Dragon Con 2021 Photos #12 of 12: The All-Star Saturday Grand Finale With Wall-to-Wall Paneling

Dragon Con Badge 2021!

The fun thing about attending Dragon Con fan panels is you can collect ribbons from them that can be affixed to your badge to make it, like, even badgier.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. We returned home to Indianapolis with a plethora of new memories, hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a shared suspicion that we’d return someday. Not every year, but someday. In the year of our grand pandemic 2020 we attended exactly zero conventions for easily guessed reasons. In 2021 several cons made their comeback plans, but Dragon Con stepped up hardest and made us some offers we couldn’t refuse. We didn’t have to think long or hard before accepting the special rules under which this pandemic-era show would be held…

It all comes down to this: Saturday, September 4th, our final day at Dragon Con 2021 before we spent all of Sunday driving home. Well, not all of Sunday — Labor Day Eve traffic was so light and unsupervised that, after adjusting for pit stops, we made it from Atlanta to Indianapolis in less than eight hours. We actually had extra time to ourselves when we got home, which was nice. But that was the next day. This is the day.

September 4th was also the week before the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, which has no relevance here whatsoever but very nearly counts as fun trivia, except it isn’t.

We’ve covered a large chunk of our Saturday activities already. I promise this installment won’t take nearly as many words as the last one. Thanks to the amazing colossal Dragon Con app, which includes an archive of your past shows, this one was easy to organize by time stamp.

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Dragon Con 2021 Photos #11: Day One

Sleestak skull, Land of the Lost!

The hard part about preserving a Sleestak skull is finding a caveman who’ll sell you enough lye to cover an entire severed Sleestak head.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. We returned home to Indianapolis with a plethora of new memories, hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a shared suspicion that we’d return someday. Not every year, but someday. In the year of our grand pandemic 2020 we attended exactly zero conventions for easily guessed reasons. In 2021 several cons made their comeback plans, but Dragon Con stepped up hardest and made us some offers we couldn’t refuse. We didn’t have to think long or hard before accepting the special rules under which this pandemic-era show would be held…

The first official day of our first official convention since the official start of the official pandemic eighteen months ago had its awkward parts, its mild discomforts, and its spots of disappointment. By all rights, everyone should’ve forgotten how to do conventioning and disasters should’ve abounded. But everyone figured it out because, hey, at least we got to have a convention. Despite the challenges and worries, the established Dragon Con ecosystem adapted to the necessary changes and thrived at a reduced level. Life found a way.

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Dragon Con 2021 Photos #10: Day Zero

Dragon Con line selfie!

Plenty of time for a selfie while waiting in the line to get into the line that would let us into all the other lines.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. We returned home to Indianapolis with a plethora of new memories, hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a shared suspicion that we’d return someday. Not every year, but someday. In the year of our grand pandemic 2020 we attended exactly zero conventions for easily guessed reasons. In 2021 several cons made their comeback plans, but Dragon Con stepped up hardest and made us some offers we couldn’t refuse. We didn’t have to think long or hard before accepting the special rules under which this pandemic-era show would be held…

Once nice thing about dragging out a convention photo-gallery miniseries for weeks after the fact is, strangers have stopped searching for anything relevant that we might’ve had to offer them in the way of memories or cosplay photos that intersect with their own, so I can ease down, scale back, and touch on the smaller and more personal stories no one else cares about except us. Our arrival in Atlanta, for example, marked our return to comic-con life for the first time since November 2019. In many ways Dragon Con was easier the second time around if we disregard the parts most drastically affected by the endless pandemic.

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Dragon Con 2021 Photos #9: Winding Down the Parade

Seed and Feed Marching Abominable and Jessie!

Marching bands: not just for normal people anymore!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. We returned home to Indianapolis with a plethora of new memories, hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a shared suspicion that we’d return someday. Not every year, but someday. In the year of our grand pandemic 2020 we attended exactly zero conventions for easily guessed reasons. In 2021 several cons made their comeback plans, but Dragon Con stepped up hardest and made us some offers we couldn’t refuse. We didn’t have to think long or hard before accepting the special rules under which this pandemic-era show would be held…

Okay, so last time when I said, “It all comes down to this,” I meant cosplay in general. But there’s far more to D*C’s annual parade than the costumes. They have marching bands! Geek cars! Community groups! Special guests! And more, more, more! Except we already covered all the “more”. Now we’re down to just bands, cars, groups, and two special guests. Then I can move on. Probably. Enjoy if you will!

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Dragon Con 2021 Photos #8: Last Call for Parade Cosplay

Dr. Henry Jones cosplay!

Don’t ask me how I nearly overlooked this pic of the Chibi Bunny I still don’t recognize, Dr. Henry Jones, Anna from Frozen, and Dash from The Incredibles.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. We returned home to Indianapolis with a plethora of new memories, hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a shared suspicion that we’d return someday. Not every year, but someday. In the year of our grand pandemic 2020 we attended exactly zero conventions for easily guessed reasons. In 2021 several cons made their comeback plans, but Dragon Con stepped up hardest and made us some offers we couldn’t refuse. We didn’t have to think long or hard before accepting the special rules under which this pandemic-era show would be held…

It all comes down to this: one final round of costumes from the Saturday morning cosplay parade through the heart of downtown Atlanta. Calling them “outtakes” seems unfair, but they were omitted from previous chapters for a variety of reasons. Some were redundant. Some had tiny flaws that bugged me. Some were probably arbitrary. Anyway, my fickleness notwithstanding, enjoy!

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Dragon Con 2021 Photos #7: More Cosplay Parade Stumpers

Black winged cosplay!

Winged costumes are among the most elaborate, time-consuming, fascinating costumes around. And it bugs me when I can’t put a name to them. Shark ninja is cool, too.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. We returned home to Indianapolis with a plethora of new memories, hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a shared suspicion that we’d return someday. Not every year, but someday. In the year of our grand pandemic 2020 we attended exactly zero conventions for easily guessed reasons. In 2021 several cons made their comeback plans, but Dragon Con stepped up hardest and made us some offers we couldn’t refuse. We didn’t have to think long or hard before accepting the special rules under which this pandemic-era show would be held…

Yep, more costumes from that annual cosplay parade. Downtown Atlanta was busy and bustling with hundreds and hundreds of fans dressed to the nines and showing off their fandoms and their togs. We recognized quite a few. Our knowledge bases and pop-culture consumption habits don’t cover all of them. Media and genres range far and wide and hither and yon and recognizing every single name is impossible unless you’re the Dragon Con staffer who processed their parade application.

In this gallery and the previous one, many of the photos sport one or more characters we couldn’t put names to and Google failed to lend us a hand. Or it’s our aging brains holding back on us, which happens a lot. Some might also be the cosplayers’ own original characters that we never stood a chance at guessing. I hate posting costume pics without at least trying to identify the subjects. If you see someone you know, please feel free to shout it out. We do enjoy learning about new universes we don’t know, and we appreciate reminders of the ones we’ve forgotten. And yes, that was the same intro as Chapter 6 with one word changed. It’s been a long week and everyone else who was at Dragon Con has moved on with their lives except me, so it’s corner-cutting time. Enjoy anyway!

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Dragon Con 2021 Photos #6: Cosplay Parade Stumpers

Overwatch cosplay!

Youngsters love Overwatch, don’t they? Here, have some Overwatch.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. We returned home to Indianapolis with a plethora of new memories, hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a shared suspicion that we’d return someday. Not every year, but someday. In the year of our grand pandemic 2020 we attended exactly zero conventions for easily guessed reasons. In 2021 several cons made their comeback plans, but Dragon Con stepped up hardest and made us some offers we couldn’t refuse. We didn’t have to think long or hard before accepting the special rules under which this pandemic-era show would be held…

Yep, more costumes from that annual cosplay parade. Downtown Atlanta was busy and bustling with hundreds and hundreds of fans dressed to the nines and showing off their fandoms and their togs. We recognized quite a few. Our knowledge bases and pop-culture consumption habits don’t cover all of them. Media and genres range far and wide and hither and yon and recognizing every single name is impossible unless you’re the Dragon Con staffer who processed their parade application.

In this gallery and the next one, many of the photos sport one or more characters we couldn’t put names to and Google failed to lend us a hand. Or it’s our aging brains holding back on us, which happens a lot. Some might also be the cosplayers’ own original characters that we never stood a chance at guessing. I hate posting costume pics without at least trying to identify the subjects. If you see someone you know, please feel free to shout it out. We do enjoy learning about new universes we don’t know, and we appreciate reminders of the ones we’ve forgotten. Enjoy despite our inadequate geek taxonomy!

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Dragon Con 2021 Photos #5: Still More Cosplay Parade

R2D2 Suit and Mandalorians cosplay!

Sharp-dressed Artoo leads Mandalorians down the runway.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. We returned home to Indianapolis with a plethora of new memories, hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a shared suspicion that we’d return someday. Not every year, but someday. In the year of our grand pandemic 2020 we attended exactly zero conventions for easily guessed reasons. In 2021 several cons made their comeback plans, but Dragon Con stepped up hardest and made us some offers we couldn’t refuse. We didn’t have to think long or hard before accepting the special rules under which this pandemic-era show would be held…

As promised, another gallery from the annual Saturday morning cosplay parade through downtown Atlanta, this time with specializations in Star Wars, Futurama, chemistry, and more. Corrections and revisions welcome as always. Once more, with feeling: enjoy!

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Dragon Con 2021 Photos #4: More Cosplay Parade

Cult of Marriott Carpet cosplay!

The Cult of Marriott Carpet is one of those extremely specific Dragon Con in-jokes. See, there’s a Marriott with this distinctive carpet that looks like Jackson Pollock and Piet Mondrian made a map of Boston together…

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. We returned home to Indianapolis with a plethora of new memories, hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a shared suspicion that we’d return someday. Not every year, but someday. In the year of our grand pandemic 2020 we attended exactly zero conventions for easily guessed reasons. In 2021 several cons made their comeback plans, but Dragon Con stepped up hardest and made us some offers we couldn’t refuse. We didn’t have to think long or hard before accepting the special rules under which this pandemic-era show would be held…

As promised, another gallery from the annual Saturday morning cosplay parade through downtown Atlanta. Marvel unintentionally dominates this section, but they don’t quite have this one all to themselves. For past comic-cons I used to sort the costumes by company, by genre, or by whatever pop-culture divisions came to mind. That procedure takes extra time and has been suspended for the time being so I can save time and get these done for You, The Viewers At Home. Corrections and revisions welcome as always. Enjoy! Again!

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Dragon Con 2021 Photos #3: Some Cosplay Parade

Chuckles Scarlett Zarana Cobra Commander GI Joe!

G.I. Joe role call: Chuckles! Scarlett! Zarana from the Dreadnoks! Cobra Commander! YO, JOE!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In 2019 my wife Anne and I attended our very first Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. We returned home to Indianapolis with a plethora of new memories, hundreds and hundreds of photos, and a shared suspicion that we’d return someday. Not every year, but someday. In the year of our grand pandemic 2020 we attended exactly zero conventions for easily guessed reasons. In 2021 several cons made their comeback plans, but Dragon Con stepped up hardest and made us some offers we couldn’t refuse. We didn’t have to think long or hard before accepting the special rules under which this pandemic-era show would be held…

Same as 2019, one of our favorite D*C features was the annual Saturday morning cosplay parade. Each year hundreds of cosplayers team up in appropriate factions or categories, then march around the streets of downtown Atlanta in full regalia, or sometimes drive the route in their geek vehicles. Usually the lineup around the parade route is the best free opportunity for the public at large to join the festivities and get a taste of con life. As with many other aspects of the show, 2021 pandemic protocols restricted the live audience to Dragon Con attendees only, for whom COVID safety protocols were a requirement for participation. Locals were encouraged to watch on TV at home and weren’t supposed to show up. I have no idea whether the Atlanta PD actually cracked down on any badgeless looky-loos.

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