Quite simply, if you were in Pigeon Forge during the last week of May, you may have caught a glimpse of a Jedi, or maybe even a Ghostbuster, or any of a myriad of characters one might recognize from their childhood.
The thing is, these characters have a way of hanging onto to people well past their childhood, which is why events like AdventureCon are so popular today.
The 3-day event, which had previously been held in Knoxville, kicked off the summer season at the Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Pigeon Forge this past weekend and from the looks of the dealers and fans alike, the event was a rousing success.
Buoyed by an appearance from Billy Dee Williams – most well-known for his portrayal of Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the event’s lines stretched throughout the convention center for a glimpse at stars like Williams; Jake Lloyd, who played a young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; wrestlers Ted DiBiase, a.k.a. “The Million Dollar Man” and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, as well as model Angie Everhart.
Many of the stars like Lloyd and Williams even took part in question and answer sessions where fans got up close and personal with the actors and where musings from the Star Wars movie series were expounded upon at length and questions about their own lives were answered as well.
On the dealer end, it was a weekend of meeting new buyers and developing relationships that sometimes only take place in these types of settings.
For Brian Pritchard, who boasted a collection made up of toys ranging from He-Man action figures to Transformers, it’s become a life’s work.
“This is just stuff that I’ve accumulated over the years from estate sales, yard sales, coming across stuff on the internet – just a variety of places,” said Pritchard, whose company Galaxy of Junk (email@example.com) buys, sells and trades comics and toys.
Some of the more interesting toys seen throughout Pritchard’s display included a He-Man Castle Grayskull in it’s original packaged state, a complete Transformers Constructicons set and a William “Refrigerator” Perry G.I. Joe pose-able action figure.
Just around the corner from the Galaxy of Junk display, Talon Dunning was working on a new sketch.
Dunning was one of the many illustrators in attendance over the weekend at AdventureCon, his specialty was primarily roleplaying illustration.
“Mainly fantasy/super hero art, roleplaying art,” said Dunning, whose talents can be seen at www.talonart.com. “I’ve been doing it my whole life, that and graphic design, so it’s something I really enjoy… Right now, I’m just doing freelance work.”
Others, like local University of Tennessee graduate Shawn Harbin were on hand to answer questions about their work and sell a few comics as well. According to Harbin, The Dungeon Comic tells a story that contains elements of horror, mystery, sci-fi, suspense, fantasy, and camp. Harbin’s work can be seen at www.bsx22studios.com.
Aside form those mentioned, booths featuring games like the popular Dungeons & Dragons series, knives & swords, Anime toys and books, tattoos, and signed movie posters were prevalent throughout the event – one that looks to become a spring staple in Pigeon Forge after a successful first go round at the Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center.