By Jason Harris
The second Rhode Island Comic Con held at the Rhode Island Convention Center was a big success. The attendance for this year was around 33,000, which was close to 11,000 more than last year’s convention. There were some issues with pre-sale tickets and a few celebrities such as Anthony Michael Hall, Jett Lucas, and Nichelle Nichols weren’t able to make it because of the gunman who shot up Terminal 3 at the Los Angeles International Airport Friday morning. Nichols felt so bad about missing the convention that she has already signed on for next year’s convention.
Comic Con had the entire convention center this year so the organizers were able to make more room in the aisles so there was plenty of room to browse the vendor tables and get pictures of the cosplay that were on display around the entire convention. There were people dressed as characters from movies, television, comic books, video games and books.
I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures.
Another Rock and Shock has come and gone. The New England Horror Writers were there once again. We have been there for the past four years. This year saw less atttendees then last year, but last year’s guest line-up included Robert Englund, whose line went on forever and never seemed to get any shorter, and Ace Frehley, former lead guitarist of KISS. This year had Heather Langenkamp, of Nightmare on Elm Street fame, Anthony Michael Hall, of televison series The Dead Zone and movies The Breakfast Club and Weird Science, and another former KISS member, Peter Criss.
Before getting to Rock and Shock, the wife and I went to fellow NEHW member Trisha Wooldridge’s house, where we were staying over the weekend. We were also going to be joined by another NEHW member Kristi Petersen Schoonover, who would be arriving later that night. It’s always a party when the NEHW members get together.
After leaving Trisha’s house, we drove to Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester to talk to the owner about her bookstore. The wife and I were picking her brain since we’re opening our own bookstore called Books and Boos in Colchester, CT. It was a very informative 40 minutes.
I was there the entire weekend and Saturday was the busiest day. Friday started off with Breakin’ into the Biz panel, which included myself, T.J. May, Matt Bechtel, and Kristi Petersen Schoonover, who ended up as moderator since there wasn’t anyone from Fangoria magazine there to do the job like there were for the other panels during the weekend. The panel went well and there were a lot of suggestions and advice given to the people in the audience.
The audience grew a little bit for the Women in Horror panel, but that was to be expected since Langenkamp and Lisa Marie (Ed Wood, Mars Attacks!) joined NEHW members Tracy Carbone, Stacey Longo, and Trisha Wooldridge. This panel had Jack from Fangoria, moderating the panel. One thing surprised me was that the audience didn’t asked two many questions when that time came. Four questions were asked of people on the panel and two of those questions came from me. I asked Heather how was it working on Just the Ten of Us and if she would do another television show. She said, she would love to do another tv series. It was also nice to hear that she will be in the next Star Trek movie titled Star Trek into Darkness, but she couldn’t say what character she’s playing. It was also great talking to her and Lisa Marie when the panel was over.
On Friday, it was great talking with Sean Whalen who was in The People Under the Stairs and Twister, and many other movies. Check out his credits on the Internet Movie Database by clicking here. He gave Carbone, Longo, and myself some good ideas.
I introduced myself to Doug Bradley, who portrayed Pinhead in most of the Hellraiser movies except the last one, since I conducted a phone interview with him a few weeks ago. You can read the article here.
I was hoping to interview Hall on Sunday since that was the day his manager, John Boitano, said would be the best day since it’s the slowest of the convention. On Friday, I had the feeling it wouldn’t happen since there was a sign on Hall’s table stating he wouldn’t be at the convention until 2 p.m. on Saturday. When Saturday came, he didn’t show up at his table until 3 p.m. Later on Saturday evening, he took a break and a sign said he would be back at 5:45 p.m. He didn’t get back from his break until 6:15 p.m. Seeing those signs, physical and figuratively, told me that Hall wasn’t going to keep an interview with me on Sunday. It would have been cool to interview him, but it wasn’t disappointing. I did interview another filmmaker, Ryan Convery, on Sunday about his movie Mourning Wood, which is about “humping zombies.” There will be an article and a movie review coming in the near future.
It was great meeting Tony Todd (Candyman), Brian O’Halloran (Clerks), and Sig Haig (House of 1000 Corpses) this weekend. I won’t get autographs since I am not paying $20 or more for an autograph unless they are selling a movie or a book. I will shake their hands and tell them I love their work.
There was a Horror in the Movies panel on Sunday, which Rob Watts, Bracken Macleod, myself, and Stacey Longo were on. Longo ended up being the moderator when Jack from Fangoria couldn’t do it since he had to do something else. It was attended by a good number of people.
There will be another post with pictures tomorrow.