I’m writing this 14 days out from Dragon*Con and we still don’t have programs/schedules or whatever. Well, you know what? Screw you Dragon*Con! You’re not fucking up my irrelevant little blog’s schedule with your procrastination and laziness! And really, the Dragon*Con schedule doesn’t matter so much for this post. I just like to have the guest list printed out in front of me for this one. It’s when I put together my personal schedule that the lack of programming times is going to be a problem. How the hell am I supposed to know when DCW is taking place? Or when getting shitfaced Saturday night in the Marriot is supposed to happen? Okay, so those two may be kind of fixed. Anyway, here’s my pick of the best of the guests currently scheduled for Dragon*Con 2010, minus one Daniel Brereton – the only cancellation (so far) that I care about.
Neal Adams – While I couldn’t name any single Batman story he illustrated (other than the kind of crazy Odyssey; which he is writing, as well), I know this man is responsible for the images in a huge number of the Batman comics I started out on. I’m bringing Odyssey #1 and will probably buy a print, too.
Aaron Allston – One of my favorite Star Wars writers. I always mean to get a book signed and never do. It’s kind of hard to get as worked up for an author. Also, their signings are at specific times and I am bad at following through on plans at Dragon*Con.
Kevin J. Anderson – See above.
Morena Baccarin – When I first started compiling this list a couple of weeks ago, this lady was on it because she voiced Black Canary on Justice League Unlimited and I was hoping she might have Black Canary stuff to sign for Lil’ Troublemaker (or I might bring a figure). Now that I have finally experienced the awesome phenomenon that is Firefly (and Serenity) I also want to get a cast picture signed by as many of the crew as are in attendance (4 so far). Because nobody’s ever thought of that, right?
Mark Bagley – I followed this guy through 100+ issues of Ultimate Spider-Man. Ideally, I’d get a sketch of Spidey and yours truly, but depending on the cost a standard print of ol’ web-head is more likely.
Scott Bakula – I really like this guy. I loved Quantum Leap when I was a kid and can enjoy Enterprise well enough, but to me his standout role will always be Harry D’Amour in Lord Of Illusions.
LeVar Burton – I used to watch Reading Rainbow when I was a kid, mostly because of its friendly host. My first near-miss with nerd head-exploding came when I heard that he was going to be on a new Star Trek show. I don't really need a signature, I just wanted to point out Burton's influence on my dorkery.
Jim Butcher – Back when I could still read while at work I could make my way through one of Butcher’s Harry Dresden novels in a couple of nights. They are some of my favorite books of all time. If you haven’t read them, they are the very best mix of mythology, mystery, the supernatural and noir available today. Don’t look too deep into them before you start – so much of what ends up being a part of the Dresden mythology is a surprise when it happens. I have yet to read any of his fantasy series – Codex Alera – because it takes me forever to read a novel now and I’ve got about six in the queue. I’ll get whatever the current hardcover is signed and read it two years from now when I get caught up.
Tia Carrere – Was there anything hotter than Cassandra in the Wayne’s World movies back in the day? And as we can tell from her recent appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Ms. Carrere’s still got it.
J. Scott Campbell – This is one of the big boys for me. I’ve been a fan ever since Gen13 and Danger Girl is one of my favorite comic concepts ever. I’m planning on hitting Campbell up early Friday morning for a sketch of ol’ Phantom and Abbey Chase. I just hope it’s going to cost less than I think it’s going to cost. This is one of my top priorities for Dragon*Con this year.
Amanda Conner – I want a sketch of Power Girl whisking my big, masked ass off to safety.
Darwyn Cooke – I missed him last year. Naturally I’d love a sketch, but a print is more likely.
Peter David – One of my favorite comic writers of all time, despite the fact that he was kind of douchy last year. Which is the only reason I mention him now. Which is kind of douchy of me.
Paul Dini – I missed him last year, too. I’ve got a couple of Warner Bros. Store Batman: The Animated Series prints I’d love to have signed, along with Streets of Gotham #1.
Ashley Eckstein – She voices Asohka on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I want to get a picture of Anakin’s Padawan signed for Lil’ Troublemaker. Before Anakin ends up killing her.
Tom Feister – FINALLY! I can get replacements of the GI Joe prints I lost in The Event Which Shall Not Be Named. I e-mailed him Friday.
Jonathan Frakes – Commander Riker. Also, the bad guy from Gargoyles – a Disney show that ended up being nearly as good as Batman: The Animated Series. I don’t necessarily need anything signed, I’ll just bask in his manliness for a moment.
Summer Glau – Naturally, she was already on my list for Terminator and Dollhouse; but my recent Firefly revelation has made those two series almost moot.
Chris Gore – I like this Attack of the Show regular and more often than not agree with his DVD reviews. This is a guy I’d have a beer with, but don’t really need anything else from.
Christopher Golden – He is a tremendous artist who has done all kinds of different stuff. He is responsible for the Seven Deadly Sins prints that accompany guests on the descent into the Troublemaker Family Dungeon:
One of those guys I’ll buy a print from just because. (those frames are $4.00 at Walmart if you were wondering - perfect for 11x17 con prints)
Doc Hammer & Jackson Publick – Well, duh. I’m going to get my brand-spanking-new Henchman 24 action figure signed. Sure, I’d love to bring the whole set of six, but I’m not that kind of dick. I was bringing the Monarch, but in the (extremely likely) event I end up opening these guys, 24 is dead and not really needed. Plus, they killed him because Hammer hated doing the voice. So that makes 24 the funniest choice.
Danielle Harris – The likely final-for-a-while signee for my Halloween 2 poster. It’ll go back in the frame after Dragon*Con.
Kane Hodder – I got my Jason X 8x10 last year, not to mention a swell family portrait with the guy. What more could I need? Nothing, really; but he was just so fucking cool I know I’ll be back. Maybe I can talk the gang into meeting up for a group shot. Hodder is a seriously nice dude.
Georges Jeanty – I’ve gotten prints every year that he’s been on Buffy and this year should be no different. I just love this guy’s work. Except on Batman. Actually, let’s put him on Batgirl instead of Dustin Nguyen. I like both of them a lot, but they have very different proficiencies. Keep Nguyen on more serious titles. Or give him a Manhunter book, already!
Kelley Jones – One of my favorite artists of all time, right up there with Jae Lee and Dan Brereton. I’m terrified he’s going to cancel. I want my hardcover of Red Rain signed (and about a hundred other things) and I’m sure I’ll end up with a print or two. I can’t imagine his sketches are going to be affordable for me, but if they are I’m getting one of Cal McDonald and your pal Phantom.
Phil LaMarr – Hopefully he’ll have something Green Lantern-related from his work on JLU. This is another one for Lil’ Troublemaker.
Stan Lee – As much as I love so many of The Man’s creations, I’m not shelling out fifty bucks for a signature. If I were going to do that, though; I would have him sign one of his wretched Just Imagine titles from DC. That would be a novelty I would treasure.
Daniel Logan – I was hoping the new Clone Wars Boba Fett figure would be out in time to get signed, but it looks like that’s not going to happen. Maybe he’ll have prints of young Boba or something for Lil’ Troublemaker.
Sean Maher – Added because of Firefly. Simon Tam was my favorite character on the show. Of course, they were all my favorite characters on the show. Seriously, though, his arc was my favorite story.
James Marsters – The best entertainer that will be at Dragon*Con any year that doesn’t feature fellows with the last names of Shatner or Nimoy. I’ll be watching his Buffy/Angel panel and steadfastly avoiding his pricey signature. I would pay to get a picture of him with Mrs. Troublemaker, though. She, like any other female, has no immunity to the Spike charm.
Eddie McClintock – In addition to having the most mafia-meets-cowboy name on the guest list, McClintock stars on one of my new favorite shows, Warehouse 13. I’m not necessarily going to get anything signed, but it is cool that he’ll be there. I’d probably got to a panel if he’s on one (I suppose we’ll find that out someday).
Mike Mignola – Much like Peter David, he was a bit douchy last year. He seemed irritated to be talking to me, which was part of the reason I put zero effort into getting his signature tattooed on my arm after he signed my Batgirl tattoo. Maybe he was pissed it wasn’t Hellboy. Whatever.
Jason Mamoa – I think he was on Stargate, but I know he’s the new Conan. I want a picture signed, because it’s going to be a cool thing to have whether the movie sucks or not.
Ray Park – Hopefully he won’t cancel this year. I’d love to get a Snake-Eyes figure signed for Lil’ Troublemaker (and one for me, too).
George Perez – One of the 80’s legends. I never got around to finding him last year, but I would like a print.
Saul Rubinek – I have had an inexplicable fondness for this guy ever since True Romance. I think I might actually get an 8x10 from him, depending on the cost.
Andy Runton – Owly’s creator gives the best value at the show. For less than many artists sell prints, Runton will sketch a custom Owly in whatever get-up you desire. I got Owly as Ash a couple of years ago and want an Owly Troublemaker this year. Just be sure to bring a reference – don’t assume he knows every obscure pop-culture meme that you do.
Tim Sale – This is the third of the real big boys so far on my list. My budget will revolve heavily around Campbell, Jones and this guy. Obviously, I want Batman, Robin and Troublemaker. It is unbelievably awesome that Sale is going to be at Dragon*Con and I hope he doesn’t cancel.
Adam Savage – I really don’t want to see a panel or meet him because I would hate to find out the co-host of one of my favorite show is a dick. I’m not saying he is or that I’ve heard anything, it’s just something that has happened often enough in my life that I see it as a distinct possibility. Otherwise, he’s be another beer guy.
Shawnee Smith – Whatever you may think of the SAW movies, Smith is great in them. Even if everything after 3 sucked ass, she is still a horror icon worthy of being up on my wall with Pinhead and Jason.
Michael Stackpole – The father of Rogue Squadron. He created probably the most consistently great (and consistent with the established tone of Star Wars) Expanded Universe stories to date. This author is the reason Wedge is my favorite Rebel.
Jewel Staite – Another Firefly addition. She was just freaking adorable on the show. I hate to say “Willow Rosenberg in space”, but I doubt I’m the first. Willow Rosenberg in space (but without the “L” word).
Ethan Van Sciver - He is definitely one of DC's signature artists right due to all of his work with Geoff Johns. I would love a sketch of a personal creation of mine, but a print will probably do.
Timothy Zahn – The man who gave birth to my favorite part of Star Wars – the Expanded Universe. Again with the author issues. But, after replacing my first-edition copies of his books (which I lost in The Event Which Shall Not Be Named last year) I have a certain urgency about getting them signed now. I think it’ll happen this year.
URIZEN – They claim to be a metal act. I’m curious to see them. Their live show sounds kind of like old Super X-13 (but their sound is nothing like that), with monsters and robots running around the stage. They're on Facebook.
And that is the only band I am interested in.
Granted, I’m sure once the alcohol sets in my interest will become somewhat broader, but sober me sees URIZEN as the only possible point of interest. In case you don’t already know, some of the other featured bands are:
Black Tape For A Blue Girl – This is some crap that came out while I was working at Hot Topic. I never listened to it because that name is so fucking gay. Maybe they’re awesome – I don’t actually know.
Cemetery Surfers – They sound like my kind of thing and I’m almost certain they’re at Dragon*Con every year. I just haven’t seen them. It’s horror and sci-fi based surf rock. Not that that’s anything unique, but if they’re competent it might be worth checking out.
Super 8-Bit Brothers – This might be okay, too. They seem to be exactly what you would think.
Weep – I saw enough of Doc Hammer’s band last year. And by enough, I mean the first song.
Brazen Angel – Their self-description is kind of hilarious. If you go to their MySpace page, the music is even more so. Actually, the instrumentation isn’t bad – the vocals are fairly laughable, though.
The Extraordinary Contraptions – If you guessed “This must be a bunch of nerds in goggles and petticoats playing dulcimers and shit” then you win!
And of course
THE CRUXSHADOWS! FEATURING ROGUE (not the hot chick from the X-Men – a goth dude)! – Okay, so I actually saw these people for the first time last year and they weren’t bad. Gnoll, Mrs. TB and myself were shitfaced (I was, anyway) and sat down for a while in one of the ballrooms. Cruxshadows happened to be on stage and from the bit I saw they are a slightly above-average industrial act. They’re not KMFDM or anything, but I could watch them again.
Despite the absence of anybody as compelling and amazing as Nimoy and Shatner, this year looks pretty good. I am encouraged by the fact that the comic book side of things looks stronger than it has in quite some time. That is important, because if the rumor mill is to be believed (and my personal mill is pretty fucking reliable), the WizardWorld Atlanta is not exactly the most important thing on anybody’s schedule. Or possibly even on anybody’s schedule at all. Except, of course, Johnny Fairplay. In addition to my excellent source’s word, I have the fact that not a single one of the creators at Heroes Con even knew there was a WizardWorld in Atlanta. I’ll be very interested to see reactions when I bring it up at Dragon*Con; which should certainly be close enough for folks to have an idea if they’re going to be attending or not. Or at least have heard of it.
So we need to get the most out of our comic book friends at Dragon*Con, because we may not see their like again until next year (or Heroes, if you’re so inclined; and I think we will be). I’ve already un-selected one of the vacation days I had set aside for Wizard because I’m just that certain I won’t need to devote a whole weekend to it. Make of that what you will.
Until next time, stay creepy