Well, it’s just over a month until Dragon Con. What does that mean? First, it means that I need to start drinking Emergen-C right freaking now. It also means that there are some status reports, updates, and press releases I need to get out into the world. Guests are still being added, and track schedules are far from finalized (drink if you even thought about asking when the app would be updated). There are still lots of exciting things that we do know so far. I’m gonna clear out a few updates and press releases before getting into the guests I really want to see this year. So much going on, and so little time before the party starts. I can’t believe that this will be my fifth year as a Dragon Con reporter. It seems like just yesterday I was taking “calming” shots to settle my nerves before my first interview. My nerves still get a little shaky even after all this time. So if you go to an early or mid-day panel where I’m speaking give me a big thumbs up for not dropping an f-bomb in front of your kid.
I got a very cool press release email today:
In addition to a dream team of Bronze Age and Modern Age comics writers and artists, the convention’s traditional strength, the convention has added workshops and other programming designed to help aspiring comics creators and to encourage greater interest from today’s younger generations.
Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas, and Fabien Nicieza lead this year’s guest list. Thomas, a legendary writer and editor in his own right, is best recognized as Stan Lee’s first successor as editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. Nicieza’s work includes writing and editing for Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse comics, but fans will also know him as the co-creator of Deadpool. Writer and co-creator of The New Teen Titans, Wolfman also joins George Pérez, his work partner of over 40 years, at this year’s convention.
Other top guests include Colleen Doran, Jill Thompson, and Afua Richardson. Doran, an Eisner, Harvey, and International Horror Guild Award-winning illustrator, is a New York Times bestselling artist for her work on Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel Troll Bridge and Stan Lee’s autobiography Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible Stan Lee. Thompson is a comic book writer and illustrator well known for her work on Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman’s characters and her own Scary Godmother series. Atlanta-based Richardson, a Native/African American comic creator best known for her work on Top Cow’s Genius, also is the artist behind Marvel’s new Blade series, All-Star Batman, and Attack on Titan‘s American anthology.
“We’re excited about the opportunity fans will have at Dragon Con to access to some of the biggest names in comics on a variety of panels that showcase the best classic works as well as modern masterpieces,” said Rachel Reeves, convention co-chair.
New additions to Dragon Con’s Comics & Pop Art Alley will feature free, all-ages drawing and story-telling workshops taught by industry professionals and expanded children’s programming.
“The goal of our new workshops is to give aspiring artists and creators of any age or experience level the opportunity to develop their skills, under the guidance of experienced pros, and perhaps become the next generation of comics creators,” said Comics & Pop Art Director Jamey Reeves.
In the spirit of artists inspiring future artists, fans of Wonder Woman can witness her story’s evolution discussed by a panel of her multigenerational artists including the legendary Joe Staton and George Pérez, Matthew Clark, and current Wonder Woman artists Yanick Paquette and Cary Nord.
Younger fans can participate in the inaugural Dragon Con Kids Sketch Book program. Designed for children 12 and under, fans can take a free sketch book, available at Comic & Pop Artist Alley, to participating artists around the Alley for free quick sketches or autographs.
“Growing the kids program in Comic and Pop Artist Alley is an effort to expose more young fans to comics and to generate their interest in reading, “ Jamey Reeves said. “Today’s society is so geared toward quick and effortless entertainment, reading sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. We want kids to appreciate a good story, told by both the writer and the artist.”
Comic and Pop Artist Alley is located in building 2 of the Americas Mart on the fourth floor. Its hours of operation are: Friday: 10 am – 7 pm, Saturday: 10 am – 7 pm, Sunday: 10 am – 7 pm, and Monday: 10 am – 5 pm.
Most programming will take place in Comic and Pop Artist Alley. The track will also offer some larger panels in the Hyatt Regency. Make sure to check the Dragon Con app and Quick Start Guide for specific programming info.
If you take nothing else away from that you should hear the words “free workshops”. How cool is that? And it’s all ages too. I’m not the biggest comic person anymore, but if I could even pretend to draw just the tiniest bit I’d be all over some free drawing classes with people who are paid to do it. And if you have kiddos that you bring to Dragon Con it sounds like a great way to keep them entertained while you cry about the fact that John Barrowman won’t be doing panels that it wouldn’t be appropriate for you to take children to anyway.
Obviously there’s too much information to pack in without taking over this whole post, but the Dragon Con progress report is up, and you can download a copy here.
No onto the big guests:
He finished Robert Jordan’s “wheel of Time” series. He wrote the “Mistborn” trilogy, and is currently writing the “Stormlight Archives”. If you like a really well built high-fantasy world this is your guy. If George R. R. Martin decides to hang it up, and let someone else take over the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series Brandon Sanderson would be my pick. Not going to happen, but it’d still be cool, and he writes so fast that we’d have those last two books within five years. He’s Dragon Con’s literary guest of honor this year, and my fingers and toes are crossed that the panels he’s doing don’t overlap with ones that I’m on.
Dave was trying to guilt me into joining him and Oz for a Game of Thrones cosplay. I won’t spoil Dave’s costume, but if you’ve never seen Oz’s Tormund you’ve been missing out. The problem is that I’m suited to go as Melisandre, and I could put together a decent costume without spending an entire fortune (I love Wish). It’s just that the thought of wrapping all that fabric around myself at the end of August sounds like pure hell. The point of all of this is that when Dave sent me a “night is dark and full of terrors” GIF I responded with something about wanting my night to be dark and full of Tennant. Not in a sexy way, but I’ve been doing a lot of re-watching lately. He is the best thing about the renewed series, and is my favorite of the new Doctors. He was also fan-fucking-tastic in Good Omens. There’s just lots to love about him. Get your love in quick though. He’s only joining us on Friday and Saturday. That easily segues to…
My second favorite of the tenth Doctor’s companions. “What about Rose?” you might ask. “What about her?” I would respond. She was plucky, and all that, but Martha went on to become a soldier and a doctor in her own right. She fell in love with the Doctor eventually, but at least we didn’t have another Rose situation on our hands. Her mother was kind of a bitch, but she was better than Jackie. As much as I liked Martha I can’t help but think that his next companion was better.
Started off really annoying, but she showed the most character progression of any companion I can think of. She grew into a helpful and deeply caring person without falling in love with the Doctor. After two other companions going down that road it was a nice change of pace. She as what a companion was meant to be: a normal person who helps us understand the world of Doctor Who. Not someone who comes along and changes every single thing about the universe (fucking Clara). I might have almost cried watching “Journey’s End” last week.
The Beastmaster himself will be in attendance. So will Jane Badler and Robert Englund who were also in “V” with him. That’s cool, but what’s the pet policy? I’m not getting a picture of Marc Singer unless we’ve got some ferrets handy.
Sure you could go with the “V” thing, but why try to forget he was Freddy in “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. Nancy and Tina will be there too. Great photo op you guys.
From MST3K and RiffTrax. One of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and certainly the nicest I’ve ever interviewed. He’s also hilarious so go see him.
I’ll probably never get to interview him again, but if you love Star wars you must love Timothy Zahn. A new Thrawn book is on the way as we sit here, and I bet any panel he does will have something to say about it.
There are literally hundreds of other guests from all over various forms of media. These are just the ones I’m most interested in seeing. I’m also on at least three panels this year. Maybe more, but I’m waiting to from the big-wigs at the American Sci-Fi Classics track (come on Joe and Gary, Bill and Ted and UHF are all I need to make this con complete). I’ll be doing another post just before Dragon Con so that you know when and where to find us over the weekend. Until then start drinking your Emergen-C, stock up on Liquid-IV or Pedialyte, and go ahead and coat your entire body in hand sanitizer. Even if that last one doesn’t keep off germs it may serve to keep off people. That’s pretty much as good as you’re going to get at Dragon Con..