Dragon Con 2013: The Needless Things Panels


Dragon Con 293I didn’t want to go clogging up the esteemed Earth Station One newsfeed with the three (THREE!) episodes of the Needless Things Podcast I’ve released over the past week (WEEK!), so I saved ‘em all up for one big dump.


Er, post. One big post.


Perhaps the biggest side benefit of being the co-host of Earth Station Who and part of the ESO Network is the relationship I now have with Dragon Con’s American Sci-Fi Classics Track. I was able to participate in several of their panels last year and as a result of my inimitable awesomeness was invited back for more this year. Heck, those crazy fellas even asked me to host a couple.


Now that I am a Professional Podcaster I know to record every single thing that I do. Some of those things – making sandwiches, buying a wrench, sleeping – don’t end up being very good material. But sometimes I luck out and get a whole show’s worth of stuff out of one event. For some reason this usually ends up happening at cons.


Well, at this year’s Dragon Con I recorded enough great material for three (THREE!) shows.


There was a good bit of talk last year about a toy panel. Not just with Joe and Gary of the ASFC Track, but also with some fans after the other panels. I knew if there was one panel I would be willing to take the time and effort to run, that would be it. So I was thrilled when Joe sent me an e-mail telling me I was doing a toy panel – Kung-Fu Grip!: Toys of the 70s – 90s.

Billy Card 001

I knew this was going to have to be special and really make an impact, so I contacted my old pal, Billy, of Billy’s Toys and Comics to see if he’d be willing to loan out some vintage toys for display. He was more than happy to fig through his old stock and put together an amazing assortment of loose and carded action figures. There was so much I literally couldn’t display it all.


I also sent out e-mails to a bunch of toy companies – probably five or six. I got one response and it came the day after I sent them out. It was from Zach Oat at Diamond Select Toys. He was curious about what I was doing. We conversed back and forth about the improbability of covering the history of action figures in an hour. In the end he was just too fascinated by the concept of the toy panel and sent along a huge box of great DST stuff for display and giveaways.


Geena Phillips and Gary Mitchel helped make the panel a total success. We had a blast and the audience did, too. You can listen to the panel in its entirety here:


Needless Things Podcast Episode 10: The Dragon Con Toy Panel


I also ended up in charge of a Masters of the Universe Panel. The first thing I did when I found out about that was contact my Needless Things Podcast co-host, Mr. Beau Brown. While I know my way around Eternia, there is no better authority on Masters than Beau. He would be the ideal play-by-play to my color.


Then I got the message saying that William Stout was going to be at Dragon Con and asking if we should try to have him on the panel.


Holy. Sh*t.


If you don’t know, William Stout was the Production Designer on the 1987 Masters of the Universe movie starring Dolph Lundgren. And if there is one thing that movie got right, it was the design. The sets, costumes, and characters were all fantastic interpretations of what He-Man is all about. And William Stout is responsible for all of that.


This panel was truly special. So listen in as the Most Powerful Panelists in the Universe – me, Mr. Beau Brown, Gary Mitchel, and William Stout – talk about all things He-Man:


Needless Things Podcast Episode 11:


The Dragon Con Masters of the Universe Panel


Finally, I was on a GI Joe panel, too. This is the one I was the most excited about because GI Joe was my big childhood thing. The cartoons, the comics, the toys. All of it. I don’t think there is another franchise that I have embraced as fully except for maybe Doctor Who (it’s a close race between Doctor Who, GI Joe, and Star Wars).


I had a truly elite special mission force for this one – Gary Mitchel, ESO’s own Award Winning Bobby Nash, and my pal Gnoll; a virtual repository of 80s information. We had a great time talking A Real American Hero, but what made this panel so great was the audience. The room was absolutely packed – standing room only – and the audience was so good I’m actually a little worried it’s the best I’ll ever see. We had people in costumes and everybody was excited to participate. It was amazing.


And now, through the magic of computering, you too can take part! Listen now as we visit the Hall of Heroes to look back on America’s Elite Fighting Force!:


Needless Things Podcast Episode 12:


The Dragon Con GI Joe: A Real American Hero Panel


In closing, I want to say thanks to Mike Faber, Joe Crowe, Gary Mitchel, William Stout, Geena Phillips, Beau Brown, Gnoll, and Bobby Nash for making all of these panels as amazing as they could possibly be. You guys are what make Dragon Con the best and most important event of the year.





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