One of Dragon*Con’s big annual traditions is the parade through the streets of Downtown Atlanta. Thousands of nerds gather, garbed in their gear of choice to show love for whatever niche of dorkery they prefer. And thousands more spectators – con-goers, residents and football fans that are just there for the opening game – are treated to the sight of wizards, zombies, Stormtroopers, Ghostbusters, Klingons and just about any other character you can imagine.
It’s absolutely breathtaking.
Or at least, it was last year.
2010 was the first year I managed to haul my sorry carcass out of bed early enough to catch the parade and it was definitely worth it.
This year… well, it was still worth it; but the damn thing just kept going. The parade might be more of a semi-annual event for me. It just wasn’t as exciting the second time around. The costumes are all wonderful and the devotion is inspiring, but an hour and a half is a long time to stand in one spot trying to get a good enough angle to take decent pictures because you’re three rows back. I lucked out and found The Big Guy and his lady (and maybe Hoffman?) waiting on a corner. They had what seemed like a great plan – they were standing on the corner waiting for the police to close off the street. They would then move into the street, securing a spot at the front before anybody else could. It would have been great but for one thing: parents with strollers are very fast and have sympathy on their side. Of course it’s more important for the little kids to see the parade than it is for me to, dammit. And I reserve the right to enjoy it when the jerks from Netherworld think it’s funny to lunge at your toddler with a headless kitten with knives for feet.
So the damn thing went on too long, but I still took a raging shitload of pictures to share with you – my loyal Phantomaniacs!
Just to be clear, those are not actual Army people. They are Colonial Marines. Okay, well, they’re not really Colonial Marines either. They’re nerds in camouflage.
This is just the weirdest damn group of people ever. I can’t imagine what sub-genre this is. Maybe some kind of fan-fic group who wrote a story about Ferris Bueller(sp?), Dawn, Robocop, his partner and the creepy Six Flags guy? I just threw up. And not in my mouth a little bit. All over the keyboard.
Sadly, these were the only representatives of the Sucker Punch contingent. I saw a few more over the weekend, but never got any truly satisfactory pictures. By which I mean shots of hineys.
I like to think this lady was just out walking her dog and got swept up in the parade somehow. That’s just how she dresses every day.
Here’s where the GI Joe stuff starts. I was pretty stoked to see an Alley Viper this year.
Okay, the fact that somebody was driving a homemade Stinger is pretty outstanding, but the fan in me has to point out that it should have some COBRA insignias and should be a different shade of blue. And have a bunch of randomly placed “No Step” stickers. That are crooked.
Oktober Guard! Awesome!
And of course, Gnoll as Outback! Good job, Gnoll.
Okay, so it isn’t a headless kitten with knives for feet, but those kids didn’t want that freak shoving a puppet in their faces.
The L.A.R.P.ers once again delighted everyone by pausing long enough to whoop the shit out of one another with their big, foam weapons. You might think I have something snarky to say here, but I don’t. Good for them.
The Men In Black people, on the other hand, are just fucking pathetic. Put that sorry excuse for a dog away you silly ass.
I’m pretty sure these two were high. They were dancing. Like crazy dancing. And they were the only two. Everybody else just kind of shuffles along or whatever. The Netherworld guys might run and slide around on their metal kneepads that are supposed to emit a shower of sparks but usually look more like somebody just sort of ran a Bic across the pavement. But these girls were doing, like, a full dance routine. It was impressive. Until Wonder Woman smacked the pink girl in the face with her cape (take another look at the pic).
The following series of pictures features the Crazy Old People Marching Band.
Is the scariest damn thing I’ve ever seen.
2011 also featured the return of the Mini-Mates, who I think are awesome.
I don’t necessarily like this guy’s costume, but I dig what he did with that mac so much I had to include him.
I yelled “Klarion!” so I could get him/her to look at me. The results are actually pretty fucking scary.
There’s a lot to love about this picture. From the great Blue Beetle in the back to Jade to baby Robin and that wonderful Alan Scott Green Lantern. But my favorite; the real treasure of the piece, is Madman discretely trying to adjust his furniture over on the right.
KIDS! DO NOT TAKE CANDY FROM CREEPY OLD BEN 10!
As I predicted – the Captainettes!
Nyan Cat; which is funny enough without comment.
And just where the heck is Chim-Chim? Don’t get me wrong – I love that this guy hopped out and gave us a pose. I just want to see a damn monkey.
That’s just way too much titty to be showing during the day. And I never complain about titties. Well, not outside of the Clermont anyway.
There they are again!
They held that pose for at least a minute.
I’ve never played any Warhammer anything, but those people look really neat.
This was The Netherworld’s big thing this year. It moved its head around and was reasonably cool. I don’t know how scary it really was, though. Maybe it’s a context thing.
I like this because the costume looks great and she even resembles Milla Jovovich if you squint a little bit. I love those movies. Well, except for part two. That one really was awful.
I don’t understand what’s going on here at all. He was acting like a zombie but does not look like a zombie. I dunno.
This guy… this guy just makes me so proud. Way to go, Real Ghostbusters Egon.
Steampunk Lady Deadpool. I think that’s taking things just a bit too damn far.
This was not actually part of the parade. That is not some dude’s VW van dressed up like a fire engine. Apparently there was an actual, real emergency somewhere. I felt a little crass taking a picture, but it had to be documented.
No, the focus of this picture is not that terrifying Shrek. It’s Peppermint Larry and his candy wife right behind him. That’s just classy.
Evil-Lyn and Skeletor both look fantastic. I even got a picture with them later on. My issue here is that Skeletor should never, ever be doing a sweet little curtsey like this.
I yelled “Friendship is magic!” at them as they walked by, hoping to get another head-on shot. I think my voice was too shot from DCW to be heard.
That’s just way too much hiney to be showing during the day. And I never complain about hineys. Also, I do not get the fishnet on top of fishnet thing. And I saw it a lot over the weekend.
I passed over a bunch of the Doctor Who stuff because I love Doctor Who too much. I’m going to pick apart people’s costumes and come off like a dick. You can’t just throw any old scarf and coat on and be the 4th Doctor. But people totally think that way. But this guy incurs my wrath because it looks like he once saw a couple of pictures of Peter Davison and then maybe somebody told him about Tom Baker and he got confused or something. I don’t know, but that’s not anything I’ve ever seen in Doctor Who. Maybe it’s from a book and if it is I apologize and this guy is totally awesome..
The Commandos of Delta Squad looked great. Seriously – that’s all.
Just a bunch of Star Wars. And the guy in the back is Jek Porkins whether he likes it or not.
He’s got a little TIE Fighter. Adorable.
And cleaning up after the biggest parade of dorkery you’ve ever seen – none other than Dragon*Con TV’s hottest stars…
Bob & Carl & Bob & Carl & Bob and one more Carl – THE SCI-FI JANITORS!
Thanks folks. Come back tomorrow for some more nonsense, up to and including karaoke and breakfast at the infamous Metro!
Until next time, stay creepy