20 Years of Cosplay Trends at Dragon Con

A graph showing the popularity of costuming groups at Dragon Con from 1997 to 2017

While writing my post What Happened to Klingon Cosplay? I went off on a bit of a tangent on the rise and fall of various cosplay groups as seen at Dragon Con. I decided that this attempt at recording our collective nerd history was so interesting that it deserved its own post.

Star Trek peaked in the 80s and 90s and had entered into its decline by the early 2000s, with Star Wars easily shouldering past to take the lead by the time the new films began to hit. The Lord of the Rings trilogy gave quite a chase and was wildly (wildly) popular, but the much younger Harry Potter series blew past them both to Continue reading 20 Years of Cosplay Trends at Dragon Con

What Happened to Klingon Cosplay?

T'Kuvma, a "new" style Klingon and the first villain of Star Trek Discovery

A dispute about the new Star Trek show Discovery has recently bubbled up online, with several of my younger adult friends stomping their feet, gnashing their teeth, and waggling their tiny fists in the air in an expression of their dislike for the new series. Their complaints range from a repudiation of the darker, more warlike tone of the new series to the fact that CBS has elected to stick the first Star Trek series to air in 12 years behind an ill-advised pay wall in a bid to emulate HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Perhaps the most audacious, unforgivable thing they feel has been done with this new show is the reinvention of the Klingon race (using archival Trek material). It’s almost (but not entirely unlike) the way that Gene Roddenberry allowed makeup artist Fred Phillips to depict the Klingons in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (STTMP), based on drawings by costume designer Robert Fletcher. Turns out that depicting the Klingons has been a bit of Continue reading What Happened to Klingon Cosplay?

Dragon Con Turns 31 – Is It Too Big Now?

This aging dragon has certainly grown!

Just look at that graph!

It’s based on data I found on a Dragon Con wiki, which explains that its data was collected from snapshots of the Dragon Con website as preserved on the Internet Archives. I also used numbers from the Wikipedia article on Dragon Con to fill in the graph. Attendance figures for some years differ from those listed in the history section of the current version of the Dragon Con website, but I believe these numbers are close enough to deliver a good approximation of the growth this convention has experienced over the past 31 years. Continue reading Dragon Con Turns 31 – Is It Too Big Now?

The Betrayal of Steve Sansweet

Today one of the people in my circle of friends became infamous for the systematic theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Star Wars collectibles. I cannot believe that it was his goal to become reviled by the fans of one of his most beloved fictional universes or to be publicly castigated on Twitter by the actor who played Luke Skywalker.

Steve Sansweet, who many of us early Star Wars fans looked up to for guidance when he began publishing an annual Star Wars collectibles price guide, confessed that his sense of trust had been badly damaged after discovering numerous thefts of rare items from Continue reading The Betrayal of Steve Sansweet

5 Years of Cardboard*Con

Atlanta Magazine.
Cardboard*Con has been featured in the March 2014 issue of Atlanta Magazine. Pick up a copy today!!

It was a crazy idea to put on cardboard boxes and run around a sci-fi convention back in 2004. It was a crazier idea to do it again in 2005 as ghetto stormtroopers and to crash so many long-cherished costume contests with our whacky brand of earnest all-cardboard dedication. It was yet a crazier idea to found an all-cardboard science fiction convention back in 2010 but look at us… it’s been 5 years of Cardboard*Con and we’re on the path to legitimacy, what with a mention in the “Must-Do South” March issue of Atlanta Magazine and inquiries from other media outlets. Am I proud? Absolutely! But better than that I’m glad to have met so many of you imaginative people who have picked Cardboard*Con as one of your creative outlets. I look forward to seeing you folks on Saturday night!!

Dragon Con Got Rid of the Asshole

dragoncon_ahole

Three years ago I made a post to my blog called “Is Dragon*Con Broken?” and it elicited a TON of reactions from people, which meant that me and my friends weren’t the only people who felt that way. To their credit the people who run the convention had that same realization and have made some great strides in making the convention fun again.

This year a few of our old cardboard troopers plan to be marching in the parade again along with some fun new friends from the convention I founded called Cardboard*Con, and in a fun new wrinkle I’ll be an actual guest of Dragon Con Continue reading Dragon Con Got Rid of the Asshole

Enterprise: Unsung Gem of the Star Trek Universe

star_trek_enterprise_001

Five minutes ago I finished watching the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, a series which I have binged from beginning to end over the past three weeks. Despite the fact that I’m 9 years late to the party (its last episode aired in May of 2005), Enterprise is now my favorite Star Trek series after the original.

Here are some things that helped to turn me into a fan of the show:

  • production design was all about practicality – most of the time things had a limit, for instance the ship (Enterprise NX-01) was almost always outclassed by the ships of alien races
  • using jumpsuits for uniforms was a perfect wardrobe decision which helped demonstrate the transition from our current period of space exploration to the time of Continue reading Enterprise: Unsung Gem of the Star Trek Universe

Dragon Hoarders

Dragon Hoarders

For those of you who’ve been reading me here (and elsewhere) you know that I’ve rather become a fan of science fiction conventions and the people who attend them. I love that there exists a safe harbor in this world for the myriad nerds and social misfits who communicate their innermost feelings via witty T-shirts and long rambling tirades regarding the inefficiency of Model 7 dilithium articulation frames. I celebrate the fact that there’s a place where nobody cares if you look (and often smell) funny… a place where sexy actresses are paid to Continue reading Dragon Hoarders

Dragon*Con Switching to Barcode

Dragon*Con Switches to Barcode! (and there was much rejoicing)

Wow! 80% of the ennui and angst and critical assessments regarding our favorite annual event just went POOF! tonight when Joseph (one of the folks mentioned in my last post) alerted everyone to the fact that Troy Bradley, Director of Dragon*Con On Site Preregistration, has made an announcement on the Dragon*Con LiveJournal Community tonight that Dragon*Con will indeed be putting on her Big Girl Panties* and stepping up to a barcode system for next year’s pre-registrations!! This is huge and indicative that that Continue reading Dragon*Con Switching to Barcode

Is Dragon*Con Broken?

Is Dragon*Con Broken?

Updated Sept 5th, 2010 at 7:02pm – thanks to all of you who have contributed to the discussion!

It’s the Sunday morning of Dragon*Con 2010 and I’m spending my morning recuperating from having walked 5 or 6 miles around the East Coast’s fan-driven answer to Comic-Con yesterday. I woke up thinking about how much my beloved nerdfest has changed over the past five years and thought that I’d jot down some notes for later discussions with my friends who are also attending this year.

Truth is, I suppose the old girl has been changing ever since I first started going in the late 1980s, but lately it’s becoming hard to see what first made me fall in love with Dragon*Con. During a stopover at Trader Vic’s I participated in an impromptu panel called “Dragon*Con Might Just Suck” regarding how this year’s convention has been particularly lackluster. My fellow panelists Carl, Joseph and Timmy made some very good points and I’m distilling that conversation into the following five points:

  • Invasion by Non-Fans
  • Economy & Events
  • Social Networks
  • Scale
  • Age

Before I elaborate on what the ‘con has become, let me Continue reading Is Dragon*Con Broken?