jenkins: Every year on Labor Day weekend, a horde of people who more than likely suffered from being thought uncool in high school gather in Atlanta to celebrate their general weirdness. Dragon*Con is a fantasy and science fiction convention with celebrity panels and workshops related to anime, steampunk, costuming (known as “cosplay”), and more. Although this was my first time, I felt immediately at home. Many of the 55,000 attendees came as characters—from tv shows, graphic novels and comics, fiction, movies, video games, internet memes, you name it. (Below, friends Lauren, Raven, and Lauren dressed as steampunk versions of Harley Quinn, the Penguin, and Poison Ivy from Batman.)
"Jareth" from the film The Labyrinth
Because my main interests are sci fi and fantasy tv shows, I honed in on celebrity panels featuring actors from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Firefly, True Blood, Vampire Diaries, and Torchwood. Waiting in long lines for hours was arduous but worth it, because everyone on the panels was gracious and seemed genuinely delighted to be there (plus the people watching was spectacular). Two hilarious special events were the Buffy Horror and Doctor Horrible Picture Shows (go Joss Whedon!), which consisted of the musicals (in Buffy’s case the musical episode) played with a shadow cast and audience participation à la Rocky Horror Picture Show—a perfect opportunity to sing as loudly and as off-key as one could desire. By Sunday I was exhausted but elated to have taken part in such a fun and geek-positive experience. I can’t wait to go back!
Above, Lauren dressed as Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games; kids dressed as a Dalek and the Doctor from Doctor Who (Dragon*Con attracts a lot of families)! Below, homemade versions of Tom and Servo from the tv show Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
Who else has been to a convention where people dress up? Come on, fess up!
—Sarah Tucker Jenkins is a Masters candidate and an instructor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Florida Atlantic University.


  1. yay! this post was totally fun to write!

  2. Amazing costumes! So sad I missed this.

  3. Aren't these conventions the best? I live very close to downtown Baltimore and often see sci-fi and comic fans roaming the streets near the convention center on Saturday afternoons. It seems like there is almost one a month in Baltimore. Being a huge sci-fi fan I've always really wanted to dress up and attend, this post may just be my inspiration to go and do it.

  4. Great post. Isn't that the same tutu you were wearing in the photo of you at age three?