As soon as I arrived for Day Two of the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), I made a mad dash to the autograph section while dodging hundreds of attendees. National MeTV horror host, Svengoolie, was signing at Table #25 and, per his producer/assistant Jim Roche, I was to meet the crew just prior to his 11 am appearance. Seconds after reaching the spot, I got swept up by the host’s television crew who’d been right behind me. For the last five years, I’ve been one of the luckiest Svengoolie fans around. Despite his growing popularity and adding a bevy of celebrity admirers to his fan base each year, he and his talented team have always been very gracious to us Daves and allowing close access to many of his key appearances. I get to play Jimmy Olsen to his Superman while offering some assistance whenever needed. C2E2 is one of those “all hands on deck” type of events where this often comes into play. Svengoolie always commands a huge line of fans but, at this convention, it would continuously grow the entire weekend if given the chance. While his Director, Chris Faulkner, and assistant director, Kevin Reisberg, are out gathering footage for the show, Jim has the arduous task of maintaining the crowd without being distracted. So it’s the perfect trade-off, I offer an extra set of hands and, in turn, get front row coverage of the host. It probably also helps that I’m built like a bar bouncer and can offer an air of “protection” should things get rowdy though, thankfully, that’s never happened at any of the Svengoolie appearances I’ve ever attended (and, for the record, this one was #76).
(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?”
Terror from Beyond the Daves is pleased to welcome guest writer, Russ Wrangler, in our continuing coverage of The Fright Night/Fandomfest!
I woke up Saturday morning and Dave was already gone. If his bed hadn’t been unmade I wouldn’t have even known he’d came back the night before. I got ready and headed over to The Kentucky Convention Center to finally meet the great Stan Lee. I’d been a fan of Marvel Comics growing up and had always wanted this opportunity which is why I chose his VIP pass over the others. I wasn’t alone.
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.