Updated: Jan 20, 2019
Thanks to Dragon-Con for a complementary media pass for the purposes of coverage:
This weekend marked an influential time for fans of entertainment across the entire globe. The annual Dragon-Con took place this weekend in downtown Atlanta, Georgia and over 85,000 attendees swarmed in, with their lavish costumes and cosplaying, to celebrate the importance of the arts. It’s a unique event that cannot be found on such a large scale anywhere else in the South. I was fortunate enough to attend the event and take in the incredible energy from everyone in the entire convention.
When first entering the Hyatt Regency, one of the four hotels taking place in the event, I was struck by the daunting scale of the event. Costumed fans swarmed around me, with some wearing clever outfits and genius taglines.
In addition, the actual hotel itself was beautiful in its architectural design. While most of the convention took place on the lobby and bottom three floors in order to not disturb hotel guests, the sheer size and height of the building still left a lasting impression as I wandered around aimlessly with the only purpose of exploring the vast area.
After receiving a badge in the Dragon-Con Media Relations Room in the Hyatt Regency, I went straight to my interview with New York Times bestselling author of the Inheritance Cycle, Christopher Paolini. As he was the first person that I have ever interviewed under the banner of HBB Reviews, it was certainly a daunting task and I found myself rather nervous and stuttering. However, thanks to Paolini’s calm and pleasant demeanor, I found myself growing more confident throughout the 15-minute interview. He is a wonderful man who has a dedicated gift to crafting genuine fantasy writing. It was a great pleasure to meet the man behind four of some of the best YA fantasy works available at the moment. Read the full interview here.
Following the interview and a brief, over-priced lunch, I headed off to the iconic vendor’s hall, a prestigious location for any convention. Dragon Con’s vendor’s hall is located in building 2 of AmericasMart, a massive building that consists out of a total of 3 floors. These floors are decked out with indie artists, brand-name companies, and a unique variety of objects that are seemingly exclusive to DragonCon. From t-shirts to vintage trading cards, literally everything ever conceivable can be found in these four floors. Framed posters of signed pictures can be found nearly everywhere, creating an experience that serves as one of the most distinct factors to prove the diversity of Dragon-Con. The convention may be focused towards science fiction and fantasy, but even then, there is still so much diversity in the products available. From retro games and consoles to ancient DVD’s from the 90’s, each corner reveals a wholly unique section of the vendor’s hall. In addition, on the very top floor is a stunning array of artwork and comic book artists. Iconic artists, such as George Perez (illustrator of Infinity Gauntlet), can be found, ready to sign any of their works. However, indie artists can also be found whose works even rival that of the actual professionals. A detailed article on what I obtained from DragonCon will be launching tomorrow.
Following my exploration of the vendor’s hall, I briefly traveled to the Marriott Marquis where the first panel for me, “Dwarves of Middle-Earth,” was taking place. I decided to arrive forty-five minutes early in order to secure a decent seat. However, I was shocked to see the staggering line that already existed when I arrived forty-five minutes early. When asked, these fans reportedly spent two hours already waiting for the panel just to see two supporting actors from the film in person. The highlights from the “Dwarves of Middle-Earth” panel, starring Dean O’Garman and Graham McTavish can be found here.
As a whole, exploring the three buildings on the first day was an impressive experience that was truly unforgettable. I am so thankful for Dragon Con Media Relations allowing me to cover this exciting event that is filled with energy, passion, and love for the arts. It may not have movie studios showcasing exclusive trailers. It may not be the biggest convention. And it also may not have the best guests to highlight panels at the convention. But it is still easily the most energetic and thoroughly exciting convention that exists in the United States. Be sure to check back tomorrow for Saturday’s report.