Monday, August 27, 2018

Needless Things at Dragon Con 2018!

By Dave

Good morning, Phantomaniacs – welcome to my final post before Dragon Con (except for Wednesday’s early edition of the Needless Things Podcast featuring the Director of the Puppetry Track, Mr. Beau Brown)!

Today I’m going to run down my schedule for Dragon Con and a couple of panels where you can find our beloved Needless Things Irregulars.

This year I’m on panels with the American Sci-Fi Classics, Horror, and Puppetry Tracks, as well as one very special panel for Main Programming – a first for me. My plate is full as full can be, but I couldn’t be happier about it. I’m honored to be able to take part in so many different events.

As you should all know by now, The Dirty Dirty Con Con Game Game Show Show saw its final installment this past February at Days of the Dead Atlanta. But fear not – Oz, Sean, your ol’ pal Dave, and a cast of amazing volunteers will be coming together to produce an all-new and equally fun game show – The Big Damn Game Show!

This new game show is a faster-paced, PG-13 (but still wacky and fun) event that promises to be the best time you can have at Dragon Con that doesn’t involve puppets or wrestlers.
Except maybe it does.

Note: You can RSVP to the Facebook events for many of the panels below, as well as joining the Needless Things @ Dragon Con event for updates on all of the panels mentioned here today!

Also, be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group to share your thoughts and experiences about the greatest con around.

You can find me in the Official Dragon Con app in the “Speakers” section as Phantom Troublemaker. After unmasking last year I go by my real name now, but I didn’t want to chance disrupting all of the progress I’ve made as a Dragon Con presenter by attempting a name change in their system. Maybe next year.

My full schedule is in the app, so you can add as much as you want to your own schedule. Also, please remember to rate our Needless Things panels in the app if you attend! Dragon Con takes that thing very seriously. It’s how we get onto more panels and also how we know what works and what doesn’t. If you have the time, add comments as well as the star rating.
And now it’s time to take a look at what promises to be a fantastic weekend for Needless Things Irregulars and fans alike!


7 PM – DCW in Hyatt Centennial Ballroom – The greatest and best wrestling show that you will ever see. The very best independents from all over the country (and Canada!) wrestle purely for your – and their – entertainment.

11 PM – Marriott for Happy Nerd Year – I missed this last year due to an event that will come to light in the near future, but I will not do so again. Being in the busiest hub of Dragon Conanigans when the clock strikes midnight is an amazing feeling. Granted, Thursday is the new official first day, but that midnight is still significant.


10 AM – Wrestling Super Stars in Hyatt Regency VI-VII – This is amazing. I will be moderating a panel with Lita, the man called Sting, and the WHOOOOOO NATURE BOY RIC BY GOD FLAIR!!!!! This will be a huge test of my ability to act like a normal human being in the face of greatness and not mark out. I have a huge amount of respect for each of these performers and am honored to be sharing a stage with them.

7 PM – Needless Things Presents: Geek Year 1988 in Marriott M103-105 – The first panel I was ever on at Dragon Con was one looking back at 1982, so I love the fact that Needless Things putting on these anniversary panels has become a thing. This year I recruited Nicole Gould, Dana Swanson, Jon Carr, and either Gary Mitchel or Joe Crowe depending on the results of a pre-panel coin toss! FATE WILL DECIDE.

7 PM – Iron Maiden Fan Panel in Westin Peachtree 1-2 – Derek from the Horror Track will be leading a conversation about the most prolific metal band in the world. He’ll be joined by a cast of Horror Track rockers, including our pal and Needless Commentary Team member, Ryan Cadaver!

8 PM – Night of the Living Dead: The 50th Zomb-A-Versary in Westin Peachtree 1-2 – Beth and Nicole will be joining our Classics Track pal, Gary, and a host of Horror Track talent to discuss the best-known zombie flick of all time. I’m not on this one, but I can tell you it’ll be a hoot and a holler!

8:30 PM – Kirk Thatcher: Aliens, Punks, Gremlins, Muppets, and Dinosaurs in Marriott A704 – Sadly, I am competing with my Irregulars! Fortunately I don’t think there’s as much crossover for these two panels as there might be for others.

If you listened to Episode 225 of the Needless Things Podcast you know two things; 1) Kirk Thatcher is an absolute delight, 2) this panel will technically be part two of that episode. In 225 we discussed Kirk’s career in movies and his background. This Dragon Con panel for the Puppetry Track will focus on his experiences working for the Henson Company and in puppetry in general, as well as his time on Dinosaurs!


1 PM – Needless Things Presents: Video Game Character Hall of Fame in Marriott M103-105 – I pitched this panel to Joe and Gary last year, knowing that it would be a great topic for the Classics Track. Video games have been around long enough now to be a beloved part of pop culture and plenty of digital protagonists are just as well-known as Indiana Jones or Peter Venkman. I’ll be moderating, but our own video game guru Beth will be running this one, with Ryan Cadaver, Salena Balls, and Noel Wood pitching in as well!

4 PM – The Classic Sci-Fi Art of William Stout: Conan to Pan's Labyrinth in Marriott A601-A602  – I’ve posted several panels from past Dragon Cons that featured Mr. Stout, but this will be the first one where the spotlight is well and truly on this man and his amazing work. I’ll be moderating as he shares stories about his art, his production design on films, and whatever else comes up. This is a must-see, as William is hilarious and full of behind-the-scenes stories you won’t hear anywhere else.

7 PM – Beetlejuice 30th Anniversary in Westin Peachtree 1-2 – This was part of my original schedule, but I’m just not going to be able to make it. I have to eat dinner sometime. HOWEVER you can catch our pal Beth sharing her thoughts on the ghost with the most, along with some of the Horror Track’s finest!

10 PM – The Big Damn Game Show in Hyatt International South Ballroom – Don’t miss it! But get there early. This is an unfamiliar entity to most, but I have a feeling people will show up anyway. I’m honestly not sure what the cultural awareness level is of the folks behind our last show; I’m hoping somehow the Dragon Con zeitgeist will know “Hey, it’s the dirty game show people. Let’s check out their new thing.”


11:30 AM – They Live: All Out of Bubblegum for 30 Years in Marriott M103-105 – This movie is near and dear to my heart for many reasons, all of which I will discuss on this panel.

1 PM – Ric Flair: An Hour with The Nature Boy in Hilton Grand Ballroom West – My plan is to treat this like a normal interview and also to share the story of my personal encounter with Ric Flair from 14 years ago. But it will all be up to the Nature Boy.

5:30 PM – The Joy of Joe: Celebrating the Real American Hero in Toys & Cartoons in Marriott M103-105 – This one also came out of my brain. Remember that book I contributed to? Several of the other contributors will be in attendance at Dragon Con, so I suggested to Gary and Joe that we should do a panel based around the book. My fellow PUBLISHED AUTHORS and I will spend an hour talking Joe!

Note: I am now a PUBLISHED AUTHOR.

7 PM – Halloween 40th Anniversary in Westin Peachtree 1-2 – Two John Carpenter movies in a day. Crazy! I’ll be moderating this one and sharing the desk with some awesome Horror Track folks.

10 PM – Dawn of the Dead: 40th Zomb-A-Versary in Marriott M103-105 – The late night Sunday panels always seem to be tons of fun, as everyone is tired and maybe a little tipsy. Gary’s moderating me, Nicole, Beth, and some other folks – may God have mercy on his soul.

Midnight – Late Night Puppet Slam – One of the best times you can have at Dragon Con. Much like DCW, the very best performers in their field come from all over to have fun and entertain us. Sometimes with fart and dick jokes. With puppets.


Same as always - WAKE UP AND GTFO.

You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for Dragon Con news!  

If you’re here checking out Dragon Con stuff and haven’t visited Needless Things before, thanks for coming by. We’re all about toys, movies, music, and all manner of pop culture dorkery. The Needless Things Podcast drops once a week, usually on Friday.

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