For the 3rd year in a row, I was fortunate enough to attend DragonCon in Atlanta as a member of the media covering the event for Brothascomics.com. As a Blerd and Atlanta resident for the past 25 years, I have seen DragonCon grow from this small event that only a few thousand nerds attended, to this international event that now close to a half million people attend over the Labor Day Weekend.
My experience with Dragoncon has come full circle. First I was a participant with my friends renting a hotel and gaming all night long. Later, I became an active volunteer working the in the game rooms and helping my new con-friends find and play games they have never heard of before. Now, as a member of the media, I get to see up close and personal some of my favorite stars and creators and bring that content to our blog and podcast.
But throughout all of this, the biggest change at DragonCon has been the needed expression of Black Nerd culture. DragonCon, like most conventions, can often become very white spaces and not welcoming to nerds expressing themselves in nerd culture. I have seen that as a fan and a volunteer. Over the past ten years tho, DragonCon has become such a cultural awakening for Black Nerd Culture in Atlanta and throughout the southeast. Black Nerds from around the country circle this event on their calendar to make sure they are to be seen with cosplay and heard in panels to make sure people understand that Black Nerds are here and want to express themselves and be seen and accepted in nerd culture.
One of the biggest ways to do this is through cosplay. I have covered so many events over the past few years, and no one shows up and shows out like DragonCon for cosplay. So many fans spend months and months getting ready for this event and it shows in their costumes. Brothascomics uses the tag #wehere as an expression that we are here and in this place and want to be recognized for our contributions to nerd culture.
Here are some of the many examples of Black Nerd Cosplay at Dragoncon this year
Overall just a wonderful experience again this year and I cannot wait to get invited back next year to cover this event. Its such an experience to be with like minded friends and fans for these 4 days every year!