Mark Dodson adds signature to Mark Twain Cave

Mark Dodson signs his name near Samuel Clemens’ signature Tuesday inside Mark Twain Cave, as co-owner Austin Curry looks on. Dodson has lent his voice talents to several shows and movies, and he described the opportunity to sign his name where Samuel Clemens once stood as “overwhelming”.

HANNIBAL — Mark Dodson signed his name near Samuel Clemens’ signature inside Mark Twain Cave on Tuesday morning, capping off an adventure-filled weekend with thousands of participants at the 2021 Big River Comic Convention.

Father and son Todd and Austin Curry are co-owners of the cave, and they led the way down the narrow passage where Clemens’ signature was discovered in 2019 by Cindy Lovell. Dodson and Debbie Logue, director of the 2021 Big River Comic Convention, followed, gazing with excitement at Clemens signature behind a wood frame. Todd Curry said it was an honor for Dodson to sign his name near Clemens signature, and Dodson shared how he was “overwhelmed” by the experience.

“It means more for me than if I had won an Oscar,” Dodson said.

Dodson was bornin St. Louis, Mo. and has been a lifelong fan of Hannibal’s history and Mark Twain. Before the Big River Comic Convention, he took a tour of Mark Twain Cave. And his love of Hannibal’s history was a deciding factor in taking part in the 2021 Big River Comic Convention.

Dodson has used his voice talent in numerous shows and movies over the years, including “Gremlins”, “Day of the Dead”, “Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi” and Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens”.

Dodson talked with Logue and Todd and Austin Curry about the many adventures that happened inside the cave, including stories about Jesse James, Samuel Clemens in his younger years and Star Wars.

“You’re history now,” Todd Curry said. “One hundred years from now, they’ll be shining a light on your signature.”

Dodson, Logue and the Currys continued their chat inside the Visitors Center, with Dodson making sure to purchase a souvenir shirt. The connection Dodson has with Hannibal has been lifelong, and Todd Curry expressed his excitement for what the future could hold.

“You just never know what’s ahead of you,” he said.

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