DragonCon 2013 preview

(Top row l-r) Avery Brooks, Billy Dee Williams, CCH Pounder, Christopher Judge, Cirroc Lofton; (second  row l-r)  Dave Fennoy, Ernie Hudson, Genelle Williams, Georges Jeanty, Herbert Jefferson Jr.; (third row l-r) IronE Singleton, Jasika Nicole, Kandyse McClure, K.C. Collins, Michael Dorn, and (bottom row l-r) Noel Clarke, Phil LaMarr, Russell Hornsby, Rutina Wesley, and Walter Jones.        Dave Fennoy photo by Tim Alexander

(Top row l-r) Avery Brooks, Billy Dee Williams, CCH Pounder, Christopher Judge, Cirroc Lofton; (second row l-r) Dave Fennoy, Ernie Hudson, Genelle Williams, Georges Jeanty, Herbert Jefferson Jr.; (third row l-r) IronE Singleton, Jasika Nicole, Kandyse McClure, K.C. Collins, Michael Dorn, and (bottom row l-r) Noel Clarke, Phil LaMarr, Russell Hornsby, Rutina Wesley, and Walter Jones. Dave Fennoy photo by Tim Alexander

Labor Day weekend in Atlanta is a fantastic time for fans of science fiction, fantasy, gaming, and similar genre movies, television, books, artwork, collectibles and music. Tens of thousands come annually from all over the region and various corners of the globe to DragonCon, the largest multi-media, popular culture convention in the U.S. The Hyatt, Marriott Marquis, Hilton, Weston, and the Sheraton all serve as host headquarter hotels where celebrants come together, mostly in costumes, to attend panel sessions, discussions, party, trade artwork and collectibles, party, and meet and be enthralled by over 500 artists, television and movie actors/actresses, musical artists and authors, and, oh yeah—party!

The celebrity guests scheduled to participate include 20 phenomenal African American stars, including: Avery Brooks, Noel Clarke, K.C. Collins, Michael Dorn, Dave Fennoy, Russell Hornsby, Ernie Hudson, Georges Jeanty, Herbert Jefferson Jr., Walter Jones, Christopher Judge, Phil LaMarr, Cirroc Lofton, Kandyse, McClure, Jasika Nicole, CCH Pounder, IronE Singleton, Rutina Wesley, Billy Dee Williams, and Genelle Williams.

Other featured guests include fanboy favorites Amy Acker, Elisha Dushku, Laurie Holden, Kelly Hu, Lucy Lawless, Traci Lords, Eve Myles, Teryl Rothery, Keegan Connor Tracy, Laura Vandervoort, and many more hotties. Ladies can meet Stephen Amell, Richard Dean Anderson, John Barrowman, Peter Davison, John deLancie, Dominic Keating, Gareth David Lloyd, Brian Markinson, James Marsters, Sylvester McCoy, Malcolm McDowell, Vic Mignogna, Edward James Olmos, Tahmoh Penikett, Mitch Pileggi, William Shatner, George Takei, Garrett Wang, and others.

This year’s Dragon Con, Friday, August 30 through Monday, September 2, has 38 diverse programming tracks offering something specific throughout the weekend for each participant’s interests, including: Alternate History Track; American Sci-Fi and Fantasy Media; American Science Fiction Classics; Animation; Anime/Manga; Apocalyse; Armory; Brit Track; Costuming; Digital Gaming; Electronic Frontiers Forum; Fantasy Literature; Filk Singing; Film; Horror; Kaleidoscope; Main Programming (contests, performances, Awards Banquet, Opening and Closing Ceremonies, LateNight Dances and Drum-Circles, and Blood Drives); MMORPGs; Podcasting: Now and Beyond; Puppetry; Robotics (they teach you how to build your own robot—with real robot battles); Science Track; Science Fiction Literature; Silk Road: Asian Cinema & Culture; Skeptics Track; Space Track (real space science, NASA info, astronomy, etc.); Stargate Multiverse; Trek Trak (Star Trek); StarWars; Tolkien’s Middle-Earth; Whedonverse (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly/Serenity, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible Sing-Along Blog, Fray, Marvel’s The Avengers and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.); Writer’s Track; X-Track; and Young Adult Literature. Each track is like its own four-day mini-convention, usually with a large dedicated meeting room to hang out in all weekend long.

Saturday morning’s Annual Dragon Con Parade (10 am, EDT) is worth the trip alone! It is now officially Atlanta’s largest parade, dwarfing even the Atlanta Football Classic parade. Last year’s 3,500 costumed participants included dozens of Imperial Stormtroopers, Princess Leias, witches and warlocks, the Dharma Initiative, Klingon biker chicks, Spidermen, Harry Potters, Doctors Who, and the like. DragonCon memberships are available on-site. For rates/more information, go to the website www.dragoncon.org