It Gives Me Hope – HorrorHound Weekend Part 1

show booksIn 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.

collection1Over 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!

3 thoughts on “It Gives Me Hope – HorrorHound Weekend Part 1

  1. The only way to keep classic horror alive is to take the time to talk to younger people about it, to share experiences of when you were younger and watched those films for the first time. There is also the historic aspect of it all when talking to young people, getting them to immerse themselves in what was happening in the world at the time those movies were released. FRANKENSTEIN might seem quaint to a generation raised on THE WALKING DEAD with the amount of gore found in it but in just talking about the fact that that never existed back then, that very little true horror was found anywhere. That TV, DVD players, Netflix or on demand movies were not around and going to the movies was an event rather than something disposable.

    I started by showing my great niece ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN and she enjoyed it enough that it opens the door for me to show her the rest now. No it won’t terrify her but she’ll be able to enjoy it now and it will allow me to discuss the context of the things I’ve noted above. It will let me tell her about my uncle who told me the story of sneaking out with his brothers in West Virginia to go see the original KING KONG and how all the way walking home he kept thinking there would be a giant ape around the next turn on the mountain. When put in context these classics take on a different life.

    Congrats to you for keeping the history alive by simply providing the books. If they are accessible then maybe kids will use those as the doorway needed to find those classic films. That Universal was willing to make things like their Legacy series or put them out on blu-ray shows there is an interest still. Now we just need to fertilize young minds to seek them out.

    Liked by 1 person

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