DragonCon 2018

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been coming to the Con since 2010. A lot in my life has changed since that first trip to Atlanta…but one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that the Con is a great big party. It’s filled with people of all kinds and all passions: if you have a little piece of pop culture that you absolutely love, you’ll find your family here. I’ve developed a wonderful Con Family that I seek out every year.

I arrived earlier than usual on Thursday, flying out of Tulsa at 6:00 AM. For the first time, I took Atlanta’s light rail (MARTA) into downtown. It couldn’t have been easier. In fact, it brought back the feelings of taking mass transit that I experienced while abroad. I sure wish Tulsa had a stronger transit system. All that being said, I was able to arrive at my hotel downtown and check-in well before noon. That gave me a lot of time to explore before the Con started on Friday!

Although, really, the Con doesn’t start on Friday anymore. It starts on Thursday. And, really, it’s getting busier on the Wednesday and even the Tuesday before. I couldn’t believe how packed everything was as I wandered the Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton lobbies. Thursday is no longer the ‘quiet day’ of DragonCon. I saw just as many A-Game costumes at the Marriott Atrium that day than any of the other days.

DragonCon is made up of many parts: celebrity panels, creative workshops, vendor booths, gaming halls, cosplayers, and a parade that lasts nearly two hours. In and around those happenings are nearly 100k fans of all ages celebrating every imaginable aspect of pop culture. Since there’s so much to do, everyone gets to make their own Con experience. My Con consists mostly of wandering the host hotels with my camera, taking photos of my favorite costumes. I am consistently amazed at the craftsmanship on display. Although I didn’t dress up this year, I was able to share in the pride of many others that did.

There’s always a trend. This year, there were far fewer Harley Quinn’s and a lot of the Deadpools were of higher quality. A ton of costumes integrated portable speakers and music. And a lot of the photographers were taking video…I’ll admit I got annoyed more than once when someone was commanding cosplayers to do different things while they walked back and forth to get certain shots while I just stood and waited.

It was a long weekend in the best way. I spent time with friends I only see once a year, sharing meals and having great conversations.  In fact, that quality time meant I took fewer photos this year since 2010; no regrets! Below are a few of my favorite costumes from DragonCon 2018. My full photoset is available on Flickr here. To my friends in Atlanta: thank you. It was a magical weekend.

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SPACE FORCE! There were dozens of cosplayers around in various costumes dedicated to the current administration’s passion around a new branch of the military.

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A great re-imagining of Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

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Phenomenal detail on a costume inspired by Mad Max: Fury Road.

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I love it when cosplayers come toghether – like these Cinderella Step-Sisters and The Queen.

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This Bob Ross guy was actually painting!

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Best Judge Doom I’ve ever seen – great props including a squeaking shoe!

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Many scary clowns this year (many from IT) – this was my favorite!

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Royal Tenenbaums cosplay group.

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Strong Pro Wrestling representation in 2018 – including this picture-perfect Macho Man.

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French Kiss.

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It’s easy to phone in a Dread Pirate Roberts costume – this one is stellar! Great detail with him and Princess Buttercup.

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Back to the Future III group – what a great Buford Tannen!

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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