by George Holochwost

As much as we geeks would like to think some of our industry heroes require no introduction, most of our celebrities are fairly obscure to the uninitiated. This is not the case when it comes to Richard Garfield. As if it needs to be said, Richard Garfield is the creator of collectible card games (CCGs) - most notably Magic: The Gathering.

What some folks don't know about Richard Garfield is that he is also the creator of some extremely cool boardgames. Nonetheless, his newest offering is a fantastic treat called King of Tokyo, and lucky for us, Richard was all too happy to talk all about this city-smashing slug-fest of a game.

When I first started my talk with Mr. Garfield, he was fresh out of a panel and had just finished signing a stack of Magic cards. Accompanied by his family, I tried to be brief so that they could get back to enjoying their very busy convention experience. However, after my few quick questions, Richard pointed to his bag and mentioned that he was working on a new expansion for King of Tokyo and asked me if I'd like to try it out. With a resounding “TOTALLY!” I accepted his offer and later we met up to conduct our kaiju showdown. Read More...

Cully Hamner sketches at DragonCon
Photo credit: Jon Waterhouse

By Jon Waterhouse

If nothing else DragonCon may be described as one big cavalcade of creativity. For Atlanta-based comic book artists, it’s a time to not only build upon their camaraderie, but to bolster each other’s inspiration.

“Ironically DragonCon is one of the very few times all of the Atlanta comics artists hang out together,” revealed Tom Feister, best known for creating “G.I. Joe” comic book covers for IDW. “We all keep in touch on Facebook and stuff like that, but even though we live in the same town, it’s hard to get us in the same room, because we’re on different schedules. So it’s like a little camp for us where we get to hang out and see each other.” Read More...

Steve Gonsalves (left) and Amy Bruni of the Syfy TV series "Ghost Hunters."

By Jon Waterhouse

While the cast of the Syfy network’s paranormal investigative series Ghost Hunters are usually the ones doing the investigating, at DragonCon 2011 these spooky sleuths were the ones under the microscope.

Several of the stars of Ghost Hunters were haunting DragonCon this year and participating in various panel discussions. On September 5, the last day of the con, haint hunters Steve Gonsalves and Amy Bruni led one of the last and largest Q&A sessions of DragonCon 2011.

The pair fielded a variety of questions including the following:

On some of their investigations not making it on television:
“There are a lot of places we’ve investigated that don’t make it on TV,” Gonsalves said. “Out of every 10 investigations, at least three don’t make it to air. It’s not necessarily because you didn’t get any results. ...The show is really more about the investigators. At a production meeting, I was told that it’s all about getting the audience invested in the cast and getting them to care.”

On one particular investigation that didn’t make it on air:
“There was a time during season one when we went to a house and the family out-of-their-minds mortified,” Gonsalves said. “It was a feeling I’ve never felt before. It was like getting smacked with a baseball bat; a really oppressive force. The landlord kicked the production team out. The producers said, ‘Well, we have to leave.’ We all left, but I ended up calling the family and meeting with them. I said, ‘Screw the production company.’ We had to meet with them.”

On one of the most frightening experiences that’s ever happened:
“We were at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, N.Y. I was with my friend Adam Blai, who is a demonologist,” Bruni said. “We passed room 585, and Adam felt something very angry in there. We went in, sat down and talked to whatever was there. I said, ‘It’s your chance to be heard.’ ...All of a sudden a piece of crown molding ripped off the wall by itself. I could hear the nails ripping out. It came off the wall and was flying at me. I started laughing, which is what I do when I’m scared. Then I started cursing. I really wish we could’ve captured that on camera.”

On how their live Hallloween shows differ from regular episodes:
“It’s six hours of live investigation, and it’s pretty insane,” Gonsalves said. “It’s much more organized and choreographed, because it’s live. The investigation isn’t set up or anything, but we’re all told to be in specific places.”

“It’s a legitimate investigation,” Bruni adds. “We have a totally different crew filming us. Usually it’s sports guys filming us, because they have experience doing live sports broadcasts, They usually have a good time making fun of us.”

Related Posts:
Battlestar Galactica Actor Richard Hatch Geeks Out At Dragon-Con
Dragon-Con: MTV Geek Interviews Animation Legend Ralph Bakshi

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By George Holochwost

Over the last twenty years Monte Cook has left quite an impression on the role-playing hobby. Kicking off his career back in 1988 with his contributions to Iron Crown Enterprises' Creatures & Treasures 2 (for the Rolemaster system), he has since blazed a trail through modern gaming that is truly titanic in scope. From Call of Cthulhu to Marvel Super Heroes, and Dungeons & Dragons to his own version of the World of Darkness, Monte has worked on some of the most memorable properties in gaming.

As a guest of honor here at DragonCon, Monte Cook is a reminder to the community that gaming is still a vital and important part of the total DragonCon experience. Involved in a number of gaming related panels and discussions, many of Monte Cook's ideas on modern gaming were shared at his seminar at 4:00pm on Saturday. On Sunday, Monte was part of the Game Design Mastery panel; this seminar covered topics ranging from starting your own campaign, to dealing with the issues created by problem players, to how to simply make the best game possible.

As a gigantic fan of the property, I had to ask Monte a bit about the classic Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition setting Planescape. Spanning dozens of supplements, Planescape is a world full of extra-planar wonder and a host of unique characters and concepts that give the setting an incredible feel unlike any that came before it or since.

Read More...

By Jon Waterhouse

When Star Wars fever blasted the world in the late ’70s, television answered quickly with Battlestar Galactica. The show garnered its own rabid sci-fi fan base and spawned a re-imagining in 2003 with a TV mini-series and subsequent series on Syfy

Actor Richard Hatch appeared on both, the first time around as Captain Apollo and as Tom Zarek on the later series. Hatch has taken a great interest in the “Galactica” mythos having co-written a series of Battlestar Galactica novels. He and his fans were geeking together at DragonCon this year.

MTV Geek: You’re a regular DragonCon guest. What do you think about the phenomenon of these types of conventions?

Richard Hatch: I think the world has discovered what I and many, many other fans of sci-fi and fantasy discovered many eons ago. Sci-fi conventions are probably the most fun, the most out-of-the-box, entertaining week or weekend you’ve ever had in your life. It’s for the whole family. The studios and networks have discovered it, because they can market to their niche audiences. And you get people from all walks of life, all ages, all backgrounds. Some of the most amazing human beings on the face of the planet go to sci-fi conventions, although I’m sure a few of them wouldn’t admit it. But I love this genre, I love “Battlestar,” I love visionary sci-fi stories, I love anime, I love fantasy. And plus I love great writing, great acting, great drama. What’s not to love?

MTV Geek: I understand lots of funny incidents went down on the set of the original Battlestar Galactica. You’re known to share these tales at DragonCon. Read More...

By George Holochwost

The basement of the Hilton is the place to be if you are a gamer at DragonCon. A convention unto itself, the main gaming hall is filled with the furrowed brows and triumphant cheers of convention attendees engrossed in their favorite board, miniature, role-playing, and card games. With plenty of tables to host both tournament and casual events, this is where you want to be if you are trying to get your game on.

Needless to say, the popularity of hobby boardgames has soared in the last several years. Thanks to games like Carcasonne and Settlers of Catan, more and more folks are diving into this surprisingly rich pastime. When pacing the aisles of the Hilton lower levels, games such as Rio Grande's Dominion, Z-Man's Yggdrassil, and Fantasy Flight's Descent see multiple tables of play. Wanna try one out? Most folks are completely cool with you joining in as player three, four, five or eight of whatever they happen to be playing at the time.

Read More...

By Jon Waterhouse

Forget The Simpsons, Family Guy and all of the edgy stuff on Adult Swim. Without groundbreaking animation director Ralph Bakshi, the world of adult animation may not be what it is today.

Bakshi, who  appeared at DragonCon in Atlanta this weekend, changed the landscape of feature animation with the release of Fritz the Cat in 1972. A trail of nine other animated films followed including “Lord of the Rings” and “Wizards.” His collaborations proved to be as colorful as his animation cells. Bakshi has had the opportunity to work with other fellow legends including Dr. Seuss, Frank Frazetta, Stan Lee and the Rolling Stones. And according to Bakshi, it seems as if more may be on the way.

He recently put down the pen to talk about his legendary career and its future. Read More...

With all of the talk about the New 52 and the updating of costumes, it seems the attendees at this year's Dragon-C are keeping it old school. In fact, some of them are keeping it so old, it's Victorian! While Superman was practically around every corner, we managed to snap a few DC characters that were few and far between-- except for Wonder Woman, but we had to have a Wonder Woman, right?

Read More...

Judging by our travels here at Dragon-Con, our fellow geeks have been very busy in propagating our species. Kids of all ages are here with their parents this weekend, enjoying the con as much, if not more, than their elders. Of course, it definitely helps that they get to dress up in costume for a few days straight-- like an extended Halloween! Below, you'll find photos featuring some of the cutest geeks you'll ever see, and our future comic artists, movie directors, and world leaders!

Read More...

Most of us have grown up in an age of terrific animation that will always hold a place in our cold, black hearts. Whether it be anime, adult swim, or nostalgic 80s properties, a lot of fans here in Atlanta are showing off their cartoon-love by dressing up as their favorite characters during this year's Dragon-Con! MTV Geek roamed the hotel hallways, food courts, and bars searching for a variety of great animation-based cosplay and you can see some of our findings-- like that affectionate Skeletor up above.

Read More...

Welcome back for the final look at the the majesty and wonderment that was Dragon-Con's 10th Anniversary Parade! The costumes this year were varied to say the least; however, we couldn't help but notice properties like ThunderCats weren't very represented. Is there a cosplay conspiracy against Lion-O and the crew? We may never know-- on with the photos!

Read More...

By Jon Waterhouse

The exhibitor booths, not to be confused with the dealers room, take up not one, but two sprawling ballrooms at DragonCon this year. Both exhibitor ballrooms are on either side of the same floor at the Marriott Marquis hotel. Yet you’ll may still have to wade through a sea of cosplayers to get from one room to the next.

It’s easy to accidentally bypass an interesting booth as you’re scrambling to make it to your next event. So here are a few interesting exhibitor booths to check out at DragonCon 2011.

IMPERIAL BALLROOM

LAUREL K. HAMILTON
Author Laurel K. Hamilton can be found signing copies of her books at the autograph area. Come here to grab a copy or related merchandise. Best known for her “Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter” and “Meredith Gentry: Fairy Princess/Private Eye” book series, Hamilton has also collaborated with Marvel Comics on “Anita Blake” graphic novels. Recently she’s been scoring acclaim for “Hit List,” the latest in her “Anita Blake” series. Make sure and schedule plenty of time to get your book signed, as the lines have been long. Read More...

By George Holochwost

For a DragonCon first-timer such as myself, the sheer scope of this convention can be truly overwhelming. With all the pageantry, presentations and special events, one can quickly lose track of the schedule – not to mention last minute schedule changes. What if there's massive attendee traffic at the Hyatt? Or a special last minute guest that you never thought you'd get to see? Well, all this and more can be found on the hyper-dense pages of the Daily Dragon – DragonCon's very own on-site newsletter.

This afternoon I had the opportunity to discuss the Daily Dragon with Eugie Foster (2009 Nebula Award winner for her sci-fi story "Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast"), the newsletter's director and editor. Eugie has been working on the paper for the last ten years of the periodical's more than two decade run. The Daily Dragon has a staff of fifteen people with handfuls of contacts and freelancers providing content and news for the Dragon's numerous expressions.

Read More...

By Jon Waterhouse

DragonCon is hitting its halfway point. For those attending the con who want to milk the beast for all its worth, MTV Geek has put together a must-see list for the last two days. You can thank us later once you’re back at home soaking your feet.

SUNDAY

William Shatner Live!
1 p.m. Sept. 4
Centennial Ballrooms II-III at the Hyatt Regency
Everyone’s favorite overacting captain takes it to the bridge one last time for an audience question-and-answer session.

An Hour With Stan Lee!
2:30 p.m. Sept. 4
Atrium Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis
This interview and question-and-answer combo puts comic book icon Stan “The Man” Lee underneath the spotlight.

Read More...

By Jon Waterhouse


The DragonCon parade kicks off on Saturday, September 3, marking its 10th anniversary.
Photo credit: Jon Waterhouse

If the geek shall truly inherit the earth, then the prophecy rang true today. Well, at least for a little more than an hour.

The annual DragonCon parade, now in its 10th year, was stopping traffic in downtown Atlanta, both literally and figuratively. Onlookers packed the sidewalks of Peachtree Street, as deep as five or six rows back in some spots. Although no official numbers have been given, the crowd was unrelenting. The beaming sun didn’t deter the masses, nor did it stop those wearing full-body wookiee suits.

As the clock struck 10 a.m., the procession began. A nondescript wizard and a female pirate led the charge holding either side of a blue, red and gold DragonCon banner. An odd choice for grand marshals soon followed. Former “WKRP in Cincinnati” co-stars Loni Anderson and Howard Hesseman each sat on the back of their own respective convertibles. Anderson waved enthusiastically, her pearly whites glowing as bright as her flaxen locks.

Read More...

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