Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dragoncon 2012

Dragoncon is a convention held in downtown Atlanta. Its claimed to be one of the biggest conventions on the east coast and a con that every geek must go to. I myself proceeded to go check out this con and see just how awesome or un-awesome this con would be.

Dragoncon was another con opportunity that opened up when my work schedule was shifted, giving me the necessary 4 days I needed to go to this con. But I needed more prodding along to go to this con. Money became quite the issue and time, despite the 4 day weekend, was scarce if I needed to come into work for extra time. The money issue was handled though when I was contacted by a guy from Augusta who was familiar with lolitas. He offered to let me stay in his hotel for $70 over the weekend. And I figured that unless it was urgent, I wouldn't go into work.

The greatest issue was a lack of exceptionally interesting things for me to do. I couldn't seem to find any info on lolita panels and there were so many panels that I ended not taking a good look through the downloadable programs. I should have. Probably would have made my con 10x better. *O don't worry. I enjoyed Dragoncon. I imagine it could have been so much better though had I a better idea of the panels going on* And so at the last minute, I posted a call on my wall, asking if anyone knew of any lolita specific events going on at D*con. And indeed there was. An Atlanta lolita on my friends list contacted me, telling me of a couple meets, a photoshoot, and lolitas walking in the parade. She then recommended I join the Atlanta lolita comm, to find out more. There I was able to set a basic weekend schedule that convinced me to finally say yes to D*con.

Ah so I last left off at Otakon and ACC in the con rankings.

1. Otakon
2: Animazement 2011 AND 2012
3: Anime Weekend Atlanta
4: Triad Anime Con
5: Kira Kira con
6: Ichibacon
7: Ancient City Con
8: EXP con
9: Megacon
10: Metrocon

Otakon was able to snag the #1 spot from AZ, while ACC settled in with the other FL cons. Idk what it is about FL cons but they just never seemed as fun as the cons I attended out of FL.

But its time to see how Dragoncon ranks up against the list

Trip (8/10): Overall there wasn't anything bad about this trip. I'd made the trip to Atl a couple times so I knew the journey pretty well. And the weather held up very nicely. All in all, it was good. Well. Atleast till I got to Atlanta and realized I had put in the wrong address. It didn't take me TOO far out of the way but it definitely added a good 15 mins to my trip. And then Atlanta's mess of one way streets, combined with people who couldn't stop for a few seconds to let cars go by so that traffic didn't build up, cost me a solid 30 mins. I finally said Eff this and pulled into a parking garage near the Hilton and made my way to pick up my badge.

Hotel (8/10): A lot of this score is attributed to price. $70 for a weekend is very good. Of course, with the good comes the bad. It was a whopping 13 miles away or about a 15 minute drive using the interstates to get back downtown. This forced me to set up a portable rest area in my car for when I needed to charge my phone, or eat, or just plain out sit down and cool down. Even used it Saturday to change mid day. Roommate was super cool too.

Con overall (7/10)
Atmosphere: The con itself was overwhelming. Coming to this con for the first time, I was unsure of how this con worked and when I found out it was completed hosted by the hotels, I was unable to figure out where to go. I had always had the benefit of walking a couple circles at past conventions, eventually seeing everything in the first hour or so. But those were convention centers with 2-3 stories at most. I was looking at a con being held in 5 different hotels with as many as 6-7 floors worth of stuff to do in each hotel. The con guides they passed out weren't much help either and I didn't figure out how to use the downloadable pamphlet guides till Saturday night.

The con claimed numbers up to 50,000 people. Frigging boatload of people to all be chilling out in a couple hotels. To be honest, I was a bit nervous about this con. People had told me that it would shoulder to shoulder crowded throughout most of the con. And because people tend to be a little dumb sometimes, IE they'll just stop for a number of reasons and block traffic. Though this happened a few times, most often in the dealer's rooms, I didn't find the crowd too much of an issue. I had been at worse in smaller cons where the con had obviously outgrown its roots, like EXP con where there was a very bad area where you were lucky to move over a few minutes.

Panels (7/10): I didn't go to too many of these. Just not much of a panel goer though I suppose I should start doing so more often. I did go to a Top Gear panel, followed by a lolita panel, a celebrity game panel, and a Sherlock panel, all wrapped up with a BDSM 201 Q&A panel. And for the first time in a long time, I actually enjoyed all the panels. Helps that I understand what was going on and that I understood the inside jokes that were being made. Didn't really take any pics. Though the highlight of the panels was being called up to show off what a brolita was during the lolita panel. I think most people were amazed to realize that it had been a guy and not a gal who had been sitting next to em the whole time.

Miscellaneous (8/10): After picking up my badge on friday, I opted not to go straight to the con. Instead I went to the Peachtree center foodcourt for a lolita meet for a bday. Didn't get any pics, like a dummy. But it did give me an opportunity to re-meet or meet some of the Atl lolitas.

Was gonna post a pic of my day 1 outfit, which was Night Fairy Fantasia... But of course I didn't take one of that either. 

Day 2 of the con got off to a fast start. I had debated whether to wear Chess Chocolate all day or wear Aqua Princess for the parade and change into Chess Chocolate later on. I opted for the latter. 

Day 2 outfit

I arrived at the con right around 8:45 and proceeded to woodruff park, where the lolitas who were participating in the parade would gather. I was early and had no idea where I was going. And there was actually one point where I was completely bombarded by photographers, unable to move because everyone wanted a picture. Eventually I found the other lolitas. The parade was awesome. Even pre-parade was fun, where we got within ten feet of Stan Lee. And there were so many people watching. I don't think I'd ever seen so many people gathered in a half mile stretch of road. It was just amazing. Overall enjoyed the parade and hope to participate in it again next year.

There could have been twins in the parade >.<
Much of the group has arrived
Loli Lady Loki ^_^

Stan Lee. This is the same Mach 5 car you see precede us in every parade video. So essentially, that speedracer cosplayer has sat in the same seat that Stan Lee did.

We enter in at minute 37. This is probably one of my favorite videos. Its filmed right where the parade leaves Woodruff park. You can actually hear my friend in the background call my name.

Walking in the parade
Being led by Loli Lady Loki
After the parade, I went about on my own for awhile, exploring the Marriot and checking out the 3 dealers rooms. Much to my surprise, H. Naoto had made an appearance and Gothic Lolita Wigs was not. The H. Naoto booth members once again recognized who I was ^_^ and I went ahead and tried on a mint jsk + bustle back skirt. O goodness, it took all my willpower not to buy that outfit right on the spot. Once I finished my exploration of the Marriot, I headed to my car to put on my day 2, part 2 outfit. 

Outfit day 2, part 2
I changed and headed back to the Marriot to meet up with Amber, an Atlanta lolita who also sold me a new pair of bloomers ^_^ After a quick meet and greet with a couple pics, we went up to the 10th floor to meet up with the other lolitas.

All the AP
A TARDIS coord!
The gothics
Chess Chocolate triplets

 After the meet, things kind of died down. My lack of preparation for this con, particularly picking out panels to go to, had caught up to me and I was pretty much left with nothing to do for much of saturday evening except wander about aimlessly and take a couple random pictures of awesome cosplays. 

The Totoro brigade marching down the sidewalk.
An awesome outfit
Stealing babies and hiding em in his Labyrinth
Loved her hair accessory.
Eventually ran into Mary around the end of day 2.
The 2nd half of day 2 had really left me drained and not looking forward to day 3. W/o a wingman, it was difficult for me to stay excited about the con and I mentally penned myself in for a 5 pm leave time. And day 3 didn't start off well. I had found out that Dagorhir was holding LARP battles on the 10th floor of the Marriot but when I arrived, I discovered that you could only watch. It was a huge downer to have wasted that much time coming up only to find out I couldn't do battle. Fortunately this was the lowpoint of my day. I ran into Ashley, formerly of Savannah lolitas, and was able to hang out with her for a bit. And to make things even better, Leechy responded to my text to get drinks. I proceeded to hang out with her the rest of the day and crash at her hotel that night and just drive back home monday morning. 

Forgot to take my usual mirror pic. So Ashley took this one of me. Didn't realize my parasol had grabbed a bit of my dress and you see a bloomers peeking out XD
Take note public, this is what bo peep looks like.
Trying em on
I'd say another twinning opportunity missed. But since I had already worn Night Fairy Fantasia on Friday, I wasn't gonna wear it again. And definitely not at the expense of not getting to wear MP.
A beautiful fairy.
Its like a scene right out of the movie.
Just a quick pic of the two things I bought at the con.

So this wraps up my time at D*con 2012. To recap, the trip was uneventful till the end, where my own mistakes cost me plenty of time. The panels I went to were great and the lolitas I met were totally awesome. The hotel was good, even though it was far. But I had too much downtime. And the absolute overwhelming size of the con + my lack of a wingman really made it hard for me to make full use of the weekend. But enough with that. Its time to see where the D*con fell on my list.

1. Otakon
2: Animazement 2011 AND 2012
3: Anime Weekend Atlanta
4: Dragoncon 2012
5: Triad Anime Con
6: Kira Kira con
7: Ichibacon
8: Ancient City Con
9: EXP con
10: Megacon
11: Metrocon

As fun as Dragoncon was, Otakon, AZ, and AWA were just as fun and had nowhere near the amount of down time I had at D*con. Though I feel that next year's D*con will be much different. Now that I have a year's worth of experience under my belt, I feel like next year I can take full advantage of the weekend and have one hell of a weekend.


  1. Hello from Totoro! Happy to have another picture of the steampunked Totoro, we didn't get many of that outfit. Thanks!

    1. Hehe. I loved the steampunk Totoro. Very awesome!

  2. Hello, Andye here from the Dragon*Con silk road, thanks again for coming to the panel. Wow, your review is amazing. I just published mine and will be sending it around to the various dance groups, African-Asian cultural societies I belong to and such. I did make a reference to many of the awesome lolitas and the uber-fantastic Brolitas like yourself.

    I've always worked the con or performed in it so I have no idea when anyone has downtime, I can imagine that must be miserable. I can't deal with that...I need to be 1,2,3, good time, all the time...though I don't mind sitting with friends. Speaking of, as long as I am a volunteer and have a room you can store some of your things with my friends and I. I hate that you were 13 miles away. Sounds like the Hyatt Regency Suites. I stayed there one year...barely made it back downtown after Saturday night...

    Anyway, your blog post are always awesome. Hope to wave at you at AWA. I will not be in Lolita (I can't seem to make it look right on me) but hope to attend the panels, shows, etc. I won't fan-girl you, I'll just wave! Take care!