After an amazing weekend at the Dark X Fest in Hudson, OH, I’m finally settled back into reality here in the Sandusky area.
I had an absolutely brilliant time at the convention, and I met a lot of really great artists from all across the horror community. One such artist was Jeremiah Witkowski, whose table was next to mine. Not only did he keep up with conversation during the slower hours of the convention, he was also generous enough to give me a signed Freddy Kruger art print!
Another artist I spent a lot of time chatting with was Will O’Shire, author of the urban fantasy novel Fury, along with several other books and short stories. Will provided a lot of positive feedback about my set-up, and he taught me a few things I’ll definitely be able to use at future shows and conventions. This is one of the great things about the convention as a whole, everyone was super open to supporting other artists, whether it be watching their table while the artist uses the facilities, or by giving feedback on the art itself. Needless to say, I was very happy to buy a copy of Will’s novel, and I greatly admire the way he presented himself to every single person who came to his table.
Another highlight was finally meeting DeadHead Daddy, host of DeadHead Daddy’s Creepy Things on KRMA Internet Radio. He’s helped promote Birthday Girl in the past, and it was neat to meet him in person. As you can see, the book is so thoroughly depraved that it melted his face off.
One of the coolest moments was when I met horror icon Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp, Victor Crowley). I’m a big fan of her work, but even more so of her personality. She always brings the energy no matter what she’s doing–listen to her episode of The Movie Crypt Podcast, or watch her episode of The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, and you’ll notice she never seems like she’s not enjoying herself. Although I’m sure she has her down days, just like anyone else, I admire her down-to-Earth personality and the way she interacts with fans.
Felissa’s table was adjacent to mine, which was a huge help on its own because of the enormous amount of energy she brought into the room for every single minute of the convention. Personally, I get waves of grumpiness when I’m tired, caffeine-deprived, conversation-deprived, or just hungry, and something that took a lot of getting used to was learning to keep my energy up. The last thing anyone wants to do as a vendor, regardless of what they’re selling, is present themselves as an angry dickhead who doesn’t want to be there (believe me, there were one or two grumpy folk at the convention who had pure, unbridled hatred in their expression while sitting behind their tables). Fortunately, I had a few friends with me who brought me food and prevented me from exploding in a fit of McDonald’s-craving rage (jk; protein bars and chicken breast).
I had a great time mingling with people during Karaoke on Saturday night, both horror fans and celebrities. The only downside of the whole experience, really, was the poor quality of the hotel. The bathrooms were flooded around the clock with no signs of being mopped, there was never any paper towels or soap, the entire convention room smelled like raw sewage and was actually hotter than outside, and the front desk seemed bothered every time one of these issues was brought to their attention. Also, from what I understand, security was a huge issue, and someone on the hotel’s end engaged in some particularly sketchy behavior regarding one of the big name guests. I plan on returning to the next Dark X convention (this November, I believe), but I sincerely hope they find a different venue…this hotel staff was pretty pathetic.
I recently reviewed Marcel Walz’s latest film Blind, written by Joe Knetter and starring Sarah French. If you have the chance, SEE THIS MOVIE!!!
Anyhoo, I’m about to go see Midsommer, which apparently lives up to the hype and then some. I loved Hereditary, so hopefully this is another home run for Ari Aster!