Wednesday, September 17, 2003


I'm thinking about going to a Horror Con in Akron, Ohio Saturday, and trying to network. It's hard to believe today, but in a few weeks I hope to be done with the two Polonia Brothers rewrites and will need to start thinking about doing something else. Maybe I can get some "face time" with some people and make a connection. It's all about the connections. I hope to spend some time at the Mindscape Pictures booth, where my pal Jason Santo will be selling his VHS and DVDs. He's the talented guy behind, a great place to visit if you haven't been (the link is to the right). If you can't get enough of my writing here, zip on over there and check out some of my reviews and interviews.

I'm going to take a break from AMONG US today and include a short article I wrote after visiting the "Flashback Con" in Chicago last summer.

SUMMER 2002:

With Apologies to Hunter S. Thompson...

I was 60 minutes outside Chicago when the Excedrin kicked in.
In the car seat beside me was a half-eaten roll of Tums, some
mint gum shaped like a dog's tooth, a printed sheet from MapQuest,
a bottle of warm chocolate milk, one Krispy Kreme with sprinkles,
and my Palm Pilot. My wallet held fifty bucks and a two-for-one
Blockbuster coupon. On the CD player Johnny Cash was singing live
from Folsom Prison and outside the window a horn was blaring and a
middle finger was sailing past. Five hours later I would be kicked
out of the Marriott for not having a wrist badge, even though honestly
I hadn't seen any place to pay money, nor had anyone stopped me, when I
first walked in. Two hours after that my car would leave me by the side of
the road in rural Indiana with a dead starter, but luckily three
enterprising young hill-jumpers would come along and push-start my
car for a small fee. But that would all be in the far future, and in
the now I see "Travesty" standing outside the Marriott,
an inposing but friendly dude whom I had previously known only as a
disembodied head on a web message board, so I know I am in the right place.

I go straight to the dealer room and walk past a sea of video sellers,
pushing Mexican wrestling, Hong Kong action, Italian sandal epics,
backyard horror, and all the other flotsam and jetsam of my misspent
youth. There were so many bootlegs floating around that everybody
was looking over their shoulders waiting for the click of the FBI's
steel-toed boots.

The Tempe table was doing a solid stream of business. Better looking
in real life than in the movies (female winner): Tanya Dempsey.
Better looking in real life than in the movies (male winner): J.R.
Bookwalter, based on his "Lance Randas" cameo in "Shandra the Jungle
Girl." All the people at Tempe seemed high-energy, driven, talented.
Jeff Sisson was very friendly and helpful, despite the fact that he
looks like someone you don't want to see coming towards you in a mosh
pit. Don Adams and Harry Picardi brought a low-riding Cheesehead
posse that would have put P. Diddy to shame (the Milwaukee version of
J. Lo must have stayed back at the crib). Right across the aisle,
Mark Burchett and I struck up a long conversation, not the least of
which concerned our shared misery over the Cincinnati Reds. I wanted
to buy his cool-looking "Deadly Dreamgirls" DVD but then remembered
how it felt the last time my wife made me sleep on the couch.

Later I went to a Tempe Q&A session in which enough good advice was
dispensed to give me the will to go on in this volatile industry. I
wanted to go back and buy some videos, but got the bum's rush from
security instead. Just as well, as I needed the money to pay for some
backwoods auto advice a short time later. Everything happens for a

There's my ten cents; my two cents are free.


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