31 AUGUST 2013
This is the weekend I play the role of the jealous person at home enviously reading all the tweets and articles on the Con - Dragon*Con, that is. I didn't try to go, because right now my Con dance card is full enough, but it's definitely becoming the other Con to go to; witness yesterday's CNN article calling it a "pilgrimage."
Dragon*Con is often seen as the more free-spirited, sluttier Con and it makes this bold claim: "We are the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music and film in the entire universe." You'd think a convention birthed by sci fi nerds would know better than to profess that kind of cosmological knowledge, but there's no denying that Dragon*Con acts as a destination vacation for people who might consider San Diego to be too vanilla and predictable. This year it's expected to bring in 55K attendees, which is less than half of SDCC, but let's be honest - that can be a very good thing.
The CNN article doesn't shy away from the child molestation charges against one of the founders (who's since been cut off from the convention) and its struggle in becoming a family-friendly Con while still bearing a reputation for more "adult" parties and activities. What it doesn't convey is what seems to be Dragon*Con's openness and spontaneity (neither of which the mammoth SDCC could achieve at this point). My friends who are there have experienced some scheduling and exposure opportunities that are impossible to imagine happening at San Diego.
All of which is my way of suggesting Dragon*Con as an alternative for those of you who can't go to SDCC or simply find it too bland and mainstream for your adventurous nerd hearts. Maybe 2014 is the summer you go rogue and fly to Atlanta instead of San Diego. At least keep it in mind if the badge sales don't go as you want over the coming months. As options go, this is a good one.