Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally-known pop culture, fantasy, science fiction, and gaming convention, will be broadening its Comics & Pop Art programming to encourage art and comic enthusiasts of all ages.
In addition to a dream team of Bronze Age and Modern Age comics writers and artists, the convention’s traditional strength, the convention has added workshops and other programming designed to help aspiring comics creators and to encourage greater interest from today’s younger generations.
Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas, and Fabien Nicieza lead this year’s guest list. Thomas, a legendary writer and editor in his own right, is best recognized as Stan Lee’s first successor as editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. Nicieza’s work includes writing and editing for Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse comics, but fans will also know him as the co-creator of Deadpool. Writer and co-creator of The New Teen Titans, Wolfman also joins George Pérez, his work partner of over 40 years, at this year’s convention.
Other top guests include Colleen Doran, Jill Thompson, and Afua Richardson. Doran, an Eisner, Harvey, and International Horror Guild Award-winning illustrator, is a New York Times bestselling artist for her work on Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel Troll Bridge and Stan Lee’s autobiography Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible Stan Lee. Thompson is a comic book writer and illustrator well known for her work on Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman’s characters and her own Scary Godmother series. Atlanta-based Richardson, a Native/African American comic creator best known for her work on Top Cow’s Genius, also is the artist behind Marvel’s new Blade series, All-Star Batman, and Attack on Titan’s American anthology.
“We’re excited about the opportunity fans will have at Dragon Con to access to some of the biggest names in comics on a variety of panels that showcase the best classic works as well as modern masterpieces,” said Rachel Reeves, convention co-chair.
New additions to Dragon Con’s Comics & Pop Art Alley will feature free, all-ages drawing and story-telling workshops taught by industry professionals and expanded children’s programming.
“The goal of our new workshops is to give aspiring artists and creators of any age or experience level the opportunity to develop their skills, under the guidance of experienced pros, and perhaps become the next generation of comics creators,” said Comics & Pop Art Director Jamey Reeves.
In the spirit of artists inspiring future artists, fans of Wonder Woman can witness her story’s evolution discussed by a panel of her multigenerational artists including the legendary Joe Staton and George Pérez, Matthew Clark, and current Wonder Woman artists Yanick Paquette and Cary Nord.
Younger fans can participate in the inaugural Dragon Con Kids Sketch Book program. Designed for children 12 and under, fans can take a free sketchbook, available at Comic & Pop Artist Alley, to participating artists around the Alley for free quick sketches or autographs.
“Growing the kids’ program in Comic and Pop Artist Alley is an effort to expose more young fans to comics and to generate their interest in reading, “ Jamey Reeves said. “Today’s society is so geared toward quick and effortless entertainment, reading sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. We want kids to appreciate a good story, told by both the writer and the artist.”
Comic and Pop Artist Alley is located in Building 2 of the Americas Mart on the fourth floor. Its hours of operation are:
Friday: 10 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 7 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 7 pm
Monday: 10 am – 5 pm.
Most programming will take place in Comic and Pop Artist Alley. The track will also offer some larger panels in the Hyatt Regency. Make sure to check the Dragon Con app and Quick Start Guide for specific programming info. Also, check the website for more information and tickets.