The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Archive for April, 2015

Glow comics part four


I mentioned a few month ago, instead of handing out flyers for our GLOW event, I created a small comics with all of our information on the back! We’ve got to wrap this up though, preferably by rescuing the hostages!


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Motor City Nightmares 2015

ConmanMan, I meant to get this out yesterday, but life and network printers got in the way. Sorry about that. In any event, here’s the recap from my trip to Motor City nightmares the last weekend.

I remember being pleasantly surprised by MCN when I hit the con back a few years ago. But rising prices, bigger crowds and the constant cash-grab attitude I seem to be running into more and more on the con circuit has left me feeling a little jaded and trepidatious, so I wasn’t sure what to expect here.

I was pleased to find it’s just as much fun as I remember. MCN tries really hard to put on a good show with panels, screenings of dozens of new indie films and shorts, along with engaging panels. They bring in high profile guests to draw the crowds and that leads to some good discussion.

While I enjoyed the PJ Soles/Nancy Allen panel and fought my way to get  into the Return of the Living Dead one (The line for this panel got cut off! Small room, big crowd – I told the doorman “I’m just one guy, and I’ll stand in the back! He found me the last seat in the last row) the best panel by far was the Devil’s Rejects one. Not because of the film – they barely discussed it. It was mostly because of the way you can just see Bill Mosely, Sid Haig and William Forsythe genuinely enjoy hanging out…and that’s a lot of what I was seeing.

The local Haunted House had a booth – and what a booth! they were doing free makup (airbrushed) which I of course took advantage of (after I got my photos and autographs out of the way) but even cooler was the mini-haunt they set up. About a minuet to go through, with a couple of workers inside to jump out, along with lights, sounds, obsticals…I’ve been doing cons a LONG time and NEVER run into this! I know it was the vendor, not the con, but man, more cons should court vendor s who do this kind of thing and perhaps partner up with them. It was really the highlight of the show for me!

I Headed over to Tiffany Shepis, I haven’t seen her in a long time, and had a comic book she appeared on the cover of. She perked right up as I pulled my item out of the folder I was keeping it in, exclaiming “Is that an Angel Fire comic???” in astonishment. Then she reached under the table.

“Hang on, I have something that only someone who owns a Angel Fire comic would appreciate.”

She pulled out several posters that featured similar images of her astride a bike, but in different outfits and on different bikes.  These were the Japanese alternates for the cover of this issue of the comic book. Ironically they feature her on a Harley with a flag painted on it as opposed to the American cover that features a Ninja (a  Japanese bike).

She hates her hair in these pictures because she would keep cutting it short, but it would stay  wavy and never grew out the way she wanted. It was fun that not only did she recognize this picture but was so excited to see it.


Tiffany is great fun, and I sadly departed, to go see Sid Haig. I have a photo of him with Julie Newmar. He gave me a big smile, and talked about how much fun it was to work on Buck Rogers, the last show of the first season and the first show of the second. He said Julie “was so beautiful, whenever she walked in the room, everything just…stopped.”

He asked me where I got the picture from and I mentioned I had gotten a screencap from the TV show, but it had taken some work to line it up just right. He told me it was perfect.

I managed to catch a bit of “Chubbies”, making up for having to leave the Wasteland screening early, and also watched a bit of a new Sci-Fi film called “Magnetic”. I fear my interest in europop music increasing as a result.

Clu Gulager is getting senile. I’m certain of it.

I mentioned having to almost fight my way into the Return of the Living Dead panel. The line stretched down the hotel hallway and around the corner, and we inched out way in after the vip pass holder’s had been seated (I know, don’t get me started). I commiserated with the couple ahead of me, our anticipation building as we got just a bit closer – that’s a small room (and they really need a PA system. NO ONE was miced). But finally I was in, and just a couple minuets after the panel started.

Clu talked so much you could easily mistake him for the moderator, he really felt like he was trying to fill that position. but he’d also talk over other people an not notice, he’d ignore questions from the audience in favor of his own tangents…it was a bit strange.

But not as strange as what he did to my poster.

He signed on the side…and I thought “He’s getting close to John Russo…..” but figured he was just trying to squeeze it in. Scott Speigle had tried to do the same thing on my Evil Dead 2 poster, and kind of ran into another sig, but not badly.

Clu on the other hand – he just kept going….apparently clueless. He signed straight over John Russo’s autograph – bizarrely, inexplicably. I had no idea what to say.

It’s not that bad. John signed years ago in black, Clu signed in gold – both are actually visible….but how strange….

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the cosplayers. Horror cons don’t get as many costumes as Comic conventions, and not nearly as many as Anime cons, but MCN drew in more than it’s fair share. They held a costume contest in the afternoon, and lined up all the cosplayers, then paraded them around the dealers room, going past the jusdge seated above the haunted house. It’s a great touch, and something I’d like to see more of. Some of those outfits were stunning; the Predator was pitch perfect. The woman in the Trick or Treat outfit got absolutely mobbed when she came in the door and snake Pliskin…what can I say?


Motor City is actually a con I should hit more often. It’s less than two and a half hours away -not even as far as Monster Bash, and they put on a really good show. We’ll have to keep an eye on who shows up next year!



Daredevil Premier at Pop!


Join us as we view the first episode of the new Marvel/Netflix “Daredevil” series and discuss the Man Without Fear’s career! Tonight at the west side meeting in Parma, 6:30!


Monster Junkie photo shoot

We’ll talk a bit about the convention Monday, but for now, check out these pics from the photo shoot I did for Monster Junkie Magazine! (credit to Ginger Rose,Chelsea Darling and Jeff Stover in addition to my own pics!)

Motor City Nightmares this weekend


Heading to Motor City Nightmares this weekend in Michigan. Not nearly the trip that Indianopolis is, but still a bit of a trek. Still, the Return of the Living Dead reunion is really exciting for me so I’m looking foreward to this one. It was a lot of fun the last time I went, and I’m hoping for another great show, just coming off the heels  of wasteland….

If you see me tap me on the should er and say hi!

Melandy Britt


Melandy is hard to get. I’m not going to detail what I went through to get a She-Ra pic signed, but honestly, it’s one of the prizes of my collection!



essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday


In Defense of Generation X


Poor Generation X. This title was doomed from the word go. It’s a shame too, because Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo created a great title, a true successor to the New Mutants, a modern version of that premise with interesting interpersonal relationships and fun characters propelled into the spotlight in the wake of the crossover event “the Phalanx covenant” in all the X-Books.  They got four issues in….

Then the Age of Apocalypse happened.

The series was put on hiatus for half a year while that event played itself out and by the time the series came back it had to rebuild practically from scratch, and discovered a good chunk of their audience had drifted away.

I always kind of looked at it as a four issue mini series, but in recent years I’ve been picking up later issues where I can. You can see a lot of lost momentum and like I said, it’s a shame.

Pick up the first four issues if you see them, or grab the trade paperback Generation X Classic: Vol. #1 and see if you don’t feel that same sense of wonder and potential I did when I was following this back in ’94


Monster Walk at the Five O’ Clock

11150312_446530692177735_7895493539660099601_nThe Five O’Clock lounge is where I started doing zombie walks. It’s the first one Maddie went to when she was about four years old even. Despite the walk changing hands and now being a monster walk, we still love hitting up the five O’Clock and creeping around Lakewood.

Because this is a MONSTER walk and not just a zombie walk, you see a greater variety of creature. It’s also an excuse for the kids to extort new costumes out of me. Maddie asked for a Mummy costume and Lydia wanted to be a “Dead Mermaid”. It’s amazing what you can do with scrap fabric and dollar store sand toys. I pulled out my Groot outfit for it’s final go-around. Yes, I’m retiring this one – it requires too much maintenance and is a  real devil trying to get out of. I still love it, and may try to rebuild it in future days, but as for this incarnation, it’s the last time you will see him.  11162449_1585133695073252_8451596400259686963_nWe were met at the donation table by a  young woman who was  thrilled to see Groot showing up, nice to be appreciated. A few people referred to me  as  Treebeard, a good guess, probably more accurate of a costume for him actually. we made out donations and headed back to see what other monsters were joining us.

It was a chance for Ginger to break out out her bag lady outfit, while Mark showed up as Odurus Unrungus and his girlfriend Jen by his side in the most adorable hand-made Gizmo outfit (my little mermaid’s favorite monster at the walk – now both of my girls are asking to see Gremlins). IMG_2524

The ZEROS (Zombie eradication and rescue operations squad) was there to lead and keep traffic flowing.  We started a bit late, waiting for things to get going and before the walk Sgt. Cunningham of the ZEROS gathered everyone up to remember and memorialize a fallen comrade. William Stanely, Aka Reaper, a very young man who died suddenly and unexpectedly earlier this month. You could still see Reaper in the crowd, on helmets, and in hearts.

Over a hundred people turned out for this monster walk, all of them bringing canned food for the Lorain County food bank, along with donations. Parents brought thier kids, and there were a lot of friends in the crowd. Its an event I really love sharing with my girls, even though it means I don’t get to socialize quite as much as I might want to.  We finally got to grab some stuff from Hardcore confections, and the girls each got a chocolate brain (strawberry cake covered in chocolate). Around us we could see happy (and slightly dead) faces at the taco truck, and looking over the art, as well as people in the makeup tent, transforming into horrifying creatures. Great fun s we wandered the streets, zombies attacking cars and Mr. Tickles the clown chatting up random passers by. A great day for a good cause. The next zombie walk in in about a month, and I hope to see you all again.

Photos follow – I admit I stole a bunch of Zombiekitten’s because she got some better shots thazn I did and the group shot is from Photos by Desmalta, a regular a these events. Watermarks intact.


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Monster Walk at the 5 O’ Clock and Alien tonight!

10359558_1582196322032139_6962641967273641040_nCome on out to the 3rd annual monster walkMONSTER WALK at the five o’clock bar in Lakewood Saturday April 18th THIS IS AN ALL AGES EVENT SO KIDS ARE WELCOME. I brought my girls last time and they’re coming again this year! They love that they can be different monsters every time and not just zombies!  Make up starts at 1pm and will go till about 3:30ish because the walk will start at 4pm. admission will be $5 plus 2 canned goods. To get makeup done it will be $10  and trust me, there’s always great makeup artists here! This event is to benefit the Cleveland food bank.

The Five O’Clock lounge is located at 11904 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, Ohio 44107

5oclockyszia9zg7nwnhwsjyqdpOnce you’ve walked and creeped everyone else out sufficiently, make a pit stop at home, clean up and then head over to the Capitol for the midnight screening of Alien!

Ridley Scott‘s 1979 masterpiece ‘Alien‘ is part of the Melt Bar and Grilled Cleveland Cinemas Late Shift Series. Admission is just $5! One lucky audience member will win some TUMS to help with their tummy ache!

The capital is located at 1390 W 65th St, Cleveland, Ohio 44102

And if you have trouble sleeping after all that, you can always go back and check out some old violent Blue….


Maddie’s bird cage

art showBanner

A favorite of her mother and her grandmother, Maddie did this birdcage in watercolors. Her grandmother demanded it be framed and put in her home where it hangs today.




I must be crazy, trying to pack two conventions into one weekend, but when  Dirk Manning brought this one to my attention I really was intrigued. They were bringing in Scott Spiegal, the writer of Evil Dead 2, as well as promoting some  interesting stuff like a Kiss cover band. It would also be a great opportunity to unveil my new Mr. Freeze costume….so I packed up my stuff, and off i went to Toledo.


I’m  not sure what I expected. I’m sure I didn’t expect to have as much fun as I did. Scott is a brilliant little ball of energy, outgoing and friendly. He loves Horror hosts, and Ohio is definately the right place for that. We reminisced about our favorites and I introduced him to the Kreepy Kastle before unrolling my evil Dead two poster. He loved looking at all the names, and added his own, along with the inscription “Don’t make an Ash out of me!” running into one of the other autographs.

His panel was incredible, hearing about working with Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell in high school, having to sit out Evil Dead, and coming back for two. I love this guy, one of my favorite celebrity meet and greets.

Only a few media guests at this one, and that was well done. They did bring in a couple of Walking dead  alumni, the two walkers Michonne had with her when she originally appeared on the show. Unbelievably, they were charging $30 per autograph, and $20 for a  photo. I don’t know where they thought they were, but this was not the kind of con for those kind of prices, and quite frankly they arn’t worth that kind of coin. The Walking Dead cast is out of control, and I hope they walked out of there with empty pockets. I also hope that in the future, Fantasticon  will bring in lower priced media guests. With the announcement of Jonathan Frakes next year, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

They brought in some great comic talent as well, most exciting to me  was William Messner-Lobes. Definitely a great catch, who I remember especially for his run on the Flash. He wasn’t alone though, and I found myself also at Arvell Jones table as well, with a stack of All-Star Squadron in hand for him to sign!


I changed into my costume a little later (walking a city block to in it to get from my  parking space to the convention center…still closer than at Indiana….) and  headed in. There were some great costumes there, I walked in  and saw a pitch perfect Wiplash – I was certian he was going to win the costume contest.

11014905_952184674825956_447683158752958647_n The contest was so much fun with so many amazing outfits, the winner ultimately being Lady Pyramed head taking first and the scariest Scarecrow I’ve ever seen taking second. I was excited to get third place.


I ended the evening catching the War Machine performance. War Machine is a Kiss cover band and a great deal of fun.

21328_952184114826012_6985322165349783488_n After a few technical difficulties, they launched int some recognizable hits and a nice selection of B-sides. The guy playing Ace was a beast on guitar and did a  dead on impression of his accent and laugh.


All in all, a good first year, and I’m tempted to hit them up again next year. It was an interesting strategy, scheduling the adult costume contest and the Spiegal panel on Sunday. It certainly drew a nice respectable crowd, and made Sunday a really fund day at the time most cons are winding down (Sunday at Wasteland is dead depressing, people packing and checking out, catching those last few movies they may have missed earlier in the week). I dig this, and had great fun partying just as hard Sunday as I had on Friday and Saturday at Wasteland. I’m definitely interested in seeing how this grows next year.

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Cinema Wasteland 2015

ConmanSo there was the guy in the top hat carrying around the skeleton talking to the skinless guy, red muscle with yellow patchs of bone justting out from the tissue, a stark contrast to the white shirt and rumpled black suit he wore. A space pirate in his biker jacket and pirates hat came up, his smile revealing the sharp fangs beneath.

And people walked by like nothing was out of the ordinary.

Welcome to Cinema Wasteland.


One of the things that makes Wasteland so great is the people there. You go to visit with friends you only see every six months. I’m not kidding about Space pirate (a Kreepy Kastle Regular) showing up and finding Mr. Maniacal and me chatting, to say nothing of the ZEROS (Zombie eradication squad) and out of town friends I run into up there.


It was a packed house this year for the Day of the Dead reunion; the biggest cast reunion anywhere. We watched in a packed house, standing room only as the cast reminisced and Joe Piloto and Gary Klar yealled “I am Sparticus!” back and forth. These people are real family, friends not just in the movie but outside it too, keeping in touch even when conventions are out of session, and it really came through in the panel.


Jim  Wynorski was up next. A frequent director for Roger Corman at the helm of such films as Chopping Mll, Sorority House Massacre  and Hard to Die, he’s always been working, yet is always humbled by how much these films are still loved.


Joining him was Peter Spellos, a familiar face to TV and film, but alwys s a supporting player. The thing I was suprised to discover,  was just how funny he was.

I’ve spent most of my  career playing heavies and thugs and psychos,” he told me. “But my background is in improv, so when I get the chance  to be funny,  I take it!”

Finally, Ghastlee’s show…oh boy.


So I volunteered for Sallys part of the show, this  time around it was a game where they fed you diffrent things while blindfolded…Sardines, escargot, fermented herring from Sweden…all to the delight and revulsion of the audience. All of us made it through, though not without effort. I nearly tossed my cookies on the pickled pigs feet, but really, that’s just wasteland for you.

Great films playing all weekend, frequently with the director or actors present (at the screening of Chubbies the director greeted you at the door and poured you a shot of Jägermeister ) all spent with other people who love movies.

Now I can’t wait to do it again in six months…

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Cinema Wasteland spring 2015

cw_show_logoIt’s Wasteland Weekend! Come on out to the Strongsville Holiday inn and join the Days of the Dead celebration and the best party in town!

The biggest gathering of cast from Days of the Dead ever assembled will be talking about the movie, plus screenings, and vendors galore.

There’s plenty of Horror Host action at Wasteland – Gunga Jim’s show is always great fun and this weekend on Gunga’s drive-in he’s screening the classic “She-Beast”. Son of Ghoul will be hosting Stooges and Wasteland cartoons and Saturday night check out the gameswith A.Ghastlee Ghouls and Sally The Zombie Cheerleader at  Ghastlee’s night at the movies! You never know who else might show up….

cw dodCinema Wasteland

Japanese Spider-Man


imagesHow do I describe the insanity that is Japanese Spider-Man? Basically in the 70’s Marvel licensed the likeness and name to a company called TOEI and said “Do whatever you want with it”.

And they did.

This Spider-Man is a dirt bike racer in his secret identity. Spidey uses supercharged race cars and a giant robot to do battle with Power Ranger-like villains.

Of all the foreign rip-offs I could cite, this is by far the most fun. it’s commercially avalible,  though a region 1 DVD is hard to find, but I’ve also seen it on YouTube.

5cspa-girlupphoto2 supaida005



indexI just love this series so much. If there was ever a series that gave Ambush Bug a run for it’s money this is it.

Slapstick is actually a high school comic book fan who finds a magic cartoon glove that transforms him in the cartoonish hero slapstick. That’s really all you need to know.

I’ve never understood why this series wasn’t a bigger hit. Comedy is hard to do in comics, very few “humor” magazines actually are. Marvel’s “What The???” always failed to make me laugh, and I gave it multiple tries just because John Byrne was drawing it.  Deadpool manages on it’s good days, but that’s still an action series as well. Ambush Bug was one of the only series that ever consistently made me laugh. Slapstick does the same with outrageous comedy…the events with Ghost Rider defy description…and yet …well it’s easier to just show you.index2

Yeah. That’s not going to end well.

This series lasted four issues and I never understood why it was never revisited. Even Ambush Bug shows up in the back of DC comics. Slapstick just slung his giant mallet over his shoulder and rode off into the sunset, never to be seen again.

This series is worth seeking out. You probably won’t find these in the dollar bins, and you’ll have to dig through a lot of dusty longboxes to locate it but trust me, you won’t regret it.


movieposterSo like I mentioned, I headed out to UHF on Saturday night. The movie is one that I always thought I really should’ve liked, it’s one that has everything in it that I really love and yet I’ve never been a fan.

I think my biggest problem is that I saw this long after I had left the theatres and became a cult hit.  I had already heard all the good jokes and one-liners poorly done by my friends at school and when I finally got around to watching it it was at home late at night on the local movie station.
Therein lies the problem. UHF isn’t the kind of film you should watch alone, it’s one of those movies that really has to be experienced in a group. Cinema Wasteland
In fact there are a lot of films like that, it’s the reason I go to conventions really. I hit Cinema Wasteland twice a year just because they’re gonna show films that I’d never even think to look for, and I get to experience them not only with the filmmakers, but with a group of like-minded the movie fans and it makes all the difference.
I remember one night at my friend Johnny Em’s house, when Austin Powers was at the height of his popularity.  I hated these films – I still do really, but that night I remember laughing raucously through the entire thing and wondering why these had never been so funny before.  it’s the group, the community and it’s the greatest argument I can make for the filmgoing experience.
Cedar Lee mapI’m heading out to wasteland this weekend, seeking out that communal experience, and then in May I’ll be heading to 12 hours of terrible, 12 hours of horrible films, B-movies. It’s the first time that the Cedar Lee has attempted this period I think it’s going to work, much the same way the 12 hours of terror at the Capitol did because of that community. That great love of film and the communal experience of taking in these films together. Whoever says the movie going experiences is dead or dying is a fool. I don’t know where you live, but Cleveland has cheap theaters around cheap screenings, cult, foreign and a really thriving film scene. Grab some friends and check out flick this weekend, trust me your better for it.

popWhile everyone has a favorite “Elseworlds” or “What If…?” story, this will also be the perfect time to discuss the current DC Convergence at this weeks west side  Pop meeting in Parma!


last week

tvizombieiZombie seems to have mellowed out a bit this week. That’s okay, I like mellow episodes. You can’t have spectacular every week. Even with an average story, this still has some interesting plot points. We finally get to see a feral zombie – what Gwen would ultimately turn into if not kept fed with brains. This is interesting because up until now, the zombies here haven’t really been a big threat. I mean, they’re sinister, but in a more vamperic way, not in a walking dead manner.

Hmmm. Vampiric. Yeah, they are more like Vampires than zombies aren’t they? Perhaps that’s the real appeal to me here. My daughter’s pissed though, she likes her zombies scary and wasn’t very impressed with Gwen. She freaked out with delight when Jeannie came up on stage though….

I sat down and re-read the entire run of iZombie by the way. I knew they were different, but I had forgotten HOW diffrent. I feel like I should be outraged, but honestly, I kind of still like this better. It’s a genuinely GOOD TV adaption and I’m just really enjoying it, much  the way I enjoyed Constantine’s translation to the small screen (Not as drastic, but still, some significant differences).

Still I wanted to see more of what out sinister zombie dude is doing…I can see they are going to draw this out a bit….

cu141209e310946361_349944405209039_1010017060_nThe Flash on the other hand….what rightly should have been an average episode was turned upside down by the return of Mark Hamill to the role of the Trickster. This is the epitomie of what I love in this series. It loves the old series, is very respectful of what has come beofre while still driving the series in it’s own unique direction. I like the young trickster Axl in the comics and was thrilled to see him in the series – He’s not nearly as interesting in the role as Hamil was, but those are some pretty big shoes to fill arn’t they? The whole Hannibal Lecter thing with Hamill worked WAY better than it hand any right to. Shocking how well it worked. Barry’s adventures really took a back seat to watching Hamil and Shipp reunite. I just can’t say enough good about this. I think in general there’s a roar of approval from the fans in just that the new series acknowledges t hat the 90’s Flash exists – not canon, but not forgotten, and to use images from it and the good will hamill-2-trickster-flashthat Hamil brings with him from that series, it’s as brilliant a move as casting John Westley Shipp in a recurring role as Barry’s father.

We also get a better idea of exactly what’s going on with Reverse Flash. Yes, THAT got my attention, though I was still constantly waiting impatiently for the Trickster to show up again, we now know exactly when Doctor Wells was replaced…a lot of things falling into place now as we race through the back end of the series.



UHF tonight!


rocI just learned of a new zobie walk down in the Flats of Cleveland! Wasteland is a week later this spring and yay! That means I can hit this and the Cedar Lee this Saturday for UHF!

Please join us for the first zombie walk at the roc bar in the east bank flats of Cleveland, Ohio.
Makeup starts at noon
walk at 430-5pm
vendors and makeup artists will be on hand throughout this event.
$5 and 2 canned food items at the door.
proceeds will be donated to the local food banks.

There will be a after party rock show at 6pm The Roc Bar
Featuring erasing never,below the tide, malice 213 and more. free of charge.

uhfAfterwards, head over to the Cedar Lee for UHF!  UHF is part of the Melt Bar and Grilled Cleveland Cinemas Late Shift Series! Admission is just $5! Arrive early for your chance to win prizes when you spin our “wheel of fish!” Showings at 9:30 and12:00!

Cedar Lee map

Ron’s Big Adventure part four


Part two of my favorite movie! Find your purpose in Ron’s Big Adventure!

Goodbye Robert Z’Dar

You know, it was just a month or so ago that I pulled out Tango and Cash (a podcast had been discussing it and it made me want to revisit it) and noticed Robert Z’Dar in it. It had been a long time since I’d watched it and probably didn’t really know who he was back then, but there he was, big as life.

That’s really the way his career went. Always working, sneaking into countless films that you probably saw but never really thought about. In the last year and a half I got to see the first and second Maniac Cop films on the big screen thanks to Cleveland Cinemas and I was really starting to get into his body of work when I met him Cinema Wasteland.

I’m going to miss you Robert. Thanks for leaving such a great cinematic legacy for us to explore. We won’t forget you.