Dragon Con is a lot of fun, no doubt about it. I didn’t even go into the night life, where raves and drum circles carry on through the night and into the next morning, or the karaoke contests, the mobile parties, and so on. Yet, DragonCon also has a more serious side.
DragonCon hosts an annual blood drive that brings in thousands of units of blood every year. DragonCon often competes against ComicCon’s own blood drive, often beating the west coast convention. Futhermore, DragonCon sponsors a charity every year. This year it was the Altanta Self-Sufficiency Center, a local charity that works to help the homeless get back on their feet through a number of different programs. The participants really help out, coming up with games and contests to encourage donations.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, DrgaonCon is also a great place for the arts. As I mentioned before, within DragonCon itself there are professional level workshops for writers, in addition to dozens of less professional discussion panels on writing, costuming, and art. You can also take acting classes, and meditation classes have been offered in the past.
Beyond discussion and workshops, DragonCon also offers many opportunities for artists and other creative types to show and sell their work. The DragonCon Dealers Room has expanded from a single (large) room in the Marriott to a large chunk of the AmericasMart building. And perhaps more relevant to us, DragonCon boasts a Comic and Pop Art room, and a more traditional art show.
The Comic and Pop Artist Alley, as it is called, is the place to find art based on existing works. These are fan works with everything from fan mashups – Jason Vorhees fighting Michael Myers, for instance. Or you might an Impressionst or Cubist take on the inscribable horror of Cthulu. Or maybe you just want a really nice Star Wars picture on your wall.
If that’s not your cup of tea, however, the DragonCon Art Show may be more what you’re looking for. While there will be a focus on the fantastic, the Art Show contains all original works. Not to say you won’t see anything familiar, as some of these works may have gone on to inspire the media that creates the core of DragonCon.
All in all, there is nothing quite like DragonCon. Weather you want to learn something, have fun, have fun learning something, or just sit back and take it all in, DragonCon has a lot to offer. Weather you’re planning to get a hotel room and stay all weekend, or just stopping in for a day, you can always find something interesting and unusual to do.