ATLANTA – One of the featured events at Dragon Con is constant parade of costumes. Sure the convention’s official Masquerade is spectacular but the real show is the floor of the convention’s two hotels. The creativity on display is head turning and pathway clogging. TORn managed to photograph a great number of costumes (hopefully posted soon) but even then we have just scratched the surface.
Lord Of The Rings fans can rest easy knowing that “our people” represented very well. The front entertainment page of the “Atlanta Journal Constitution” featured a group of fearsome orcs led by LOTR fan Brian Wolfe from Orlando. In addition, the teaser at the top of A1 that day also showed an orc, enticing readers to go inside.
Wolfe and his spectacularly nasty crew has been a LOTR fan for years. “I read the books. We saw the Hobbit on TV and watched it all the time as kids.” Even among all the amazing costumes the crew of nine, a couple out of costume when TORn caught up with them, really were among the very elite.
Wolfe works in Orlando as a make-up artist at Universal Studios and calls the Peter Jackson films their collective favorite movie, and that is among film lovers. “These were something better. They set the standard. Like most good Tolkien fans he was awaiting the DVD at midnight and is a frequent visitor to TheOneRing.net. In the past Wolfe has done costumes based on Spawn, Mortal Combat and “musical” theatrical group Gwar. The friends have attended DCon for five consecutive years and travel from Florida, New York, North Carolina and anywhere else they need to in order to attend.
A group pictured in a fan report on TORn worked on their getups for seven months, all in anticipation for DCon. Julia (part of the Tolkien costume panel) and her husband Kevin – shown here as part of a group of friends – were also show-stoppers. Everybody from Klingons to Laura Croft wanted pictures with the group.
Toby Markham from Chicago attended Dcon in an amazing Sauron costume made by his own hand. “I always do Star Wars,” he said. “The year I wanted to do something different.” When fully suited up, Markham could only see out of the nose of his mask. “People get out of my way,” he said. He is considering redoing his mask to allow for a flap on the back. His work is done in gapaxio for the detail and in aluminum in the broader pieces of armour. It goes without saying that once inside, it gets a bit hot.
More subtle were the extravagant Elvish gowns and sewn materials that dotted the fandom landscape. Explore the TORn scrapbook for an abundance of examples. TORn’s official complaint: Where were the Hobbits people? There were a few but as a fandom we are pretty Elvicentric.
Saturday night was the official masquerade took a Lord Of The Rings introduction on video calling itself “The Masq of the Rade.” Masters of Ceremony George Takai and Walter Kronig of Star Trek fame were funny, partly because they were so unaware of the content of most of the costumes and stumbled over many of the names, descriptions and hand-writing.
“Our” oft-mentioned Balrog with wings was in the official contest along with Nessa of The Valar and a trio of friends who were unfairly escorted off the stage by rotten storm troopers. The very good “twilight nazgul” with her own duplicate scream barely walked on stage when the troopers ended the fun. An Arwen also played part in a spoof along with Star Wars, Harry Potter and the Matrix. Arwen got to chase the HP people off the stage while the Matrix people were riffed on for cashing in.
Other highlights included the three faerie godmothers from Disney’s “Cinderella”, a perversion of my beloved “Monsters Inc.”, Harvey Birdman, Aku and Samurai Jack from Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, the “most fearsome monster from 1978” Dungeons & Dragon’s mindflayer (which won “best sci-fi”?!?! How is D&D sci-fi?!?!). There were also quality Borg, a wonderful 3,000 feather “Snow Queen” from the book of the same title and a rendition of stage play Grease’s “Summer Nights” by a macabre group including Frankenstein and his bride.
Without a doubt, the most amazing costumes, in or out of the show was the complete monster group from Maurice Sendak’s children’s book “Where The Wild Things Are.” As they slowly paraded onto the stage, the audience gasped, then clapped, then stood, then cheered. Hopefully between dead batteries and camera problems TORn will have a glimpse posted soon. The same group floored the public at the Hyatt later, putting security into a panic. Quite a spectacle. [More Masquerade Costumes]
For a comprehensive look at Dragon Con images, go to their homepage (http://www.dragoncon.com) and click on “Links And Photos” in the left column where the con posts photo links of all kinds at the con, eventually including TORn’s coverage.