The most important lesson I got from Linda Blair at Chicago’s Days of the Dead is that sometimes celebrity encounters offer a learning curve. The last time we met was over seven years ago at Chicago’s Wizard Con where things didn’t go as I’d planned. Back then, I was fairly new to the convention circuit and assumed, incorrectly, that celebrity guests were all fan-driven and eager to discuss their movies. Instead, meeting Blair was like getting a crash course from the conventioneer’s “school of hard knocks” as it was evident the The Exorcist star was much more interested in discussing her canine-driven, Worldheart Foundation, rather than horror films. Since I was such a fan of her iconic role, that really disappointed me. So this year I decided to literally throw all expectations to the dogs and lead in with her foundation rather than wait for her to drag me into it. In doing so, I’d inadvertently gain a new respect for the actress along with a hard lesson about mistaking ones passion for standoffishness.
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.
September is always a transformational time for me. Not only because it’s the month of my birth but also because, for me, it represents the true beginning of the Halloween season. You always hear folks talking about the “Christmas Spirit” but rarely such sentiment in regards to All Hallows Eve. Well I’m hear to tell you it’s a very REAL phenomena and one I experience every year around this time.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….it’s always the fans themselves that are the best part of any genre convention! Especially the ones that decide to dress up in costumes. These folks don’t need Halloween to strut their sinister stuff on the killer cat-walk and both Daves are always amazed at the incredible creativity that goes into many of them. There were quite a few monstrous characters walking around the 2012 Ohio Horrorhound Weekend but, fortunately, we were able to catch many in one spot as they converged for the Saturday night costume contest!
Yesterday (Halloween) was more than just a horror fan’s favorite holiday. It also marked the premiere of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” a series dedicated to one of horror’s favored sub genres – zombies!
After the curfew of trick-or-treating had arrived, I eagerly set to the task of gathering up the kids’ costumes, straightening up the house, and sending the children to bed. By 9pm CST, Halloween’s “adult swim” had commenced at Fuentes house and I was ready to partake in this monumental occasion.
This past weekend, Chicago celebrated it’s annual Wizard Con at the Donald E. Stephen’s Convention Center in Rosemont. This is the Midwestern version of the famous San Diego Comic Con – largest of all fan events.
It’s been a long time since I collected comic books and about 12 years since my last Wizard Con (or whatever they called it back then as it has changed ownership periodically over the years). Upon discovering that THE EXORCIST star, Linda Blair, along with a few alumni from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” would be in attendance, I decided to give it another shot.