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

untitled

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!”

UK – Spider-Man/Deadpool Signing

000000000000000_jkelly-uk

Writer Joe Kelly appears at Orbital Comics for a London exclusive signing on Monday, October 17, 2016 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM, in conjunction with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Joe has worked on various comics titles over the years – including Action Comics, Deadpool, JLASteampunk, X-Men, and the current smash hit Spider-Man/Deadpool – in addition to being co-creator of cartoon sensation, Ben 10.

Orbital Comics
8 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JA, United Kingdom
020 7240 0591

SC – X-O Manowar #50 Signing

000000000000000_asmith_xomanowar50

Artist Andy Smith appears at Borderlands Comics on Saturday October 1st from noon till 5:00 PM! Andy’s art can be seen on X-O Manowar, Batman, Earth-2, Justice League, Red Sonja, Claw, Deadpool, Thanos, Thanos/Hulk, Blade, and Crossgen just to name a few.

He also has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and co-host of The Not So Better Half Show on the radio in Charlotte.

Andy will be signing copies of his Borderlands Exclusive cover to X-O Manowar 50. He also will have prints and art for sale.

RSVP on Facebook!

Borderlands Comics & Games
1434 Laurens Road, Greenville, SC 29607
(864) 235-3488

CA – Deadpool Annual 2016 Signing

000000000000000_2016_deadppol_annual

Writers Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan, and artist Scott Koblish sign the Deadpool Annual at Earth-2 Comics on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM!

RSVP on Facebook!

Earth-2 Comics
15017 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 386-9590

FL – Deadpool Signing

000000000000000_bposehn_geekez

Comedian/Comic Writer Brian Posehn (Deadpool, The Last Christmas) appears at The Geek Easy on Saturday September 10th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.

RSVP on Facebook!

The Geek Easy
114 S Semoran Blvd, Ste 6, Winter Park 32792

FL – Brian Posehn Signing

000000000000000-bposehn-hhc

Comedian/Comic Writer Brian Posehn (Deadpool, The Last Christmas) appears at Heroes’ Haven Comics on Friday September 9th from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. Brian will be signing for a few hours before his live show at Crowbar in Ybor at 9:00 P.M.

Click here for tickets to the show.

RSVP on Facebook!

Heroes Haven
4339 Gunn Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618
813-269-8859

Splash Page Comic Art Brings Artists to NYCC 2016

splash_page_comic_art

Press Release:

Splash Page Comic Art will be setup in ARTIST ALLEY this year for New York Comic Con 2016 with the following artists: Roland Boschi, Max Fiumara, Paolo Rivera, Goran Sudzuka, and Dalibor Talajic.

Roland Boschi has worked on Ghost Rider with Jason Aaron, Wolverine MAX, Punisher including Frankencastle, Magneto, and X-Men titles. He has also done work on Secret Wars, Hail Hydra, and Winter Soldier: The Bitter March.

Max Fiumara has worked on several titles including Amazing Spider-Man, Namor, and Hulk Smash Avengers, along with Four Eyes, his creator-owned series through Image with writer Joe Kelly, and worked on a long run of Abe Sapien for Dark Horse.

Paolo Rivera became a household name with Marvel on their Mythos series as well as Amazing Spider-Man. Paolo transitioned primarily to pencil and ink work on covers and pencils on interiors with his father Joe doing inks, on his Daredevil run. He also worked for Valiant and most recently on Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1953.

Goran Sudzuka broke through with Outlaw Nation, and went on to do Hellblazer projects, Y the Last Man, Ghosted, Wolverine, Thors, and most recently Daredevil.

Dalabor Talajic has worked on a number of Marvel titles including several Deadpool projects including Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, Dexter, Hit Monkey, and recently Red Wolf.

We have opened pre-signup lists on a first come first serve basis for Roland, Max, Goran, and Dalibor and the pieces must be picked up at NYCC. Artist Alley Table locations will be posted closer to the show date.

While Lee Bermejo will not have his own table, he’ll be at the show for a limited time so he’s taking TWO pre-order convention sketches.

The details for all of these opportunities can be seen here at the link…

I will be bringing a limited amount of art with me, primarily for artists that will be with me at the show. If you want to purchase something and have us bring it to NYCC for pickup, we’d be happy to do so!

SF – T.J. Miller Performs

000000000000000-tj-millerT.J. Miller’s “Meticulously Ridiculous Tour” comes to the Nourse Theater on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 7:00 PM with special guests Kate Miller and Nick Vatterott. Tickets at the link!

T.J. MILLER is one of the most sought after comedians in the comedy world, but not in the drama world, or the finance world. He was named one of Variety’s “Top 10 Comics to Watch,” and EW’s “Next Big Things in Comedy”. Miller’s voice stars in Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated feature, BIG HERO 6. You may recognize his non-animated face and body from his roles in FOX’s big screen comic book adaptation of DEADPOOL, the highest grossing R-rated film of all time, 2014’s surprise indie hit TRANSFORMERS 4, and Mike Judge’s HBO comedy series SILICON VALLEY, now in its third season, for which he received the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Comedy. His podcast “Cashing in with T.J. Miller” on nerdist.com is listened to by 12 and ½ people, and he is a nationally touring standup artist, crisscrossing the country listening to Kris Kross (he’s also done shows in the U.K. and Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico did not go well)). He has been performing his absurdist observational stand-up act for over 10 years, and has never gone to the bathroom in his pants on stage.

His hour-long Comedy Central stand-up special T.J. MILLER: NO REAL REASON and hip-hop/pop/folk music album “The Extended Play E.P.”, an E.P. with 41 tracks, and the ILLEGAL ART REMIXTAPE are all available now. He hosted Comedy Central’s MASH-UP, a mashup of standup, sketches and visualizations, and has appeared on CHELSEA LATELY more than most women his height. He got his start touring with Second City in Chicago and improvising with Annoyance Theater, iO, and managers at electronics stores asking why he was late and smelled like gin.

Miller has been in a number of major studio films including CLOVERFIELD, SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE, SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, ROCK OF AGES, OUR IDIOT BROTHER, YOGI BEAR 3D (Ranger Jones, his greatest role to date), UNSTOPPABLE, and GET HIM TO THE GREEK.

Miller also talks like an old drag queen after a hard night of chain smoking, and thus voiced the character Tuffnut in the Oscar-nominated animated film HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2. He voices Robbie from GRAVITY FALLS on Disney, Tuffnut in the Netflix HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON TV series, and GORBURGER, a very strange show you just have to google to understand.

Upcoming films include OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY, opposite Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston, and READY PLAYER ONE, directed by Steven Spielberg. He resides in Hollywood, California, where he struggles to find meaning in an uncertain world. He is a comedian.

RSVP on Facebook!

Nourse Theater
275 Hayes St, San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 563-2463

OR – TJ Miller Performs

000000000000000-tj-millerT.J. Miller’s “Meticulously Ridiculous Tour” comes to the Aladdin Theater on Friday, September 9th with special guests Kate Miller and Nick Vatterott. Two shows at 7:30 and 9:00 PM! Tickets at the link!

T.J. MILLER is one of the most sought after comedians in the comedy world, but not in the drama world, or the finance world. He was named one of Variety’s “Top 10 Comics to Watch,” and EW’s “Next Big Things in Comedy”. Miller’s voice stars in Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated feature, BIG HERO 6. You may recognize his non-animated face and body from his roles in FOX’s big screen comic book adaptation of DEADPOOL, the highest grossing R-rated film of all time, 2014’s surprise indie hit TRANSFORMERS 4, and Mike Judge’s HBO comedy series SILICON VALLEY, now in its third season, for which he received the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Comedy. His podcast “Cashing in with T.J. Miller” on nerdist.com is listened to by 12 and ½ people, and he is a nationally touring standup artist, crisscrossing the country listening to Kris Kross (he’s also done shows in the U.K. and Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico did not go well)). He has been performing his absurdist observational stand-up act for over 10 years, and has never gone to the bathroom in his pants on stage.

His hour-long Comedy Central stand-up special T.J. MILLER: NO REAL REASON and hip-hop/pop/folk music album “The Extended Play E.P.”, an E.P. with 41 tracks, and the ILLEGAL ART REMIXTAPE are all available now. He hosted Comedy Central’s MASH-UP, a mashup of standup, sketches and visualizations, and has appeared on CHELSEA LATELY more than most women his height. He got his start touring with Second City in Chicago and improvising with Annoyance Theater, iO, and managers at electronics stores asking why he was late and smelled like gin.

Miller has been in a number of major studio films including CLOVERFIELD, SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE, SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, ROCK OF AGES, OUR IDIOT BROTHER, YOGI BEAR 3D (Ranger Jones, his greatest role to date), UNSTOPPABLE, and GET HIM TO THE GREEK.

Miller also talks like an old drag queen after a hard night of chain smoking, and thus voiced the character Tuffnut in the Oscar-nominated animated film HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2. He voices Robbie from GRAVITY FALLS on Disney, Tuffnut in the Netflix HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON TV series, and GORBURGER, a very strange show you just have to google to understand.

Upcoming films include OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY, opposite Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston, and READY PLAYER ONE, directed by Steven Spielberg. He resides in Hollywood, California, where he struggles to find meaning in an uncertain world. He is a comedian.

RSVP on Facebook!

Aladdin Theater
3017 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR 97202
(503) 234-9694

IL – TJ Miller Performs

000000000000000-tj-millerComedian TJ Miller (Silicon Valley, Deadpool, Ready Player One) brings his latest standup tour to the Vic Theatre on Friday, August 25, 2016 at 8:00 PM! Tickets available at the link!

T.J. MILLER is one of the most sought after comedians in the comedy world, but not in the drama world, or the finance world. He was named one of Variety’s “Top 10 Comics to Watch,” and EW’s “Next Big Things in Comedy”. Miller’s voice stars in Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated feature, BIG HERO 6. You may recognize his non-animated face and body from his roles in FOX’s big screen comic book adaptation of DEADPOOL, the highest grossing R-rated film of all time, 2014’s surprise indie hit TRANSFORMERS 4, and Mike Judge’s HBO comedy series SILICON VALLEY, now in its third season, for which he received the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Comedy. His podcast “Cashing in with T.J. Miller” on nerdist.com is listened to by 12 and ½ people, and he is a nationally touring standup artist, crisscrossing the country listening to Kris Kross (he’s also done shows in the U.K. and Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico did not go well)). He has been performing his absurdist observational stand-up act for over 10 years, and has never gone to the bathroom in his pants on stage.

His hour-long Comedy Central stand-up special T.J. MILLER: NO REAL REASON and hip-hop/pop/folk music album “The Extended Play E.P.”, an E.P. with 41 tracks, and the ILLEGAL ART REMIXTAPE are all available now. He hosted Comedy Central’s MASH-UP, a mashup of standup, sketches and visualizations, and has appeared on CHELSEA LATELY more than most women his height. He got his start touring with Second City in Chicago and improvising with Annoyance Theater, iO, and managers at electronics stores asking why he was late and smelled like gin.

Miller has been in a number of major studio films including CLOVERFIELD, SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE, SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, ROCK OF AGES, OUR IDIOT BROTHER, YOGI BEAR 3D (Ranger Jones, his greatest role to date), UNSTOPPABLE, and GET HIM TO THE GREEK.

Miller also talks like an old drag queen after a hard night of chain smoking, and thus voiced the character Tuffnut in the Oscar-nominated animated film HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2. He voices Robbie from GRAVITY FALLS on Disney, Tuffnut in the Netflix HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON TV series, and GORBURGER, a very strange show you just have to google to understand.

Upcoming films include OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY, opposite Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston, and READY PLAYER ONE, directed by Steven Spielberg. He resides in Hollywood, California, where he struggles to find meaning in an uncertain world. He is a comedian.

RSVP on Facebook!

The Vic Theatre
3145 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60657
(773) 472-0449

« Previous PageNext Page »