What would a fan convention be without a bit of cosplay? In the world of expos, these daring men and women guarantee we all go home with fun photos to commemorate the occasion as well as spice up our social media pages. For years I’ve stopped them for photographs while having no real appreciation for the amount of work that went into it. Thanks to my friend, Chris Carr, this would all change during last month’s Indianapolis Horrorhound Weekend. That Saturday, Chris would don his Jason Voorhees costume while I’d act as escort. In the end it would prove a fun experience while providing numerous positive interactions with fellow fans I’d of never had otherwise. It also offered some much-needed illumination regarding the creative world of cosplay.
One of the main reasons I decided to attend the Fright Night Film Fest in Lousiville was due to the addition of Gillian Anderson a.k.a. Agent Dana Scully from The X-Files. Like most of their top celebrity draws, she’d also represent one of their pricier ones. The cost for her autograph was $65 and an extra $20 if you wanted her to personalize or write anything in addition to her name.
It was around 8am on Friday, July 26th when Russ Wrangler and I began our journey to the Fright Night Film Fest in Louisville, Kentucky. This annual event (merged in with the Fandomfest Comic & Toy Expo) offers big names in the genre world…be it horror, sci-fi, or comic books.
2013 proved to be no exception with the convention boasting such notable guests as William Shatner, Gillian Anderson, Gene Simmons, and Stan Lee along with a slew of others farther down the celebrity food chain.
Friday night at Days of the Dead didn’t have quite the after party Russ and I hoped for. That wasn’t shocking since Saturdays tend to be when convention festivities kick off and it certainly wasn’t everyone else’s fault that we were only staying over on Friday. After we ate dinner the convention rooms closed but Days offered activities in the hotel lounge which included a monster burlesque show.
Days of the Dead (associated with New England’s Rock n’ Shock) has a tradition of mixing up their horror related guests with notable rock musicians. Past examples include original members of KISS; Ace Frehley and Peter Criss – with Frehley slated to return this November for their Chicago event. The two interests do go hand and hand and, for further illustration, the immortal Gene Simmons will be appearing at the Fright Night Film Fest in just a few short weeks.
The inimitable “Russ Wrangler” arrived at my place around 1pm; all smiles and full of energy. Clad in sunglasses and sandals, he looked more prepared for a day at the beach as opposed to a horror convention but clearly the overall message was “vacation” and a welcomed one at that. We loaded my things and immediately embarked for Indianapolis with no lulls in conversation, making the drive go by much quicker.
This was my third Days of the Dead in Indianapolis (fourth overall) and Russ’ second. I remember attending the very first one while being impressed with how fan-friendly it was; something I’d hoped hadn’t changed. It seems like fan conventions of any kind start off slow and friendly and, should they find success, later become out-of-control Goliath’s with the fans getting lost somewhere in the mix.