In Cincinnati this last weekend, it was our first stop on the 2016 Kryptic World Tour, and boy, was it a doozy! I’ve been doing this show since the very beginning and am always amazed at the crowds they bring in each and every time. Of course, in this day and age, being a dealer at any convention is always a challenge, since you’re competing not only with other dealers, but more importantly, with the price of autographs and Photo Ops. But I have to say I was thrilled to see so many people stop by our table over the 3-day weekend and purchase a book (or two, or three) from us. It showed me not only that the interests in horror reference books is still out there, but also the desire for fans to learn more about the genre we love. And I have to say, that makes this old man pretty happy.
I got to talk with fellow fans about Boris Karloff, Peter Cushing, Gunnar Hansen, Hitchcock, Paul Naschy, Hammer Films, books on makeup artists, books that got them hooked on these movies, and so much more, where they all that had that sparkle of enthusiasm and excitement in their eyes. The ages ranged from young to old, and they all seemed to have that same expression when talking about the subject.
One older gentleman came by and notice that we had a copy of Michael Weldon’s Psychotronic Film Encyclopedia. He said he had to go get his dad (!!!) because he’d been looking for that book forever, since his original copy had fallen apart years ago. A short time later, he came back with his 80+ year old dad to show him the book. Seeing his excitement and the smile on this old and weathered face when I handed it to him, it was the same as a child of 5 or 10 being given a new toy. It also showed me that this passion we have…never ever dies.
Over the course of the weekend, I had a few different conversations that also gave me hope for the upcoming generation of fans. On two separate occasions, a couple of younger fans, probably in their late teens or early twenties, stopped by the table and were paging through one of the books there on the original Universal films. I mentioned how happy it made me see a member of their generation interested in the old standards. They both started to express their love for the black and white classics. These were the films their parents watch with them when they were kids and they never lost their love and appreciation for them. When I mentioned how I’ve talked with some younger fans who showed their distaste for older or even black and white films, I got looks of surprise and horror! “How could you not love this stuff?!?!”, blurted out one of them. Can’t tell you how big of a smile that put on my face.
The times when we don’t have a good show and I start to wonder if I’m wasting my time trying to peddle these books, all I have to do is remember the faces and the smiles of the people like I saw this last weekend, not to mention at other shows as well, and it makes it all worthwhile. This is why I do what do. And will continue to do so.
Or at least until my back finally gives out from lifting all these damn things. Damn, paper is heavy!