GSAC Attends 'Days of Terror' and 'Sac-Con' in Sacramento by Ryan T. King
If you have followed my site since it's earliest inception, you will notice the reoccurring topics of "horror" and "comics." These interests are my bread and butter in the entertainment industry. I am allured by sequential storytelling and if elements of the macabre are added to a story, I am nearly a fan for life. So when I heard that the Scottish Rite Center in Sacramento was hosting a two day horror convention called "Days of Terror" followed by a single day comic convention known as "Sac-Con," I did what any normal fanatic would do. I took the days off from work.
Here is an account of the two events, back to back: the guests, the artists, and the awesome finds.
Days of Terror
Miss Misery's Days of Terror to be specific. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect from this show. In the past Sacramento has hosted the "Sac Sci-Fi Horror Show" and it appears Miss Misery's Days of Terror has taken it's place. Of course there is no problem with that as long as the show offers some amazing guests and key vendors. Certainly the website offered a great line-up of c-list celebrities, but unfortunately there was no big name guests to really draw in the crowds.
Upon entering the building and gazing at the convention floor, most guests could tell things were looking like a ghost town. And not in the way that would cater to most horror enthusiasts. There was simply no one there. The main showroom for vendors featured too many empty tables, many of which were pulled back from the main stage. If I wasn't granted a press pass (which I am very grateful for), I would have felt very cheated for the entrance fee of $20. The average attendee could see what Days of Terror had to offer within 30 minutes.
However Days of Terror offered it's own share of excitement and discoveries. While walking around the floor I came across some extraordinary comic talent and shared a good amount of face time with the lot: Tone Rodriguez, Paul Allen, Gary "Gaz" Gretsky, and Jason Dube. The ever vocal Mel Smith chatted with me about the latest on Dead Ahead 2, his new Creepy KOFY Movie Time comic, and asked me about my plans on a Big Trouble in Little China comic (all currently under wraps). I love Mel. He's one of the most down to earth guys in the comic industry and always speaks from the heart. If you ever get the chance to meet him, do yourself the favor and strike up a conversation.
While running around the vendor room, my cohort Justin Hopper and I found a vendor with an amazing selection of graphic novels for unbelievable prices. All of his paperbacks were $5 and his hardcovers were $10. I wish I brought more cash to throw down but luckily he was there the next day at Sac-Con (let's not get ahead of ourselves). Anyway, I walked away with four League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books, which completes my collection--now I can finally finish up the series before Alan Moore squirts out another. We also found some great graphic t-shirts from the guys over at fastcustomshirts.com (their selection is vast and the price is cheap--I implore you to check them out). I found the perfect Return of the Living Dead shirt to wear around this Halloween. I was also pleased to meet one of this year's Face Off contestants Nicole Chilleli who *SPOILER ALERT* recently returned after being eliminated earlier this season. She spoke of working at Safeway in the past but due to her success on Face Off she is currently working full-time in special makeup FX. Good for her!
The remainder of Days of Terror felt insignificant. I wish there was more that stood out, more of a wow factor--God, I sound like one of those crackhead judges on American Idol. But seriously, this Horror show had some good potential. I feel like the show is off to a good start if the show runners decide to return next year. I have three offerings for any future shows: 1.) Add at least two big name guests to the roster (why was Jeffrey Combs at Sac-Con but not Days of Terror?), 2.) Add some panels (were there any this year?), 3.) Get some vendors! If there's empty space, please offer it for a low dollar amount to any creative talent willing to sign aboard last minute (the amount of empty space in the vendor room was pathetic to say the least). Also, did Rebekah McKendry attend the event? I looked high and I looked low but Alas! no Miss McKendry was found.
As weird as Days of Terror turned out, Sac-Con turned out even weirder. But in the best possible way.
According to the Sac-Con home page there were over 1900 attendees at this September's event. And holy crap did it feel like it. I've never in my life walked into a Sac-Con feeling like I was transported to WonderCon. Man oh man, did it feel good! Energy was flowing from the guests, from the vendors, and especially from the attendees. People were not just there, people were happy to be there.
My first surprise of the day was to find the extremely talented independent artist Z. E Pangborn. While on the ride to Sac-Con, I related to my friend Thomas how gorgeous this artist's work was and how happy my girlfriend was with his creations. So happy that she desires to decorate an entire room with his art. How surprised I was to see his work once more at this year's Sac-Con. It turns out that Pangborn is a local to Northern California. If you take a look at how intricate his penciling is you'll immediately know how worthy he is of the comic book medium. If any editors of Heavy Metal are reading this, scout this man's talent now!
The vendor floor at this quarter's Sac-Con was filled with surprises. Comic books, video games, toys--pick your poison, because everything was there. It seriously felt like a mini-ComicCon. I staggered around through the crowds big-eyed wondering where to go first. As luck would have it, I found an amazing Creature from the Black Lagoon toy I had never imagined finding there and then. Maybe at Days of Terror, but not so much Sac-Con. This Creature toy stands more than 12" tall and is a perfect addition to my collection. The most special part about it is that I've seen it being auctioned on ebay before but never realized the superior, gargantuan size. The asking price for this beast was $25. My offer of $20 was gladly accepted.
One of the many talents featured at this Sac-Con was Mick Gray (inker on Promethea and the current Batman and Robin) whom I tend to find in attendance at most conventions in California. Slowly but surely Mick has been kind enough to sign most of my Promethea issues. I promised his wife I would help spread the word about their latest endeavor--to build an eco-friendly solar powered roof. Donations start at $5 and work their way up to $200. Of course there are some pretty sweet rewards if you choose to donate. Check it out here.
While walking around the convention floor I saw many cosplayers dressed as Adventure Time characters who were definitely excited to meet voice actress Hynden Walch (Princess Bubblegum in Adventuretime and Starfire in New Teen Titans). I also overheard one attendee just ecstatic to have met actor Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator, Frighteners, Star Trek Enterprise). The attendee couldn't stop glowing over his signed Re-Animator poster. I went back into the depths of the vendor room and came out with two more affordable finds. I've longed to read The Upturned Stone by Scott Hampton and bargained the hardcover copy for $5. I also found a copy of Paul Chadwick's Concrete for $4 that I haven't read just yet. Both are well worth the price paid.
All in all, this has been the best Sac-Con I've ever attended. Although Days of Terror was a bit of a bust, the amount of face time with the guests and artists, was well worth making an appearance. To see Sac-Con grow in attendance like this only gives me hope that one day Days of Terror will be a thriving attraction for horror fans in the Northern California area. And hopefully by then, Sac-Con will have grown to a much more appropriate size. You never know. There's no word of WonderCon returning to San Francisco. Someone has to fill it's shoes.
Looks like Toyfusion (a wonderful hodge-podge toy consignment shop) is trying to start an annual tradition in Sacramento, CA. This September 23rd will mark the first Action Figure, Toy, and Collectible show at the Scottish Rite Center. Check out their web page for more information here.
Stockton-Con is August 5th by Ryan King
If you find yourself bored with the Olympics and jonesing for some pop culture mayhem, make the trip to Stockton, CA tomorrow and check out the first ever Stockton-Con. Special guests include Morrie Turner, JD Arnold, Mark Dos Santos, Tony Fleecs, Kathy Garver, Timothy Green, Rich Koslowski, Tone Rodriguez, Mel Smith, Stan 152, Ken Thomas, Tim Vigil, Nathan Watson, and more! Doors open at 10am at the Alex G. Spanos Center at the College of the Arts. For more info, check the posters below or go to the official website here.
It Came from Comic-Con 2012! by Ryan King
As I write this, the festivities of Comic-Con 2012 are coming to a close. I'm sure there are many unfortunate souls who could not attend this comic book/entertainment mecca in San Diego (count me in the majority) and most have looked forward to every minutia of news coverage--I would love to see the last five day site-traffic record for Bleeding Cool, Comic Book Resources, IGN, Comics Alliance, and Coming Soon right about now ( I bet I visited each more than 50 times a day). Now that the road of reportage seems to have come to a close, I would like to recap some of the most significant news I've read in the last several days and give my thoughts on the matter. (*SPOILERS* Some spoilers from the film Prometheus will be found below. This is your first warning. *NOTE* This is a list based on MY interests and opinions. If you saw something at SDCC that made your eyeballs melt out of their sockets, please comment down below.)
1.) Neil Gaiman and JH Williams III Bring New Sandman
What do you get when you mix two of comics most genius and inventive creators to ever touch the medium? Hopefully the answer is this next installment (or possible prequel) to the DC Sandman comics. In my opinion, anything JH Williams III touches is beautifully stylized. I would personally like to challenge the man to draw a crappy picture of something. Maybe an onion...or a dead seagull...or how about George W. Bush taking a shit in a port-a-potty... Anyway, my point is he can't do a bad job and I suspect this new project will be a masterpiece.
2.) Creepy Movie Announced, Christopher Columbus Directs
Horror anthology films have a manner of failing miserably at the box-office: Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside, Trick R' Treat, and Grind House. Although each one holds a special place in my heart, for some stupid reason many people refuse to see them. Good thing director Christopher Columbus doesn't give a crap about the statistics and has decided to move ahead with turning the classic horror comics into a 4-part anthology film. Now, the question we must all ask, which stories should they adapt for the screen?
3.) Trailer for Sam Raimi's Oz the Great and Powerful
It's been three years since Raimi's 2009 film Drag Me to Hell and that's too damn long a absence. Thankfully we have this magnificent little trailer for Oz the Great and Powerful to fill the void Raimi's set upon us. My current fear for Oz is how much influence Disney has on the production of the film. I can already tell from the trailer alone that they're catering to a 3D (yaaaaaaaawwwwnn) audience and are making the film similar to Tim Burton's love-it-or-hate-it version of Alice in Wonderland. Only time will tell.
4.) Quentin Tarantino Makes Django Unchained Comic Mini-Series
Tarantino announced that a 5-issue comic book mini-series of Django Unchained would premiere in time for his movie, set to release on Christmas Day. On one part, I'm completely ecstatic to see one of Tarantino's creations put in the comic medium. My only disappointment comes from the decision for DC Comics to publish the mini-series. Which only means you can bet your sweet, little ass this comic will be loaded with more advertisements than you could possibly imagine.
5.) NEW GODZILLA MOVIE!
One of the biggest Comic-Con mysteries to date is finally answered. The rumor of a new American Godzilla movie has finally been confirmed and after years of waiting for some news we can definitely confirm Monsters director Gareth Edwards is leading this production with Legendary Pictures. My only wish is for the trailer to go public and appear sometime this week, or preferably alongside this week's The Dark Knight Rises premier.
6.) Prometheus Toys ***SPOILERS***
NECA toys unveiled a second wave of Prometheus toys to be released some time within the year. I personally LoVeD the film and would be more than happier to own one of the pre-xenomorphs shown down below. The first series is slated for a September release, with the second to follow in December.
7.) Comic Book Men Season 2
Maybe this wasn't announced at this year's Comic-Con but it was certainly confirmed; a second season of AMC's Comic Book Men will appear in October alongside The Walking Dead. And thank goodness! For all the bad publicity this show got thanks to Comics Alliance, I believe this show continues to spark interest in the comic and collector culture. This is just the kind of crazy antic show that comics need to survive in this unemployed-eat-unemployed world. For all the naysayers who believe the show paints a bad picture of comic book shops, how about redirecting some of that rage on the 20 plus seasons of Simpsons who features one of the most damning stereotypes--the Comic Book Guy.
8.) Eric Powell Kickstarts The Goon Film
After finally succumbing to the demand of his fans, The Goon creator Eric Powell announced he will create a Kickstarter page to help finance The Goon film. What sounds like a dubious battle could certainly be the ultimate way to finalize the film. Email Goon@Blur.com to receive a notification when The Goon kickstarter goes live.
9.) Hellboy 3 on the way?
From what I understand, Ron Perlman wants to do it and Guillermo Del Toro wants to do it. But considering Guillermo Del Toro has umpteen projects in the works, the chances of seeing Hellboy 3 a reality sometime soon is too far away. From the way Perlman talks about the story for the third movie it will definitely be worth the wait.
10.) Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
In all honesty, I'm never balls-to-the-wall crazy for superhero movies. Captain America--good movie. Thor--too slow for my liking. The Avengers--fun to watch but could use some editing. The Amazing Spiderman--didn't I see this movie already? One of the recent movie announcements Marvel added to their roster is Guardians of the Galaxy. What exactly do I know about the film? Well, there's Rocket Raccoon and Groot, and some characters you see below. Yup, that's all I really know. From the looks of the concept art alone, this film could mark a resurgence in sci-fi adventure films, which is just what I'm hoping for. Maybe, just maybe, Marvel will trim down on the expected quota of superhero tropes but hopefully this film dives into the territory John Carter and Prometheus began to explore.
San Jose Super Toy, Comics, & Collectibles Show March 10th by Ryan T. King
Once again the quarterly San Jose Super Toy, Comic, & Collectible Show is happening for California bay area residents this Saturday. This smorgasbord of a collectible show is likely to fill the needs of anyone suffering from WonderCon deprivation. Special guests include Billy Dee Williams (Empire Strikes Back, Undercover Brother, Batman) ad Yvonne Craig (Batman; the TV series, Mars Needs Women). Tune in to Time Tunnel Toys website for more information.
'Horror Hound' Wants You To Vote For Best of 2011 by Ryan T. King
In the latest issue of HorrorHound magazine (issue #33), the boils and ghouls that staff the horror themed periodical want to know what your favorite highlights in the horror industry were for the year 2011. The nominations have been separated in eight different categories: Best Original/Theatrical Movie, Best Sequel/Remake Movie, Best Limited Release/Direct-to-DVD Movie, Best DVD/Blue-Ray Release, Best Collectible, Best TV Series, Best Gore Scene, Best Actress, Best Actor, and Best Director. A list of the nominations is provided below. You can email your pick (one vote per person) for each category to email@example.com and when you're finished voting, make sure to vote for the Rondos too!
A. BEST MOVIE (ORIGINAL/THEATRICAL)
The nominees are:
The nominees are:
The nominees are:
The nominees are:
-Evil Dead 2: Special Edition (Lionsgate)
- Intruder (Synapse)
-Island of Lost Souls (Criterion)
-Mystery Science Theatre 2000 vs. Gamera
-Zombie: Ultimate Collection (Blue Underground)
E. BEST COLLECTIBLE
The nominees are:
-Ghostbusters Ghost Trap (Mattel)
-Jason Voorhees (Sideshow Premium Format)
-The Munsters Action Figures (DST)
-A Nightmare on Elm Street Action Figures (NECA)
-Predator 1/4 Scale Figure (NECA)
F. BEST TV SERIES
The nominees are:
-American Horror Story
-The Walking Dead
G. BEST GORE SCENE
The nominees are:
-Drive-In Massacre (Chillerama)
-Party Attack (Dream Home)
-Human Pinata (Hobo With a Shotgun)
-Centipede Removal (Human Centipede 2)
H. BEST ACTRESS
The nominees are:
-Amanda Heard (The Ward)
-Bailee Madison (Don't Be Afraid of the Dark)
-Lin Shaye (Insidious)
-Mary Elizabeth Winstead (The Thing)
-Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman)
I. BEST ACTOR
The nominees are:
-Joel Courtney (Super 8)
-Nick Damici (Stake Land)
-Micahel Perkins (Red State)
-Min-sik Choi (I Saw the Devil)
-Rutger Hauer (Hobo with a Shotgun)
J. BEST DIRECTOR
The nominees are:
-J.J. Abrams (Super 8)
-Jason Eisner (Hobo with a Shotgun)
-James Wan (Insidious)
-Joe Cornish (Attack the Block)
-Kevin Smith (Red State)
Voting Time - Who Deserves This Year's Rondo Awards? by Ryan T. King
The 10th annual Rondo Awards are upon us! Announced yesterday is the official ballot for this year's Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards--a horror, fantasy, science-fiction fan-based award ceremony. Created at the Classic Horror Film Boards (CHFB) in 2002 by David Colton and Kerry Gammill, this underground award ceremony has officially hit a decade run. The nominations are finalized after selecting suggestions from the likes of horror fans, pros, and enthusiasts offered year round at the CHFB. The nominees are finalized by founder David Colton (a classic horror fan) along with the help of 20 other classic horror fans from all over the world. Now that the list is available it it up to YOU to decide who should win this year's Rondos. To see this year's nominations and begin voting, look here.
|The Rondo award is a miniature version of a Rondo Hatton|
bust seen in the Universal film, House of Horrors.
|Tarman Action Figure from RotLD by Amok Time Toys|
Available now is the first official Return of the Living Dead toy of the infamous, gooey brain-eater known as the "Tarman." This action figure was announced midsummer of last year and I've eagerly awaited the day I could put this disgusting, ichor-covered, bad boy on my collector shelf. Since my first viewing of RotLD, I fell in love with this ingenious zombie depiction. The dried husks that were Romero's undead were nothing in comparison to the juicy, slimy, tongue-waggling, and talking -- yes, he actually talks -- creation known by fans around as "Tarman,"
|Once trapped in a canister and now sealed in plastic,|
Tarman is ready for the collectors.
The action figure comes with several exciting features: a ball jointed neck, shoulders, opening jaw, film replica base, trioxin canister, and a half-eaten brain. The only possible improvement for the toy would be if it featured a sound device. Imagine having a button to access Tarman's iconic one-liner: "Brains! Brains! Brrraaaaaaains!" Yeah, now that would be pretty bad-ass.
The action figure is currently in-stock and available for purchase at Amok Time Toys. Who knows, maybe this will be the first of more RotLD toys? Do I smell a a Trash action figure on the way? Preferably one that features optional clothing and changeable heads (you guys who've seen the movie know what I mean). Just a thought, Amok Time, just a thought. Because if you don't do it and make it official you never know who will...
|Custom Made Trash (left) and Suicide (right)|
|Custom Made Casey (left) and Scuz (right)|
Sacramento Sci-Fi/Horror Show and Sac-Con by Ryan T. King
Finally, something Cool is coming to Sacramento, CA> Yeah, that's right. Cool with a capital "C." Because where else in Northern California can you find a Sci-fi/Horror convention and a Comic/Toy/Anime show lumped into one amazing weekend? That's right, bitches. The answer is right here.
This September 24th and 25th at the Scottish Rite Center will offer plenty of entertainment, amazing guests, and a glorious safe haven for all Northern Californian nerds for the low admission cost of $6 (childre ages 6 and younger are free).
Mike Mignola---creator/writer/artist of Hellboy, Abe Sapien, B.P.R.D., Baltimore, etc.
Marina Sirtis---actress from Star Trek: The Next Generation and voice of Desmona from Gargoyles
Sean Schemell---voice actor of Goku from Dragonball Z
Timothy Green II---artist of Annihilators, Skarr: Son of Hulk, Swamp Thing, etc.
Tad Williams---New York Times and London Sunday Times bestselling author
Mick Gray---Comic inker on Batman, Superman, Brightest Day, Promethea, The Flash, Green Lantern
Jim Sinclair---inker/illustrator for The Maxxx
and one of my personal favorites
Richard Moore---creator/writer/artist of Boneyard, Chip, Gobs, Fire and Brimstone, etc.
If you're still uninterested then I'm afraid nothing will persude your neanderthal-like mind. For more information on the events, directions, cost, hours, and all that technical mumbo jumbo, head over to http://www.sac-con.com/ and http://www.sachorror.com/. See you there!
San Jose Toy and Comic Book Show Tomorrow by Ryan T. King
Just thought I'd share a fun outing experience for anyone piss-stinking-bored this weekend. Time Tunnel Toys in San Jose, CA puts on a great toy and comic book show and it happens to be tomoorw--August 13th, 2011. The cost is cheap--*only $5 bucks*--and gives complete access to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds where vendor upon vendor will sell you old and new oddities, because we all need more crap, right? Plus cool artists like Emonic are in attendance.
More info can be found at Time Tunnel Toy's website or their blog. And don't forget to check out Emonic's blog.
Jim Woodring Toys by Ryan T. King
About a week ago I wrote a small bit about Jim Woodring's fantastical graphic novel Weathercraft. Since then I've become a little obsessed with the man's art and wish to share one of his other intoxicating creations with loyal readers, the Jim Woodring like of toys! A small limited-run series of toys based off of Woodring's "Frank Comics" go for sale on his website store. Fans of Japanese kaiju toys, like Ultraman, Godzilla, and Kamen Rider, will appreciate Woodring's "kaijin" character Lorbo (green and orange colors available). The toys come with special packaging, like a silkscreened polybag and an illustrated header card. Unfortunately many of these toys are currently sold out , but boy, oh boy, are they fun to look at! For more information on Jim Woodring click here.
Lorbo! Green! (JIm Woodring)
LORBO! Orange! (Jim Woodring)
Black and White Frank Toy (Jim Woodring)
Black and White Pupshaw and Pushpaw Toy (Jim Woodring)
Mr. Bumper (Jim Woodring)