Slimer watched the sad clown join H.P. Lovecraft as he was chatting up Captian Marvel. Behind us, drunk furries chased each other. This is the sort of thing that can really only happen at ConCoction.
I got out of work later than last year but still had hopes that i could make the opening cermemoniesif I stepped on it. When I rushed into the Bertrem I saw to my dismay that the line for registration was almost out the door. A man worked the line with a bowl of choclates, handing out Dove mins to everyone.
“Long line triggered the candy bonus,” he explained.
I got my badge too late to make the Opening ceremonies so I headed back to the car to pull on my Ghostbusters coveralls. I shrugged the proton pack on and tossed the gloves and goggles into the monkey head. I noticed that breathing was difficult due to the poor ventlation in the large mask and didn’t want to get into it until I’d gotten inside the building. Knightmage sotted me as I was wandering in and headed over to greet me and look over the costume.
“Tracy the Gorilla,” he said shaking his head. “Man, that’s obscure. Did you just see the monkey head and think Tracy?”
“It was in the back of my mind,” I admitted. “But a gorilla suit is also one of those things you should just HAVE in your closet – like a little black dress.”
Tracy of course was the third member of the original Ghostbusters from the 1975 TV show starring Larry Storch (Who I met a year or so ago) and Forrest Tucker. When Filmation made thier Ghostbusters cartoon, they stated that the characters were the grandsons of Storch and Tucker, but that Tracy was the same gorilla. I wanted to mash it up so I decided to up Tracy in a proton pack and coveralls from the ’84 movie (though I added a t-shirt with the filmation logo under it, one extra touch), integrating him into the Columbia Ghostbusters as well. ‘Mage circled me to check out the pack as I pinted out the christmas lights and laundry detergant caps that made up the prop. He laughed as I excused myself to head inside.
Living inside the Gorilla head was similar to wearing Mr. Freeze. I had to keep moving to keep circulation going in the mask otherwise air would get stagnant. I was right to make Concoction the premire for this suit though – it’s one of the few places that would really get the gag, and boy did they. I caught my buddy Jason as well as connecting with Nicole and spotting Annye and her husband Zeke on the other side ofthe hall. Wandering in to the art show I head Vanessa’s voice pipe up “I know who’s in that costume!”. It’s always good to be at Concoction. Much like Cinema Wasteland, it’s home. Even if there’s no familiar faces around, yo ucan talk to anyone. It’s one of those very few places where the words “Mind if I share your table?” dosen’t fill me with dread. I ate with strangers several times in the con suite chatting abotu the day and the goings on. In the corner, a rack full of battered old sci-fi paperbacks was available to browse. That’s one of those things I love about Concoction – the books. That heavy literary focus helps it feel a lot like the Star Trek conventions of the 80’s. Roger Zelazney ut it best in Nine princes in Amber – “It makes me feel comfortable and secure to have walls of words, beautiful and wise, all around me. I always feel better when I can see that there is something to hold back the shadows.”
I had my own book with me, a copy of my battered old “Dreams ofthe Raven” by Carmen Carter, but honestly, I barely touched it. During lunch, my table mate and I listened to the energetic conversation going on next to us.
“See, Scooby Doo dosen’t ever interact with anyone else on the team. That’s because he dosen’t actually talk – it’s just that Shaggy is high off his gord the entire time! And anyone who thinks Daphne and Fred are together is nuts. Fred is asexual – he’s totally oblivious. Daphane is one of those spoiled rich girls – she’s just there to play with him and break his heart. He looked like someone she could manipulate like that. But man, she HATES Shaggy…”
The volume occasionally elevated to near shouting. I looked over at my tablemate. Like mine, her eyes were wide in disbelief behind her tablet.
“This is the best panel of the weekend!”
Back in the actual programming, I sat in on Knightmage’s Cosplaying for Charity panel. Halfway he paused to shake his head laughing at me, sitting in the back.
“The gorllia just keeps…STARING at me!”
“I can fix that!” I exclaimed and brought down the Ecto Goggles, covering the unblinking gorilla eyes.
“That’s not better!”
As the evening wore on I wandered over to the comedy showcase. Concoction is the only other convention I know of besides Monster Bash that includes stand up comedy and I always dig it. Two of the comics were late so the host kept us entertained with cat videos on the projector. About twenty minuets late, the set started. I whipped out my camera hoping to livestream the set (So I could save it later) but once t he material began to involve graphic depictions of The Simpsons knocking boots, I thought better of it. The show started to slow down with the second preformer.
“You know what? Let’s talk about some stuff that you guys are intrested in. What do you want to talk about?”
He pointed at me. I comically looked behind me, making sure he wasn;t refrecing another gorilla. and then pointed to myself in exaggerated motions.
“Sure!” What do you want to talk about? Bananas?”
“That’s a very hurful stereotype,” I deadpanned. The room lost it.
Before I snuck out later the host walked by me and clapped me on the shoulder, telling me I got the biggest laugh of the night.
After five hours in the monkey suit I’d had enough and shed the Ghostbuster look before returning to catch the Confused Greenies do improv games. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay fo the Saturday night show so I wanted to make sure I got to this one. They started out with a skit about aliens arriving on earth during Carnivale, then went into Whoose line type comedy. Close to midnight, I decided wisdom was the better part of valor, and popped out early, skipping the barfleet party to brave the hour drive back home.
I was back around ten the next day, this time clad in my cumbersonme Slimer costume.I always seem to do themes at Concoction. It’s something that was coincidental at first but now has pretty much become intentional. As much as I like Tracy, I didn’t feel good about entering him in the costume contest. He’s mostly assembled. It’s a wierd assembly, but other than the proton pack, feet and googles it’s all stuff I bought. Slimer on the other hand, is 100% made from scratch -and he’s not been out nearly as much as I’d like. Still, Slimer wasn’t the costume I was really looking foreward to. I couldn’t wait to see my friend Annye’s Iron Marvel. She’d crafted the Captian Marvel suit out of foam insted of leather and the result was nothing short of spectacular.
We were stked to discover that Guy Allen was set up again in the Annex and headed over there to get some professional photos done (I so rarely get that opprutunity).
I managed to catch some of Jim O’Rear’s panel on horror before stopping over at his table and getting my Dawn of the Dead poster signed. He asked me if I was a Romero fan. I nodded. O’Rear expanded on how Romero was such an influence on him.
“Man, I saw Night of the Living Dead, and it changed everything for me. I was like – this. I can get into this.”
O’Rear ended up at the table with Jason, Tina and me for lunch.
Saturday consisted of the Doctor Who panel, the costume contests and picking up dragons for the kids. I made sure to grab a photo with Mogchelle who was dressed as Sabrina – my daughter Maddie is a huge Sabrina fan and just discovered the old mangas coming off the new TV show. I found her an old Archie with Sabrinia in it as well. Even the Cat got something. I found an adorable catnip Cthulu for Sparky. It was to my great reluctance that I had to cut out early, but Clue was screening at the Cedar Lee at 9:30 with a live shadow cast and I couldn’t miss it. But I’ll tell you this much; I’ll be back at Concoction next year!
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