Monday, October 6, 2014

Aftermath: Monster Mania Con 29 (2014)

Monster Mania Convention in Hunt Valley, Md (Oct 3-5) was a bit of an experiment in seeing how well horror movie fans would receive my artwork and merchandise. I plan to attend my first West Coast show in California next year- Monsterpalooza, and don't want to spend upwards of a couple thousand dollars on a trip out to Cali if people weren't receptive. Fortunately the folks met at Monster Mania were perhaps some of the most overwhelmingly pleasant fans I have had the pleasure to meet. Even covered in fake blood and brandishing plastic chainsaws. ;)

On Friday as a gothy pop-art pinup.
!? fascinator by Janine Basil
Monster Mania is another show in Maryland where I can save boku bucks traveling down by bus, staying at my parents house and borrowing my mom's car. My partner-in-crime Fenny of Little Asian Sweatshop joined me Friday and Saturday of the show and we split a 6' table between the two of us. It's an intimate hotel convention, at the old Hunt Valley Inn up in Cockeysville (about a 40 minute drive from my parents house). I'm actually pretty familiar with the hotel because of conventions I attended as a fan many years ago and for conferences when I used to sell tvs and stereos back in the day. There are actually 3 Monster Mania shows a year- two in NJ and one in Md. Everyone kept saying the spring show in NJ is way bigger and crazier and how we should come back and do that one. While this is a possibility- attending a show in NJ means getting a hotel room and meals out and that is a GIANT chunk out of our profits. So maybe, but not likely anytime soon.

All set up!
I had planned on creating more horror/monster themed artwork to sell specifically for MM, but time constraints and a crazy busy schedule between Baltimore Comic Con, this and NYCC along with my dayjob was simply too much. Fortunately I had a little bit of monster art to draw people in- but interestingly enough it was mostly my superhero stuff that was the hot seller. I think because there wasn't a lot of that there- so it stood out from the rest of the vendors. Goes to show- even when vending at a specialty event, bring *everything* with you. Within reason, of course. Monster Mania being the weekend before NYCC, which is my biggest show of the year- I was actually afraid I might sell out of stuff and not have time to make more during the week. Oh!, but what a problem to have, amirite? My inventory definitely did take a hit from MM, but I still had a satisfactory amount to bring for NYCC.

Francesca and the Monster's Mate
We had a ton of fun selling at our table! We dressed up every day of the show- including what is possibly our most obscure cosplay to date- me as Francesca and Fenny as the Monster's Mate/ Phyllis Diller from Rankin/Bass's 1967 special Mad Monster Party? (The ? is part of the title...) I don't recall anyone at the show being able to tell who we were supposed to be- not that that is surprising. I only actually saw MMP? for the first time about a year ago. Everyone LOVED our outfits though. Leave it to us to wear something from a kid's Halloween special from the 60's to the blood-and-guts show.

The actual Francesca and Monster's Mate Animagic puppets
Fenny of course was TOTALLY into it.
Really, really into it.
I got my Francesca dress from Pin-Up Girl and my wig from Fifi Mahony's.
These guys were GREAT!!! Frigging HUGE and scary!
They were total sweethearts when I asked for a picture. It's not everyday I feel teeny-tiny.
Jason is Keith. Leatherface is Lance.
This is the reference I sent Fifi's for my wig.
Speaking of kid stuff- and now I'm not judging as much as I'm making an observation of the weekend- I must say: I saw A LOT of small, crying children at this show. Now I'm not a parent (nor do I have any plans to be one anytime soon) but speaking as a former child, I can completely understand where these kids are coming from with bawling their eyes out. Now I'm all for kids having some amount of fear for things in their lives. It sparks the imagination and may feed creative endeavors down the road. Myself, for example: I used to be TERRIFIED of skeletons. To the point that I could not watch any Indiana Jones movies or the second half of Goonies. Nor could I ride Pirates of the Caribbean without hiding my eyes until I heard singing. I was also afraid of Judge Doom from Roger Rabbit, The Greedy from Raggedy Ann and Andy and mere commercials from Nightmare on Elm Street would give me nightmares for weeks. I left the theater during The Burbs. Shoot, I even covered my eyes during the Aliens riff at the end of Spaceballs. I didn't really get a grip on my fears until junior high, when I started learning about serial killers and REAL monsters in the world. And now? I'm writing my eventual magnum opus comic about demons, murderers and vampires and watch true crime shows on the daily. My own wedding was covered in skeletons. I love me some monsters, and the movies I just mentioned are some of my all-time favorites now. All the stuff I was afraid of though, was under controlled circumstances. Movies can be watched beforehand so warnings are issued to cover your eyes. Ultimately, they can be turned off. Bringing your kid to a horror convention, you can't control that environment. You don't know what's around every corner, you don't know what's going to be on display. People jump out. People wear costumes- some amazingly terrifying and gory and relish in being in character. And it's really pretty selfish to think that everyone else at the show who is there to celebrate movies that are rated PG-13, R and worse- should have to take into account the fact that you brought an emotionally unprepared 7 year old girl in a princess Elsa costume. Get a sitter, it's cheaper than therapy in the long run.

Ok, maybe I did start judging a bit there. 9_9;

So tired on Sunday. -___-;
Overall, MM was a very profitable show- I would def like to do it again, schedule permitting. There was a great party atmosphere, especially on Saturday as the vending room was winding down and most of the convention goers were obviously visiting the bar and starting to ramp up their room parties. How funny just a few weeks ago we were being shushed at our table at Baltimore Comic Con when at MM *we* were the quiet, reserved ones(!!!). And Monsterpalooza out in California is def going to happen, which i am super super excited about. ::starts saving money::

1 comment:

  1. Additional thoughts on the bringing of kids to MM:
    I think they thought it was more of a Halloween convention? I dunno. I saw the aforementioned little girl dressed as Elsa crying her eyes out at the girls across from us who were in skeleton makeup, which then put those girls in the unfortunate position of trying to calm this little girl down and trying to tell her it was only makeup. The thing is you can't reason with emotion, especially fear, even more especially when it's that of a little girls. Like the parents should have taken her out of there immediately. Instead they continued gawking. And the skeleton girls should not have to be forced into a situation where they have to deal with a traumatized child- just because they're dressed as monsters doesn't mean they actually are.


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