Dragon Con

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(Redirected from DragonCon)

Dragon Con (also Dragon*Con) is North America's largest science fiction convention, held annually in Atlanta, Georgia. It was launched in 1987, as a project of a local science fiction and gaming group, the Dragon Alliance of Gamers and Role-Players (DAGR), founded by Ed Kramer. In 1990, Dragon Con launched the Atlanta Comics Expo and the Georgia Fantasy Convention, both of which are now part of the annual multi-media popular arts event that crosses over into fantasy, horror, gaming, and comics, with broad ranges which extend from books, art, and film to computer animation, special effects, and music.

The 4-day event comprises approximately 850 hours of panels, seminars, demonstrations, and workshops, with over 30 specialized programming tracks that include writing, art, gaming, NASA space science, robotics, filk, costuming, Star Trek, Star Wars, X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anne McCaffrey's Pern, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, British and American SF television, New Zealand's The Tribe, and various others which appear when specific Guests of Honor attend (i.e. Clive Barker's Lost Souls and Storm Constantine's Grissecon). From its origin, music has been a significant feature of Dragon Con, with past performances by Blue Öyster Cult, Jefferson Starship, Iced Earth, Edgar Winter, Chick Corea, The Misfits, Ghost of the Robot, and others.

In 1998, Dragon Con established the Julie Award, in honor of Julius Schwartz, bestowed for universal achievement spanning multiple genres, selected each year by an esteemed panel of industry professionals. The inaugural recipient was science fiction and fantasy Grandmaster Ray Bradbury. Additional recipient awards, presented by Schwartz each year, included: Forry Ackerman, Yoshitaka Amano, Alice Cooper, Will Eisner, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman, Carmine Infantino, Anne McCaffrey, and Jim Steranko. It is also the host of the Dragon Con Independent Short Film Festival, the Futura Award (paying homage to the Fritz Lang masterpiece Metropolis), and the Georgia Fandom Award.

The 25,000 member convention takes over a six-square block area of downtown Atlanta adjacent to the 1996 Summer Olympics Village, and is hosted by an 850-member volunteer staff to raise thousands of dollars each year for local and national charities. Dragon Con has hosted the 1990 Origins Convention and the 1995 North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC). Like many World Fantasy Conventions, it is operated by a private corporation, and has been the subject of considerable controversy by a small segment of fandom since it is has been scheduled on Labor Day Weekend, which has been a traditional date of domestic Worldcons.

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