Former Marvel editor, Tony Isabella, joined artist, Mark Maddox, for a G-FEST XXIV panel discussion on giant monster films outside of Japan – specifically Gorgo, Kongo, and Reptilicus. This would be the last panel I’d attend at this event and would also prove one of the most entertaining! The following are highlights from the panel…
On Saturday June 13th I headed up to Lombard, Illinois to attend a Hearse Show. Not only did the event promise a collection of automobiles specifically designed to deliver you to your final destination but also live music and a visit from national horror host Svengoolie. As someone who firmly believes that Halloween is much more a state of mind rather than just a date on the calendar, an occasion such as this was just too darn fun to pass up! Joining me for the ride was my friend, Susan, a gal who also enjoys the macabre. Continue reading
(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.”
(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?”
Before delving into what would become the most interesting and substantive celebrity encounter I’ve had to date…Gene Simmons at the 2013 Fright Night/Fandomfest…let me share a little background regarding my fandom of KISS.
So far as my fervor of the band is concerned I’m something of a late bloomer. Although I’d grown up during their zenith in the ’70s, they’d never been a part of my childhood as they’d been with so many others of my generation. Obviously I was aware of them and remember seeing their image on the back of comic books and on lunch boxes but that was about it.
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.
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.