G-FEST XXIII and the Many Faces of Godzilla!


Last month I attended Chicago’s G-FEST (Godzilla Festival) for the thirteenth year in a row – a lucky number for me as it marked the return of my eldest son, Alex, to the Godzilla fold. Back in 2004, when we first started attending, he was a six year old Godzilla-obsessed kid who’d later anticipate this event more than Christmas itself. That is, of course, until puberty reared its ugly head and whisked away all love of dinosaurs, spaceships, and the “King of Monsters” in favor of hanging with peers and militaristic video games like Call of Duty. Needless to say, I was taken aback when he requested to join my youngest son, Luke, and I for this year’s event. I’m thinking it might be his way of seeking past childhood comforts before he leaves for the Air Force Academy next month. Whatever the reason, it was great having him back as the Fuentes headed to Rosemont.

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Recently, while on vacation, the Daves visited many dinosaur places and had a blast doing it. Being on vacation though you sometimes take for granted what may be in your own back yard. It may be ok to travel thousands of miles on vacation to a particular place but oftentimes you neglect driving just an hour to a similar place in your very own or neighboring state. This was the case with THE DINOSAUR PLACE in Montville, CT.

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Countdown to MASK-FEST 2016…5 More Weeks!


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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