DragonCon 2016 (Sara Hinton)

It is said that birds of a feather flock together. Well, the same is true of nerds. And it is certainly true for those who venture out to DragonCon year after year.

Stuffed inside of four days and four nights, this convention of nerds and geeks is an incredible melting pot of superheroes, anime fans, movie lovers, and TV addicts. And for a nerd like myself, it is the best time imaginable.

The best part of any conference is the cosplay. Cosplay is dressing up as your favorite superhero and interacting with others in character for a while. This allows one to transcend the boundaries that normally divide strangers. Suddenly everyone has something in common: a love for the strange and the fantastic. Somehow the sheer nerdiness of the conference automatically connects everyone and makes them friends.

As one walks down Peach Tree Street, cosplayers and others nerds crowd the sidewalks, and the energy is contagious. Many gawk, laugh, point, and take pictures of the spectacular costumes, but no one minds. It’s what they’re there for.

There are four buildings rented for the event. One is the hall of vendors. There I met a man who crossed over Star Wars with fantasy. He engaged me in a conversation about the whether the mace of my character, Hawk Girl, would have any effect on his lightsaber. Because Hawk Girl’s mace disrupts magic, the answer was yes. This kind of conversation is normal at DragonCon.

I met actors and actresses from some of my favorite TV shows and movies. Ciara Renée, the actress who plays Hawk Girl in the T.V. show Legends of Tomorrow, was there and took a free picture with me and anyone else who dressed like her character. Every actor was genuine and kind no matter how long the lines to meet them were. The star cast for the TV show Grimm and Jason Isaacs, a.k.a. Lucius Malfoy of the Harry Potter franchise, were remarkably kind and genuine people.

They laughed and made jokes. They answered my questions, and one of them even gave me an idea of what was to come in the upcoming season. But one actor surprised me more than anyone. The lead actor of the TV show Warehouse 13 was there, Eddie McClintock. He also played a minor character in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. as a Kree warrior. When I complimented him on his role, he gave me a free autograph. That combined with a rare and usually expensive comic book for only one dollar made this one of the best trips ever.

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