I think we all know the world’s seemed a little rougher pretty much ever since David Bowie died. But at the end of every summer, there’s this place where it doesn’t matter what you wear, just as long as you are there. A place where we can be heroes, just for four (and a half-ish) days.
Dragon Con isn’t like any other convention. It doesn’t end at 6 p.m. when the panel schedule wraps up and everybody leaves a convention center. Because the schedule doesn’t end at 6, and nobody leaves. We’re in this together, 24 hours a day.
That means that not every moment is perfect. Even in a room with your closest friends for four (and a half-ish) days straight, something will go wrong. It’s all the things — and people — that go right that matter.
So as you’re all readjusting to your regular lives for the next 359 days until we’re together again, and for those of you we might meet for the first time in 359 days, here are the people I want to thank:
- everyone who made a new friend in the elevator, even if just for those two short minutes.
- especially the ones who didn’t realize they had a two-minute friendship with a celebrity guest in that elevator until five minutes after they got out.
- partiers who danced with a giant Pikachu or inflatable T-Rex.
- the pie makers.
- the food court Caribou employees who stayed open until 2 a.m. so that we could all keep going.
- Alton Brown, for choosing our little party to announce Return of the Eats.
- everyone who donated some of their con budget to help Special Olympics Georgia and Hurricane Harvey relief.
- all the volunteers who give up time from their con to make it better for the rest of us.
- especially the ones who did their best to let as many people as possible see Stan Lee, knowing it could be one of our last chances.
- and all the guests and panelists who patiently wait through every life story and five-part question.
- the 3,000 people who donated 6,000 units of blood to LifeSouth
- the Dragon Con Superheroes who gave 2,600 hours of community service.
- the people who made obscure costumes and the three people who recognized them and made it worth it.
- the people who made the same costume as 200 other people and made a party of it. (I was with you, Chimiconga!)
- every Disney princess cosplayer who knelt for ten minutes to make a little kid’s day.
- the little boy who said, “Are you my mummy?” to my husband and creeped him out. (You’re the best!)
- all the little kids dressed up as Deadpool. I have a few questions for your parents, but you’re definitely going to be interesting adults.
- and all the cosplayers who brave Atlanta heat and humidity so that we can see Ariel hanging out with Iron Man. And the Iron Mer-man.
- the people dressed as costume repair stations. Bless you and your con-saving ways.
- the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable and their wake-up call to anybody still snoozing in the Marriott at 11 on Saturday morning.
- the creators of DragonConTV videos and their songs that get stuck in our heads for years. (Captain Kirk is still climbing that mountain.)
- the Jedi having spontaneous light saber battles on the roof.
- people who find nerd love at con. I hope all of you who got engaged have long nerd-marriages.
- everyone who helped a stranger who needed it, either a little bit or a lot.
- everyone who found lost things and returned them. (Thanks again, Derrel!)
- everyone who painted and hid rocks for others to find.
- the over 40s, singles, singles over 40, the mermaids, lovers of John Barrowman’s TARDIS dress, parents, people who bring slow cookers, craft beer lovers, piemakers, and all the many unofficial groups that make con last all year long.
- the Quest Giver.
- the lady giving glitter blessings in honor of Carrie Fisher.
- Garrick Ollivander, Jr, and the 528 wands he helped match with their owners.
- everyone who let a wheelchair on the elevator and waited for the next one (not knowing how long that might take).
- the photographers who record it all for us.
- the people parading into the Marriott singing “Don’t Stop Believing.” (We won’t).
- every one of you, really.
It’s not just a con. As someone told me in the Pulse Bar on Wednesday night, it’s a family reunion with a few thousand cousins you haven’t met yet.