Every year at DragonCon, you see a widely diverse group of cosplayers from all genre’s and from just about every decade of pop culture available. Every year I have gone, I looked at what everyone was cosplaying as and I started to notice a pattern. As an event promoted as for the fans and not for media, Dragon Con has become even more important for networks and publicists to pay attention to. Unlike most other fan conventions, Dragon Con is mostly volunteer run. It headlines a great list of talent from all your favorite genre shows in both autograph sessions and panel programming all weekend long.
What I find the most interesting about this event is the talent that arrives to do panels and sign autographs are not the celebs of the event, nor are they the ones getting the most attention. Sure we all want to see our favorite cast members on panels and get their photo or autograph but the spotlight is on all the fans who spend weeks and sometimes months creating their cosplay and some go far beyond the norm when making them. One such fan with a background in visual effects makeup went far above with his Groot costume that was so incredible the director of Guardians Of The Galaxy, who was at Dragon Con, stopped to take photos with him and talk to him. Here is a video of Hurley FX getting his Groot on.
The fans truly are the celebs at Dragon Con and that continues to be the case as the event grows every single year. Another great example of this was during one of the Defiance panels moderated by Aaron Sagers. A character on the show, Tommy, was killed just before season 2 had ended and he was a loved character. One of the fans in the audience had gone up to ask a question and the cast of Defiance noticed that his cosplay was that of Tommy’s character and it was so good, they called him on stage. There he was able to talk with the actor who plays Tommy (Tony Curran called him on his cell to shout out to the fans) and the cast took photos with him.
One of the big trends we saw this year was 2 specific anime franchises, Sword Art Online and Attack on Titan. With the license gained by FUNimation for english dubbing of the series, Attack On Titan has become one of the most popular anime in the United States and this year it showed. We saw no less than 26 variations of the scout regiment and 3D maneuvering gear. For SAO we saw mostly Kirito outfits, but there were one or two Asuna mixed in as well. Another big cosplay this year was Defiance, which lends us to this question: With such a huge fan base dressing up as their favorite Votan race, is the show locked in for a season 3 renewal? I think yes.
Whether Dragon Con can predict the popularity of upcoming genre trends or not, it is most certainly the place for fans to become the celebs for 1 weekend. There they share their passion for pop-culture and getting to party it up alongside some of their favorite talent. Because at Dragon Con, you will find actors mingling among the crowds just like fans, something you won’t see much at San Diego Comic Con.
Until next year, here are a few photos and we will see you next time in Atlanta.