Comic Book Show (MD) (February 2017)

Clandestine

Convention Name
Comic Book Show
Convention Website Address
http://www.clandestinecomics.com
This convention will take place:
  • for one day only.
Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)
02/05/2017
About This Convention
Maryland’s longest running one day Vintage Comic Book Show. Enjoy our 17th Annual Super Bowl Show. Come out and enjoy the day and make it home in plenty of time for the Big Game. Dealers from across the Mid-Atlantic will be selling Golden Age books to the most recent. With over 100K books in the room we have something for everyone including trade paper backs, CCG, supplies, original art, non-sports cards and more.
Show runs from 10am – 3pm
Admission is $5
Venue Name and Address
Double Tree Hotel
15101 Sweitzer Lane
Laurel, Maryland 20707
United States
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Number of Dealer/Exhibitor Tables
25
Projected Attendance
125
Please select the Category that best describes the convention
Comic Books
Additional Categories
  • Gaming
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Collectibles

Comic Book Show (MD) (January 2017)

Clandestine

Convention Name
Comic Book Show
Convention Website Address
http://www.clandestinecomics.com
This convention will take place:
  • for one day only.
Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)
01/08/2017
About This Convention
Maryland’s longest running one day Vintage Comic Book Show. Start the year off with a great show. Dealers from across the Mid-Atlantic will be selling Golden Age books to the most recent. With over 100K books in the room we have something for everyone including trade paper backs, CCG, supplies, original art, non-sports cards and more.
Show runs from 10am – 3pm
Venue Name and Address
Radisson Hotel
2004 Greenspring Dr
Timonium, Maryland 21093
United States
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Number of Dealer/Exhibitor Tables
30
Projected Attendance
125
Please select the Category that best describes the convention
Comic Books
Additional Categories
  • Gaming
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Collectibles

Hasbro Announces HasCon 2017

000_hascon

Press Release:

HASBRO announced it is creating the first-ever HASCON fan and family convention in September 2017. The massive event, which will be held in Providence at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin Donuts Center from September 8-10, 2017, will treat attendees to three unforgettable days featuring a celebration of Hasbro’s powerful characters and stories, including live interactive experiences, exclusive products, talent appearances, panels and much more.

From bringing the first action figure to life with G.I. JOE, to creating a world where robots are truly ‘more than meets the eye’ with TRANSFORMERS, Hasbro’s brands have always overflowed with rich stories and dynamic, multi-faceted characters, providing an incredible platform to capture the imaginations of fans of all ages. The premiere HASCON event will bring the magic of decades of storytelling under one roof for the ultimate, immersive Hasbro fan and family experience. Hasbro’s top properties, including TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, MAGIC THE GATHERING, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, G.I. JOE and many others will be reimagined through dynamic stage performances and unique opportunities for fans to engage with their favorite characters. In addition to interactive experiences designed to offer attendees a glimpse into Hasbro’s imaginative storytelling in action, visitors will have the chance to see first-look previews of Hasbro’s biggest television and movie series, attend panels and meet-and-greets with celebrities and creative talent associated with Hasbro brands, take part in Hasbro Gaming competitions and purchase special limited-edition Hasbro products.

“Hasbro is home to many of the world’s most recognizable brands, each of them with their own group of passionate and engaged fans,” said John Frascotti, President of Hasbro Brands. “HASCON will deliver an extraordinary peek behind the curtain of our brands, storytelling, and iconic characters while giving us the opportunity to invite fans and families to our hometown for the most memorable, unified Hasbro experience ever.”

For all of the latest information on HASCON 2017, please visit hascon.hasbro.com

Spooky Empire Reschedules convention for December!

spooky_decemberAfter many conversations with the convention center, hotels, agents and staff it looks like we have secured dates to reschedule Spooky Empire!

So please join us for a special Spooky Empire convention this December 2-4, 2016 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. 

We are working very hard on getting the guest list together and should have some announcements this week. We are working hard on booking some of the guests that were to attend last weekend.

Anyone that has purchased advanced tickets for the October Spooky Empire, we are giving you two options…your tickets will be accepted at either the December rescheduled event OR the April convention (April 21-23, 2017) For general admission ticket holders, there is no notice necessary and tickets do not need to be re-issued, just bring your existing ticket with you to one of the two events.

If you are a VIP package holder, please contact us to let us know which event you’ll be using your VIP package for.
(Emails will be going out to all ticket holders within the next 24 hours)

Due to the rescheduling of this event, tickets are non-refundable. However, if you are unable to use your tickets for either of the two events, these tickets are transferable. They may be sold or given to someone that can use them.

EXHIBITORS AND TATTOO ARTISTS: Your booth space will be available to you for either December OR April. However, we do need to know ASAP so that we can plan the space accordingly for each show. Emails are going out to all of you as well.

For everyone that has supported Spooky Empire over the last week, you will not be forgotten!! Everyone that contributed will be a part of this event in one way or another. Your generous contributions will go towards the expenses associated with making this rescheduled event happen. We are forever grateful and humbled by everyone’s support, patience, dedication and generosity. This is truly a family! The thought of possibly having to close Spooky Empire for good was the worst possible outcome for us, and all of your support this past week made us realize we have to do whatever we can to keep moving forward!

Stay tuned for updates!

http://www.spookyempire.com

Thanks so much!

NorthEast Comic Con and Collectibles Extravaganza (December 2016)

NECC

Convention Name
NorthEast Comic Con & Collectibles Extravaganza
Convention Website Address
http://www.NEComicCon.Net
This convention will take place:
  • over multiple days.
Start Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)
12/03/2016
End Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)
12/04/2016
About This Convention
Dean Cain, well known for portraying Clark Kent & Superman on the TV show “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” and currently appearing on Supergirl will be headlining the celebrity guest lineup at the Dec. 3 & 4, 2016 winter edition of the Northeast Comic Con & Collectibles Extravaganza at the Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington MA near Boston.

Dean and other celebrities will be attending Saturday and Sunday to meet fans, sign autographs, offer photo ops and Q&A panels. Tickets and Information is available at www.NEComicCon.Net

Immediately after graduation, Cain signed on as a free agent with the Buffalo Bills, but a knee injury during training camp ended his football career prematurely. In 1993, Cain took on his biggest role to date as Superman in the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. At the height of its popularity, it would bring in an average of at least 15 million viewers per episode. In 1998, Cain started the Angry Dragon Entertainment production company, which produced the TBS Superstation television series Ripley’s Believe It or Not!. Cain made a return to the Superman franchise, with a special guest role in a season seven episode of Smallville as the immortal Dr. Curtis Knox, a character based upon the DC Comics villain Vandal Savage; and currently is in a recurring role of Supergirl, as the title character’s foster father, Jeremiah Danvers. Cain also appeared in the mid-season premiere of Comic Book Men, appearing at Kevin Smith‘s Secret Stash where the crew was celebrating 75 years of Superman, citing that Dean Cain helped people care about Superman again.

Billy West will be appearing to sign autographs, do photo ops and have fun with fans all weekend. Billy is best known for his voice actor work, but his career in radio and television that began in the 1980’s when he did comedic impersonations for Charles Laquidara‘s Big Mattress morning show on Boston’s WBCN FM radio network. By the mid-90s, he had moved to doing impersonations on The Howard Stern Show, giving him greater exposure. From there, West became involved with the Nickelodeon shows Doug and Ren & Stimpy. Portraying the title characters on both shows, Billy West saw his voiceover work reach an even larger, yet younger audience. This led to Warner Bros. hiring him for the film Space Jam in 1996. Featuring Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan and the cast of Looney Tunes, West voiced Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, two characters whom he has sporadically voiced throughout the next decade. He is also very well known for his portrayal of Philip J. Fry, Zapp Branigan, Professor Fanrsworth, Zoidberg and others on Futurama, which began in 1999 and has continued on through a number of changes through 2012 and currently airs on Comedy Central. In addition he is also the voice of the iconic Red M&M.

Also appearing will be actor Sean Gunn, who starred on “Gilmore Girls,” is the body double for Rocket Racoon in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and also appearing as Ravager Kraglin in Vol.1 and the upcoming Vol 2 GOTG, as Toby in “Super” and starring in the new James Gunn film “The Belko Experiment,” for autographs, photos and a Q&A on his career.

Candy Clark, actress in the classic “American Grafitti” and “The Man Who Fell To Earth” with David Bowie, among many other film and television roles, will also be signing autographs, offering photo ops, and a Q&A about her experiences working with David Bowie, Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas and others.

Special musical guest will be Cherie Currie, lead singer in the ground breaking all female punk rock band The Runaways, who also appeared in films including “Foxes” with Jodie Foster, an accomplished chainsaw carver, will be signing autographs, taking photos with fans, doing a Q&A panel and performing some Runaways songs at the After Party Concert Sat. Dec. 3rd in the Fez Room at the Shriners Auditorium along with The Lights Out, Charlie Farren, Tsunami of Sound and others

Other guests include Robert Bruce, Producer and Talent on “AMC’s Comic Book Men” with Kevin Smith, and well known collector and dealer of Japanese Animation and Vintage Toys, seeking characters to possibly appear on Comic Book Men. Also appearing will be Jeff Kline, Executive Producer of animated television series including “Transformers: Robots In Disguise,” “Jackie Chan Adventures,” “Dragon Tales” and “Godzilla,” currently writer and publisher at Darby Pop Comics, offering portfolio reviews, and both will educate on a panel on Careers in the Creative Arts for the Next Generation.

Some of the other pop culture guests include Gary Sohmers, known as the King of Pop Culture from his 13 seasons appearing as an appraiser on “Antiques Roadshow” and host of the talk radio program “Calling All Collectors,” Kadrolsha Ona, the Queen of the Paranormal, action figure and horror monster sculptor Lawrence Elig and Comic Book folks including Steve Lavigne (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Joe St. Pierre (Spider-Man), Alex Simmons (Archie) and Bill Anderson (X-Men) among others.

There will be a large and diverse range of collectibles, comics, toys, nerd crafts, art, literature, records, video games and accoutrements of popular culture from music, TV and film, covering from the mid 20th century to today’s most popular and hard to get items for the nerds, geeks and fans on your holiday shopping list.

There will be Cosplay Stage Activities all weekend, including Costume Contests with Prizes, Cosplay Games, Pose-OffsTM, Meetup Group Shots and include our Create-A-Hero, Create-A-Villain and Create-A-Character for Original Costuming Contests with a Backstory. Also on the Cosplay stage will be presentations of Special FX make-up and costuming with Tyler Green and Ebony Amber, and presentations of Parade and Special FX Masks with Eric Bornstein of Behind the Mask Studio.

Puppetry workshops and performances by Muppeteers Noel MacNeal, puppeteer and voice of Bear from Disney’s “Bear in the Big Blue House” TV show, and Bill Diamond, with puppets he used working on “The Dark Crystal,” “Fraggle Rock” and “Little Shop of Horrors” including the Audrey 2 man eating plant puppet along with other educational opportunities at the Kids Comic Con section featuring coloring, writing, story-telling and other activities. There is free admission for children 8 and under.

The Game Underground Arena features free play on vintage and modern video game systems, along with tournaments with prizes. The Fez room will feature Morgan White Jr’s Trivia contests with prizes and Zephyr Workshop providing tabletop and card games for free play, while live music is performed on the Geekbeat Radio stage including The World Is Square and numerous chiptune artists.

The Northeast Comic Con & Collectibles Extravaganza at the Aleppo Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington, Massachusetts will be open Saturday Dec. 3 between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, and Sunday Dec. 4 between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm, with an early entry available at 9:30 am each day for an added fee. There are Celebrity VIP opportunities available. Admission available in advance for discount prices online at www.NEComicCon.Net. There is a fee for autographs and photos ops.

Venue Name and Address
Shriners Auditorium
99 Fordham Rd
Wilmington, MA 01887
United States
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Number of Dealer/Exhibitor Tables
400
Projected Attendance
6,000
Please select the Category that best describes the convention
Collectibles
Additional Categories
  • Anime
  • Comic Books
  • Gaming
  • Horror
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
Guests
Dean Cain, Billy West, Sean Gunn, Candy Clark, Cherie Currie, Gerry Casale, Kadrolsha Ona, Jeff Kline, Bill Diamond, Noel MacNeal, Dan Parent, Alex Simmons, Joe St. Pierre

NECC

Collective Con (March 2017)

Convention Name
Collective Con
Convention Website Address
http://www.collectivecon.com/
This convention will take place:
  • over multiple days.
Start Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)
03/24/2017
End Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)
03/26/2017
About This Convention
Jacksonville’s biggest 3-day pop culture convention returns on March 24th-26th, 2017! NEW LOCATION!! Collective Con is a comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, gaming and music event in North Florida. Please visit our website for our full list of guests, events, tickets, and schedule.

Show Hours:
Friday: 12pm-6pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Sunday: 10am-5pm

Venue Name and Address
3800 St Johns Bluff Rd S
Jacksonville, FL, Florida 32224
United States
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Number of Dealer/Exhibitor Tables
100
Projected Attendance
10,000
Please select the Category that best describes the convention
Comic Books
Additional Categories
  • Anime
  • Gaming
  • Horror
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Collectibles
Guests
Millie Bobby Brown, Giancarlo Esposito, Graham McTavish, Margot Kidder, Mitsuhiro Arita, Bob Layton, John Beatty, Seth Mann, Johnny Yong Bosch, Eric Vale, Kari Wahlgren, and MANy more!

 Collective Con 2017

Nickel City Con (May 2017)

Nickel City

Convention Name
Nickel City Con
Convention Website Address
http://nickelcitycon.com/
This convention will take place:
  • over multiple days.
Start Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)
05/19/2017
End Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)
05/21/2017
Venue Name and Address
Buffalo Niagara Convention Center
153 Franklin St.
Buffalo, NY 14202
United States
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Number of Dealer/Exhibitor Tables
200
Projected Attendance
15,000
Please select the Category that best describes the convention
Comic Books
Additional Categories
  • Gaming
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Collectibles
Guests
William Shatner, Sam Jones

TX – Brom Signing

0000_brom-lost-gods

Press Release:

Celebrate your Halloween by meeting fantasy artist BROM at Dragon’s Lair! Gerald Brom is a celebrated creator and has done work for Wizards of the Coast, D&D magazine, the Diablo franchise and much more! He will be here promoting his latest work “Lost Gods” on Monday October 31st from 6-8PM.

RSVP on Facebook!

Dragon’s Lair Austin
2438 West Anderson Lane, Suite B-1, Austin, TX 78757
(512) 454-2399

DragonCon 2016 Con Report!

logo

Overheard on an Atlanta street corner:

 

“Look at that person with blue hair.”

“Over there?”

“No, over there.”

“Oh, I see.”

“Cool, isn’t it?”

“Yeah. What other place can you say, ‘No, the other person with blue hair.”

The “place,” of course, was DragonCon. September 2-5. I have been for the last six years, but this year was special: the 30th anniversary. It started in two downtown hotels, Hyatt and Marriott. The Hilton was added later, then the Sheraton and Westin. When five hotels were not enough space, the vendors were moved into the AmericasMart, a four-building, seven-million-square-foot trade show monolith. This year, AmericasMart became the new home of two other DragonCon mainstays, tabletop gaming (formerly in the Hilton) and Comic and Pop Artist Alley (neé the Hyatt)—evidence that DragonCon, despite its venerability, is still figuring things out. Perhaps that is how it became venerable: refusing to be complacent.

And more growth is on the way. Some programming was held on Thursday this year, and according to media director Dan Carroll, we will see Thursday “full-time real soon.” My colleague Michaela McPherson has written about shifts in the Saturday morning parade. This was the inaugural year for the Dragon Awards, a fan-driven awards program to “recognize the creators of science fiction and fantasy in books, comic books, games and filmed entertainment,” according to a press release. (Awards results are located here.) Attendance grew this year as it does every year, with over 77,000 showing up–and, in some cases, suiting up–for the weekend. These attendees walked (Walk to End Lupus Now), gave blood (about 6,000 units), raised money ($98,000 for the Atlanta Center for Self-Sufficiency through auctions, karaoke, a lip-synch battle, and other events), and enjoyed the 400+ actors, artists, writers, and other guests who formed the convention’s foundation.

I was excited about one guest I had never seen at DragonCon, or any convention: Christopher Paolini, author of the four-volume Inheritance Cycle. Paolini wrote the first volume, Eragon, the story of a farm boy who protects a dragon egg from an evil king, when he was a teenager. His parents self-published the book, and for a year, Paolini promoted it himself at libraries, book shows, and other events. In 2002, the book came to the attention of the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, which re-released the book a year later. This led to three other books, the last one appearing in 2011.

On Friday night, Paolini was one of several panelists for a discussion of self-publishing. The other panelists were freelance writer/editor Jaym Gates, editor Dayna Linton, Baen Books publisher Toni Weisskopf, writer Chris Kennedy, and Todd McCaffrey, son of Anne McCaffrey and custodian of her Pern universe, to which he has contributed several volumes. Some highlights from the panel:

  • McCaffrey: The biggest mistake in self-publishing is to “think you can do everything yourself.”
  • Eragon was a family project. Paolini’s father, who had press experience, designed the book. Paolini drew the cover and the maps. They borrowed money to finance the printing (the first 50 copies were cut wrong). He dressed in medieval costume and made presentations to schools, libraries, and bookstores. Sold maybe 15 books at a time. Two chain bookstores rejected him, saying the novel was “not commercially viable.”
  • Gates: “Readers and writers have different ideas of what works.” This led to a vigorous discussion of the value of editing. It’s the biggest difference between professional publishing and self-publishing (a view echoed by this Slate article). Writers know their own story, but editors are storehouses of stories. They understand the market, and what will appeal to readers. Thus, they can guide the author, helping to bring out his/her voice. As Gates said, “it is the editor’s job to help the writer say what he/she wants to say in the best way.”
  • Paolini was skeptical of the wisdom of a beginning writer paying for editorial services, but the other panelists–I won’t say they shouted him down, but they were unified in saying that it would be money well spent. Paolini did agree on the worth of an editor, saying an editor “can fix bad writing. They can’t fix a bad story.” Bottom line: the author has a job, and the editor has a job. Good books result when each person does their job.
  • McCaffrey talked about “hybrid authors”–authors who write for traditional publishers and do some self-publishing. Here is a good discussion of this type of writer. The panel agreed that the hybrid approach is the best, blending the advantages of self-publishing (speed; flexibility; more profit per sale) with the comfort of traditional publishing (editorial, design, and marketing services; bulk sales; multi-book deals; advances against royalties). More authors are taking this approach, which is new in the history of publishing. According to Weisskopf, the “received wisdom” used to be that, if you self-publish, you’ve “tainted the waters and will never get a traditional contract.” The panel agreed that this is no longer the case.
  • On traditional contracts: beware the predators. Gates brought up two blog posts by John Scalzi (here and here), who has always been an advocate of authorial self-interest, about Hydra, an imprint of Random House with shockingly bad contract terms. The panel’s message: don’t be so desperate to publish that you’ll sign anything.

All the growth in DragonCon has brought some irritation. At 2:30 on Friday afternoon, the vendor room in the AmericasMart reached capacity and was shut down. I have never experienced that at a convention (I read about it happening a couple of years ago at the Rhode Island Comic-Con). The room was open an hour or so later, I think–I didn’t wait around to find out–so it wasn’t a disastrous inconvenience. But I did find myself wondering, is there no building in Atlanta large enough to handle DragonCon?

The lines in the hotels were certainly longer than ever. I waited nearly two hours to buy Saturday-only badges for members of my party. (It is useless to buy these in advance because DragonCon mails you a card that you have to redeem on-site for a badge.) There may be no space to do this, but I would love to see registration expanded. Or split into two buildings. Why do one-day badges have to be claimed on site? Why can’t they be mailed? One thing is for sure: a single ballroom in the basement of the Sheraton is inadequate for the thousands upon thousands of people who opt for one-day badges.

DragonCon is a study in lines. Walking around the sidewalks, you’ll often see a line with no discernible beginning snaking into an unmarked side door. It’s like a speakeasy line. If you ask someone what they’re waiting for, they respond without confusion, but what if they’re wrong? What if the real purpose of the queue has been miscommunicated all the way down, so that someone who thinks they’re waiting for William Shatner’s photo op is actually in line for the blood bank?

It isn’t that hard to form a line, after all. My wife and I did it for Chris Paolini’s Sunday autograph session, which was scheduled for 2:30. Jim Butcher had started signing in the same room at 1:00. His line was capped at 1:30, and we knew that people looking for Paolini would start showing up soon. So we stood a few feet behind the last person for Jim Butcher and declared it the Start of the Line. Within minutes, a hundred people were standing behind us, and when a DragonCon staffer came along and legitimized us, I felt like Saul Alinsky.

If you have never been to DragonCon, you need to go. It is not the largest convention in the U.S., but it is unique, being spread across five Atlanta hotels. I have often wondered why it doesn’t move to the Georgia International Convention Center or the Georgia World Congress Center. It may need to, especially when attendance reaches 100,000, as I believe it will. But I hope DragonCon doesn’t move. I love the atmosphere of hotel-based conventions. There are other hotels in downtown Atlanta, and maybe DragonCon will incorporate those. Whatever happens, I look forward to many more years of attending this convention, which was my first and will always be one of the best.

 

So THIS is the horse of a different color I've heard tell of.

So THIS is the horse of a different color I’ve heard tell of.

The official store is the place to get your swag on.

The official store is the place to get your swag on.

No, Storm Shadow isn't wearing a hat. Some pirate photo bombed us.

No, Storm Shadow isn’t wearing a hat. Some pirate photo bombed us.

Pikachu takes some pictures with fans.

Pikachu takes some pictures with fans.

Recognize the guy in the middle? Here's a hint: it rhymes with Bash Jordan.

Recognize the guy in the middle? Here’s a hint: it rhymes with Bash Jordan.

Christopher Paolini pauses for a pic during his (only!) book signing of the weekend.

Christopher Paolini pauses for a pic during his (only!) book signing of the weekend.

I want a suit like that, but my wife probably wouldn't let me wear it.

I want a suit like that, but my wife probably wouldn’t let me wear it.

The dealer room was closed on Friday afternoon due to overcrowding. I can't imagine why.

The dealer room was closed on Friday afternoon due to overcrowding. I can’t imagine why.

Peter, meet Victor. Victor, Peter.

Peter, meet Victor. Victor, Peter.

This guy had been to 44 Weird Al concerts in 2016, with plans to attend several more. Check him out on Facebook at Mandatory Fun Al.

This guy had been to 44 Weird Al concerts in 2016, with plans to attend several more. Check him out on Facebook at Mandatory Fun Al.

Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia . . . or a George R.R. Martin autograph, whichever.

Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia . . . or a George R.R. Martin autograph, whichever.

This cosplay (yes, a person is inside) was made using 318 ballons!

This cosplay (yes, a person is inside) was made using 318 ballons!

Ran into this couple at the convention. They're crazy for each other.

Ran into this couple at the convention. They’re crazy for each other.

DragonCon is a place to spare no expense.

DragonCon is a place to spare no expense.

Mr. Roper doesn't know how good he has it.

Mr. Roper doesn’t know how good he has it.

DragonCon 2016 Con Report (Including a Sort-of Interview with Nolan North)!

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Cinderella, Wonder Woman, and an assassin walked into a bar. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. Actually, it was the first day of DragonCon 2016.

DragonCon is one of the largest conventions in the Southeast. This was my third year, but my first as a journalist. Even as a veteran convention goer, you really never know what to expect, especially for a place such as this. With over 75,000 attendees, it’s hard to find the same cosplayer twice, and it’s easy to lose your companions, like the Doctor loses Rose in every episode.

This is especially true of the Saturday morning parade. Several streets in downtown Atlanta are blocked off, and the sidewalks are covered in Disney Princesses, Deadpools, and Batmans (Batmen?) all converging together. It’s one of the few places you can see the Punisher pull Bullseye out of the street to prevent him from being run over by Doc Brown’s DeLorean. Until recently, people could register to be in the parade up until the day before. It has grown so popular, however, that last year registration for the 3,200 slots closed in August. This year, registration closed on March 1st. Also, for the first time, the parade was broadcasted on the CW Network. One of the best things about this parade is the fact that they have a specific place for just the Deadpools to roam, and it’s certainly one of the most popular cosplays done in any convention I have been to.

And then of course, due to the new movie that came out recently, Suicide Squad, my colleague, Anthony Aycock, and I were curious to see just how many Harley Quinns and Jokers there were, but only from that movie. We counted a total of ninety-one Margot Robbie Harley Quinns and nineteen Jared Leto Jokers. Most of the Harleys were in her usual outfit, complete with the shirt that says “Daddy’s Lil’ Monster,” but we noticed some variations. One Harley was wearing the prison uniform from the beginning of the movie, a few were wearing the “stripper” Harley outfit, and then there were a couple that had dressed as Harleen Quinzel, the pre-Harley Quinn – long white lab coat, no nonsense blond bun, and leading a prisoner Joker with a makeshift leash. I also saw one Charlie Quinn, a male Harley with “Mommy’s Lil’ Monster” scrawled on his pecs. I suppose one reason that there were more Harleys than Jokers is because most people seemed to have had a distaste for Leto’s portrayal of him. It might be because I was a fan of 30 Seconds to Mars far before the movie was even thought of, but I actually quite enjoyed it. One criticism I have though is that we didn’t see much into the abusive relationship, and now most couples who are unfamiliar with the characters are thinking “OMG hashtag relationship goals!”

One of the most popular areas of DragonCon is the Walk of Fame, which is overflowing with beloved actors of the traditional and voice kind. A few of my favorites were Carlos Valdes (Cisco from the CW TV show The Flash), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy, Commander Zhao, and Captain Hook), Nolan North (voice of Deadpool in the Deadpool video game, Nathan Drake from Uncharted, and Desmond Miles from the Assassin’s Creed series), and of course William Shatner (you already know who this is).

We stood in line for Nolan North (who was tardy to the party), and ended up talking to his agent for a while. She told us that voice actors usually make around $900 per four hours of work plus residuals (i.e., they get paid each time the episode they were in is broadcast). Anime voice actors make a lot less, roughly $65 per hour. Most conventions guarantee their celebrities a certain amount of money. For example Lana Parrilla of Once Upon a Time gets $10,000 per convention. If her autograph sales fall short of that, the convention makes up the difference. DragonCon, however, does not make guarantees like that. Not even for ol’ Bill Shatner. I found this fascinating, especially how undervalued anime voice actors are. I expect that to change, however, as anime becomes more mainstream.

Finally, Nolan arrived, and I managed to speak to him as he was signing a Deadpool Pop figure for me (I am not a nerd, I swear). Interviews are not allowed in the Walk of Fame, but I wanted to ask him a couple of questions out of my own curiosity. He was so friendly and engaging that it might as well have been an interview.

My first question was what he thought of Ryan Reynolds stealing the spotlight for Deadpool. He said, “There is no spotlight. Ryan does a terrific job, but I do have an idea for a cameo for the next movie. Deadpool is chasing someone, fires a gun, blows a hole in the wall, and behind the wall, I’m standing there wearing headphones, recording Deadpool’s voice for a video game. And Ryan looks at me and says, ‘You sound nothing like me’ and shoots me.” Nolan went on to say how funny Ryan is on Twitter, and I second that since I stalk him too.

My second question was how Nolan felt about the Assassin’s Creed movie coming out in December. He replied, “I’m a big fan of Michael Fassbender [co-producer and star of the movie]. What I like about it is that it will be an original take on the story. It won’t just be the game translated into the movie. The game is the inspiration for a unique movie.”

I stood there with Nolan so long that his agent started clearing her throat—thank goodness I didn’t have a third question—but it was interesting getting his perspective. As a fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, I was a bit tentative to see the movie, but after hearing Mister Desmond Miles himself praise it, I have a bit more hope for how it will turn out. Oh, and when I got his autograph on Friday, it was only $20, but two days later, he was charging $40. Way to up your game, North.

Are you thinking about going to DragonCon? Here are five morsels of advice:

  1. Bring all the money you have plus what you can bum from your parents and what you can earn by selling a kidney. I’m not saying stuff is overpriced; you’ll just want to buy it all.
  2. Prepare to stand in line for an hour and a half, feet tired, arms dragging the floor, just to be told to come back later after the actor’s friggin’ panel (I’m looking at you, Carlos Valdes).
  3. The hotels in downtown Atlanta fill up fast, but don’t worry: you can stay outside the city and just take the MARTA in. It’s quick and cheap. But don’t let the homeless guys take your money—you need it for the autographs and the plushies and the posters and . . . you get the idea.
  4. Prepare to walk. I know a lot of you like to wear heels everywhere. Don’t. You will not be able to feel anything beyond the blisters that will begin to appear after just the first day.
  5. Have fun, but not so much it’ll land you in Erewhon.

Now have a look at these pix from DragonCon 2016 . . .

Alucard will deal with this photo bomber later.

Alucard will deal with this photo bomber later.

You should see my sonic screwdriver . . .

You should see my sonic screwdriver . . .

He may be deaf, but he can hear the crowd cheering.

He may be deaf, but he can hear the crowd cheering.

When Deadpool meets Deadpool meets Deadpool meets Deadpool . . .

When Deadpool meets Deadpool meets Deadpool meets Deadpool . . .

DragonCon . . . where memes come to life.

DragonCon . . . where memes come to life.

This guy is Dumbledorable!

This guy is Dumbledorable!

Don't PokemonGO. Just go.

Don’t PokemonGO. Just go.

I found out where Nightcrawler has been hiding.

I found out where Nightcrawler has been hiding.

Screw the Joker. It's Ivy time!

Screw the Joker. It’s Ivy time!

To get this picture, I had to chase her down like Kinnosuke Kuzuhara. Except I actually succeeded.

To get this picture, I had to chase her down like Kinnosuke Kuzuhara. Except I actually succeeded.

And here we see . . . the typical Facebook user.

And here we see . . . the typical Facebook user.

Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today . . .

Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today . . .

When in doubt, follow a Sailor Scout.

When in doubt, follow a Sailor Scout.

The game . . . it's following me.

The game . . . it’s following me.

Walk toward the light!

Walk toward the light!

Me too, Deadpool. Me too.

Me too, Deadpool. Me too.

Is anime real?

Is anime real?

So this guy came up to me and just said "Shhhhh if anyone asks, Spiderman did it." And then sprayed silly string on my phone.

So this guy came up to me and just said “Shhhhh if anyone asks, Spiderman did it.” And then sprayed silly string on my phone.

"It's not a phase, Mom!"

“It’s not a phase, Mom!”

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