This is it, Phantomaniacs – the place to find out where the Needless Things Irregulars will be during the greatest and best gathering of the year – Dragon Con!
Today I’m going to run down my schedule for Dragon Con, as well as panels featuring your beloved Needless Things crew! We have more on our schedule this year than ever before and I couldn’t be prouder of our team and our involvement in this annual event.
This year I’m on panels with the American Sci-Fi Classics, Horror, and Urban Fantasy Tracks, as well as a couple of celebrity panels. There’s no game show this year; instead we are presenting a very special, once-in-a-lifetime event.
I’ve been talking for almost two years now about Troublemaker, a documentary film by Emmy award-winning director Jason C. Wilson. It follows a year in my life, from October 2016’s Halloween Puckin’ Fuppet Show through Dragon Con 2017 and a bit beyond. Since its completion Troublemaker has been touring the award circuit and has won several notable awards at various film festivals.
I am incredibly proud of what we accomplished and excited to be presenting the World Premiere of Troublemaker at Dragon Con! That’s happening Saturday night and I have more details for you below.
Note: You can RSVP to the Facebook events for many of the panels below, as well as joining the Needless Things @ Dragon Con 2019 event for updates on all of the panels mentioned here today!
Also, be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group to share your thoughts and experiences about the greatest con around.
You can find me in the Official Dragon Con app in the “Speakers” section as Dave West. After unmasking in 2017 (as you can see in Troublemaker!) I didn’t want to rock the boat last year by risking a name change, but I asked about it this year and it happened! I am thrilled to finally be me after all these years.
My full schedule is in the app, so you can add as much as you want to your own schedule. Also, please remember to rate our Needless Things panels in the app if you attend! Dragon Con takes that thing very seriously. It’s how we get onto more panels and also how we know what works and what doesn’t. If you have the time, add comments as well as the star rating.
And now it’s time to take a look at what promises to be a fantastic weekend for Needless Things Irregulars and fans alike!
7 PM – DCW in Hyatt Centennial Ballroom – The greatest and best wrestling show that you will ever see. The very best independents from all over the country (and Canada!) wrestle purely for your – and their – entertainment.
11 PM – Marriott for Happy Nerd Year – No matter when people start showing up in downtown Atlanta for Dragon Con – there are already people there now – the clock striking midnight in the Marriott will always be very special. To me, that time represents the official start of Dragon Con and the energy in that massive space is like nothing else.
11:30 AM – Trust Me: The Incredible Tale of Jake “The Snake” Roberts in Hilton Grand East – Jake Roberts is widely recognized as one of the best minds and character workers in professional wrestling. When I was a young fan, Jake “The Snake” intimidated me in a way that no other pro wrestler did. I might have been scared of King Kong Bundy in the way that I was of Freddy or Jason, but Jake made me nervous. He seemed so intense and tough in a very different way.
Friday at Dragon Con in my first official panel I get to put all of that aside and moderate a panel for this living legend.
1 PM – Needless Things Presents: Geek Year 1989 in Marriott M103-105 – The first panel I was ever on at Dragon Con was one looking back at 1982, so I love the fact that Needless Things putting on these anniversary panels has become a thing. This year’s panel features me, Rebeccah Hunter, Beth Van Dusen, Nicole Ghouled-Cadaver, Jon Carr, and either Jolly Joe Crowe or Gregarious Gary Mitchel!
8:30 PM – Not Just a Spin-Off: A 20th Anniversary Angel Fan Panel in Westin Chastain 1-2 – I am currently in the midst of an Angel binge. While I like to think I can talk about anything at any time, I do want to brush up on Buffy’s beau before Con. I could hold my own on this one, especially since I’m not moderating, but I want to do this show justice.
As of this writing I’m into season two and certainly won’t finish all five, but I’ve got plenty of fresh insight to share. Not to mention a special friend I’ll be bringing along…
10 PM – The Blair Witch Legacy in Westin Peachtree 1-2 – Needless Things will be taking a look back at the phenomenon of The Blair Witch Project, from the groundbreaking promotion of 1999 to the impact the film has to this day. Special guest Thomas Mariani will be joining Nicole, Beth, Ryan Cadaver, and myself for this sure to be spooky panel! Don’t go in the corner!
11:30 PM – 80s Movie Night: Neverending Story in Marriott M103-105 – Nicole Ghouled-Cadaver will join a panel about the classic 80s fantasy flick, The Neverending Story, followed by a screening of the film!
11:30 AM –Batman: The Keaton Knight Rises in Marriott M103-105 – Ryan and Nicole join the Classics Track for a celebration of Tim Burton’s Batman!
1 PM – The Horror of Scooby-Doo in Westin Peachtree 1-2 – Scooby and the gang have been a part of my life since I was born and almost certainly planted seeds for my horror fandom. This panel will be taking a look at those horror-infused aspects of the legendary Hanna-Barbera cartoon!
4 PM – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Panel in Marriott M103-105 – Be excellent to Beth as she joins the Classics Track to discuss the time traveling adventures of “Ted” Theodore Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esq.
10 PM – Troublemaker World Premiere and Q&A in Marriott M103-105 – I want to pack this room out and I have a feeling we will, so be sure to get here early. Plus, the first people through the door will receive free limited edition con-size world premiere posters featuring art by The Belligerent Monkey, as well as very limited edition Troublemaker badge ribbons! These items will never be reproduced in any way and will only be available at this event.
Originally we were going to keep the Q&A super short and sweet, but since Cybertronic Spree isn’t until 1:30 AM we might let it go a bit longer. The film is a tight 55 minutes and afterward we’ll field questions for as long as you guys have them!
1:30 AM Cybertronic Spree – This is in no way affiliated with the Troublemaker event, but it is absolutely what we are treating as the after party.
Last year Cybertronic Spree put on the best Dragon Con performance I have ever seen and we made sure to schedule the Troublemaker screening to allow us time to make it to this year’s show!
1 PM – One-Shot Slashers in Westin Chastain I-J – The Cadavers and Beth will be joining the Horror Track for a look at horror flicks that could’ve spawned franchises, but didn’t.
2:30 PM – Sci-Fighters: NICOLAS CAGE MATCH in Marriott M103-105 – Joe Crowe, Gary Mitchel, and sixteen Nicolas Cages duke it out in a King of the Ring style tournament to determine NIC CAGE SUPREMACY!!! Who will reign? The audience will decide!
Ryan Cadaver, and Rita De La Torre, and I will be on hand to make sure things don’t get out of control!
4 PM – The Legend of Dustin Rhodes in Hyatt Grand East – The Natural, Goldust, Black Reign – whichever moniker you know him by, you will never forget the name of…
I’m honored to be moderating a panel with one of the all-time wrestling greats.
5:30 PM – Needless Things Presents Video Game Hall of Fame: Best Worlds in Marriott M103-105 – Your Needless Things gamer team returns to determine the best classic video game world of all time! Dave, Ryan, Beth, Salena Balls, Noel Wood, and a live audience will decide where we’d like to spend the rest of our digital lives. If time permits we’ll also figure out the worst video game world!
7 PM – IT: Pennywise Returns in Westin Peachtree 1-2 – The concluding chapter of Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen King’s masterpiece comes out next week, and I’m thrilled that Derek has reassembled what I like to think of as “Team Slasher” to discuss absolutely everything about IT. I’ll be joining Clay Gilbert, Mari Mancusi, and Cat Scully for this one.
10 PM – UHF Anniversary Sponsored by Spatula City in Marriott M103-105 – Noel and Beth will be on hand for a panel about the greatest movie of all time, followed by a screening of the movie!
Midnight – Late Night Puppet Slam – One of the best times you can have at Dragon Con. Much like DCW, the very best performers in their field come from all over to have fun and entertain us. Sometimes with fart and dick jokes. With puppets.
Same as always – WAKE UP AND GTFO.
If you’re here checking out Dragon Con stuff and haven’t visited Needless Things before, thanks for coming by. We’re all about toys, movies, music, and all manner of pop culture dorkery. The Needless Things Podcast drops once a week, usually on Friday.
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