Days of the Dead Indy (summer edition)
Again? I’m in Indinapolis again??? Why on earth am I making this trip for a third time in four months? I mean, I remember mentioning after my first Days of the Dead indy that I probably woun’t be back to this one…so why am I here TWICE this year?
Yeah, that’s pretty much the big draw for me. I mean, I said it last time – despite it’s size, I always ahve a good time at Days of the Dead, but it is a long five hour drive and this time I didn’t have the Dark Tower to plow through in the way down (Insomnia this time, but only about half of it) and if it hadn’t been for Angus, I would have skipped this one. I’m very glad I didn’t.
I got my tickets online, both for admission and my autograph ticket for Angus. $30 is actually less than he was charging at Flashback and they went out of thier way on the website to point out that you could take photos at the table with your camera (some guest won’t do that if the con is also selling professional photo ops, but Angus is far to classy for that). the pre-purchase was supposed to give you line jumping privileges as well, but forget that. I got in line a half hour before he was even supposed to be at his table. I had no intention of having a repeat of Flashback Weekend, where i waited a couple hours and the line shut down, missing my chance to meet him. I chatted with my line mate while we waited, and out of nowhere my friend Brandi tackled me while her husband grinned. They’d seen him yesterday, but it was still fun to chat with them for a bit. Mark and Brandi have been hitting a lot of the same shows I have this year – they’re regulars at Cinema Wasteland, but they were also at Motor City Nightmares on a different day as me this year, and Monster Bash last year.
About an hour later I got in. Angus’ line always moves slowly and you can kind of see the man slowing down a bit himself, but it was the highlight to the con for me – one of the best moments from con life ever. It was my fourth try trying to meet him….so happy.
Of course there were other guests I was eager to meet as well. I’ve been wanting to hit a con with Felissa Rose for a while now. I know it’s shallow of me, but wow…she grew up to be unbelievably beautiful! I mean, way hotter than the Springsteen chick that played the character in the later Sleepaway camp films…
But the the thing about Felissa is how remarkably friendly and effervescent she is. She was SO happy and SO outgoing, greeting me with a hug and talking with delight about the movie. I discovered that her real name is Felissa Rose Esposito! I mentioned that Dave, the person in charge of programming Cleveland Cinemas Late Shift is OBSESSED with the film – Felissa wants to come to a screening some time.
Kane Hodder teased her from across the isle with an empty whisky bottle.
“You finished it without me?”
“Yeah well,” Kane replied. “I had another signing later last night…in one of the hotel rooms….with my penis….”
Felissa laughed and rolled her eyes at me
“Because we all know I have penis envy….”
If you’ve seen Sleepaway camp, you’ll get that joke. If not…go watch Sleepaway Camp.
More hugging and then I was off to see Imogen Boorman – the little girl from Hellraiser 2. Another remarkably happy person, and really pleased to talk about the movie, and what it was like workign with everyone. She seems to have genuinely good memories of this film, and it’s remarkable that this was her first con appearance.
Finally, off to see Tony Moran before the Angus Scrimm Panel started. Tony was the unmasked Michael Myers in the first Halloween, and man is he a chatter. He reminds me of Robert Englund in the way he tells stories constantly, entertaining the entire line as he does. I loved hearing about his disbelief that donald Pleasence was going to be in the movie and that being his main reason for taking the role. It was funny that he never told anyone he did the film and his family was surprised when they saw him on screen – years later!
PJ Soles had a panel with him but there’s just one problem…..
The next day she lost her voice! She’d been coughing all con long and it finally caught up with her. Saturday she posted this sign at her table.
Angus’ Panel was fun – I never realized that he played Abraham Lincoln in a short educational film. Apparently it’s on the Phantasm 2 blu ray which is a good reason fro me to go and find that. He gave soem interesting insight on Phantasm 5 as well, something I can’t wait for. But his hearing isn’t good, sometimes he’d have probelms hearing the questions and perhaps get a little lost in his answers. I love hearing him speak. He has a great presence and you really feel how much of a career he’s had.
I caught Tobin Bell’s panel as well, another very humble person talking about working his way up in Hollywood. Fascinating to hear about his scenes in Goodfellas being almost comepletely cut out, Scenes with Sharon Stone in the Quick and the dead being trimmed down, and this happening again and again until saw – where NOTHING got cut! Fun listening to his surprise about hearing someone call him a horror icon for the first time…
They had him settled in a little side room which I found curious. His traffic never seemed as heavy and Angus. The Scrimm line wound all the way down the hall and around the corner all day. For some reasons, conventions seem to consistantly underestimate the turnout for Angus Scrimm. If anyone should have a side room with barriers and a twisty line it should have been Scrimm.
I ran into my friend Jeff from back here in Cleveland, a couple times actually and each time he was wearing a different face. Days of the dead has more cosplayers than your average horror convention and it’s something they encourage by bringing in groups like monsters amoung us and doing both costume and make up contests.
They really went the extra mile this time around, by creating a bunch of environments and settings for photo ops. Empty rooms, open coffins, the local haunted house created an asylum in brought in a cage and populated them with their own monsters as well that you could pose with. It gives the car on a distinct flavour, and a much more fantastic atmosphere.
I really do like days of the dead, and a lot of that has to do with how even though they’re big con, they try very hard to put on a great show. I got my little girls gremlins and fright flicks trading cards from the “don’t eat the gum” booth, which they loved.
the autographs I got this weekend were my prize, that I and the time spent with some great people, in particular my line mate whose name completely escaped me…Brian?
He’s another one of those guys who shares with me just as much love for the Phantasm films as you can imagine. We talked about meeting the rest of the cast – he actually got in to see Angus at Flashback. He plays in a KISS tribute band which led to us talking music, and discussing Reggie Bannister’s CD. I asked if he ever heard Bill Thornbury’s music, but he hadn’t. I’ve got one and he did tell me he knew Bill played – he’d see his country stuff and his religious stuff. Bill plays music in the worship band at his curch, just like I do at mine and we enjoyed talking about that. Brian recalled that Bill was very genuine and sincere about his faith – it had impressed him. He’d gotten a bad crack in his windshield on the way to a con that Bill was at, and Bill had prayed over him for a safe trip home.
Yes. I’m that guy – the one that still talks about Jesus even when he’s at a horror convention.
Anyhow, we were in lines for both Angus and Tony, and bumped into each other by the cage, then took pictures for each other. You made my con a lot more fun dude, and I hope I see you again.
Oh, but I have more pictures….of course I have pictures…..
Pop and women in comics
With so many great female characters and so many amazing women creators in the industry, it’s only right to celebrate their might! join us at 6:30 in parma!
Days of the Dead
Days of the Dead is one of the bigger cons out there, holding events in Indianapolis, Chicago, Atlanta and L.A.
Still, despite thier size, this isn’t just a big hall full of people waiting in lines, they go out of thier way to have quality panels, film screenings and really great guests. Angus Scrimm is coming this time around and he dosn’t make many appearances,so catch him while you can!
Derringer and Rugar
More character designs from Angel Lite’s The Ballad! These guys were based heavily off characters in Django Unchained, and I admit it shows. Still, tried to throw a sort of spacey look to it in the buttons on the jacket and things like that.
I was working on the company blog doing an article about “zombie accounts” – user and email accounts on a company’s server that aren’t purged after an employee leaves. I wanted to have a little fun with it though, so I altered up these two old photos from Zombie walks back in 2010 or 2009. I’ve always loved how these came out and it’s even more fun because I was doing these on company time for company purposes!
Monster Bash 2015
Well it was that time again and my little mummy wanted to bring her sister out for her very first Monster Bash!
We began our day with movies – the Mummy’s Hand (Maddie has been very into mummise and Egypt this year). It’s a slower paced film than the girls were used to, but once the mummy came on screen they were on board. We stuck around for a talk on the Blob, and then for Tales from Dracula -a throwback film, trying very hard to emulate the universal look, while in some places updating it.
Remember we mentioned the Blob? One of the big attractions this year was an appearance by the creature itself! Ive been wanting to see this thing for ages and Lydia kept asking when we were going to find it! It’s a fascinating bit of silicone, and very cool to actually have gotten to see it up close.
It’s a shame we could only make Friday this year, Saturday is when a lot of the real fun happens, but it was still a great day exploring the dealers room and watching movies. One of my absolute favortie things were the wax figures from the Witches Dungeon, this year a Dr. Phibes display!
On the way home we stumbled upon this bizarre shaved ice place in the back roads of Pennsylvania and had to stop. The fact that they had Tiger’s Blood snow cones made it stranger still.
All in all, still a great day at one of our favorite cons. I may just bite the bullet and head back this October now that I’ve seen Barbra Steele is on the guest list…..
Monster Bash this weekend!
I’m packing the girls up and heading to Bash this weekend! Maddie loved it last year and Lydia is looking forward to her first horror con! If you see us, tap me on the shoulder and say hello!
This is a portrait of Maddie did of her and her friend George. She’s known him since they were babies. I love the beautiful rainbow colored frame….
In Defense of Dracula 2000
I’m well aware of the hate for this movie. I tend to think that this comes down to expectations perhaps. there’s always a lot of “How dare they” and “Who do they think they are claiming this to be a sequal to Dracula?” (I get that. I have the same reaction to Dacre Stoker’s terrible book….). Hammer did a ton of Dracula sequals. Many of which are far weaker than this one.
Perhaps it’s what pop culture has done to the vampire. This Dracula is evil. Plain and simple. No rational, the wounded lover, he brooding immortal, no just evil, driven by want and spreading his disease of vampirism everywhere he goes. This is not Anne Rice or Stephanie Myer’s (yes, I equate them both the same for their watering down of the mythology and over romanticizing. Stop changing the beast. If you don’t want to write about vampires then write about something else, don’t change what already exists!) kind of swooning dark lover. This is a monster. We’re not used to this, but I think we need to get back to it (a reason 30 days of night was so popular.).
It also draws criticism because it looks like it a cool, young, hip cast like any other disposable horror movie – remember what I was saying about Hellraiser:Hellworld.
This isn’t exactly the case. We get the group at the beginning as fodder, but we don’t really follow t hem. We start off with a high tech band of thieves who break into an insanely secure vault and make off with the only thing they find…a coffin they mistake to be a safe. The coffin contains Dracula, held weakened and captive by an immortal VanHelsing who keeps himself alive using Dracula’s blood, filtered through leaches. He intends to stay alive until he can find a way to destroy Dracula once and for all.. Other vampires can be killed but Dracula holds a secret….
This is great stuff. There’s high tech thieves (ala Oceans 11, but younger), Biblical mystisicm, and great vampire action. This is an all star cast as well. Seriously, look at this list : Danny Masterson (That 70’s Show and Men at Work), Omar Epps (House M.D.), Jeri Ryan (Star Trek : Voyager, Boston Public), Jonny Lee Miller (Hackers, Elementary) – even Christopher Plummer!
Finally, the movie has a bit of a comic book feel to it. That may turn some people off, though I don’t understand why. My favorite Vampire film ever is the Lost Boys. Slick and modern (for the time) with that same Graphic Novel feel to it. This works for me. Just enough action, just enough blood, Dracula’s appeal to the opposite sex is shown but not over stated, it’s the perfect vampire movie to me.
Now that you know what you’re getting into, go check this out again – but don’t confuse this with the terrible Dracula 3000 and skip the sequels. Just enjoy this one for what it is, a fun vampire movie with some great familiar faces.
The Chinese Popeye -The Dragon Lives Again (1976)
In Chinese Hell, Popeye goes on adventures with his friends Bruce Lee and Caine from Kung Fu, all the while vexing his arch-nemeses Dracula, Clint Eastwood, the Exorcist, and James Bond.
I don’t thinki I’ve ever been so disturbed. This one is a VERY recent find. Still, it’s really an attempt to cash in on the Bruce Lee xccraze of the late 70’s after his death so you have fun martial arts…
um. Lets just move along now.
Pop- continuity shifts
After two meetings of riding the twists, turns, rearranging, shuffling, rebooting and retro-streamlining of our favorite companies and characters, we thought it would be a good time for some healing as we discuss the importance and relevance of the ever changing continuity of comics. Head on out to parma at 6:30 for a talk about continuity in comics!
Back when I was first getting into autographs, Judge Judy was one of my early requests. I got her through email and it’s just one of those crazy things – it feels like ultimate kitch to have an autographed photo of Judge Judy doesn’t it?
Recently I’ve been getting into companion pieces -things like the Bob Barker auto for the Price is Right or the Harvey Levine one for The People’s Court, so off I went with another email. This time I needed Judge Judy’s bailiff….after all officer Byrd is just as much a art of the show as she is isn’t he?
You know, he’s actually the second bailiff I’ve gotten if you count Richard Moll…..
Ron’s Big Adventure part six
Part six of my favorite movie! Find your purpose in Ron’s Big Adventure!
The Marvelous Adventures of Gus Beezer
I always liked this title but it suffers far too much from comparison to Calvin and Hobbes. This isn’t Calvin and Hobbes, it lacks the satirical wit that was aimed at adults. This is far more kid driven – but it’s GOOD kid driven.
Gus is a little boy with an active imagination who loves comic books and superheros- of course t he big difference is that he lives in the Marvel universe where there actually ARE superheros!
He sometimes lets his imagination get away from him and it begins to intrude on his real life…playing with his sisters jump rope and pretending she’s the lizard…
It was a fine series and was reprinted in tabloid size under the Marvel Adventures banner to be sold in Targets but never went any further than it’s original four issue run. You may find some of these still floating around. It’s worth it just to see his tirade at J. Jonah Jameson over his Spider-man editorials…..
Lake Effect Comicon 2015
Another weekend has gone by, and another convention in the can.
Lake effect is a long drive, but usually worth it. We enjoy it because It’s a great place for deals and I love the screenings. Panels have really expanded, though it’s actually very much cut into the movie screenings and I kind of miss that. Still, starting the day off with Scott Pilgrim is absolutely a good thing.
We jumped headfirst into the costume contest. Maddie was always planning on wearing her new Supergirl outfit and Lydia was planning on breaking out her Mermaid costume from the monster walk a month or so ago, but at the last moment (less than a week before the event) Lydia changed her mind and asked if I could create her a H.E.R.B.I.E. costume. Herbie is a little robot that was in the Fantastic Four cartoons and has since been integrated into the comic canon, frequently appearing in more lighthearted fare. I whipped up a quickie costume out of foam and spray paint, with a few finishing touches – button made out of pill boxes and eyes made out of soda bottles.
I asked the girls what I should wear. It was a choice between Mr. Freeze, Voltron…or Spider-Ham. I was kind of shying away from Freeze – I was expecting to see on of my friends show up in that costume and didn’t want to compete with them. I also would king of like more mobility…then again , Voltron is pretty constraing to. It didn’t matter. Both girls voted Spider-Ham. I haven’t had the costume out in a while and that’s who they wanted to see.
Good choices on the girls part it turns out. Lydia won the kids costume contest with her Herbie! and to my even greater surprise, Spider-Ham won the Adult contest!
Best in show went to a giant Frankenberry, which really was heads above all the other costumes, but I had fun playing around with him, Spider-Ham looking terrified of him and fighting him off.
Deals. Seriously, I keep saying this, and I mean it. Quarter bins, 3 for a dollar, fifty cent bins. You’ll always find cheap reading comics here. But it’s other stuff too. maddie found a Wonder Woman/Star Sapphire heroclix from the Blackest Night set and that just about blew her mind. She immediately dropped a bunch of her con allowance on it. Across the room, we found a vintage Frosta from the She-Ra line for $3! Sure it’s been well played with, but that’s exactly what my girls are going to do with it too. They were already playing with it before we got to the car!
Finally, becasue it’s in a movie theatre, there’s also an arcade. The girls love thier games, and we all got into the act a bit. It’s another one of those fun things that make this con uniquely fun.
Just a great day. It’s the small shows we really love and this is one of the best out there. We’ll be back next year!