Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dragon Con is...

It’s kind of an interesting sentence starter. What is Dragon Con? What do you write to tell people what it is? What do you write when you’ve already written thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of words about Dragon Con in the past? I’ve written many words about it here on Needless Things as well as on my own blog over the years after all. Dragon Con is…

Dragon Con is so much to so many.

Dragon Con is the chance to see many of your friends every year that you may only see- and certainly may only see all in one place -at Dragon Con.

Dragon Con is the chance to let your geek flag fly.

Dragon Con is where you can find some of the best people watching. Whether it’s the parade, the cosplay, or just watching that friend of yours experiencing the amazing, awesomely overwhelming experience that is a first timer’s sensory overload at Dragon Con.

Dragon Con is anime, gaming, short films, readings, TV shows, movies, and more.

Dragon Con is where you can find a great vendor hall.

Dragon Con is where you go to see pros and celebrities talking about what they do, but you’re just as happy to see other fans talking about what they love.

Dragon Con is one of the largest conventions in America.

Dragon Con is also actually roughly 80,000 individual tiny conventions going on at the same time.

Dragon Con is the convention you go insane getting ready for, but one where you’d never trade away a single aggravating moment of con prep connected to it.

Dragon Con is just freaking huge. My first Dragon Con in 2006 was much smaller than the one that exists now. It seems like more of a Drake Con in comparison. It fit in three hotels with room to spare, and the mass of fandom that pumped through its hallways like life’s blood through a gigantic body was several tens of thousands of fans smaller. These days it fills five major convention center hotels and two buildings of the AmericasMart, and the number of attendees filling its hallways has grown four times larger.

But Dragon Con is also somehow still extremely small and personal at the exact same time.

Dragon Con is a place that defies the odds. Go just about anywhere these days and the law of averages say that you’ll find the same problem children in the same percentages you’ll find them everywhere else. That’s not true at Dragon Con. Yeah, there are problem children and there are people who have been such annoying problem children that they had to have their membership badges removed and be removed from the con. You will find a few in every crowd.

But you never seem to find as many at Dragon Con as you might expect you would anywhere else based on the size of the crowd. Idiots and fools will show up everywhere, but that’s not what most people going to Dragon Con are going to Dragon Con to be. Dragon Con is where you go to enjoy the things you love, share those things with others who love them, discover new things that may become new favorites, and introduce others to what will be their new favorites.

Dragon Con is where a lot of people work at following a rather nice set of rules whenever and wherever possible during con. Be nice to each other. Watch out for each other. Take care of each other. Share with each other.

Dragon Con is where you can go into a hotel bar or a restaurant near the convention area and find yourself spending an enjoyable bit of time with a pro or celebrity. Yeah, it really does happen that way sometimes. Try not to freak out or go all fanboy or fangirl crazy and you can sometimes leave Dragon Con with one hell of a memory you never thought you’d leave with.

Dragon Con is where people even fall in love. Sometimes it’s only for 40 minutes, but sometimes it’s for 40 years. Couples have met at Dragon Con who have gone on to be husband and wife. Couples have had their weddings at or around Dragon Con.

Dragon Con is where you get to see your friends shine. I’ve been promoting the hell out of the Horror News Radio crew working the Horror Track panels this year. There’s a reason for this. Several of those guys are very good friends of mine. One of them is one of my best friends. The Horror Track director is a friend as well. One of the things I’m most looking forward to is seeing several of them experiencing their first ever Dragon Con and being pleasantly overwhelmed by it, but even more so I’m looking forward to seeing them get the props and recognition they’ve all worked so hard for in their respective horror related endeavors over the years. Look for panels being done by Doc Rotten, The Black Saint, Thomas Mariani, Christopher G. Moore, and Bill Mulligan. Go hang out in the Horror Track. You’ll have a blast.

I want to see some of my newer friends and acquaintances have a blast on their panels as well. Phantom Troublemaker is an entertaining speaker. You likely already know that or you wouldn’t be here on this website. Go see his panels. Go get dirty dirty as an audience member for the Dirty Dirty Con Con Game Game Show Show. Look for his panels, look for the show, and check them out.

Look for the ESO guys and gals. Mike Faber, Mike Gordon, MaryLouWho, Bobby Nash, Scott and Debbie Viguie, JC and Rita De La Torre, Angela Pritchett, and a small army of Earth Station Who related speakers this year. They’re all great people, and you’ll enjoy the hell out of any panel they’re on.

Dragon Con is family. A lot of the people I’ll be seeing and spending time with, whether it’s most the weekend or just what our schedules (particularly volunteer schedules) will allow, are family at this point. That’s true for many who go to Dragon Con every year.

Dragon Con is also family for me because I have one that looks forward to going every year. My wife- a Dragon Con veteran before I ever attended -and I and our two kids go together every year now, and we occasionally get to bring along in-laws, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. There’s something for everyone at Dragon Con, and some of it can be enjoyed by everyone.

Dragon Con is just days away as I write this, and hours away by the time it goes live on the website. 

Jerry Chandler is at Dragon Con. He’s going to have a blast this year. He hopes you have a good time this Labor Day Weekend wherever you might be.

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