Chicago’s Flashback Weekend 2022: Day One

We arrived at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare just in time for Flashback Weekend’s Registration. My friend, Jason, flew in from Rhode Island the day before, and our friends, Don and Bunny, were already indulging in the perks of their VIP pass with early admittance to the dealer’s room. As soon as we saw them, Bunny gave me the full lay of the land so I could strategize. As a general rule of thumb, you want to meet the celebrity guests on your list first and foremost. This year my autograph goals were minimal – Quinn Lord and John Michael Graham. The latter was for the purpose of adding yet another signature to my Halloween (1978) poster which I discussed last year. Bunny informed me the closest guest, however, was Quinn Lord a.k.a. Trick r Treat Sam, making him my defacto first stop. 

Thanks to horror cons and the Spirit Halloween stores I’ve amassed quite a collection of Trick r Treat Sam goodies. He is, after all, the spirit of my favorite holiday – Halloween. Lord was a young kid when he played ‘Sam” and now, in his early ’20s, has returned to acting; hopefully with a bright future ahead.

Despite the numerous items I could have brought for signing, I opted for one of his own 8×10 glossies instead. This was to be framed and hung over my physical media/mask collection back home. 

Michael Dougherty would be so proud

I didn’t realize it until Lord mentioned it in his Sunday panel, but one of the actual screen-used Sam costumes was displayed directly across from his signing table at the other end of the hall. It was part of James Azrael’s non-profit traveling museum – The HSPPA/Horror & SciFi Prop Preservation Association. James wasn’t there when I stopped over but I did get a quick shot of “Sam.”

Next up was John Michael Graham. He was appropriately signing next to his Halloween (1978) co-star, PJ Soles. I’d met PJ before and she’s fantastic but it was Graham I was seeking tonight. PJ had already added her signature ten years ago and Graham’s was one of the few I still needed. 

Fortunately, I did not need their headliner, Robert Englund‘s, autograph as he was charging $120 per signature (no picture outside of a paid photo op) and you needed to get a time ticket in advance that many missed out on. Back when I met him ten years ago in Massachusetts, he charged $40 which included a picture taken with your own camera. So thank God I jumped on it then! With the autographs out of the way, it was time to focus on my all-con$uming hobby – physical media. Both Jason and I are collectors and, thanks to Flashback, felt like kids in a candy store – or probably more like meth heads on a corner. While most horror cons attract second-hand sellers, Flashback Weekend brings in the heavy artillery with Synapse, Full Moon, Severin, and Vinegar Syndrome all present with an arsenal of their finest flicks. Sometimes, they were even cheaper than what you’d pay online not to mention no shipping fees (nor headaches). It was awesome but, at the same time, rather painful coming off of July. Between all the “halfway to Black Friday” sales, Criterion’s annual Barnes and Noble sale, and Kino Lorber’s “Spring into Summer (bankruptcy)” sale, I really should not have indulged as much as I did throughout this weekend.

Severin table

Speaking of physical media, earlier this year I picked up Toulon’s Trunk Puppet Master Collection a Valentine’s Day Full Moon sale.

Since Full Moon was here selling their goods (including this Trunk set for $75 more than what I paid during the sale), I figured it was as good a time as any to pick up a few mini-figures the Trunk was designed to display. 

Unlike last year, it was nice getting a chance to really enjoy all the great merch and take in the event. With the exception of those Puppet Master mini-figures and a Trick or Treat Studios Mole Man Mask that was cheaper than their website, everything else I picked up was physical media. 

One of these sold about five minutes after I snapped this picture

Jason checking out the merch

After having dinner with my friends at the hotel bar & grill, we went to the ballroom to see the opening ceremonies as well as Robert Englund’s Q&A. I’ve attended Robert Englund panels before and they are never the same and always a must.

The first night of Flashback Weekend was a blast. 

Dave Fuentes~

Coming up…The Flashback Weekend Costume contest!


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