The last time I was in California was in 2003, for a Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors, so it was about time I made a return. Our friends Don England and Chris Kuchta have been setting up at Monsterpalooza for a few years and I was always hearing great stories about the show, from celebrity sightings to just seeing some amazing makeup jobs, props, artworks, and other interesting things on display. So my wife Dawn and I decided to take a little mini-vacation and head out to our first Monsterpalooza. On the Thursday before the show, we were on a plane heading to the West Coast.
We fly out early Thursday with the plans of heading to Burbank in the afternoon/evening for some shopping. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been a fan of Dark Delicacies book store, and have ordered from them more times than I can remember. With a constant stream of guests for different book signings, there is always something happening there, so I was finally getting my chance to actually visit their store, as opposed to just shopping online. It is probably a good thing this store is located about 2000 miles away otherwise I would be spending a lot of time (and money) at this place. They have a huge selection of horror reference books and at damn good prices too! Del and Sue, who run the place, are two of the nicest people you could meet. I’m so glad they are continuing the fight to keep a real independent genre bookstore going, and even more so that they have so much support from the community. Check out their website HERE.
Another reason for wanting to visit there was that my buddy Scott Bradley came out for convention as well, but was actually doing a live-podcast and signing that night for his book Screaming for Pleasure: How Horror Makes You Happy and Healthy. Talk about a coincident that it would happen on the very day we come out for the show. Perfect timing. Scott’s event went pretty damn well too with a good crowd there for it and they all were enthused about his book (which they should be). Filmmaker Heidi Honeycutt was there to interview Scott after he read a small part of one of the chapters. I know I’ve praised his book on here before, but it really is worth your time. Scott is a very intelligent guy and definitely knows what he’s talking about, not to mention being a lot of fun to be around.
We also hit Halloweentown that is just down the street from Dark Delicacies. This store actually takes up three different store fronts, a couple of them being just for costumes. But the main one was like walking into a horror fans dream world. Filled with a ton of different toys and collectibles, its hard coming out of there and not spending any money.
Of course, the coolest thing was while eating dinner, we got to see Tony Stark himself playing pool. I mean, that had to be Robert Downey Jr., right? Who else would come to a bar on a Thursday night and play pool in an Iron Man costume? I didn’t want to get too close, you know, to give him his personal space since he was obviously just out to have some fun and not be bothered by fans.
Next up: Monsterpalooza – Part 2: Displays!