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Posts tagged “Tracy the Gorilla

Tracy vs Jason!

Costume

Despite being a realitvely simple costume (that is, no armor), my reinterpretation of the original and filmation Ghostbusters Ape as a modern Columbia Ghostbuster quickly became one of my favorite suits and ended up showing up a LOT.

Sadly, there’s no way this ends well…

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Tracy vs Slimer!

Costume

Despite being a realitvely simple costume (that is, no armor), my reinterpretation of the original and filmation Ghostbusters Ape as a modern Columbia Ghostbuster quickly became one of my favorite suits and ended up showing up a LOT.

Tracy is one of two Ghostbuster suits I own, the other is my full body Slimer, and I love pairing the two up in pics!

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Tracy as Iron Man!

Costume

Despite being a realitvely simple costume (that is, no armor), my reinterpretation of the original and filmation Ghostbusters Ape as a modern Columbia Ghostbuster quickly became one of my favorite suits and ended up showing up a LOT.

Tracy learned his lesson from his tussle with Iron Man on Asguard, and went to build his own armor!

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Tracy Vs Aliens!

Costume

Despite being a realitvely simple costume (that is, no armor), my reinterpretation of the original and filmation Ghostbusters Ape as a modern Columbia Ghostbuster quickly became one of my favorite suits and ended up showing up a LOT.

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Tracy Vs Star Trek!

Costume

Despite being a realitvely simple costume (that is, no armor), my reinterpretation of the original and filmation Ghostbusters Ape as a modern Columbia Ghostbuster quickly became one of my favorite suits and ended up showing up a LOT.

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Tracy the Ghostbuster

Costume

Despite being a realitvely simple costume (that is, no armor), my reinterpretation of the original and filmation Ghostbusters Ape as a modern Columbia Ghostbuster quickly became one of my favorite suits and ended up showing up a LOT.

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Horror Realm 2020

Conman62023466_2732372643452849_6947597294816460800_n88169113_10158079522045909_8638548596678983680_nThe artist behind the table waved me over. I shuffled in my Ghostbuster suit.
“Can I take your picture? I’ve got a guy on the other end of the phone who don’t believe you exist!”
Under the gorilla mask I smiled, and waved my Monkey paw.

I was there for the first Horror Realm, held in this very hotel. It was the year I was getting back into the convention scene and was early in my first big tour. The show was being heavily promoted by the It’s Alive Show (My favorite horror host show at the time) and I kicked off my Dawn of the Dead poster with a reunion there and the rest was history.
I was also there for the last Horror Realm, held in a different hotel, where I managed to plug a bunch of the holes in my Nightmare On Elm Street collection. It had been quite a few years in between, and I found myself remembering how much I enjoyed it and resolved to come back the next year.

Only there wasn’t a next year.

The promoters ran into some family problems, and real life had to come first. They ended up not being able to produce the show any longer and reluctantly retired. We thought, for good but last fall I took a peek at their website and noticed they finally managed to pull things together to bring the convention back and I was determined to be there.

As I pulled into the city limits, I noticed a car that merged in front of me. There was a Jason mask on One side of the trunk and I Michael mask on the other. It was Frankenstein monster on the bumper just below superman license plates from Ohio. I grinned and switched off the GPS, Figuring it would be a safe bet to just follow this guy the rest of the way. Once we pulled into the lot of the hotel, I discovered that he was actually from Lorain – the suburb that neighbors my own hometown near Cleveland. We chatted about Cinema Wasteland and then made our way in.

89373564_3095507000493702_7787305113906839552_nI was severely displeased to discover that Tiffany Shepis had cancelled. I understand cancelling because you’re sick, but the con didn’t post notifications on Facebook until 10 am, and by that time I was well on the road, my pre-departure website check irrelevant. There was a hand written sign posted inconspicuously behind the registration table. I didn’t notice it until I had scoured the vendors room twice searching for her. Nevertheless, she wasn’t the only one I was there to see. I made a beeline over to Kelly Marooney’s table to get her autograph on my Chopping Mall poster. I’m sad that she was overcharging and her price list was (unintentionally?) misleading about the gouging upcharge on photos, but it’s Chopping Mall and she’s the last one the con circuit from that movie available. It’s a terrible film that I have a strange obsession with, and I’m happy to have as many autographs on it as I do.

I moved along, doing some shopping. There was a huge box of loose He-Man figures for cheap. I grabbed several that still had their armor. Some still needed cleaning, but finding a Man At Arms with that breastplate and shoulder armor for four bucks is a big deal. I grabbed a functional Battle Armor Skeletor as well as a few others to hit that five 89292449_3095447960499606_3116333746337349632_nfor $20 mark. I found lip balm for Lydia and stickers for Maddie as well as a catnip Jason Mask for Sparky and loaded up on movie deals. Good shopping here and great vendors.

After hitting up the short film block it was time to get into costume. I’d brought out Tracy the Ghostbusting gorilla, just for fun. I don’t know if the Filmation Ghost Busters was just big in PA or what, but I think I got recognized in this outift more here than anywhere else ever! People got the joke, and several asked me about it – just to make sure, asking if the name tag was intentional and then showing delight when I confirmed that yes, I was doing THAT character. Its also just as fun as ever to watch people explain to their friends just what I am. This isn’t a big cosplay show (It’s not designed to be either) but there were a few notable costumes roaming – a fun Art the Clown from Terrifier and an amazing Chatterer from Hellraiser, not to mention a brief appearance by a Killer Klown. Over at the Happy Cloud Pictures booth, author Mike Watt grinned hysterically and fist bumped me. Actress Patricia Tallman (Night of the Living Dead, Star Trek and Babylon 5) ran over to me and had me video chat with someone on her phone….it was a good day to be a gorilla.

One of the things I really enjoy about Horror Realm is that they do some fun things, beyond just good panels and film screenings. They do a tattoo contest as well as a Match game where contestants get asked silly questions and see if their answers match a group of specially chosen panelists such as Ken from Cinema Wasteland and Amy Lynn Best from Happy Cloud Pictures.

It’s hard to tell, but while the crowd was respectable, it did seem a little thin. Because of the gap, Horror Realm has been knocked back into a rebuilding mode. The film selection suffered and wasn’t nearly as entertaining as previous years. Fears over the Corona virus may have played into it as well, but in any event you can see they are starting over. Still, Horror Realm is a name with some respect behind it and you can still see the heart they put into throwing this con. I still love it and I’m totally coming back, sooner I hope, rather than later.

 


Lost Nation Comic Convention

ConmanLost Nation Comic Convention premiered in Willoughby this weekend, a small show with big ambitions.  The promoter of this show has been around the con scene for a while and knew the lay of the land long before trying to throw his own show. The big ambition shows in his choice of Guest of Honor, bringing in the legendary Jim Shooter.

61924339_421764248405692_4957220818904940544_nThis may have been the wrong weekend for such a show, with Colossalcon siphoning off a great deal of potential attendees. The venue at Lost Nation Sports Park was confusing and I found myself not sure where to go in at. A Soccer tournament was going on at the same time, further confusing and complicating traffic. Fortunately I spotted Deadpool by a door adorned with yellow balloons and rushed over there where I was ushered in. As you go in you had to go down a short hallway, past the restaurant and into a large empty antechamber before finding the path to the basketball court (adjacent to the indoor batting cages) where the show was located at. I wondered the entire time if I were in the wrong place, only slightly reassured by occasional signs for Lost Nation Comic Con.

Once inside though, I was greeted by a nice smattering of vendors and artists. I was really digging the toy vibe here, grabbing a figure from the NEO-TACC booth as well as some Nintendo game figurines for my arcade cabinet. Heroes United had set up both a green screen and a Star Wars backdrop for people to take photos at with props and their characters. Son of Ghoul set up in the center, the R2 builder club had an R2D2 on display while another vendor brought a video game system. in another corner, a DJ spun tunes (light rock – office music). Jim Shooter was over at his table, talking endlessly with guests. CBCS graded items and a small but steady flow of people filtered through the area. When the Ghostbuster theme came on, Tracy the Ape ran over to dance.

62140591_421763735072410_2006451228535422976_nThe panels were intimate. Jim Shooter sat in a comfy chair while a dozen or fewer people gathered around him on bleachers. He shared stories about breaking into the industry, working for Mort Wisenger and his time on Superman. At thirteen he was sending stories to DC, figuring if he could write like Marvel, it was something DC didn’t have and would want. He recalled this drawing ire from Batman creator Bob Kane and others at DC – but not Mort. Mort rode him hard, but behind his back would tell everyone how Shooter could take any story and turn it into something usable.

Towards the end of both days, there was a costume contest, but the low turnout made it a small lineup. Each person had a minuet or two to pose, then the whole line paraded around the con floor. Back at the lineup the DJ spun the Cha-Cha Slide for the contestants to dance to while the judges deliberated. By the time 4:00 rolled around, Lost Nation made an announcement letting 61639453_10211288853135833_9006600592134504448_nvendors know they could tear down a little early. As I was getting ready to leave, someone tapped me n the shoulder and asked me to visit JCW Graphix booth and that they had something for me. Confused, I wandered over with my monkey head in my hands. The artist greeted me and gave me a sketch that he had drawn of me during the convention.

“When you see a monkey dressed in a Ghostbuster costume, you HAVE to draw that!” I was blown away. It’s one of my favorite take-aways from a con, ever.

There were several vendors that didn’t make both days and this hurt the con as much as the date and confusing venue. Hopefully this can all be chalked up to first year growing pains, and I really dug the vendors who were there both days. Good artist and good vendors make for a fine show.

The promoter has already announced plans for next year. Personally, I’d like to see the show move to a smaller venue that can better support them and perhaps reduce it to a one day show instead of a Saturday and Sunday. I’d liek to see more flyers and more networking to get he word out. It’s a small show and will grow best if it embraces that (for the time being).  I’m eager to see where Lost Nation goes from here.

 

 

 

 


Spring Zombie Walk 2019

events58595555_2681214068561869_3777651090925813760_nThe zombie walk at the Five O’Clock is one of my staples. It happens twice a year and I always try and hit at least one, if not both events. The past couple years I’ve frequently had conflicts for the spring one (though I did make it last year as Slimer) so it was nice to be back on my old stomping grounds here.

The event started with a costume malfunction. As I walked the half block from my car to the bar, something snagged on the bottom of my left monkey foot. The bottom ripped right off. While the top of the shoe still held and covered the top of my foot, I spent the entire walk with only my sock to walk in. You might say I lost my SOLE at the monster walk.

Over the last few years I’ve noticed attendance has been dipping. It always made me sad to see fewer people at these events and I had wondered if perhaps it’s time had passed. This time around though, the attendance had actually increased, with a healthy horde of monsters ready to invade Lakewood. Indeed, while there were still some familiar faces 58580544_2681212585228684_6685182227619250176_nmissing, it was cool to see some friends that don’t usually make this event. The evil clowns Sickin and Scurvy showed up. I know Scurvy’s alter ego Unidrone Cosplay from the convention circuit – particularly Fantasticon where she and her partner won the costume contest in their Five Nights at Freddy’s suits. They’d driven two hours from thier home in central Ohio to be with us Saturday. Also in attendance was the redoubtable James T. Quirk. Jim is an old friend and occasionally works with me in Heroes United. He’d donned an appropriate red shirt before zombieing up for the walk.

There were more kids than ever. This one in particular is a family freindly walk. I’ve brought my own kids from time to time. They’re getting older now, but the number of really small children there was amazing. One of the things that is such great fun about this sort of event is watching the creepy monster kids just running around and being kids. Chasing each other, trying to catch the drone, harassing the clowns. There was a kid Pennywise in dirty black and orange that was obsessed with my gorilla suit.

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I’ve got to admit, it was one of those days where I really didn’t want to get out of bed. i’d debated going all day, but in the end I like these kind of events. We raised a lot of money and canned goods for the Cleveland food bank, and I got to pull the Gorilla out of my closet to do so.

I expect to be back in the fall.

 

 

 


ConCoction 2019

Conman43094674_2129135710636415_4864246115660201984_n52775109_279834182934958_4688500262975832064_nSlimer 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.

53279010_2363503717027371_547781949997973504_nI 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 53255429_2363503677027375_5639671816361345024_nup 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 53529161_2363501810360895_3847785166680358912_nseveral 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.

“Me?”

“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 53026379_2363503607027382_394056308740849664_nme 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 53086134_2363502643694145_4909832550647595008_nhim 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!