Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, sci-fi, and gaming convention, has named American fantasy artist William Stout and American fantasy and science fiction writer John Scalzi as its 2021 Artist and Literary Guests of Honor.
The convention also announced that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta will remain the official charity for this year’s convention. BBBS had previously been announced as the 2020 charity partner, but no fundraising effort was made last year after the convention, responding to the pandemic, shifted to an all-virtual format.
Now in its 35th year, Dragon Con 2021 runs from Thursday, Sept. 2 to Monday, Sept. 6 with events and activities across five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta – and AmericasMart Buildings #1 and #2.
Since 2013, the convention has consistently raised more than $100,000 for each of its annual official charities, including a dollar-for-dollar match from the convention up to an additional $100,000. Funds are raised through convention-based auctions, special merchandise sales, special events, and the convention match.
The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Nearly half a million children in Metro Atlanta live in communities with low or very low child well-being. The organization’s vital mission is to recruit volunteers to become mentors to children facing adversity, with a goal of matching each child with an adult who will ignite their full potential.
“Every kid is a bundle of potential, and we love Big Brothers Big Sisters because they help kids unlock that potential and find their right path. We’re proud to have them as our official charity this year,” said Rachel Reeves, convention co-chair. “We are equally delighted to have William and John join us as our Guests of Honor this year. Their creative output has fascinated and entertained science fiction and fantasy fans for a generation, even longer.”
Beginning with its first convention in 1987, Dragon Con has recognized an author and an artist whose creative contributions to the realms of fantasy and science fiction are widely recognized as among the very best as Literary and Artist Guests of Honor. Both Stout and Scalzi will be recognized throughout the event for their contributions to their individual fields, and will be on hand to meet fans and participate in panels to provide insight into their success and love of fandom.
Stout is an artist of exceptional breadth, ranging from fantasy-oriented comics, graphic novels, magazines, and movie posters – as well as the longest running Dragon Con logo – early in his career to production design work for 30 feature films, including Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and two Conan films. In the 1980s, he created a ground-breaking reconstruction of dinosaurs leading to a book and six-year traveling paleo-art exhibit that served as an acknowledged influence on Michael Crichton’s book Jurassic Park, while also working on the creation of theme park attractions for Walt Disney and Universal Studios as well as rock band ZZ Top’s Recycler tour. In the late 1990s, William dedicated himself to explaining the complex beauty of Antarctica through art, leading to a traveling exhibit, an award-winning book, and ongoing work as a natural history muralist. For more information, see www.williamstout.com.
Scalzi, a multiple Hugo Award winning science fiction novelist best known for his Old Man’s War series of novels and his popular Whatever blog. In addition to 23 novels and novellas, he has written short fiction, non-fiction books, and columns on diverse topics such as finance, video games, films, astronomy, writing, and politics, and served as a creative consultant for the TV series Stargate Universe. His total output has garnered a score of awards, including a 2020 Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction novel for The Last Emperox. Scalzi served as president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America from 2010 to 2013. At 2020’s Dragon Con Goes Virtual, he was one of the most popular guests, leading fan discussions, bringing fans (virtually) into his kitchen to make burritos, and spinning tunes overnight with his deejay skills. For more information about Scalzi, visit whatever.scalzi.com.