Dragon*Con or bust: Fans arrive in Atlanta
Steve Rifenberick, 47, has merged his love of "Star Wars" and Tennessee football with his Darth Vol costume.
August 31st, 2012
05:55 PM ET

Dragon*Con or bust: Fans arrive in Atlanta

For geeks like me, Labor Day weekend is “the most wonderful time of the year” where Whovians, Trekkies, Star Wars fans, LARPers, gamers, Steampunk enthusiasts, aliens, zombies, vampires, fairies, and comic book heroes all mingle in one massive, 5-hotel-spanning nerd diorama.

Dragon*Con has started and this is my seventh year attending the Atlanta, Georgia fan festival extraordinaire.

As I checked into the Marriott Marquis hotel on Thursday at 12:30 in the afternoon, the air was already electrified. Luggage carts filled to the brim with suitcases and trunks were whizzing about the lobby, each carrying what was surely an amazing costume inspired by science fiction, fantasy, anime, video games or comic book franchises.

Later that afternoon, many Dragon*Con attendees could no longer hold back their excitement, and were already parading around the hotels in their costumes. I saw con-goers in guises from G.I. Joe, Star Trek and Doctor Who well before 5:00 PM.

While many Americans hit their backyards and gas grills over the long holiday, hundreds of thousands of people pour into downtown Atlanta instead. You see, Dragon*Con is not the only celebration in town. The swarms of college football fans also flood the same hotels, food courts, and restaurants as Dragon*Con attendees for the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game (http://www.chick-fil-akickoffgame.com/).

And the Thursday night before Labor Day weekend they all arrive at the same time. FULL POST

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August 29th, 2012
11:28 AM ET

Costuming at Dragon*Con: Why I’ll be a Japanese fox this year

If there's one thing any self-respecting Dragon*Con attendee does not want to do, it's "Halloween it."

Dragon*Con, the Southeast's largest fantasy and sci-fi fan convention, has long been a venue for impressive costuming. But as cosplayers, costumers and artists continue to develop sophisticated fabrication techniques, the bar for an awesome costume is set higher at Dragon*Con than at any other fan convention in the country.

Dragon*Con attendees don't just put on a costume: they sculpt gravity-defying wigs, they vacuum-mold armor, they airbrush their entire bodies.

The costumes of Dragon*Con send a complicated message of commiseration, appreciation and imagination.

Costuming, in the nerd community, can be a deeply soulful thing. The choice to display a persona, well-known or mystifyingly niche, at once communicates what media you consume, (video games? anime? comic books?), what attributes you value (are villains more interesting?), your artistic ability and aesthetic, as well as the fact that you are part of the tribe of fans that admire a particular franchise or idea.

In essence, costumes are a nerd calling card.

So those wearing only store-bought  fright wigs and fairy wings will likely not win over the crowds when more than 50,000 people descend on Atlanta, Georgia, this weekend to attend Dragon*Con

If you could bare your soul with a costume, what would you say? This year, I've chosen to broadcast my interest in Japanese mythology. FULL POST

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What we geeked out about in 2011
George R.R. Martin, author of "Dance with Dragons" and other books in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series.
December 28th, 2011
05:35 PM ET

What we geeked out about in 2011

2011 was a big year for geeking out (for one thing, this blog launched in 2011).

The staff of CNN Geek Out had quite a few geek out moments but we picked just a few of the biggest ones to share with you as we say goodbye to this year.

Doug Gross:

We’d waited six long years to hear those seven magical words.

“The dragons are coming. Prepare to dance.”

That’s what fantasy writer George R.R. Martin wrote on his website in March, signaling that “A Dance With Dragons,” the fifth book in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, had gotten a July publication date.

By this point, “SOIAF” had already leapt to the top of my list. I’d even committed the geek-sacrilege of suggesting it’s better than “Lord of the Rings.” The fact that Martin had taken so long to get this one just right only made the moment I learned that 2011 would mark a return to Westeros more of a rush.

There would be more fantasy-geeking on my part when the book was actually released and was just as masterful as any of us could have expected. And, of course, there was the rush of seeing “Game of Thrones” adapted for HBO. But those seven words … yeah. That was big.
FULL POST

Yes, panties have been thrown: Paul and Storm
Paul and Storm chatted with CNN's Topher Kohan and Elizabeth Landau at DragonCon.
September 28th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

Yes, panties have been thrown: Paul and Storm

You know how sometimes twins seamlessly finish each other’s sentences and sometimes just speak at the same time?

Musicians Paul Sabourin and Greg "Storm" DiCostanzo are like that, except that it’s almost always funny. And since they’ve risen to geek fame as the duo Paul and Storm, it’s hard to think of one without the other.

Whether acting out a nun fight, impersonating Bob Dylan in a well, or counting the pairs of underwear that fans throw at them, Paul and Storm know how to make audiences laugh.

FULL POST

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'MST3K' alums take on 'Twilight'
September 20th, 2011
12:06 PM ET

'MST3K' alums take on 'Twilight'

Bill Corbett makes fun of things for a living.

For example, one part of Corbett's job requires him to remark, in response to Lando Calrissian's "Empire Strikes Back" line to Han Solo, "You've got a lot of guts coming here, after what you pulled, " that "Lando just sat through '[Indiana Jones and the] Crystal Skull.'"

Corbett's held this most unusual job for five years now, not counting his time on the cult classic television series "Mystery Science Theater 3000," which ran for ten years on Comedy Central and what was then the Sci-Fi Channel, with a devoted fanbase who tuned in for every episode. RiffTrax, a project of three former cast members from the series - Corbett, Michael J. Nelson and Kevin Murphy - recently celebrated its anniversary of commenting on both Hollywood's biggest hits and lesser-known turkeys. FULL POST

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