When: Aug 31 – Sep 3, 2007 Where: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Atlanta, GA. Dragon*Con stakes its claim as America’s largest multimedia popular arts convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film.

1:00 PM
Imperial Ballroom [Marriott]

Terry Brooks, Jim O’Rear, Benjamin Radford, Patti Starr, Eldon Thompson

Eldon had the following to say about this year’s appearance at Dragon*Con:

"I’ll admit, when I heard Dragon*Con hailed as ‘America’s largest multimedia popular arts convention,’ I had my doubts. Although I’m not entirely sure how they measure these things, I couldn’t imagine this gathering being any larger or more boisterous than San Diego’s Comic-Con. Well, I humbly stand corrected. Dragon*Con turned downtown Atlanta into a giant three-ring circus—with the ring leader gone missing and the animals, clowns, and acrobats turned loose. Comic-Con included, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many costumed fans in one place (if you consider a multiple-square-block area and three major hotels to be ‘one place’). They were on the trains, in the restaurants… everywhere. Characters from movies, novels, comics, television—any source you can think of, and some I’ll bet you can’t. All in all, an overwhelming display.

The same could be said of the convention itself. There’s no earthly way a person could begin to see and participate in every event offered. So I didn’t try. I just walked around in a mild stupor, impressed by almost everything I saw and feeling as if, no matter what I did, I’d be missing out on something else. I spent Saturday in the hotel room watching the first full weekend of college football, leaving only to hit the gym and have dinner at the nearest Waffle House (which, by the way, is the greatest chain of greasy-spoon breakfast diners ever—don’t leave the South without visiting one). Sunday, the gym came early (next time, remind me to check opening hours prior to rising before the roosters) so that I could spend the day with my friends Jack and Tracy Smith at the convention. Mostly, we followed Terry and Judine Brooks around, making sure Terry did few panels heckler-free. But Jack and I also spent several hours escorting Tracy about on our own, getting a kick out of her wide-eyed responses to pop culture fandom in all its glory. By the evening, following a terrific dinner (Ray’s seafood this time, not Waffle House), we were spent. And since I had no convention obligations for the following day, the Smiths and I made our break, ditching my hotel in favor of their majestic home, where we upheld the Labor Day picnic tradition at a neighbor’s house the next day. My contribution was to eat lots of food.

Big thanks go out obviously to Jack and Tracy and Terry and Judine, but also to the fans and the convention organizers for having me. And a big apology to those I had hoped to see (including several darling cousins) but didn’t. I guess next time I’ll have to convince them to schlep on down to the con. Hey, if nothing else, it’s a great place to test out your Halloween costume."