Storm Troopers from “Star Wars,” Supermen, Batmen and Spidermen flooded the streets of Atlanta on Labor Day weekend for the 26th annual Dragon-Con.
The four-day multimedia conference, which featured television and movie stars, gaming and comic books, even drew a couple of locals. Carol Lemke of Hinesville and her friend Kris Whitman — both members of the Savannah Derby Devils — made the four-hour trip to visit the convention for a fourth time. Lemke, an admitted superhero and vampire fan, said she originally learned about the convention from Whitman, and the two have been making it a girls’ weekend for the past few years.
On Saturday, Lemke and Whitman dressed in their derby gear and enjoyed the festivities. Previously, Lemke said, she has dressed as Wonder Woman.
“I wear the skates to get around from the different venues set up at the hotels,” said Lemke, who is an art teacher at Joseph Martin Elementary. “Kris and I take in the panels to listen to stars of shows, to learn more about our favorite programs. I went to a panel hosted by William Shatner last year and thought he was the best. Stan Lee comes in a close second.”
Lemke said she and Whitman already have paid for their hotel and have tickets for next year’s Dragon-Con.
An estimated 30,000 attendees packed the convention, which began with a parade of costumed characters and floats heading down Peachtree Street. Throughout the weekend, convention-goers sat in on science-fiction and superheroes panels hosted by celebrities and creators.
The “Walk of Fame” allowed fans to interact with their favorite stars and purchase autographs. Nichelle Nichols, i.e. “Star Trek” communications officer Lt. Nyota Uhura, sat at the head of a long line of people vying for a few minutes of interaction with her.
“To have played Uhura was special to me. I guess she was the first of her kind on television, and to be able to have created that character is really an honor and continues to be,” said Nichols, who praised her fans and commended them for understanding the message “Star Trek” conveys. “It’s beautiful to be part of this,” she said.