For our second day at the Bash, when I wasn’t running around hanging out with authors and getting my books signed, I was working behind our table. Well…most of the time. Lucky for me, my partner-in-crime/wife Dawn was there to take charge. In fact, the way her tote bags and pillows were flying off the table, I was starting to think that the Krypt might soon to be a subsidiary of her business Horror Slave! Everyone seems to love our poster prints that we’ve come up with, and seeing a bunch of people walking around the show with one of her tote bags is pretty cool.
Setting up at a con for three days can sometimes throw you a variety of…challenges. Sometimes your table might not be in the best spot in the dealer room. But even in choice spots, one thing that can really drag down the show is your dealer neighbors. Since you’ll be spending the next three days next to them, it can make those drag like weeks if your neighbors might be…shall we say…”difficult”. But lucky for us, we had none of that here. In fact, we had great neighbors! To the right of us was Steve “the t-shirt guy”, which we’ve known for years from doing shows. I can’t think of another guy that has the selection that he does. You can always find something cool in his t-shirt cave!
Directly behind us was Kristy Locklin of Undeadhead Designs! After all my years of doing shows, it is always cool to see someone come up with something new and different, and Kristy has done just that. She makes and sells GOREnaments, as she calls them, which are hand painted clothspines and are pretty cool. She has just about every horror and cult character you can think of, from Shaun and Ed from Shaun of the Dead, to the cast of Young Frankenstein, Rocky Horror, and the usually subjects like Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers. We picked up a few of them (pictured below) because I think they’d make great little ornaments for our Horror Axemass tree for the winter holiday! You can see some of her work on her Facebook page HERE.
Next to Kristy was Jen from Retro Daddio will all sorts of little curios. If you are a Poe fan, then you might find a thing or two at her table. We picked up some Nevermore glasses and a Poe coffee mug from her. Jen was super friendly and between her and Kristy made the weekend even more fun.
During a break in the day, I wandered through the dealer room again, when I came up to Mark Maddox’s table. Mark is an incredible artist who has done a ton of different magazine covers, including the HorrorHound cover of John Carpenter’s The Thing that I wrote the retrospective for a few years ago. As I was standing there gazing at the amazing pieces of art, Mark looks up and says “Don’t I know you?” I introduced myself to him and mentioned that I wrote the Carpenter piece, where he quickly raised a hand for a high-five and said “Hey…We’re collaborators!” We had a nice long conversation about the business and some of his pieces, which just blew me away. I knew before the end of the weekend, I would be going home with a few of his prints, which I did. Four, in fact. Now just need to find the right place to hang them! Mark is not only a super talented artist, but a monster kid like the rest of us and just a great guy. We talked several more times throughout the weekend and it was always a pleasure. You can see his work at his official site HERE.
Of course, what would be a convention without guests, right? But one thing that is different about this show than most that I attend, there were actually guests here that I hadn’t seen before and actually wanted to meet! Appearing at this show was two of the stars of one of the greatest Turkey Day movies ever made…Robot Monster (1953)! As the great Stephen Thrower once said, “the only bad movie is a boring one”, and this turkey definitely ain’t boring! Gregory Moffett, who played little Johnny and Claudia Barrett who played Alice were there to meet their fans and talk about this most famous cinematic shipwreck, as well as the other work they appeared in. I had recently finished the book I Cannot, Yet I Must, the book on the making of Robot Monster by Anders Runestad, and figured that was a great thing to get them to sign, which I did. I also had them sign an amazing print of Ro-Man I picked up from Mark Maddox. No, the signatures weren’t free. But let’s just put it this way….for the four signatures I got from them cost less than one signature from a Walking Dead extra at any other show. Once again, it shows that they are not at this show to make money off their fans, but to actually meet the them and see how much they and their films are loved and remembered.
I made sure I made it to their Q&A, which was very entertaining. They showed a couple of clip reels showing both Moffett’s and Barrett’s film work, which was pretty interesting. While they did talk about their other films and TV appearances, there were quite a few questions about Robot Monster and the director Phil Tucker. It was really cool to hear these stories firsthand. Truly one of the highlights of the weekend for me.
The other guest at the show that I was excited to meet was Audrey Dalton. Fans of William Castle’s movies will recognize her from his film Mr. Sardonicus (1961), where she plays his wife. She also appeared in The Monster That Challenged the World, a film I would call one of the best of the ’50s sci-fi monster flicks! She also talked quite a bit about her other film work, such as the film Titanic (1953), as well as working with Humphrey Bogart and a few others. Once again, Dalton was super friendly and so happy to be able to meet fans of her work. Very forthcoming and talkative at her table. Such a nice change of pace.
Before we knew it the dealer room was closing for the day. It was so much fun getting to chat with so many different people that stopped by our table. Always nice to see other book lovers showing up and seeing that gleam in their eye when they come across a title they need. Shows me that print is definitely not dead! Plus we got to see and chat with a few of our convention friends and family as well, which always makes the shows even better.
After an awesome dinner with our buddy Alan Tromp who had come out for the show, we headed back to our hotel. And speaking of Monster that Challenged the World, they were screening that film outside on a giant blowup movie screen once the sun went down. As much as I wanted to go out and watch this, especially after the weather outside turned a lot cooler, I was still beat, probably still trying to recuperate from the day before. We ended up spending time chatting with Troy Howarth and Bryan Martinez for a while and then crashed for the night.
Stay tuned for our final report, Part 4…”Hey….I know that voice.”