Monday, August 19, 2013

Monster-Mania 25: An Unexpected Journey

I was chatting with my friend Frederick last week and I asked about his plans for the weekend, as I usually do of my friends by the time the week rolls around to...Tuesday. He said he might hit a horror con down in Cherry Hill on Sunday. I replied "Great! When can you pick me up?!"

In retrospect, that might not have actually been an "invitation", but carpe diem and all that.

Jen and Lily were out of town and I was looking for something to do to keep me out of trouble on Sunday anyway, so this was just about the optimal solution to my problem.

Frederick has acted in a couple horror movies, so when he got to the house, I asked him to sign my Zombie Food shirt. Lily also signed it.

My first autograph of the day.

Jen and Lily took off for their trip and Frederick and I took off for ours. We wound up heading in the exact opposite direction initially, but through the magic of GPS, we made it there on time.

It was nifty. This is the 25th Monster-Mania. I want to say it's the 25th "year", but I see that Monster-Mania 26 is being held in September 2013, and I don't know if they've always been semi-annual.

I go to conventions now and again, but it's been a year, since I attended my last one, and that was small and local.

The thing that surprised me the most about this one was how focused it was. Comic conventions tend to cast a wide net and welcome anyone with even a fig leaf justification for being there. This was billed as a horror convention, and that's what it was, by God!

The only exception was a local TV channel. I don't know what they were doing there. The interns staffing the table never had any reason to look up from their phones, and their pile of literature had clearly not been touched. Here's a picture of their van.

The con had a pretty impressive guest list. Carrie Fisher was there, which, aside from the TV station, was their only dilution of its horror theme (though I assume that if Carrie Fisher accepts an invitation, you make whatever concessions you need to in order to keep her there), George Romero, Danny Glover, Christopher Lloyd, Malcolm McDowell.

George Romero (Most well known as the director of the original Night of the Living Dead and godfather of the genre) is of particular note, because Frederick and I were wandering around the hotel looking for a particular booth hosted by a friend of his, when Frederick looked past me at some guy. I was like "What? What? What is it? What?" and then the guy continued on his way, and I was like "Did he look a little like George Romero?" and Frederick was like "Yes, he did."

Then Frederick excused himself to jump on top of George Romero and yell "I'm going to keep punching you in the face until you start making good movies again!" He had to be pulled off by security. It was awkward.

Also in attendance was Gary Busey. It was weird, because he looked exactly like he does in the movies. The other celebrities there looked different, not being favorably lighted and airbrushed and made up, but Busey looked exactly the same.

R2-D2 was there, and he sure looks different when I saw him later without his makeup.

With makeup
Without makeup

We attended a charity auction to benefit Yorkshire Terriers, where Frederick picked up some nifty stuff, and then it was on to the screening of a movie called Baggage, by a friend of his. It was a short film and we came in a little late and missed a bit too much of it, but Frederick had won a copy at the auction, so we figured we could catch up at our leisure later. That was followed by a movie titled Déjà vu?

Frederick: Ah, man! I've already seen this one!

Me: *Baleful look*

We also did some shopping, and I'll show you pictures of my booty at the end of the post.

I'll probably have some pics of the stuff I bought, too.

Near the end of the convention, we saw some zombie face painting, which Lily would have loved. I said it was cute. A couple minutes later, I described something else as "cute", and this time Frederick called me on it.

Frederick: Did you just call two things cute in the last five minutes?

Me: Yes. And I don't know why it's suddenly my go-to word at a horror movie convention.

Frederick: ...

Me: Awww!!! That fetal pig is adorable.

We wrapped up our time at the convention and met with our friend Jen at the local Barnes & Noble. She got there shortly before we had, and was trying to browbeat the staff into joining her Jane Austen book club.

The pair of them immediately began harassing me, over all things, the clothes I was wearing. I had on jeans, sneakers and a shirt-sleeved collared shirt. It wasn't like I was dressed up for high tea. And yet, the man in the neon green Holiday of the Dead t-shirt was giving me shit about what I wore to the convention.

Actually, I did make a decision to dress somewhat conservatively. (We were going to wear our matching  "I'd rather be hunting zombies" shirts, in their garish shade of traffic cone orange, which my lovely and generous wife had picked up on clearance a while back, but Frederick couldn't find his.) I had asked Lily what she wanted for a souvenir, and she said one picture of a guy in a scary costume and one of a pretty girl in a costume. I wanted to come off as un-skeevy as possible, so I went with the collared shirt instead of a t-shirt.

(We did get some pictures, but few people were dressing up on the third day of a three day con.)

Had a nice time shooting the breeze with Jen and Frederick in the B&N. We walked around the plaza, before settling on the Wegman's as a place to eat dinner.  The conversation turned to the Superman movie and one of them asked if the "S" was really a symbol for hope. I gave the answer I used in my blog post about Man of Steel, that it's been canon for a while that Superman's "S" chevron represents the Crest of the House of El, but it's a newer idea that it also represents a symbol of hope.

Frederick: So, if the "S" stands for hope, what's the Kryptonian symbol for dickwaving?

Me: A bat.

Heh heh heh.

Also, Batman has fallen on hard times and is selling pictures with the Batmobile.

As promised, here are some of the pictures of our purchases. I bought a pillar of skulls for $5 at the pillar of skulls table.

Frederick bought a Jayne hat. Le Sigh.

 Pretend you're a Firefly fan.

 Make a face like a douchebag.

I said douchier!

Now spend the next 10 years bitching about how your crappy show was cancelled.

This is for Lily, Princess Leia as the Mona Lisa. It's from the Thirteenth Floor. Here is a link to their website, where you can buy their prints, which I found both very high quality and very reasonably priced.

I also liked this guy a whole lot I wasn't absolutely sure if that pig was supposed to be Waddles until I saw a Mabel pin too.

He had prints too, but I only spotted him near the end of the con, and was already approaching the end of my budget. I do plan to buy some more from his website, however.

Pretty great and surprisingly inexpensive weekend. Very happy with how it went.

"And for those who might be interested... a giraffe!"


  1. You have "Firefly sucks" and "Superman Rules/Batman Poops" as blog labels? Heh. I guess I shouldn't always read your blog via RSS reader- I miss out on things like that. It was great to see you both!

  2. I hate reading the blog on a reader. It screws up the formatting too much.

  3. It seriously looks like you dressed Sloth from the Goonies in a Jayne hat and snapped photos there. So either Frederick was REALLY channelling a Whedon Fan or you are a bad photographer. I go with the former.