"I'm putting them on a panel together, obviously," Henry said.
New allegations surface
By 2011, Dragon Con was bringing in more than $40 million in revenue to Atlanta, primarily through dining and lodging, according to the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. Attendance had been steadily growing for years. As a privately held company, Dragon Con has declined to disclose revenues, but a four-day ticket this year costs $130.
Then, Kramer, who had agreed to remain under house arrest as a condition to being released on bail, was found in a hotel room in Connecticut with a minor in May 2011. He was arrested and extradited back to Georgia.
By then, some Dragon Con fans had had enough. Petitions to boycott Dragon Con were circulated. And, Henry said, that's when Dragon Con decided to do whatever it would take to divorce itself from the co-founder.
On July 8, Dragon Con became a new company, Dragon Con Inc., by merging assets with the old company and omitting its controversial shareholder from the new one. Kramer has since filed a lawsuit seeking to declare the merger invalid, alleging that the plan is "specifically calculated to squeeze out Plaintiff Kramer as a stockholder in the surviving corporation."
Others, however, had already moved on, long regarding Kramer as a completely separate entity from Dragon Con.
"That one person, that one bad egg, doesn't mess up the entire convention for everyone else. I think the majority of the fans have reconciled and gotten over it," Mayes said.
On Monday, Kramer appeared in a Gwinnett County courtroom for a hearing in which both sides agreed that he was ready to stand trial, despite a long list of maladies.
The convention he helped found continues to grow into a destination for generations of sci-fi obsessives.
On Thursday, Mayes, his wife and their son, 11-year-old John Jr., arrived at the Marriott Marquis for their eighth Dragon Con since 2006 and their son's first. The convention didn't really start until Friday, but like many others, they didn't want to lose second of potential people-watching time.
Mayes says his son's goal is to fit in his dad's Stormtrooper costume one day. Until then, he'll have to settle for the Doctor Who and Firefly costumes the family planned for this year.
"We're going costume light this year," Mayes said, "since it's his first year."