Greetings from Tatooine. I mean, Gotham City. I mean, Middle-earth. I mean ... any place you want it to be.
Welcome to Dragon*Con, one of the largest and most diverse science fiction and fantasy conventions in the world. Some 30,000 fans take over four huge hotels in downtown Atlanta each Labor Day weekend. And whether in their minds they inhabit the Star Wars, Batman, Tolkien or dozens of other universes, here is the place to sit in on fandom panels, meet the stars, play games, and party down while you commune with your inner, and fellow, freak.
Iím here to research my book ďEscape Artists,Ē and Iíve noticed every genre and subculture rubs shoulders without batting an eye. Well, there IS some eye-batting. Folks like to dress in costume to express their passion, and the dress-up can be over the top. Youíll see Gandalf chatting up Wonder Woman. Or, in a bar, youíll see Green Lantern, Dr. Horrible, Harry Potter, a Johnny Depp-esque pirate and a zombie all sharing beer. At a party, Darth Vader might get down to Jungle Boogie.
Itís OK to call them geeks --- thatís a term the fantasy/SF fandom and gaming community now proudly (if ironically) has claimed for itself. Just donít make fun of them. Some Dark Elf or Stormtrooper brigade might make you pay. You even have to look out for Cookie Monster. I saw him today, about 6 feet tall, and carrying a big play-prop AK-47.
Stay tuned -- same Bat time, same Bat channel.