August 30th - September 3rd, 2018
Atlanta, Georgia

Convention Stats:
Location: Peachtree Center
Event Year: Thirty-Second
Reported Attendance: 80,000
Sketch's Costumes Worn:
Fox Mulder, The X-Files
Rick Castle, Castle
Mal Reynolds, Firefly
Han Solo, Star Wars
Shiro, Voltron
Shiva's Costumes Worn:
Dana Scully, The X-Files
Emerald Empress, Legion
Inara Serra, Firefly
Princess Leia Organa, Star Wars
Princess Reina, Final Fantasy V
Rei Hino, Sailor Moon
Our Events:
A Night at the Georgia Aquarium
Convention Photos:

Photo Credits:
Shiva, Sketch (x3), Ellystar, Shiva (x6), Sabine

Dragon*Con 2018 drew over 80,000 fans to Atlanta, Georgia over Labor Day Weekend for a five-day long celebration of pop culture. Featured guests this year included Peter Capaldi, the twelfth incarnation of Doctor Who, who thrilled fans throughout the weekend by openly socializing among the crowds. Also headlining the weekend was the original cast of Sesame Street, led by the legendary Carol Spinney (Big Bird), and also featuring Emilio Delgado (Luis), Bob McGrath (Bob), and Roscoe Orman (Gordon) who delighted several generations of Dragon*Con attendees with their easy banter. When asked why Oscar the Grouch lives in a trashcan, the 84-year old Spinney quipped, "the rent is cheaper." Other celebrities drawing large crowds were Felicia Day, Gina Torres from Firefly, Jennifer Morrison from Once Upon A Time, and the casts of Smallville and Star Trek: Discovery. Popular gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams even stopped by on Saturday to mingle with guests and attendees alike. Events included the annual Night at the Georgia Aquarium and the Saturday morning Dragon*Con Parade, as well as a performance by the Georgia Philharmonic Orchestra and the second annual Dragon*Con Splendid Teapot Race. For the second year in a row, the Cult of the Marriott Carpet held an unofficial memorial in which attendees brought pieces they had collected of the famous rug and made a small shrine around a strip of it which still exists along the edge of a staircase in the Marriott. Dragon*Con also hosted its annual blood drive for the Red Cross and over the course of the weekend attendees raised $85,000 for this year's charity, Literary Action, Inc. which provides literacy, work, and life skill education to under-served adults across the Atlanta area.

Sketch and Shiva's Weekend Breakdown:
We sat out Dragon*Con 2017 since Shiva was about eight months pregnant at the time, so we were both excited to return this year to one of our favorite cons. After saying our goodbyes to our 11-month old Thursday morning, we flew down to Atlanta, and entering the Marriott felt so familiar it was like going home. We took our time settling in and picking up our badges, and enjoyed a leisurely walk around Peachtree Center before meeting up with Sketch's sister and her family for a sushi dinner at Pacific Rim Bistro. Thursday night we changed into our Mulder and Scully costumes from The X-Files and headed out with Ellystar, Scarlet, and Majodere to wander the con; we all took photos on the outdoor staircases behind the Hilton and we had a blast reacting to all the alien cosplayers we encountered. Eventually we ended up at the Jurassic Park-themed atrium party at the Hilton, dancing to the awesome tunes being spun by the DJ and drinking frozés for the first time (frozen rosé wine) which were delicious! The dance floor was packed and it was a great way to start the weekend.

Friday morning Shiva got into her Emerald Empress costume and Sketch got into Rick Castle and we went out to wander with Majodere in her My Hero Academia costume. We took some photos of everyone at the Hilton staircases, and Shiva ran into a Brainiac 5 cosplayer from the Legion of Super-Heroes who was super excited to see an Emerald Empress! They chatted for a bit and took several pics together before parting ways. A photographer also snagged Sketch to get some amazing shots of his Castle costume; we unfortunately lost his card before the weekend was over but from the back of the camera the pics were amazing. Unusually there weren't any panels we were interested in attending that morning, so instead we re-familiarized ourselves with the convention's interconnected spaces, visited the Walk of Fame, and people watched for the day before grabbing dinner at Max Lager's.

Friday evening we chanted into our Firefly costumes and met up with the crew to check out the parties looking for which had the best music. Eventually we ended up at the Sheraton around 11PM; as we approached the entrance we noticed a small cluster of people near the door. At first we thought they were waiting to get into the party, but then we realized Peter Capaldi was just hanging out by the door taking selfies! As we jumped into the circle to chat with the twelfth doctor, Sketch's alcohol-infused brain finally caught up to the present moment. "Is that Peter fucking Capaldi?" he asked as we all cracked up. We all took selfies with him and shook his hand and he was the nicest, most laid back person ever. He had clearly ditched his handlers just to chill with people at the con, and later on in the weekend we heard all sorts of stories of him just popping up and hanging out. After chatting for a bit we moved on into the party, texting all of our friends who we'd just hung out with. The music inside the party was awesome, and we had a blast dancing until 2am. Such a fantastic night!

After our late night we took it easy Saturday morning, sleeping in and leisurely watching the Dragon*Con parade on TV in our pajamas with hotel room snacks rather than fighting the crowds downtown. After the parade wrapped up, we got into our Han Solo and Princess Leia costumes for a comfortable day wandering around the con. We checked out both the Walk of Fame and the Art Show at the Hyatt, which always has so many interesting artists and pieces to look at. Once attendee was giving out small glass vials of glitter in honor of Carrie Fisher to Leia cosplayers and gave Shiva one, which we thought was a cute gesture. After lunch at the food court we got in line for the AmericasMart to check out the massive building's worth of dealer's floors. We visited Garth and Mookie on the top floor in the Artist's Alley section, and then slowly made our way downstairs, checking out all the goodies. The dealers' halls at Dragon*Con are always a little overwhelming, but this year they weren't overcrowded and it was easier to get a good look at the items for sale.

That evening Shiva got into her Princess Lenna from Final Fantasy V to wear along with Ellystar as Lenna's sister Captain Faris, while Sketch cosplayed Shiro from Voltron along with Majodere as Keith. We met up with the rest of the crew for dinner at Pittypat's Porch. It was nice to try someplace new; the food was good but the service was slow and an error by the wait staff meant it took us forever to get out of there. By the time we left we were way more than fashionably late to the aquarium party which we had timed tickets to. We headed to the aquarium anyway, and while the music was great as usual, the attendance was sparse. We weren't sure if it was just not that popular of an event this year or if the crowds had come and gone earlier in the evening, but the main concourse was almost empty. We had fun taking photos and dancing regardless, and stayed until almost closing.

Sunday morning Shiva and Scarlet got into their Sailor Moon school uniforms and we all headed over to the Hilton, where we took some photos and checked out the beautiful display room put on by the Costuming Track. The room had gorgeous costumes on display with detailed descriptions about their construction. Afterwards we attended a 3-D printing panel which Sketch was especially interested in; there was a lot of information about getting into 3-D printing, including specifics about machines and the software needed to design pieces. After grabbing lunch we headed over to the Marriott to try and get into one of the Sesame Street panels; most of the original cast we grew up with were attending as guests of honor and we were interested to see our childhood television friends in person. However, when we asked a volunteer staffer near the ballroom where the line started, he told us it was blocks away and that the line had already been clicked through and that the room was full so not to bother. Disappointed we gave up, only to find out hours later that the room was not, in fact, full and that Sketch's sister had walked in a few minutes after the panel had started and got herself a seat without issue. That is the last time we are taking anyone's word for it about a line!

That evening we ate Metro Café cake in the hotel room while watching the mostly terrible masquerade on Dragon*Con TV; we saw Crazyflower and her friends competing and texted her photos we took of them on our TV screen! After the masquerade we wore our squad's "Friendship is the Best Ship" shirts, packed some drinks, and headed down to the Marriott lobby to people watch and socialize for the evening. We ran into Sketch's sister and her family dressed in Hogwarts House track & field gear, beautiful cosplayers dressed as the cast of The Crown, and a mascot Totoro and friends cosplaying as Ewoks from Star Wars. After an enjoyable evening we hit the hay and were up early the next morning to drag all of our luggage down the elevators and out to the MARTA station to get out to the airport and catch our flights home. It wasn't our best Dragon*Con but it was great to be back!