I got to be on my first Dragon Con panels ever last year and it was tremendously exciting for me. As you might have guessed over the past couple of weeks I fucking love Dragon Con, and getting to participate in such a way was an absolute thrill. I love getting in front of people and talking. I love sharing my insights in nerd stuff.
But it wasn’t just the public speaking that was great; it was also interacting with the broad and fascinating range of talents that were on those panels with me. Everybody was fun and smart and entertaining, but one fella absolutely blew me away not only with the way he presented himself but also with how graciously he interacted with the rest of us.
Side Note: Shaun – I know you’ll read this and I’m not just blowing smoke up your ass. I was legitimately blown away by what a showman you were after that 1983 panel. Just ask Mrs. Troublemaker. She’ll tell you.
Those first panels last year were amazing experiences loaded with great people that I have stayed in touch with through the magic of Facebook. I found out that Shaun is the host of a podcast called Shauncastic (naturally) that covers the whole gamut of dorky topics. He’s a very buys man with a lot going on – particularly around Dragon Con time. So I was utterly surprised when he contacted me last week asking when he was going to be able to do something for Needless Things’ Dragon Con coverage. I asked him if he wanted to do a Q&A and he said he would. Sensing an opportunity to take advantage of somebody else providing content for me, I also asked if he would send along the complete list of Dragon Con tips he’s been posting on the social media over the past several weeks. He said that sounded like a great idea. SCORE. That went up yesterday. Go and check it out if you haven’t already.
One of these days you guys will get to hear from Gary and Joe and some of the other awesome folks I have had the opportunity to interact with. You know – when they’re not utterly engulfed by Dragon Con. Today here’s a great Q&A with Shaun Rosado.
A) Star Wars – I have been a fan of a Galaxy Far, Far Away for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories involves a TV special for the premiere of Return of the Jedi. As soon as I saw Luke Skywalker activate that emerald lightsaber beam. I was hooked.
Comic Books – My father was an avid collector of comics in the 70s, 80s and 90s. He passed that passion onto me.
Video Games – I had an old school Atari back in the early 80s (I cannot remember which model number though) and of course really went nuts with the NES and subsequent systems afterward. These days, it’s not a question of IF I am going to buy a game system, it’s a matter of WHEN.
A) I have two.
My favorite toy I owned as a kid was my massive LEGO collection. I would take all of my action figures and create elaborate LEGO armors for them and then smash them together. While I never owned any of the sci-fi themed sets or any of the really elaborate parts, the basic multicolor blocks allowed me to really think outside of the box. I remember as I got older creating more and more elaborate ships, armor and items than I ever saw in a prefab box. It was amazing. Then after a month or two, I’d smash them to pieces and start over. While I have other favorite toys no other single toy was used more than my LEGOs. They were my Omni-Tool.
My favorite toy I wanted buy never owned was a vintage mid 80s Soundwave. When I was around 6 or 7, Transformers came out and it was huge with kids my age. Seriously, kids were feral for these toys/cartoons. And at the #1 spot of every kid’s wish list was Soundwave. Sure there were a lot of kids that wanted Optimus Prime or even Megatron, but Soundwave was where it was at. I think it was because the toy turned into a tape player which looked like it’s completely real counterpart.
Optimus Prime turned into a “toy truck”. Megatron turned into a small gun that looked like a toy (later on I realized the PP7 is a very respectable gun for its size, but that’s a whole different story) but Soundwave looked JUST like a Walkman, and the Walkman was the FUTURE! Portable music that can go with me anywhere? The toy turns into a robot and the cassettes were mini robots?
Our kiddie brains exploded.
How could I possibly follow all of that?
Like this – Dragon Con is on like a pot of Donkey Kong’s neckbone, people. Look for me and Shaun all weekend long.
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s my panel schedule as of this writing:
1 PM – Kung-Fu Grip: Action Figures and Toys of the 70s to 90s and Beyond!
This is my panel. It’s big. It’s gonna be great. Also, I will be giving stuff away. It’s
in Marriott M-303-304 (The Marquis level where they keep the Famous People).
10 PM – Earth Station Who: The Past, Present, and Future of Doctor Who
We’re recording a LIVE ESW episode. I think some of the folks from The Forgotten Doctor will be joining us. Director Faber may end up ejecting me because, let’s face it – I am not going to be sober at 10 PM at Dragon Con. That’s just ridiculous. This one is in the Sheraton Grand Ballroom.
5:30 PM – Masters of the Universe: 30 Years of the Power!
This panel is also mine, all mine! Come see me, Mr. Beau Brown, and William Stout(!) talk about the greatest sci-fi/fantasy toy franchise of all time. There will be fabulous prizes here, as well! It’s in Marriott M-303-304.
7 PM – GI Joe Anniversary: Celebrating is Half the Battle
Me, Gary Mitchel, and Gnoll will be talking GI Joe: A Real American Hero. Expect an awful lot of nice talk about Larry Hama. I have prizes for this one as well. Because I feel it is important to bribe your audience.