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August 10th - 12th, 2012

 

Chicago has always had a pretty big horror community, but it has never flourished like it has in the last decade.  From different movie screenings to 24-hour marathons, when a horror event goes on, the fans show up like extras on a George Romero zombie film.  Chicago has had its share of conventions as well.  Fangoria use to come here years ago, then stopped, then came back again, and then stopped again.  While some of those were fun, letís just say that there were always issues with them.  But back in 2002, a new convention started and it was called Flashback Weekend.  The thing that really set this show apart from most first time shows, they spent a lot of time promoting it way before the show began.  Being a local show, we figured weíd take the chance on a first time show.  That was ten years ago, and not only is Flashback Weekend still going strong, but we can proudly say that weíve been at every single one of them and have always had a good time.  This all comes down to the hard work that Mike & Mia Kerz put into each and every show.  And this past August was no different.

Being that weíve been going to conventions for close to 25 years, weíve seen a lot of different celebrities, some of them multiple times.  So it is rare for a show to announce a guest that is going to get me excited.  Flashback had already started to announce some of the guests, but none of them had gotten me too excited.  But then they announced that John Carpenter was going to be their special guest for the weekend.  Now in all my years of convention-going, I have never had the opportunity to meet this legend of the genre.  Sure, Iíve heard rumors/reports over the years that he can be a bit stand-offish, but I didnít care.  I had already gotten his autograph from a friend of mine a few years ago, so I didnít even need that.  I just wanted to meet him, shake his hand and thank him for his wonderful body of work.

Both my wife Dawn and son Nick were back again to help run the Krypt table this year.  These shows are becoming more and more a family affair, which is just great.  I know I can walk away from my table for a minute or two (or a little longer) and know that these it is in good hands with these two.  This year we were lucky enough to be set up next to our good friend (and uber-talented artist) Don England and his wife Nina.  Being set up at a 3-day show can be tiresome at times, but when youíre around good friends, it makes the weekend even better.  Don was there with his usual array of artwork and t-shirts.  Great stuff that you should definitely check out if you see him at a show.

At last yearís Flashback show, we met another talented artist, AJ Wager and his wife Amy, from Meatspider Studios.  AJís incredible sculptures are just awe-inspiring just to look at.  Not only have I picked up a few things from him over the last year, but AJ was one that created 3D image of my logo.  Once againÖthis guy is not only awesomely talented, but he and Amy are just great people and fun to be around.  So if you see his stuff at a convention, stop by and buy something.  Think of it as an investment.  Not to mention that is cool as hell looking!

But there were plenty more of old friends that we got the chat with over the weekend, which is main reason we keep going these days.  We did make a few rounds around the dealer room section where the celebrities where set up.  We said hello to a few of them, had a short but nice conversation with Meg Foster at one point.  But for the most part, we donít spend too much time over there.  We donít go for the autograph thing that much anymore.  While some of the guests are more than happy to talk to their fans, because of the few that are there just for the money and donít like it when you donít buy something, Iíd rather not even take the chance ruining my feelings on a particular guests if they ask me if Iím going to buy something or not.  So I donít.

But we did browse the dealer room quite a bit during the weekend.  I didnít end up spending that much money, which is good thing for the most part, but did come across a few items that we had to add to the collection.  One of them was this price guide book on vintage Halloween decorations and collectibles.  Very cool and even better since it was only about $5.  It has some great little toys and decorative things from years ago.  We also picked up a movie poster from our buddy Scott Ford from Drive-In Graphics.  Weíve known Scott for years, meeting him at the very first memorabilia show that we set up at.  Scott was right across from us and before the weekend was over, we had many great conversations.  Not to mention that Scott always has some killer movie posters, and always a decent prices.  This time out, we picked up a different version of KISS OF THE TARANTULA poster from him.  Another one for the collection!

They did have some movie screening at the Muvico Theaters just down the street, including a screening of John Carpenterís THE THING.  We would have loved to have gone to that, but we had too many things going on, namely getting a rowdy gang of people some food after a long day at the show.  These gatherings of friends and fellow vendors is always a great time.  Really one of the things that makes going to these shows so much damn fun!

As usual, the weekend was packed full of Q&A sessions with the different guests, so we usually try to get in there for a few of them.  But this time out, we only made it to two of them.  The first one was the ďFinal GirlsĒ from the FRIDAY THE 13th movies, Adrienne King, Amy Steel, Dana Kimmell, Kimberly Beck, and Erin Gray.   They had some great stories from their experiences working on this popular series.  They also showed a huge appreciation for their fans, which his always nice. 

The other Q&A session that we made it to was the one with John Carpenter.  Wasnít going to miss the chance to hear some of his thoughts, as well as being able to take his picture without having to pay for it.  Gotta love a big-ass telephoto lens.  Anyway, Carpenter was pretty fun to listen too.  Some of his answers were a little too politically correct, especially when asked for his opinion on a film or two, but was still a nice guy about it.  The only problem I really had with the Q&A was the amount of praise the host running the Q&A kept giving Carpenter.  I understand that you obviously donít want to criticize your guest there, but I think holding back a little of the ass kissing would have been better.  Now granted, this is all my opinion, but I havenít liked anything Carpenter has done in many, many years.  In fact, his return to directing with THE WARD, I felt was extremely disappointing.  But according to this host, he thought it was just amazing.  Once again, that is his opinion and he is more than welcome to it on a one on one basis, not during a Q&A.  But it just seemed a bit overboard the amount of praise and worship that was being laid on the Carpenter alter that afternoon.  But againÖthis is just me.  But it was a lot more interesting that I thought it was going to be.

So for making it through their 10th year, I donít see Flashback stopping anytime soon.  The show is pretty well organized and with plenty of stuff to do during the show.  Thanks again to Mike and Mia and the rest of the Flashback gang for putting on a great show, where we always have lots of fun.  We are looking forward to next year.

 

THE FINAL GIRLS from the FRIDAY THE 13th Movies

ADRIENNE KING
  

AMY STEEL

DANA KIMMELL
  

KIMBERLY BECK
  

ERIN GRAY
  

 

        

 

JOHN CARPENTER