Every year in August, Atlanta, Georgia host Dragon Con which spans across 5 separate hotels. According to their website, they are “the largest multi-media, pop culture convention that focuses on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music film in the universe.” I was skeptical when I read this before attending, but Dragon Con lived up to its claims!
This was my first comic con ever, and I didn’t know what to expect except large crowds, noise, and people invading my personal space. (Which is a massive issue for me, and I don’t know how I survived!) On the first day of the Con I was overwhelmed with excitement, I had never seen so many cosplayers in one place. At first, I felt weird asking them to take their pictures, but then I saw the perfect photo opportunity. A group of friends dressed as the main characters from Death Note one of my favorite anime. I approached them with what I hoped was a calm, cool admiration for their creativity but probably looked more like a toddler drooling in amazement as I asked to take their photo. As you can see they were super cool, I only wish I had gotten the names of their Instagram accounts so I could tag & follow them.
Panel Discussions are my new love!
One of my favorite highlights from Dragon Con was the panels. My friends and I attended the Gender in Comics panel, this panel delved into toxic masculinity, motherhood, feminine heroism, patriarchy and gender norms in American and British comics. The speakers included Courtney Bliss, A. Luxx Mishou, Daniel Amrhein, Megan Vinson, and Matthew J. Brown. I had not heard of any of these people before the panel, but all of them gave fascinating presentations. The presentation that I enjoyed the most discussed how the Wolverine/Logan character from X-Men is a prime representation of toxic masculinity. I love Wolverine with a passion, but I know how overly aggressive he can be when interacting with other males. This panel introduced me to a new comic called Bitch Planet which is a feminist dystopian comic series where non-compliant women are sentenced to imprisonment on an off-planet. This comic is published by Image Comics and written by Kelly Sue Deconnick and illustrated by Valentine
De Landro. The next time I go to a comic-con, I will attend more than one of these panels as I find them to be exciting and educational.
Black Lightning Q & A
As my days at Dragon Con progressed, I didn’t think that things could get any better, but they did, on my second day, I attended the Black Lightning Cast: Lightning Strikes panel and I was over the moon with excitement. I was able to snag a seat in the 3rd or 4th row close enough to see the actors facial expressions and gestures. The cast members in attendance were Christine Adams (Lynn Pierce), Marvin Jones III ( Tobias Whale ), China Anne McClain (Jennifer Pierce), Nafessa Williams (Anissa Pierce aka Thunder) and Dragon Con moderator Marc Lee. First, let me say, I love Marvin Jones he is absolutely fantastic in his portrayal of villain Tobias Whale. From what I could gather at the Q&A he is a sweet guy.
Second, the entire cast made us feel welcome and oozed energy during our hour with them. The actors answered our questions to the best of their ability and had a great sense of humor with their responses, especially when we tried to get a sneak peek into Anissa’s love interest for season 2. I was amazed at how quickly my questions for the cast evaporated from my mind once I entered the room, so when question time rolled around, I sat quietly listening to every word.
There were many questions asked, and a lot of praises for the cast sprinkled in between, but one young lady had me in tears. When she stepped up to the mic, she did not have a question only comment for China McClain. She said that she had been a fan of McClain’s since her role as Ursula’s daughter Uma in the Disney movie Descendants. The young ladies voice shook as she expressed how awesome she thought McClain was in that role. China thanked her and complimented her on her own Uma cosplay and asked her if she would be able to give her a hug. The girl was already tearing up but made her way to the stage to hug China, this warmed my heart wholly, and I am so grateful that I got to experience that moment.
Color, Color Everywhere
Lastly, I am glad that I attended my first comic con in Atlanta because it allowed me to see how many Black cosplayers there are. I didn't know that there would be so many people of color at this kind of event and I felt welcome there and not out of place. It encouraged me to attend more comic cons and gave me immense amounts of inspiration for future cosplay ideas.
I learned that many of the pieces that I have in my closet could easily make a few simple costumes, and now have the confidence to wear them. The next events on my list are the Cleveland Wizard World Con, Youmacon and the San Diego Comic-Con.
Are there any comic-cons that you want to go to or that you recommend I attend?