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!”

GA – March: Book 3 Signing

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Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today’s world. Congressman Lewis will appear for a signing at the Norcross Cultural Arts Center on Sunday, October 23, 2016 from 3:00 – 5:00 PM!  Copies of all three volumes of MARCH will be available from Eagle Eye Books.

RSVP on Facebook!

Norcross Cultural Arts & Community Center
10 College Street, Norcross, GA 30071
(678) 421-2025

GA – Tetris: The Games People Play Signing

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Cartoonist Box Brown, the author who brought you the Andre The Giant graphic novel, does it again with the game Tetris! He will talk about his new book and have a conversation with Games and Comedy editor for Paste Magazine, Garrett Martin, at Eagle Eye Book Shop on Friday, October 14, 2016 at 7:00 PM.

RSVP on Facebook!

Eagle Eye Book Shop
2076 N Decatur Rd, Decatur, GA 30033
(404) 486-0307

GA – Tek: The Modern Cave Boy Signing

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Patrick McDonnell (creator of Mutts) appears at the Athens-Clarke County Library on Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 6:30 PM to sign his new book Tek: The Modern Cave Boy!

ABOUT ‘TEK’:
From a beloved, bestselling Caldecott Honor recipient comes a hilarious reminder of how technology can take us backward … all the way to the times of prehistoric man!

Tek is a cave boy in love with tech. His tablet, video games, phone, and TV keep him deep in his cave, glued to his devices, day in and day out. He never sees his friends or family, and his ability to communicate has devolved to just one word: “UGH”! Can anyone convince Tek to unplug and come outside into the big, beautiful world?

In addition to an imaginative and totally relatable story, ‘Tek’ also offers a distinctive design — including a tablet-shaped cover and a password “screen” — that’s sure to pique the interest of even the wariest young readers.

RSVP on Facebook!

Athens-Clarke County Library
2025 Baxter St, Athens, GA 30606
(706) 613-3650

GA – Mighty Jack Signing

000000000000000_bhatke_mighty-jackBen Hatke (Zita the Spacegirl, Little Robot) appears at Avid Bookshop on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 6:30 PM!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Jack might be the only kid in the world who’s dreading summer. But he’s got a good reason: summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It’s a lot of responsibility, and it’s boring, too, because Maddy doesn’t talk. Ever. But then, one day at the flea market, Maddy does talk—to tell Jack to trade their mom’s car for a box of mysterious seeds. It’s the best mistake Jack has ever made.

In MIGHTY JACK, what starts as a normal little garden out back behind the house quickly grows up into a wild, magical jungle with tiny onion babies running amok, huge, pink pumpkins that bite, and, on one moonlit night that changes everything…a dragon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ben Hatke’s first graphic novel was ZITA THE SPACEGIRL. He has published comics stories in the Flight series as well as Flight Explorer. In addition to writing and drawing comics, he also paints in the naturalist tradition and, occasionally, performs one-man fire shows. Hatke lives and works in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and their boisterous pack of daughters.

RSVP on Facebook!

Avid Bookshop
493 Prince Ave, Athens, GA 30601
(706) 352-2060

GA – All-Star Batman #1 Variant Signing

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Artist Afua Richardson appears at My Parents’ Basement to sign the store exclusive variant cover to All-Star Batman #1 on Wednesday August 10, 2016 from 5pm to 8pm!

RSVP on Facebook!

My Parents’ Basement
22 N Avondale Rd, Avondale Estates, GA 30002
(404) 292-4607

Atlanta Comic Convention (August 2016)

Convention Name
Atlanta Comic Convention
Convention Website Address
http://www.atlantacomicconvention.com
This convention will take place:
  • for one day only.
Date (Format mm/dd/yyyy)
08/14/2016
About This Convention
The BEST One Day show in the South! Over 1 Million Comic Books (from 1.00 to 10,000) , Toys, Star Wars, X-Files, Dr. Who, Magic, Gaming, Statues, Posters, More! 20 years, 4 times a year! Since 1994 the Fan-Friendliest of ALL shows. Free Parking, ALL the Guests sign FOR FREE! Come in costume..Get a FREE GIFT ..JUST for coming to the show…..ALL FOR JUST 5.00 !!!!! Guests are Award winning , Diverse Writer (Star Wars, SpongeBob) , Artist( Superman, Batman, Hellblazer) , Creator ( Mr. X, Terminal City ) ,and Designer of over 100 Album Covers from Anne Murray to Loverboy, Motorhead, Triumph) Dean Motter ..and Robert Brown Artist of Insane Clown Posse , Undertaker, Mankind, Daredevil, Spiderman, X-Men, Megadeath)
Venue Name and Address
Marriott Hotel-Century Center (Emory)
2000 Century Blvd
Atlanta, Georgia 30345
United States
Map It
Number of Dealer/Exhibitor Tables
100
Projected Attendance
500
Please select the Category that best describes the convention
Comic Books
Additional Categories
  • Anime
  • Gaming
  • Horror
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Collectibles
Guests
Dean Motter, Robert Brown

GA – Betty & Veronica #1 Signing

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Writer/Artist Adam Hughes (Wonder Woman, Dr. Manhattan) and variant cover artist Andy Price (My Little Pony) appear at My Parents’ Basement on Friday, July 29, 2016 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM to sign BETTY & VERONICA #1 from Archie Comics!

The first hour Adam will be signing copies of Betty and Veronica (and if you have any other books, but we are limiting them to no more than five with one being purchased in shop day of) and during the second hour, you can grab a blank sketch cover for Adam or Andy to do a quick personalized sketch. The sketches will be $40.

RSVP on Facebook!

My Parents’ Basement
22 N Avondale Rd, Avondale Estates, GA 30002
(404) 292-4607

Tekken 7 Tournament 2016 Part of the Wizard World Comic Cons and Gaming Tour

Tekken 7

Press Release:

BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA INC. OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES THE TEKKEN 7: THE KING OF THE IRON FIST TOURNAMENT 2016 FOR NORTH AMERICA

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (May 19, 2016) – Leading video game developer and publisher, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc., today announced the TEKKEN 7: The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2016 – North America , scheduled to hit major North American cities throughout the rest of the year in anticipation of the home console release of TEKKEN 7 .

The TEKKEN 7: The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2016 – North America aims to bring together the top TEKKEN players from around the country for the largest ever TEKKEN tournament in North America for a knockdown, drag-out competition through 18 different cities across the United States and Canada for bragging rights and cash prizes. The nationwide tournament series is the only place in North America for fans to get their hands on the arcade version of TEKKEN 7.

“The TEKKEN series is a cornerstone of the fighting game community and continues to evolve and advance the genre forward with each installment,” said Katsuhiro Harada, Director of TEKKEN Project at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. “I’m excited to see what the North American TEKKEN community is made of as they compete over the next seven months in the TEKKEN 7: The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2016 in North America.”

“The TEKKEN 7: The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2016 – North America series of events expands upon our tournament footprint that was set in motion earlier this year through our partnership with Wizard World Comic Cons and Gaming Tour,” said Eric Hartness, Vice President of Marketing at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. “The added reach of the TEKKEN 7: The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2016 – North America events will ensure that TEKKEN fans across the country will have an opportunity to experience the next chapter of the storied TEKKEN videogame franchise and compete for cash and glory.”

The TEKKEN 7: The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2016 – North America began on February 19, 2016 at Wizard World in Portland, OR and will continue through November 6, 2016 at the Wizard World Comic Con and Gaming Tour in Pittsburg, PA.  Tournaments will be held at Wizard World Comic Con and Gaming Tour sites and key fighting game circuit cities. Each tournament event will feature a prize pool of $3,000 with a final prize pool of $20,000 at the TEKKEN 7: The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2016 – North America finals. For full tournament rules and regulations please visit

https://www.bandainamcoent.com/news/tekken-tour-na .

TEKKEN 7: The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2016 – North America schedule and locations:

 

Date Location Event
February 19-21 Portland, OR Wizard World
March 18-20 Atlanta, GA Final Round
April 1-3 St. Louis, MO Wizard World
April 29-May 1 Des Moines, WA NorthWest Majors
May 6-8 Minneapolis, MN Wizard World
May 27-29 Chicago, IL Combo Breaker
June 2-5 Philadelphia, PA Wizard World
June 17-19 Sacramento, CA Wizard World
July 29-31 Columbus, OH Wizard World
August 18-21 Chicago, IL Wizard World
August 19-21 Philadelphia, PA Summer Jam X
September 9-11 Richmond, VA Wizard World
September 23-25 Austin, TX Wizard World
October 14-16 Southern California SoCal Regionals
October 28-30 Toronto, Canada Canada Cup
November 4-6 Pittsburgh, PA Wizard World

 

Date Location Event
TBA TBA TEKKEN 7: The King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2016
North America Final

 

About BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc.

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc., part of BANDAI NAMCO Holdings Inc., is a leading global publisher and developer of interactive entertainment for all major video game consoles, iOS, Android, and online platforms. The company is known for creating and publishing many of the industry’s top video game franchises including PAC-MAN ®, GALAGA ®,TEKKEN ®, SOULCALIBUR ®, and ACE COMBAT ®. BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. is the premier publisher in the Western hemisphere for anime based video games including NARUTO SHIPPUDEN™, DRAGON BALL Z ®, and ONE PIECE ®. More information about the company and its products can be found at http://www.bandainamcoent.com orwww.facebook.com/BandaiNamcoUS .

About Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD)

Wizard World, Inc. ( www.wizardworld.com ) produces comic cons, gaming and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, television, cosplay, comics, graphic novels, toys, video gaming, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. A first-class lineup of topical programming takes place at each event, with celebrity Q&A’s, comics-themed sessions, costume contests, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Wizard World has also launched Wizard World Store ( www.shopwizardworld.com ), CONtv, a digital media channel in partnership with leading independent content distributor Cinedigm™ (NASDAQ: CIDM), and ComicConBox™ ( www.comicconbox.com), a premium subscription-based monthly box service. Fans can interact with Wizard World on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media services.

Wizard World 2016 schedule available at: www.wizardworld.com/wizcon.html .

All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

Press Release © 2016 BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc.

GA – House of Secrets Signing

00000000_meltzer-house-secretsPress Release:

Author Brad Meltzer is coming to Downtown Woodstock on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 7:00 PM, just two days after the release of his latest thriller, THE HOUSE OF SECRETS. This is a huge and exciting event for FoxTale and Downtown Woodstock! This will be a ticketed event with links on our website.

Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and seven other bestselling thrillers including The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, The Book of Lies, and The Fifth Assassin. His newest book is The House of Secrets.

In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for Non-Fiction (History Decoded), Advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), Children’s Books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln) and even comic books (Justice League of America, Green Arrow, Identity Crisis), for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award.

He is also the host of Brad Meltzer’s Lost History on H2 – History Channel and Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the HISTORY Channel. The Hollywood Reporter recently put him on their list of Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors.

RSVP on Facebook!

Elm Street Cultural Arts Village
8534 Main St, Woodstock, GA 30188
(678) 494-4251

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