Oddmall: Hallowondrous 2022
It’s actually been a while since I made it out to an Oddmall. I like Oddmall. It’s hard to peg down exactly what it is… It’s not really a convention, more of a marketplace. But it’s a marketplace with entertainment. They don’t usually have full panels, though sometimes there are readings and such. Usually there is music and some comedy. There’s also typically a costume contest. In that, there’s definitely more in common with a full blown convention then say, one of the Harper shows… And those do bill themselves as conventions. The programming itself feels a little bit more like a library convention, but on the other hand, those don’t tend to have such a focus on the dealers room as this marketplace. Like I said, hard to define.
I had actually intended to hit Oddmall : Hallowondrous back before the lockdowns. The last one that I’ve been put on, I had sat, looked at my costumes and thought “I should really go down there and check this one out. It’ll be a great place to test out this suit of armor…“ But, when the weekend came, I ended up just not feeling it, too busy, too tired, whatever the excuse was. I thought “I’ll just go next year.“
Well we all know what happens next don’t we?
Truth is, I haven’t been back to an Oddmall since then. They canceled it a good years worth of shows, and I wasn’t digging the mask mandates… then the political administration changed and gas immediately went up by over 50%, then the Ukraine war started, and gas went up another 50%… all truncating my con tour.
Still, I wasn’t quite ready for convention season to be over, and I figured I could sneak out to Hallowondrous Friday night after work. Skeletor hadn’t been out too much yet, and a second appearance in a smaller venue would help me work the last of the kinks out. I also wanted to bring him because this version of Oddmall has a peculiar feature… Half of it is outside. Andy fills the Shriners hall Full of vendors, surrounding the main stage. Then he adds an extra three or four rows of vendors outside, as well as a line of food trucks to peddle their wares to the hungry attendees. Because it’s Halloween, the vendors all have buckets of candy for kids to trick-or-treat from booth booth. All in all, it’s a great set up. It also makes for a nice environment for Skeletor … Outside with the lights on the costume glowing, he becomes a particularly striking figure.
Inside, I watched the open mic section going, then transition into a DJ doing nerdcore music. All fun, as I browse through the endless isles of curiosities and handmade art. I had one small child in a storm trooper costume just fascinated by me in my costume. At one point he ran up to me and exclaimed “I have something to show you!“ So I followed him over to a vendor that was selling a hand carved Skeletor art box. A lot of fun to be able to play like that.
When the costume contest finally came around, I hung out in the back with a giggly bunch of anime girls and a man dressed as macho man Randy savage. That sort of thing always makes these events interesting, the strange cross sections you get. Macho man is convinced that we are in the same universe, since Mattel had been releasing the masters of the WWE figures. We headed out on stage to battle it out for the contest title. And as we enter, we were shocked to see a giant chicken on stage. A strange inflatable costume. Even stranger was when a second giant chicken in a fluffy yellow feather costume jumped up and got into a fight with the first chicken… It’s moments like those where you just stand and wonder about how you got yourself into the situation.
Andy came up to interview me and I introduced myself.
“I am Skeletor , and my newest plan to defeat he-man and the masters of the universe is to conquer Oddmall!!!”
“It’s not that hard, You can have it,” and he replied with a sardonic chuckle.
They followed up the costume contest with a performance by local band Gothnicc – a surprisingly good concert, and nice way for me to wrap up my night. Oddmall is always a delight, and I’m so happy to finally made it out to Halloween dress. We’ve typically hit at least one of these a year, and I think that’s a habit I need to get back into. We’ll see you guys next year!