A "fanboy" is 'a passionate fan of various elements of geek culture' (e.g. sci-fi, comics, Star Wars, video games, anime, etc.), says Urbandictionary.com. While to some the term "fanboy" may carry a negative connotation, those to whom the term is bestowed wear it like a badge of honor.
Today, there are international conventions (comic-con.org) and websites (fanboy.com) dedicated exclusively to the fanboy culture. Here in Stone Mountain, The Dragon's Horde on Memorial Drive has come to be known as a place where avid collectors of comics and gamers can come together for a shared experience. In short, it's a fanboy's dream.
This week, Meet The Owner profiles Tony Cade, owner of The Dragon's Horde. An avid chess player and comic book collector since childhood, Cade parlayed his love of comics and gaming into a gathering place for the like-minded. As Cade recently put it: "In this area there are plenty of pawn shops, liquor stores and tattoo parlors. What kids needed was a place where they just go and be smart."
Patch: I recently read about an event that you're holding at your shop on May 7. Can you tell our readers a little bit more about it?
Tony Cade: May 7th is Free Comic Book Day worldwide. It's basically where publishers, the distributor, and retailers have all gotten together and purchased comics and then we're actually going to give them away free to the public on that day. It's a way of getting people who aren't really exposed to comics into them and for people who used to be in comics back into comics.
Patch: That sounds really interesting.
Tony Cade: What most people don't realize is that some of the top writers in Hollywood write for comics and many of the top movies out today are based on comic books. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Men In Black, and V For Vendetta were all based on comics.
Patch: Wow, I had no idea. When I think of V For Vendetta I don't think of a comic book.
Tony Cade: Comics capture every story genre you can think of. You don't have to be into the 'ha ha funny' or people running around in tights. Comics cover just about every story format. Action, thriller, and romance are all available in comics.
Patch: Well, here at Patch we're family friendly. For parents who prefer their kids stick with funny, will Free Comic Book Day have anything for them?
Tony Cade: Oh yes, I carry a lot of stuff on that day that's kid friendly that I don't normally carry in the shop. If I know that people are coming back and looking for something, then I can get it in for them. They put out a lot of stuff for Archie (on Free Comic Book Day) and there's a lot of Disney-based stuff as well.
Patch: Would you have to already be a comic book fan to enjoy yourself?
Tony Cade: No, its the perfect opportunity for people who don't read comics to get into it. They can come in and see all the stuff going on, be around people that have an interest in comics, and come away with something for free. Also we'll have local creators that work for the major companies and others that are independent. They are going to be talking about their craft, how they got in the business, and the projects that they're working on. It's also a partial tribute to Dwayne McDuffie, a Black creator who, among other things, was the head writer for Justice League Unlimited, which was very popular on the Cartoon Network.
Patch: It is clear that you are very passionate about comic books. Is this what moved you to open The Dragon's Horde?
Tony Cade: Actually it was a friend's personal passion. He wanted to open a comic book store so I went in with him as a silent partner. Later on that store went out of business, so I decided to reopen it myself.
Patch: What made you pick your location on Memorial Drive?
Tony Cade: I felt if I didn't open a store on Memorial Drive, then no one else would do it. There needed to be a place where it's okay to be smart, where kids and adults could actually feel comfortable and be around people with similar interests.
Patch: I love that you're providing that.
Tony Cade: I'm always interested in getting kids involved and helping the community.
Patch: Speaking of helping the community, are you involved in the Memorial Drive Merchants Association?
Tony Cade: Yes. That's definitely something that I want to do because it's an area where I've struggled. We have people come from as far as Covington and Henry County, but Memorial Drive has a bad connotation to it. A lot of times people in Cobb and Gwinnett don't come to activities we do here because they think that something will happen. I'm all for anything that's trying to improve the reputation of the area. We need to improve the area so that people who live over here will actually want to shop over here.
Patch: Where can our readers go to find more information on Free Comic Book Day and the other events that you host at The Dragon's Horde?
Tony Cade: For a calendar of events go to my website: thedragonshorde.com.
The Dragon's Horde is located at 5615 Memorial Drive in Stone Mountain. Free Comic Book Day will be held Saturday, May 7, from 12:00-8:00 p.m.