Dee Snider “Days of the Dead” Chicago Panel!

Special thanks to Angela “Bunny” Urban for sharing tidbits and photos from this past 2017 “Days of the Dead” Chicago!

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Ace Frehley’s Q&A at the 2015 “Days of the Dead” Chicago!

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Despite his elusive reputation, legendary KISS guitarist, Ace Frehley, has been a guest of Days of the Dead several times. In fact, it was their first event in Indianapolis back in 2011 that I was finally able to add his signature to my KISS Marvel Comic (Story HERE). The fact that this event is able to feature him so consistently is pretty amazing in and of itself. But getting him to do a Q&A panel? Now THAT was really impressive. Regardless of the odds, it took place at Days of the Dead Chicago on Saturday November 21st, 2015; a date I’d later learn was already an important one in KISStory. What follows below are highlights from that experience, courtesy of my trusty digital recorder…

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Flashback Weekend: The Rise of Svengoolie!

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Flashback Weekend Continues. NOTE: This post written before the events of Friday September 20th, 2013…

Joined by my friends, Bill and Joan Yingst, we walked around the convention hall of Flashback Weekend commenting on the various dealers and their home-made horror products. In lieu of my recent (and numerous) summer convention visits, I thought I’d pretty much seen everything but Flashback did manage to surprise me none the less. Items such as customized Boba Fett/Evel Kinievel figures are things you definitely don’t see every day…but should at least once in your lifetime!

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Rhinos, Wrestlers, and Rich Koz! Conservation with a touch of Svengoolie!

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The seeds of this event were actually sewn during Svengoolie’s  appearance at “The Squared Circle” (covered HERE). I mentioned in that post meeting a couple of zoo keepers from The Lincoln Park Zoo; one of whom, Marisa, had arrived with local Chicago Red-eye writer, Elliott Serano. Elliott’s a fellow Svengoolie fan and had just written a big story on the host. He’d brought Marisa along that night so she could sign folks up for her zoo’s AAZK Chapter’s (American Association of Zoo Keepers) “Bowling for Rhinos” with Sven as one of their celebrity guests. Svengoolie has graciously assisted my own Brookfield Zoo AAZK chapter with our annual Vital Grounds fundraiser (providing opportunities for the New England Terror Dave, David Albaugh, to meet him as covered HERE and HERE) and accepted her invitation…even if appearing only as his mild-mannered alter ego, Rich Koz.

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The Redemption of Gene Simmons…

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(The Conclusion of Gene Simmons at Fright Night Fandomfest)

“Just go in there and enjoy a nice a conversation with Gene Simmons,” the staff person told us before leading us into a small room with a table of snacks (cheese and crackers) and non alcoholic beverages. There was a line of chairs set up in a half circle with Gene Simmons standing in front of them…no sun glasses this time.

Simmons: Come on in and make yourselves comfortable, that’s what this is all about. Feel free to grab yourself a refreshment. Ah…nice to see we have some women in the group.

One of them offered Gene a bottle of Snapple which he happily accepted (though he never opened it during this discussion). “See? This is why it’s nice having women!” he said. “Men just grab what they want and sit down but a woman will make sure you’re needs are met first.”

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Gene Simmons gives my Svengoolie shirt a KISS Make-over!

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(Gene Simmons at Fright Night Continues)

The door opened and we were escorted into a large ballroom full of empty chairs facing an almost equally vacant stage. There stood Gene Simmons in front of a long table, arms folded. He was clad in a dark blazer, button down shirt and jeans while wearing sun glasses. With his head tilted up, it almost looked like he was trying to recreate the Sphinx cover from the KISS Hot in the Shade album.

Making the journey towards him in silence was nerve wracking enough before Simmons started  snapping at the crew member accompanying us. “You DO realize that at the rate you’re moving we’ll be getting through about sixteen people per hour, don’t you? You HAVE done this before, correct?”

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