In the spirit of adventure — and making poorly thought-out puns referencing a famous ’70s porno — Danno Does Dragon Con is happening. I’ve been gearing up for this all summer, working out schedules and plans, trying to wrangle interviews and creating an itinerary of all the amazing things I want to see while I’m visiting Atlanta’s version of SDCC and I’ve got to tell you, I’m absolutely exhausted and it hasn’t even started yet. Dragon Con is the biggest fandom-centered event in the entire Southeastern U.S. and this year is expecting to draw nearly 82,000 people to the ATL during the four-day Labor Day Weekend event. With a list of celebrity guests, artists, vendors, panels and events, all centered around every conceivable fandom in the assembled realms of geekery, it’s like making it to the Promised Land.

I’m excited and terrified, all at the same time.

This is a big chance for me to not just enjoy one of the largest fandom conventions in the country, but to meet new people and expand the fledgling social network that any artist’s career depends on for success. Let’s look at my writing career, for a minute. From 1997-2012, there was literally zero progress beyond finding my “voice” on paper. In 2006, I was published in two now-defunct small press publications. The next eight years saw about half a dozen other small publications and a very loyal but minuscule readership. Then, in 2014, I joined social media and started finding people who not only offered me a by-line in their publications, but who wanted to help me with growing my career and who have been helping me to broaden my horizons and hone my craft ever since. I’ve been to conventions, press screenings, film fests, and I’ve met so many talented artists in fields I’d never even heard of and begun seeing a huge increase, not only in my readership, but in the amount of content I produce.

And that’s the whole point behind a convention like Dragon Con. Whether you’re there to network professionally, sell some art and memorabilia, or just to meet people who share similar passions, it’s a reason to get together and celebrate the things that have made us who we are. This is a chance for me to make connections, develop leads for new articles and interviews, and enjoy the hell out of myself in the middle of the South’s hub for geekery. I’m excited to see so many cast members from TV shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation and Farscape that will be appearing, as well as two of my favorite musicians, MC Chris and Aurelio Voltaire, as well as many others. While I tried to get interviews with a lot of these celebs, being a first-year journalist in attendance, I had to be invited to those interviews, and that just didn’t happen. Even so, I’ve been lining up my own interviews with indie filmmakers, cosplayers and attendees who all want to talk about the passions and fandoms that are bringing them to Atlanta.

© 2016, DOTDBlog

Danno of the Dead and MC Chris at the Exit/In, Nashville during the Ten Years of Touring Tour.

Now, you’re reading this article and you’re wanting to know just what, exactly, is in it for you? As far as Zombies In My Blog is concerned, my main focus will be on the Zombie Walk, the Zombie Prom, cosplay and fan art that is going to literally be on parade during Labor Day Weekend. We’re all big fans of bringing our favorite characters (and some of our own creations) to life at these events and with writers on staff like professional cosplayer/actress/filmmaker Goldie Fatale and Hypericon wizard, Nashville Zombie Walk cohort and The Stump columnist Lucas, there’s a lot of love for this niche of fandom, here on ZIMB.

Not going to lie, I’m pretty anxious about this. As well as writing for you, here at Zombies In My Blog, I’ll also be writing for my own website and social media platform, plus 52 Weeks of Horror and Psycho Drive-In. I’ve even devoted an entire page of my website to publishing (and sharing) links to all of the articles that are coming from Dragon Con, so be sure to check it out at Danno Does Dragon Con.

If you’re going to be attending the convention and want to talk about your experience, share your cosplay, or promote a project — especially horror — that you’re working on, just reach out to me on social media @dotdblog or through my site. I’ll also be passing out some free print copies of my serial A Thousand Little Deaths to anyone who wants it, as long as supplies last. Be sure to hit me up if you’d like one.

There’s a lot more to come from this impending adventure, so be sure to check in soon.