About 2 weeks ago I ventured into South Jersey for the Monster Mania horror convention. I’ve been going to the shows since 2009 and even though the skyrocketing prices annoy me, I still enjoy making an appearance and meeting a few B and C list celebrities. The highlight of this event was the star of NBC’s Hannibal, Mads Mikkelsen. I met Mads Friday night and will be writing a separate post about that in the coming days. In the meantime, I wanted to share some images and stories from the rest of the show. I also want to thank several of my good “convention friends” who I chatted with throughout the weekend and who bought my book, Travelogue of Horror. I really appreciate your support! And now, on to the show.
The best and worst part of going to conventions is meeting the celebrities. It’s awesome because you get to chat for a few minutes with the people who you’ve seen in movies, TV shows, etc. and most of the time they’re pretty cool. It’s terrible because you usually have to spend $30-$80 for the pleasure of doing so. Technically you’re paying for an autograph but I gave up the autograph thing for the most part and just enjoy taking pictures.
At this show, my “must meets” were Clu Gulager and James Karen of Return of the Living Dead, The Willies, Hunter’s Blood and much more. Both were true gentlemen and incredibly fan friendly. I also was getting autographs for some friends and met the likes of Derek Mears (Jason in the Friday the 13th reboot) and several Walking Dead actors. The popularity of The Walking Dead has played a huge part in the soaring prices at conventions and since most of the actors want $40 for an autograph and even more to snap a pic, I didn’t get anything from them personally.
The other fun part of conventions is seeing the costumes people come up with. Some are incredible like the guy at this show dressed as Buffalo Bill in his skin suit, and some are just baffling. I try to photograph the costumed crowd but I’m always afraid of approaching someone and assuming they’re in costume, only to find out they actually look that way. You’d think it would be clear which is which, but in a horror crowd, it’s not. Trust me.
The convention also featured a Batman reunion with Adam West and Burt Ward. West is well known to be a total d-bag and proved it again that weekend by charging $80 for an autograph and oftentimes not allowing his fans to take a photo, even at a price. Outside the convention hotel, the batmobile was on display and the owner had the Batman theme on loop for much of the weekend. So, everytime you walked nearby, your ears were assaulted with “Nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana batman. Nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana Batman. Batman. Batman!” Between that and Adam West’s general douchiness, I had enough Batman related annoyances to last a lifetime. And now that damn theme music is stuck on my head again. Batman!