Sunday, September 9, 2018


My badge.
What can I say about Dragon Con that I haven't said before? As always, this continues to be my best show of the year. Dragon Con is really 7 or 8 conventions in one. No matter your fandom, there's bound to be something at Dragon Con for you to enjoy.

Dragon Con 2018 was my 30th consecutive Dragon Con. I am very proud of this, although it does make me feel old. I attended my first Dragon Con in 1989, the year I graduated from high school and I haven't looked back.

This year, I returned as a guest of the Dragon Con Comics and Pop Art Track and was given a table in Artist Alley on the 4th floor of the America's Mart Building #2. I was at table 436. This is a change from
My table.
being on the 3rd floor the past few years. I loved the new space and I had a great spot on the floor near other gusts I knew and a few I did not. I'd first like to single out my table neighbors, Paul Jenkins and Chris Garrett for being such cool guys. Having good table neighbors at a con makes all the difference and these guys were great. I was also near J.R. Mounts, Christopher Collins, Billy and Heather Tackett, Eric Dotson, and Lee Jiles. There may have been some cutting up and tomfoolery going on throughout the weekend.

The legendary George Perez
Other friends were in the room like Chris Hamer, Michael Gordon, Peter Cutler, Bill Kielhorn, Afua Richardson, Francesco Francavilla, Sanford Greene, Erik Burnham, James Burns, Van Allen Plexico, Jim Beard, Gail Simone, Amy Chu, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Craig Rousseau, Tom Waltz, George Perez, and so many more. I'm sure I'm forgetting some folks so please forgive the lapse in judgement. Also great seeing Mike and Judy Faber, Christopher Qualls, Mary Ogle, Darren Nowell, Jamie Jones, Bill Ritch, Jason and Rita DeLaTorre, Joe Crowe, Gary Mitchel, Michael Bailey, Kevin Eldridge, Scott and Diane Freeman, and oh so many more.

Dragon Con ran from August 30 - September 3, 2018 in Atlanta, GA. I arrived on Thursday to set up and have a day to get out and see folks before the work started on Friday morning at 10 a.m. I roomed with my usual Dragon Con crew, Mike Gordon and Bill Kielhorn. We've been splitting a room for years and it's always fun hanging with them and saving money on the very expensive
Tiki-Zombie and ESO's Mike Gordon.
hotels in downtown Atlanta. This year we stayed int he Westin for the first time and loved it. Sadly, our efforts to secure a room at that hotel for next year met with failure so I'm not sure where we'll be. That's part of the adventure.

A big thank you to all who stopped by my table to say hello and/or buy a book or two. As a creator, I sometimes forget that I am not in this alone. Since I spend so much time alone with my thoughts, my characters, and the laptop, it's easy to forget that there is a large, welcoming community out there that I count myself lucky to be a part of and this Dragon Con family is a big part of that, There are
These guys look familiar...
people in my life that I met through this con and some I only see once a year, at this con that it's become something of a family reunion.

This was a busy con for me. I didn't get a chance to go to the Walk of Fame so I saw very few of the actors. I did see Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who) photo-bomb a group of Justice League cosplayers. That was cool. I also didn't get to any panels unless I was on them because I was working my table. There is a hard truth that you can either attend Dragon Con or work Dragon Con. It's really hard to do both. There were guests I wanted to meet. Maybe down the road. I would like to thank Kelley Palmer for watching my table when I had panels. That was an extremely big help. Her daughter, Gracie, also helped once as well. Never underestimate the power of having
RADAR! This kid
wins DC cosplay!
a cute kid selling your books. It's great and works like a charm

Here's how my panels shook out this year:
On Friday, I had a reading session scheduled at 2:30. My friends Darrell and Paul stopped by and we turned it into a chat session. It was fun. I also picked up a copy of Darrell's new book, I Never Meant to Start a Murder Cult and Other Stories. Looking forward to reading it.

On Saturday at 1 pm, my only panel was called Pulp: Not Just Old Paper. (Panel description: Pulp is a genre like unto no other. In the past, it started a lot of careers. It's enjoying a resurgence, so our panelists will tell us about it, why they find it interesting, and why they write it.) I end up on a lot of pulp panels and sometimes they get bogged down in the discussion of what pulp is or isn't, but thankfully, not so in this case. Part of that has to do with the panelists: James Palmer, Van Allen Plexico, Jim Beard, John G. Hartness, and yours truly. I believe the panel was recorded. As soon as I obtain a copy, I will share it.

A gaggle of pulpsters?
Sunday had two panels. The first was at 5:30 pm called The Joy of Joe: Celebrating the Real American Hero in Figures and Cartoons (Panel description: Joe fans salute America's movable fighting man from the Adventure Team to Cobra-La and beyond.) This panel was a blast and featured four authors from The Joy of Joe book (still on sale): Dave West (aka Phantom Troublemaker), editor Jim Beard, James Palmer, and me. It also included Joe fan and historian Michael D. French. This one was also recorded. Will share links as soon as I get them.

My second panel on Sunday happened at 10 pm and was called Hollywood--er, Georgia, Here I Come (Panel description: Do you
Getting groped by writers.
have a story or novel that's perfect for film? These pros will help you discover how to find a producer to make that happen.) I felt a little bit like a fish out of water on this panel while sharing the stage with Nancy Knight, Ken Feinberg, Matt Green, Trip Hope, and Thomas Michael Gofton. I learned a good deal about movie making and got to talk about writing and being an actor/slash background performer in Georgia. A fun panel.

Aside from walking around at night, people watching, chatting, and falling down stairs (which I only did once), most nights ended at the Westin hotel bar. The Westin bar has become a writer hangout over the past few years and this one was no exception. I saw many friends and met some new ones, which ks always neat. There were many good conversations about writing, cons, and
With Gail Simone
whatever topic came up. Always a fun time. My buddy, John Hartness is one of the ringleaders of the get together and he knows how to work a room. Great hanging out with John, Vanessa Giunta, Jay Requard, Steve Saffel, Dave Boop, Clay and Susan Griffith, Jim Beard, Darin Kennedy, Jack Cullen, James Nettles, Kevin Ikenberry, and oh so many more I can't keep them all straight. I love this time of fellowship with other authors. So much fun.

On Saturday night, I attended The Big Damn Game Show, hosted by my friend, Dave West and his Needless Things Irregulars. Dave and his team put on an absolutely fantastic game show. I haven't laughed that hard in a while. It was great. Sadly, my phone battery dies right after it started so I only have a few photos, but I'm sure you can find some on-line. So much fun.

All in all, Dragon Con 2018 was a huge success. Doubly so as I didn't catch con crud this year or completely lose my voice. That's always an important bonus.

A special thanks to those who stopped by to ask about my family,
Only at Dragon Con!
especially on Saturday as September 1st marked one year since my mother lost her battle with cancer. It was an emotional day for me, but being surrounded by a few thousand close friends helped make the day not only bearable, but enjoyable. I had considered skipping it this year to stay with my family, but my dad convinced me to go and I'm glad I did.

I love this convention and I hope they'll have me back again next year.


Click to see more photos.

Go home. The con's over.

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