Labor Day weekend means one thing for pop culture nerds in the South, Dragon Con. If you’ve never been to Dragon Con you are missing out. The five day long convention celebrates just about every facet of pop culture. I’ve had the pleasure of attending Dragon Con three times now and each experience has been unique.
In years past I was able to meet James Silvani, Aaron Sparrow, Don Rosa, and Tad Stones at the downtown Atlanta convention. This year only Don will be there from that group, but that just meant he had to put up with me more than last year.
This year’s Dragon Con was literally. Just a few days after the end of the convention Dragon Con confirmed there were over 85,000 attendees at Dragon Con 2019. Atlanta was packed with fans representing just about every fandom. Last year I was there on Saturday, but this year my schedule required that I attend on Friday. I was very surprised to see how busy it was on Friday.
I look forward to Dragon Con every year now. Every year I say I’m going to try to stay in Atlanta and attend more than one day, and every year I am sad when I have to leave. I would recommend anyone visiting Dragon Con within driving distance to utilize the Marta train system. I like to park in one of the three northern stations that offer free single day parking (They also offer multiple night parking if you check their site). After riding the train into downtown Atlanta I hoofed it over to the Hyatt to check in with Media Relations. Let me say that all of the Media Relations volunteers are amazing at Dragon Con. I’ve always felt welcomed, and they’ve always asked what they could do to help me.
When I left Media Relations I got in line for the “Meet the Stars of Star Wars: Let the Wookie Win” panel moderated by Alex from Star Wars Explained with Joonas Suotamo, the actor who has played Chewbacca in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and Solo: A Star Wars Story. You all know I’m a big fan of Chewie and the movie Solo. It was a great time and I’m glad I made myself make time for the panel. I watch Alex’s YouTube (Star Wars Explained) channel almost daily, and it was nice having an opportunity to say hello.
After the Star Wars panel I considered going to the Vendor and Comic Artist locations at America’s Mart, but I decided to visit the Walk of Fame first. The Walk of Fame is where your “big names” attending the convention can be found. I was five feet from Zachary Levi! I’ve been a “Chuck” fan from the moment I watched the pilot on it’s premiere on September 24th 2007. At that time the line was too long for me to meet him, and unfortunately I didn’t make it back to his booth. This was the second time that I know he attended Dragon Con… so maybe next year?
Next I found Kimberly Brooks booth. I had a wonderful conversation with Kimberly’s “handler” (I’m not sure that this is the appropriate title, but Jason Asgari assures me it is) who turned out to be a big ol’ DuckTales Fan! Kimberly voiced Hardtrack Hattie, One-Eyed Linda, and Peg Leg Meg from “Sky Pirates… In The Sky!” I really enjoyed speaking with Kimberly and hope we can work out having her on the podcast some time in the future.
On my way out of the Walk of Fame I happened across Jason Marsden’s booth. The voice of Max Goof from A Goofy Movie was a real pleasure to speak with. I was kicking myself for not bringing my copy of the DVD. I asked Jason to consider coming on the podcast sometime, and we look forward to talking about his time as the coolest Goof.
I spent more time in the vendor rooms this year than any other year, and I still did not see it all. There were so many great vendors, but I never found Disney Duck Paydirt. I was really hoping to find some vintage DuckMerch, but I didn’t find a single piece to add to my collection.
The comic and artist rooms were amazing. I am blown away by all of the very talented artists who attend Dragon Con. You could spend a whole day just traveling around this part of the convention (and you should). In these rooms I received a lot of praise for my DuckTalks shirt and even ran into a few people who recognized me. It was great chatting with each of you about DuckTales and our podcast.
As you can probably tell there was not a whole lot of Duck-related content for me to cover this year, but I’m getting to one of the greatest things about Dragon Con. I met Don Rosa for the second time and I was fortunate enough to spend about an hour with him. I introduced myself and pulled out my Fantagraphics Complete Life and Times Of Scrooge McDuck to have him sign. I was able to sit across from him and talk a out the stories and his stories creating it. He allowed me to ask him questions about his work and career, and to thank him for his contribution with these stories and characters that I love. I bought prints that he signed for me and my daughters (who enjoy reading from Fantagraphics Don Rosa Library), and I even grabbed a long, red chili from this year’s crop to enjoy in a chili I made later the next week. Don has attended Dragon Con for years, and plans on being there as long as they will have him. If you love his work Atlanta has the convention for you.
Most of my cash was spent at Don’s table, but there was one item I saw while walking around Don’s table that I had to buy. Rob Taylor is the artist over at Hereford.com. If he is at Dragon Con next year I am sure I will spend some more cash on his beautiful designs. I have a long story about how I missed out on this Spider-Verse artwork, and you should listen to episode 78 of DuckTalks titled “Whatever Happened at Dragon Con!” to year about it.
After that I was off to the streets of Atlanta to tell Dragon Con goodbye. I caught a train and began my journey north. Dragon Con is awesome. So many great people, so many great fans, and so much to see and do.
We will devote time during the podcast to Dragon Con stories and once that episode is up I will include a link to it here: DuckTalks Episode #078 – What Ever Happened At Dragon Con?!
Check out our past blogs on Dragon Con and my experiences at the convention: