Dragon Con reps say that despite the SAG-AFTRA strike, the show will go on
When listening to Dan Carroll speak on his fondest memories of attending past Dragon Cons, you would think he is reminiscing about a family reunion rather than a multimedia convention.
“You get to find those people who love those things that you already love. They love the same comic books, the same genres … and you can be with those people and talk about things that you wouldn’t be able to talk about and your day-to-day world,” he said.
Dragon Con brings together fans of television, movies, comics, gaming and more. And getting to see a much-loved actor of close is often a highly anticipated part of the experience.
But, according to SAG-AFTRA guidelines, members are not allowed to promote any work, past or present, made under a union contract.
For Carroll, who handles media relations for the convention, the beloved annual convention does not live or die by the presence of on-screen talent.
“We do have guests from the comic world, from the art world, from television and movies who are coming to spend time with their fans, and we also have this great community that comes from around the world,” he said.
One of these guests will be Delilah Dawson, a Georgia native and popular horror and science fiction novelist whose books include the Star Wars books “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire” and “Star Wars: Phasma.”
Dawson, as well as other authors primarily of science fiction and fantasy, see Dragon Con as one of the rare opportunities to interact personally with their fan bases.
“Most of the writing happens with me in my pajamas and my laptop in some quiet corner, not talking to anybody and working for hours on end,” she said.
“I love getting to sign books and talk to readers. At Dragon Con, we have familiar faces that come back year after year, and it’s always nice to see them in the crowd.”
There has been recent speculation as to whether the annual event will see a decrease in crowd size due to the pending talent strikes, but with authors such as Dawson, comic book artists, illustrators and a larger-than-life cosplayer community, Carroll anticipates seeing an attendance rate over 65 thousand participants throughout the event, typically held on Labor Day weekend.
The media manager also notes that with the convention more than a month away, there is still a chance within the next couple of weeks for the studios and creatives to reach an agreement.
“[The time period] still gives a lot of time for things to be resolved from the strike,” he said. “As we get closer to the convention, we’ll have a much clearer view as to how the strike affects Dragon Con.”
Still, despite the changes, Carroll encourages attendees not to focus on whether or not they will receive a picture or autograph with their favorite celebrity but rather to welcome the adventure and self-discovery that comes with attending the event.
“Dragon Con is known around the world as the place where people come to be a part of Dragon Con… they don’t come to watch,” he said. “With 24 hours of the day for five days straight, there’s plenty of opportunity to find new things you haven’t even thought of before.”