This past weekend I finally got to see the annual Chicago Oddities and Curiosities Expo at the Odeum in Villa Park. The event proudly proclaims itself geared for “lovers of the strange and unusual” and features taxidermy, specimens, artwork, and just about anything bizarre. My teen daughters, Leia and Jade, joined me and although the event took place both on Saturday and Sunday, our schedules only permitted Saturday a.k.a. one of the hottest days on record. The unholy mix of southwestern temps and midwestern humidity made for an uncomfortable journey but, in the end, we all agreed it was worth it.
Did you hear the big news? Halloween is coming early this year! Although summer’s usually winding its way down when I start my annual Countdown to Mask-Fest, 2018 is a whole nother story. The premiere Halloween mask-making event is taking place alongside Horrorhound Weekend in August this year rather than September. It’s 10th Anniversary Show promises to be bigger than ever and is taking place at a new venue. In an effort to fire up the regulars while whetting the appetite of possible newbies, I’ll be counting down the four Fridays leading to the event with photos from last year’s show. Please note, there will be all new masks at the upcoming show! In the meantime, please enjoy some of the gruesome creations from the 2017 show…
As most monster kids my age did, I spent little to no time playing sports growing up. Instead, I spent my weekends watching any and all monster movies that I could find on TV. Each Tuesday, when the new TV Guide came in for the following week, I would go through page by page making myself a list of what movies were playing, on what station and at what time. Then I would try to watch as many of them as I could, of course assuming that our TV’s UHF antenna would actually be able to draw the station in at the time the movie was airing.
Last Saturday I was sitting at my work desk while gazing at the tempest outside. Since it was the weekend, I had the whole office to myself and decided to turn off the main lights in favor of a small one hanging over my computer. With the dark clouds and rain pounding on my window, it seemed to make the otherwise chaotic place cozier; something you could never accomplish during normal business hours. With Halloween only a couple weeks away, we Chicagoans can be sure of two things; the weather will be erratic and our local/national TV horror host, Svengoolie, will be amidst a busy schedule of appearances. In fact, it almost seemed like this year’s list of events rivaled that of his ultra-busy 2012. I’d covered almost all of those and remember being thoroughly exhausted by the time it was over. This year, however, my “Svengoolie-stalking” activities were clearly lacking as my schedule never seemed to be in sync with his. On this rainy day, however, he was slated to make two appearances with one starting just when my shift ended. I decided it was high time I broke out of my Svenertia. and braved the elements to see him at Fantasy Costumes – the largest costume shop in the windy city!