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?
This morning a number of my friends spent several frustrating hours attempting to reserve a room at the Marriott Marquis for next summer’s Dragon*Con, as this was the date that the hotel released that block of rooms to the public for purchasing. The sell-out of rooms for Dragon*Con has become a high-stress, high-stakes game for these people, many of whom have been attending the event for more than 20 years. These folks are what I call my “professional” nerds – the kind of people who know what a “real” science fiction convention is like and who lament more and more at what Dragon*Con has become: a very Continue reading Should Dragon*Con Expand?
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:
I understand that my pals The Cardboard Troopers had a wild time this past weekend. They arrived in Atlanta for the 2009 edition of Dragon*Con, but they couldn’t actually seem to find a trace of the convention and the hotel people kept looking at them funny. I sure hope that they come back for the 10:00am parade on Saturday, they always seem to enjoy that.
Which reminds me that last month the Fall issue of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine hit the stands and I was simultaneously delighted (97%) and mortified (3%) to read the article about me that staff writer Van Jensen composed after we met prior to my surgery this summer. Entitled “How Did That NERD on the Left Become That PIRATE on the Right?“, the article does a really nice job of catching people up with the kid who won the Batman contest back in the 80s… and the second page features a certain cardboard trooper standing in front of a line of “real” troopers at Dragon*Con.
So, like, last year we (the cardboard troopers) discussed something “new” (and socially disruptive) that we could do at Dragon*Con. The activity that rose to the top of our pile at this year’s Dragon*Don was to crash the Dawn Look-a-like competition, a costume contest devoted to one comic book entitled “Dawn”… a dramatic series about a “goddess” who dresses in lace and armor, which we all know to be important elements in any elemental struggle between good and sexy. Always a T&A show, the Dawn competition is the brainchild of a fellow named Joseph Michael Linsner, and was rife for a raid by those merry pranksters of merriment, whose only goal at Dragon*Con is to make people smile and remember that the weekend is supposed to be about genuine fun. While Dawn may come in every shape and color, we knew that our Dawn would be BIG, BOXY and far too unwieldy to manage lingerie… chiefly, that cardboard trooper known as “Gallo Whirlpool”… with big pink balloons taped onto his chestplate… but then, I explain too much… take a look at the video!!
Here’s a wonderful short film shot and edited by our pal and sci-fi fan/collector “SexyBeast“, documenting the misadventures of the cardboard troopers at Dragon*Con in downtown Atlanta, from sexy girls to maddening fights over our cardboard Dawn costume. The whole time he was shooting this video SexyBeast kept telling everyone “Hey, have fun!!”. Looking back at it, maybe we did. I especially like his choice of Human Highway’s song “All Day” playing in the background… and after reading the review of it Continue reading Let the Sun Soak Through
I’m undeniably proud of the Cardboard Craze that I started at Dragon*Con back in 2005, especially of the guys who have been such dedicated cardboard costumers along with me since that time! After our great success as cardboard troopers last year, a lot of people have expressed their desire to join us in at the upcoming convention in September. Several folks have expressed that, while they have the desire, they just don’t have any good ideas on exactly how to build a good costume out of cardboard. So, as a service to those people, I’m going to begin a series of posts that will continue up until September, designed to provide you some design ideas and construction techniques. First out of the blocks is my design for Chewboxxa, a “Booxiee” from the planet BoxxaHarveyKorman. Continue reading Chewboxxa
DAY ONE Alfeo, Elliott and I suited up in the parking garage of the downtown Atlanta Hilton on Saturday morning and headed upstairs to begin walking down to Woodruff Park. I was bitching everyone out, telling them to hurry up. That went over famously.
Exiting the elevator, I figured that the first 20 people we ran into would provide us with a good idea of how we’d be received elsewhere for the rest of the day. We were particularly worried that the “real” stormtroopers would take demonstrable umbrage at our cardboard costumes, which was never my intent. Continue reading Cardboard Stormtroopers 2006