Chicago “Days of the Dead” with Alice Cooper!

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If there’s any event here in Chicago that signifies the transition from fall to winter it’s gotta be Days of the Dead. Last year I remember arriving on a clear evening only to leave later that same night amid piles of the season’s first snow while dodging salt trucks on the way home. Thankfully that didn’t repeat itself this year; just a simple thirty degree drop in temperature that’s held ever since. So far as the fans go, a tornado probably wouldn’t keep them away and this year promised something extra special. You could practically feel the exuberance on social media when it was announced that rock/horror legend, Alice Cooper, would headline their celebrity guest list. Not only would the singer/song-writer/actor be signing autographs for fans but they could also do a professional photo-op with him for an extra $55 which, in the expo world, is actually pretty darn cheap. It was a smart move as it guaranteed this convention not only see it’s “regulars” but a fair share of newbies as well.

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Countdown to MASK-FEST 2016…5 More Weeks!

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It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since I attended my first MASK-FEST. Back then it took place during the Spring Horrorhound Weekend and the other Terror Dave from Rhode Island was able to join me. In fact it was getting together for these events that eventually evolved into our annual road trips. The 2011 event was where it all began and David not only bought me my first mask there, but also taught me a lot about the industry itself. Up until that time, I thought masks were just those mass produced things you’d see at Wal-Mart during the Halloween season. I had no idea what amazing companies and skilled artists were out there, nor the intoxicating smell of latex and joy of displaying them year round. Over the years things gradually changed from me focusing more on the celebrities and Horrorhound aspect of the convention and almost entirely on the mask portion. I even love how it’s in September now instead of March as it really gets me geared up for Halloween. It reminds me of how excited I’d be as a kid when the department stores released their Christmas catalogues. Now that I much prefer the fun Halloween season versus the consumer driven stress of Christmas, MASK-FEST is every bit the kick-off that those old Sears or JC Penny’s catalogues were for the latter.

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