13 Amazing Costumes From The Crazy World Of Dragon Con

Photographed by Jason Travis.
Take Comic Con, but get rid of all the hype, the big budget comic book movie promotions, and the A-list celebrities. In its place, put a boatload of dressed-up super-fans — and you've got Dragon Con.
Each year, downtown Atlanta is swarmed by more than 50,000 monsters, princesses, fairies, super heroes, and knights. Dragon Con is an annual convention dedicated to the most serious of the nerdy fan arts — cosplay, or dressing up.
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We went down to Georgia to check out the scene and talk to some of the most decked-out fans. They told us about their costumes, how they connect to their characters, and why they love the Dragon Con community.
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Photographed by Jason Travis.
Tell me about your costume.
"I'm pin-up Captain America. I had this idea: What if Bettie Page was Captain America? The pin-up girls were very, very strong women. And, Captain America is not majorly super-powered like Tony Stark or Thor — a lot of what drives him is personal strength. So, this costume has two things very close to my heart: the feminist movement and just not being a dick."

What’s meaningful about Dragon Con to you?
"My first year here was 2007 or 2008, and I was a Doctor Who costumer. I do the 10th doctor because I am actually a trans man and I consider this costume drag. I met a really amazing guy named Ryan Jones, one of the best costumers I’ve ever seen. We ended up getting so close that we called each other brothers. Ryan passed away about two or three years ago, and you would have thought we lost the family. But, the family pulled together a lot closer. We are part of a group now called Ryan’s Army and we meet every year. So, what makes Dragon Con special for me is it’s my family reunion. I’m from a small Southern town where saying you are a trans man gets the crap kicked out of you — but here I can be me, and nobody thinks I’m a freak."
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Photographed by Jason Travis.
What's your costume?
"I am actually a human Jedi — my name is Darth Aldire, I turned Sith when I followed Darth Revan and Darth Mallet into the dark side. It was around the Mandalorian War time."

Is that your real hair?
It is! I went to a lady’s house and she spent about three hours braiding my hair — there are oil products in it, but at this tip of it is glue. After Dragon Con, it’s going to be such a pain to get it out."

How did you prep for Dragon Con?
"I brought four costumes with me: I have a Bat Woman costume that I hand-made, and a girl based on The Golden Age that I made. My husband helped me build the wings — that one has an 8-foot wingspan that moves with my body. I wore that yesterday, very tiring. I’ve been preparing since October."

So how do you connect to the character?
"As soon as I put the costume on, I become that person. I’m a dark Jedi right now so I have to be a badass, like I'm going to kill somebody."

What would she tell us?
The dark side is so much better.
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Photographed by Jason Travis.
Who are you today?
"I’m dressed as Kitty Pryde — a.k.a. Shadow Cat."

How long have you been preparing this costume?
"I originally made this for a volunteer X-Men event, and I’ve remade it a couple of times since — but this is my first big convention where I have the dragon up on my head."

How do you connect to this character?
"Kitty is the most normal and well-adjusted of the X-Men; she's the pacifist of the group. She has super-strong opinions and knows when to use them, as opposed to other X-Men, who get violent or do evil shit."

What advice would she give us?
"Don’t treat anyone differently because of who they are."

What is the best part about Dragon Con for you?
"Meeting people! When you meet people who are dressed as characters from the same series, you say hi and automatically become friends with them."
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Photographed by Jason Travis.
Who are you dressed as?
"I’m dressed as the Vault 101 dweller from the series Fallout. In that game, the dweller is known as the lone wanderer. Fallout is a post-apocalyptic video game and has a very niche group of fans."

What's she all about?
"When I play PS3, I like for my characters to use their charisma, intelligence, or stealth to achieve their objective rather than going in guns blazing. This cosplay reflects that; a more polished and refined character, not quite as dirty and grungy as other Fallout cosplays you see."

What would she tell us?
"It’s a post-apocalyptic wasteland out there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look good. If you can talk your way through a problem, then you don’t have to mess up your hair or your lipstick!"

What is your favorite part of Dragon Con?
"Nerd camaraderie!"
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Photographed by Jason Travis.
Tell us about your look.
"I’m the evil Queen Regena from Once Upon A Time, which fits because my name is Regena. I bought the fabric for this outfit back in April and I started making it in the beginning of May."

What's her deal?
"She’s a strong female — but really, I love her because I just love her costumes. It's a show with great costumes, but hers are the best."

What's her ethos?
"She’s one of those people who are consistent in what she wants and goes for it no matter what."

What is your favorite part of Dragon Con?
"Everyone is really friendly. I go to a lot of anime cons, but the Dragon Con environment is really different. I really like it, and I like people-watching. The other cons I go to, the crowd is a lot younger, so this one is my people."
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Photographed by Jason Travis.
Who are you dressed as?
"Magneto, a Rule 63 female Magneto — Rule 63 is the cosplay maxim that says that there will always be an opposite gender version of every character."

How long did you spend getting ready?
"I started the design right after last year’s Dragon Con. Around six months ago I started building the helmet and putting everything together."

How do you connect to this character?
"Magneto is a cool character because he is a villain, but not a straight-up bad guy — that’s what makes him interesting."

Can you give us one piece of wisdom from your character?
"Rise up, all mutants!"
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Photographed by Jason Travis.
You’re Supergirl?
"Yes. I think they should remake the '80s movie Supergirl. There have been so many Spiderman movies. Come on, give me a female lead!"

How long did it take you to prep and get ready?
"I have three Supergirls I’m wearing this weekend, three different flavors. This is my shiny, more classic one. Yesterday, I did dark Supergirl, which is a black and silver costume, and the first day I did Justice League from the cartoon with the white shirt and the little blue mini skirt."

How do you connect to this character?
"This was my first costume 20 years ago. I made my first Supergirl mostly by myself. I found it, I still have it in my closet, but I thought I’d reinvent that. It would be neat to revisit that one."

What's your character's ethos?
"Be good to each other!"
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Photographed by Jason Travis.
Who are you dressed as?
"I’m dressed as Polaris of X-Men."

How long did you spend getting ready?
"I had the idea on the ride back from the last Dragon Con a year ago. I probably started to assemble materials about four months ago and did a bulk of the work in the last month."

How do you connect to this character? "She’s really cool and has magnetic powers."

What piece of wisdom would your character offer?
"Be supportive of everybody. It doesn’t matter what your skill level, as long as you are having fun and sharing the positive energy."

What is the best part about Dragon Con for you?
"I like it all. I like having the tactile project to work on, but then coming here and being amazed at how talented everyone is is really, really fun."
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Photographed by Jason Travis.
You're Elsa from Frozen. What connects you with that character?
"I really love Elsa because she is an introverted, reserved soul, which is what I am. It was refreshing for me to see a character like that in a Disney film — and my favorite color is blue."

What wisdom would your character give us?
"Be comfortable with yourself — that’s definitely what her struggle is."

What is your favorite part of Dragon Con?
"I like being among other like-minded creatives — people who appreciate this. There obviously aren't too many environments with such a welcoming atmosphere."
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Photographed by Jason Travis.
Tell us about this look.
"I am LSP, or Lumpy Space Princess, from the TV show Adventure Time. I've been working on it for a good few months. My mask is made from foam from a craft store — we shaped it to my face, I painted it with acrylic paint, and we bobby-pinned it to my wig."

What's the ethos of LSP?
"LSP is one of the sassiest characters I’ve ever seen in my life, and I really look up to her. I want to be out there like her. Stick it to The Man — I’d love to be like that."

What advice would she give us?
"Don’t let anyone step on you — stand up for yourself. Yell if you need to."

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Photographed by Jason Travis.
Who are you?
"Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time."

How do you connect to this character?
"I’ve loved Adventure Time since it first came out. Princess Bubblegum is such a role model. She is girly and cute and funny but she is also sassy and really smart. I like her character a lot."

What's her message?
"Even if you are a girl, you can rule a whole kingdom by yourself."

What is the best part about Dragon Con?
"I’ve been going to Dragon Con since I was 12; it’s something I grew up with. I really like meeting people and showing off my costume and having people appreciate it. I put so much work into them!"
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Photographed by Jason Travis.
Who are you dressed as?
"This is a bit of a departure from what I usually do, since it’s something more fashion-oriented. It’s an anime-inspired look for a character I created. I love Japan — I’m working on a Ph.D in comparative literature, and Japan is one of the areas I study, and I'm fascinated by the culture. At the same time, since this is an original character, I can make it whatever I want."

What's she all about?
"I’m going to use the word mischievous. My character is fun and human, but in a way that’s a little more supernatural-oriented."

What is the best part about Dragon Con for you?
"I’ve been coming for about five years, but one thing I’ve noticed is the sense of community. It’s nice to have a place where you can all come together."
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Photographed by Jason Travis.
Who are you guys dressed as?
"I'm Shironuri (pictured right), and she's Lolita, which are both Japanese fashion subcultures. Mine includes white face."

How long have you been putting this together?
"I am a professional costumer, so I have lots of costuming stuff. It took a couple of months to get my outfit together."

Why do you connect to this outfit?
"People are going to stare at you, so you just have go out and be the kind of person you want to be. It doesn’t get any easier, you just have to not give a shit at all. Go in groups, do your thing together. Especially when you don't have the figure, or don’t fit the standard. Just have fun."
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