Days of the Dead Chicago 2017
First, right off the bat, I need to say two things; I’ve never NOT had a good time at Days of the Dead. Second, God bless the Hellraiser crew for keeping their autograph rates reasonable.
There’s something about Days that just feels more fan based, less like a cash grab. It’s always been well run and well put together. They consistently have great guests, good panels and a fun layout. I’ve been hitting Indy more often lately, its been a while since I hit Chicago. As I made the drive from Cleveland, I began to remember why. Still, in that time attendance here has grown significantly.
When I arrived, the hotel paring was full. I’ve never encountered that at Days before, but they were prepared. They waved me on, four driveways down, to a parking garage they had secured as free overflow parking. (This by the way, is an excellent example of how Days takes care of it’s attendees as opposed to say Horrorhound or Flashback. Those two shows both have the same issues with parking, and their reaction is pretty much “you’re on you own!” find some place, pay what you have to and then walk).
Inside, fans were shoulder to shoulder, the hallways jammed with people wall to wall. Moving about was difficult at best, but I managed to elbow my way into the guest room. Andrew Robinson was my first target, seated caddy corner from the rest of the Hellraiser crew. I’m a fan from not only Hellraiser, but also Star Trek and Pumpkinhead. He’s personable but definitely has a con personality.
The Hellraiser table was next, and my main target was Simon Bamford. Simon talks endlessly and goes out of his way to make you comfortable. He was enormously fun to chat with, talking about movies and the costumes that were passing by. (a big thanks to Cameron from Cincinnati who hung out in the line with me and took my photo with Simon). I’ve met the rest before but it was still fun to renew acquaintances. They were all astonished that I’d actually gotten to see the film recently on the big screen. One of my favorite moments was to see Nick the Chatterer with the people in front of me. The fan had a daughter in tow as he was getting his poster signed. She was playing with a doll on a toy scooter. The scooter broke at the table and Nick reached over to help the little girl put it back together. It was a beautiful moment.
I managed to catch both the Hellraiser panel as well as Dee Snider’s talk. I just heard Dee at Motor City Nightmares, but with new questions there was still a lot of stuff I’d never heard before. The tent they held the panels in was full, but still less crowded than the halls of the hotel. They have most definitely outgrown this venue and that’s a bit of a drag because I always prefer hotel cons to convention center shows, but at this point it was too crowded for me to be able to properly explore the vendors. I quickly added a signature to my Aliens poster and decided it was time for me to head back.
On my way out I stopped by Felissa Rose’s table just to mention to her that I had seen her recent film “Victor Crowley”, directed by Adam Green. I let her know it was enormous fun and she had given a great performance in it. Felissa’s eyes went wide as she took my hand to thank me. “That means SO much.” She turned to explain to her confused handler about how the movie had been shot in secret and one day Adam just kind of dropped it out of nowhere “Here, look what we made!” I waved goodbye with the distinct feeling I had just made her day. It certainly made mine.