Mad Monster Party Charlotte 2014 Con Report!

Tom Savini & Katie Bearden. Photo courtesy of Long Walk Productions.

Tom Savini & Katie Bearden. Photo courtesy of Long Walk Productions.

 

The Mad Monster Party returned to Charlotte this weekend, March 21-23, 2014, by far their biggest effort yet. This was the third year for the convention that celebrates everything from old school Twilight Zone to A House of 1,000 Corpses, and everything in between. In fact, where else could you find Leatherface himself, RA Mihailoff reciting the Bard with Shakespeare Carolina, while music legends The Misfits looked on? It was truly a bizarre weekend.

I had the great fortune to be invited by local independent film makers, Long Walk Productions, to hang with them at their vendor booth for the convention. This meant that my time was split between working the Con and also enjoying it from a visitor’s perspective. It’s interesting to see things from both sides of the house, especially if you want a clear impression of what is really going on around you. It’s always a good thing, unless of course you are reviewing a restaurant. In that case, I assure you…stay out of the kitchen.

The Mad Monster Party (MMP) was set up between two large ballrooms at the University Place Hilton in Charlotte. The hotel is situated by a small lake, amongst many shops and restaurants all connected by small footbridge. Parking was a little tricky, but almost always is at events such as these. MMP utilized every bit of space that they could, lining the hallways of the hotel with various vendor booths and installing a gala tent in the parking lot. Everywhere you turned, strange collectibles and stars of the macabre awaited. Upon set up Friday, it seemed as though everything was planned to perfection. Little did I know how busy things were in the lobby with people trying to get through Will Call with their pre-paid ticket receipts.

And then, of course, came Saturday. Saturdays are notorious for being the busiest convention day because that’s when most people are able to attend. It became evident quickly that the volunteer staff was not prepared to handle the situation. Social media began to explode with posts citing excessively long lines and ticketing issues among other things. Television and film star John Schneider, who was there to do a special screening of his new film Smothered, remained positive as he told me, “We had a good turnout [for the screening] but I wouldn’t do it on a Friday night again, because I’ve had a bunch of people say that they couldn’t get in last night because in order to see Smothered, they had to get in here first. And the line was too long, so by the time they got their ticket, Smothered was either already started or over.” Aside from that snafu, Schneider seemed rather pleased with the rest of MMP.

That seemed to be the consensus all around. Nightmare on Elm Street’s Heather Langenkamp, commenting on the amount of people waiting in line to meet her,  “It’s something like I have never experienced.” For the most part, vendors and celebrities were easily accessible, with no more than a 10 minute wait at any given time. But as Saturday progressed, maneuverability waned. Table lines grew wildly, specifically for William Shatner, Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson, and Corey Feldman. Traffic flow to the tables was not designated prior, so fans were coming at them from all sides. It was a complete cluster. Finally, someone had the sense to put some silver duct tape on the floor in front of Elvira’s table to split the flow of traffic in either direction. Feldman told me, “I think it’s [MMP] great, you know. It’s probably the biggest one I’ve seen outside of [San Diego] Comic Con, that would be my guess.

Joe Moe, one of the three event organizers, was on hand throughout the weekend, talking to vendors, guests, and overseeing things first hand. I witnessed him assess a pedestrian traffic jam and quickly remedy the situation by addressing volunteer staff and guests. Having been on the working side of conventions before, I know how overwhelming things can become. Moe, always with a smile on his face, took it all in stride. “We’re having some growing pains, yes. Ballpark, it looks like we’re on track with 4-5,ooo in attendance, which is what we had hoped for.” Moe also made sure to respond to comments on social media outlets throughout the weekend, which were not always positive, and address concerns in the best way that he could. “We’re really responsive to fans.”

Many of those fans had some downright horrible things to say in their posts. This is the first time that I have seen that level of response to a convention. Sure, I had issues with the event. For starters, the power went off twice in the ballroom leaving everyone in the dark for a few moments. The A/C was all but non-existent. There wasn’t enough signage or a proper map laid out in their pamphlets to let guests know which celebs were in which ballroom, or to provide the location of any special panels (the tent in the parking lot, in case you were wondering). One of the actors, I won’t name names, bumped into me at a water cooler. “I ain’t seen a staff member in hours.” He’d had to abandon his autograph table in order to get a drink of water because volunteers all but disappeared the more chaotic the crowd became. There were so many things that I witnessed–again, as both vendor and guest–that I would have done differently.

Certainly, there were cases where the venting was called for. If I’d pre-purchased tickets and still been subjected to a 3.5hr line to hand in the receipt, I would have been pissed! If my car had been lost by the valet (yes, that happened) the whole world would have known about it. But, the majority of the complaints were, in my opinion, blown out of proportion. I don’t know anything about this Joe Moe or his colleagues. But what I do know, is that someone who is a fanboy at heart, got the idea to start a convention. A party by the fans for the fans. For everything that was wrong, so much of the weekend was right. Even Disney World gave me a headache (fast-pass my behind). But it was still one of the greatest vacations of my life.

That being said, let’s consider the rest of MMP, shall we? One minute I’m discussing special effects make-up with the great Tom Savini, and the next, I’m cracking jokes with the likes of Richard Kiel and Dick Miller. There was a panel between WWF (yeah…I said it) legends Rowdy Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan. Henry “the Fonz” Winkler was showing off children’s books. Cherie Currie was chatting me up on the history of rock legends the Runaways. Corey Feldman used my cell phone. Megan Grant, a licensed cosmetologist and entrepreneur, was set up with her Get Dead Crew, providing air-brush and prosthetics to people, literally turning them into monsters on site. There was karaoke in the hotel bar Saturday night. I laid down the boogie and played that funky music til they died. Or at least until the Misfits’ Dr. Chud cracked up laughing at me. The highlight of my weekend at MMP was Saturday night at midnight, when an estimated 1,000 guests piled into the gala tent to watch a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, featuring a spectacular shadow-cast troupe called That Type from Charlotte’s Cinebarre, and featuring the film’s stars Barry Bostwick, Patricia Quinn and “Little” Nell Campbell. RHPS historian, Larry Vizel was on hand to film and conduct interviews for the upcoming 40th anniversary documentary Rocky Horror Saved My Life. It was an historical evening. In her second year attending with her family, Roseana Matthews found a “Golden Ticket” in the “Monsta Bar” she had purchased. The chocolates were a monster mock up of the famous Wonka Bar, with 6 lucky winners being upgraded to RIP status.

I guess the point that I’m trying to make, is that people need to lighten up. Unless something truly horrible happened to you or someone you care about as a direct result of something at a convention, you’re problem isn’t as big as you’re making it out to be. MMP is, as Moe said, experiencing growing pains. In 3 short years, the event has grown exponentially. Given their celebrity guest list, perhaps they should have considered a different venue. This is an event that is convention center worthy, crammed into a hotel. In order to make up for the overcrowding (which, according to local news, had the attention of the Fire Marshall), organizers will need to carefully consider where they set up next year. Or at least, reconsider the amount of vendors in the halls (many in wheelchairs had difficulties navigating) or alter the layout. Volunteer staff could be better trained. But this is how it is done, honestly, trial and error. As an event organizer, you try to prepare for every possible scenario you can imagine and you train your staff based on that. Without fail, something unexpected will always crop up; being short handed, celebs that cancel, ticketing issues, photo-op issues, and so forth. Conventions should be looked at as viable organisms, growing and changing and evolving. They will never be able to please all fans all the time. But they will certainly try. Year to year, they’ll try.

And it’s important for MMP to learn from their mistakes and move forward a little more prepared next year. For every celebrity guest I interviewed raved about how much fun they were having and how they couldn’t wait to come back. Celebrating all that scares us excites our film heroes, too. “Your first scare is the most important one you have,” said Langenkamp, admitting that the Flying Monkeys from the Wizard of Oz is what started it all for her. Dick Miller laughed, “I’ve very rarely been scared by movies…except for something Shirley Temple did.” Barry Bostwick had other ideas, “You wanna know why I do this? I do this to talk to lovely people like you and to oogle the girls. I just sit here and watch the girls go by.” Thanks, Barry.

All in all, in spite of a few hiccups–some preventable, some not–I think Mad Monster Party was a huge success. It is a relaxed environment where you get to hang out with the celebrities, rather than being separated from them like at some other conventions. Between the few panels that they had, the movie screenings, and the Rocky Horror reunion, it was definitely worth the ticket price for anyone who attended. Even though I did my fair share of mumbling and complaining throughout the weekend, I will admit, as a fan I am grateful an event such as this has been put together. I hope that, in time, other fans will learn to appreciate what all goes into putting on an event of this size and what they got to experience over all. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings for the Mad Monster Party!

Photos courtesy of Garrett Marks and Walker Bait Productions, unless otherwise noted.

Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson.

Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson.

RA Mihailoff (Leatherface) reciting with Shakespeare Carolina and Long Walk Productions.

RA Mihailoff (Leatherface) reciting with Shakespeare Carolina and Long Walk Productions.

Patricia Quinn chatting with the Carolina Ghostbusters.

Patricia Quinn chatting with the Carolina Ghostbusters.

Barry Bostwick.

Barry Bostwick.

Joking around with Richard Kiel.

Joking around with Richard Kiel.

Setting up in one of the MMP ballrooms.

Setting up in one of the MMP ballrooms.

Super Megafest, New England’s Premiere Celebrity Pop Culture Fan Fest, Returns in November 2013

Press Release:

Megafest flyerHollywood comes to Massachusetts! Movies, Super Heroes, Music, Wrestling and Intergalactic Fun come together in Framingham at the Super Megafest, New England’s premiere Celebrity Pop Culture Fan Fest! This year’s event will feature Hollywood icons & celebrities, rock and roll, science fiction and wrestling legends. The Super Megafest takes place Saturday, Nov. 23rd from 10:30am to 6pm & Sunday, Nov 24th from 10:30am to 5pm at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel located at 1657 Worcester Rd., Framingham, MA 01701.

Comic, Movie and TV fans will be thrilled with the rare appearance of  CHRISTOPHER LLOYD – Doc Brown from Back to  the Future. TOM FELTON – best known for playing the role of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series. ELIZA DUSHKU – Known for her television roles including recurring appearances as Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff series Angel. JON HEDER – Napolean Dynamite! BARBARA EDEN and BILL DAILY – the sitcom I Dream of Jeannie! MANU BENNETT – Sparticus, The Hobbit and Arrow. RAY PARK- Darth Maul and Snake Eyes plus much more! KAREN ALLEN is best known for her role as Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. JEREMY BULLOCH – who starred as Boba Fett in Star Wars! JOSH SUSSMAN – current role as Jacob Ben Israel on the smash hit Glee! BRONSON PINCHOT – Balki Bartokomous on the ABC sitcom Perfect Strangers! AARON ASHMORE – best known for his roles in American TV shows, as Jimmy Olsen in Smallville and as Steve Jinks in Warehouse 13 plus much more. LARRY KENNY – voiced Lion-O of the Thundercats throughout the mid eighties! ELVIRA – Mistress of the Dark! LARRY STORCH – Corporal Agarn on the TV series F-Troop! VIC MIGNOGNA – voice actor and musician best known for his work for ADV Films/Seraphim Digital, Funimation Entertainment/OkraTron 5000, and Viz Media/Studiopolis plus much more! RON MOSS – recognized for his role of 25 years portraying Ridge Forrester on “The Bold And The Beautiful”! FRANK AVRUCH – Boston’s own Bozo the Clown! CARROL SPINNEY- original one and only for playing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street! MIA ST JOHN – 5x World Boxing Champion and Playboy Cover Model plus much more! Many other guests to be announced!
Wrestling guests include SGT SLAUGHTER and KELLY KELLY! Many other guests to be announced!

Comic artists include ETHAN VAN SCIVER – best known for illustrating a number of titles including Green Lantern, Superman/Batman, New X-Men, and The Flash: Rebirth. AL PLASTINO – best known as one of the most prolific Superman artists of the 1950s! PAUL RYAN – worked extensively for Marvel Comics and DC Comics on a number of super-hero comics including DP7, Fantastic Four, Spiderman, Batman, Flash, Superman and the Phantom plus much more! JOHN HEBERT- X-Men Adventures, Punisher, Deathlok and current Captain Action artist! GREG LAROCQUE – Spider-man, The Avengers, Justice League, Legion of Super-Heroes, & the Flash among many more! JOSE DELBO – main artist on Wonder Woman plus much, much more! HANNIBAL KING – former Magic: The Gathering artist for Wizards of the Coast and worked on comics ranging from Grendel for old Comico to Marvel’s Excaliber to DC’s Green Arrow. JAMAL IGLE – Green Lantern, G.I. Joe, Martian Manhunter and Supergirl plus much more!

The stars will be signing autographs and doing Q & A sessions with fans throughout the day. Professional photos with most celebrities will be available on site! There will also be an incredible dealers room chock full of the hottest collectibles, gifts, toys, comics, movie posters, and trading cards from the 1960s to today!

Start the Megafest on Friday night, Nov 22nd, with the SUPER MEGAFEST COMEDY KICKOFF PARTY featuring 3 top comedians! Surprise celebrity guests will mix and mingle! Every attendee will be entered into a free raffle with awesome prizes and those in full costume will receive a free Super Megafest T-Shirt! A cash bar will be available. Doors open at 8 PM and showtime is 9 PM until midnight! Start the weekend off with a memorable fun-filled night!

The COME TOGETHER MEGA MUSIC FEST celebrates the magical music of some of your favorite artists! Featuring CHUCK NEGRON, formerly of Three Dog Night, MARK LINDSAY, Niki Luparelli and the Gold Diggers and Loose Salute who will feature the works of Michael Nesmith! Showtime is 7:30 PM to Midnight on Saturday, November 23rd!

For more info visit www.supermegafest.com

Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2012 Unleashes a Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Comikaze

Press Release:

Stan Lee’s Comikaze Unleashes A Zombie Apocalypse and Batman Cast Reunion

Los Angeles (August 30th 2012) – Stan Lee’s Comikaze, LA’s largest pop-culture convention, owned by comic legend Stan Lee and horror icon Elvira, have just announced a 75k sq ft Zombie Apocalypse obstacle course in addition to their 250k sq ft convention floor, planned for Sept 15-16 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC).

According to the Stan Lee’s Comikaze website, a previous convention in the LACC  left all attendees infected with the zombie virus. Making light of a bad situation, Comikaze dares their attendees to run, slide, climb, and crawl through one of the best-planned, zig-zagging obstacle courses – All while being chased by flesh-eating zombies! The Zombie Apocalypse is conveniently located in Hall K and takes about 35 minutes to complete.

The Comikaze Zombie Apocalypse costs an additional $30.00. The course is not recommended for children 12 and under.

Tickets are limited – So get yours today!

If surviving the Zombie Apocalypse is not something you’re interested in, fans can pay between $75.00 – $150.00 to be transformed into a flesh and brain eating zombie by SFX artists. Zombies are expected to terrorize, chase, and infect the survivors to their heart’s content.

Stan Lee’s Comikaze embraces all zombie culture. There will also be appearances from Norman Reedus (Daryl from Walking Dead), and Tony Moore, the original Walking Dead comic artist.

“I am really proud of this course, no other zombie course has been like it. This will set the standard!” says Comikaze CEO, Regina Carpinelli.

Are zombies not your thing? Never fear!

Stan Lee’s Comikaze presented by POW! Entertainment has over 400 vendors and artists, as well as celebrity signings and cast reunions. Todd McFarlane, creator of Spawn, will be signing for FREE! My Little Pony voice actress Tara Strong, as well as the cast of Boondock Saints, and the original cast of  the BATMAN TV SHOW (ADAM WEST and JULIE NEWMAR).  Comikaze also has a large interactive stage with a jumbotron to engage fans with fun surprises from celebrities, surprise screenings from major network tv shows,  AND promos for fall blockbusters!

If gaming is your thing, Star City Games is hosting a Magic: The Gathering tournament with over 20k$ in prizes.  There will also be World Of WarCraft and Warhammer 40k tournaments, as well as a live Quidditch match that Comikaze proudly states is the largest outside of a Harry Potter book.

Don’t miss out on this epic event — Get your tickets today!

1-day passes are $20, and weekend passes are $30.  Kids 12 and under are FREE. Those who dare can try their survival skills on our Zombie Apocalypse for an additional $30. Learn more here: http://comikazeexpo.com/zombieapocalypse/ – For more information on Stan Lee’s Comikaze, go to www.comikazeexpo.com  and follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/StanLeeComikaze) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ComikazeExpo).

This is but the tip of the Comikaze iceberg!  Expect the unexpected! This show is for you, LA!

CA – Elvira Signing

ELVIRA Mistress of the Dark makes a rare in-costume appearance at Golden Apple Comics this Sunday July 1, 2012 from 2:00 – 4:00pm! 1 FREE autograph per person!!!

Golden Apple Comics
7018 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Fax Expo Canada 2011 Offers Up Thrills and Chills

Press Release:

Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger

Thrills and Chills at 2011 Fan Expo Canada™

Horror genre heavyweights headline Festival of Fear Horror Expo: Freddy Krueger, Elvira, Gomez and Hellraiser

Toronto, ON (May 17, 2011) – Some of film and television’s most fear-provoking characters of all time are set to appear in the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear Horror Expo, August 25 – 28, 2011 as part of Fan Expo Canada™, the nation’s largest gaming, horror, comic, science fiction and anime event. 

Horror genre personas Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), Elvira, Hellraiser’s Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and The Addams Family patriarch “Gomez” played by John Austin headline the frightening lineup joined by horror royalty Victoria Price (daughter of King of Horror Vincent Price) and legendary director John Waters to name a few.

The RUE MORGUE FESTIVAL OF FEAR is the country’s largest horror expo, attracting an average of 70,000+ fans to the heart of downtown Toronto over four days in August. This powerhouse event is an extravaganza of celebrity guests, autograph signings, Q&A sessions, seminars and workshops, plus a colossal selection of horror movies and memorabilia including books, toys, video games, trading cards, posters and tons more. Horror fans of all ages will also have the opportunity to preview upcoming films in the Screaming Room, participate in the midnight horror masquerade on Saturday, August 27th and enjoy musical performances by horror punk bands.
 

2011 National Horror Expo – The Rue Morgue Festival Of Fear Celebrity Guests:

Guests of Honour:
ROBERT ENGLUND (Freddy Krueger in the original A Nightmare On Elm Street, Freddy Vs Jason)
JOHN WATERS (Legendary director of Pink Flamingos, Multiple Maniacs, Serial Mom)

Special Guests:

JOHN ASTIN (Gomez of The Addams Family)
DOUG BRADLEY (Pinhead of Hellraiser series)
REMY COUTURE (FX artist, The Punisher, Death Race, Inner Depravity)
ELVIRA (Mistress of the Dark)
LANCE HENRIKSEN (Bishop in the Aliens feature films)
MALCOLM MCDOWELL (Alex DeLarge of A Clockwork Orange and Dr. Samuel Loomis of Halloween films)
VICTORIA PRICE (Daughter of Vincent Price and author of A Daughter’s Biography)
TOM SAVINI (Dawn of the Dead, From Dusk Till Dawn and director of 2009’s Night of the Living Dead)
SAM TRAMMELL (Sam Merlotte in True Blood, Dexter)
 
Horror Punk Guests:
BLOOD CEREMONY (Toronto’s Witch Rock Pioneers)
GHOULTOWN (Texas’ Premier Hellbilly Band)
STEVEN SEVERIN (London Punk pioneer and founder of Siouxsie And the Banshees, Music For Silents)

Key Features And Highlights of the Festival Of Fear Horror Expo:

·       Intimate and Interactive celebrity presentations and autograph sessions allow fans the opportunity to meet their favourite personalities and learn from an insider’s perspective
·       Screaming Rooms – a great opportunity to preview upcoming films and projects
·       Special presentation at the Bloor Cinema – TBA.
·       Workshops and Seminars – daily free lectures by horror industry experts
·       Q&A Sessions – visitors can participate in an open forum with industry professionals
·       The Official Horror Expo Party on Saturday, Aug. 27th – dress up as a popular horror character and compete for a midnight costume contest!
·       600 commercial exhibitors and retailers will offer everything from graphic novels, trades, videos, DVDs, movie memorabilia, original artwork, posters and more!
·       Industry Preview Area – see the latest products and services and get a sneak peek at upcoming projects
·      Artist Alley – meet the up and coming talents in the horror world including feature writers, artists and publishers.
 
For a 17th consecutive year, visitors from across Ontario and around the world will have the opportunity to experience the very best of pop culture first-hand at the upcoming 2011 Fan Expo Canada™. In addition to The Festival of Fear Horror Expo, the country’s largest combined event will include Anime, Science Fiction Expo, Comic Book Expo and Gaming Expo.
 

SHOW DETAILS:
 
WHEN: AUGUST 25- 28, 2011
                       
Thursday, August 25, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Special Preview) 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Friday, August 26 – 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday, August 27 – 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday, August 28- 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
                       
WHERE:  Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building
222 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
 

For more information visit, http://www.fanexpocanada.com/

Spooky Empire Welcomes John Carpenter for UHW 2010

Press Release:

John Carpenter Heading to Orlando, FL

Orlando, FL – They’ve done it again! Spooky Empire has taken what was already an amazing celebrity guest lineup and made it even more impressive with the addition of some of the best guests the horror world has to offer. This year’s event returns to the Wyndham Orlando Resort on October 8-10, 2010. Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend is fast becoming one of the most popular horror events in U.S. with fans coming from all over the world to attend. Last years show was monstrous, with the most fans in attendance so far, reaching record breaking numbers.

In addition to the first guest announcements, (including a Nightmare on Elm Street reunion featuring the gloved one himself, Robert Englund “Freddy Krueger”, John Saxon, Heather Langenkamp, and Amanda Wyss), will be the Master of Horror, Legendary Director John Carpenter – best known for his many horror/sci-fi films including “Halloween”, “Christine”, “The Fog”, and “Escape From New York” and The Mistress of the Dark herself – Elvira.

Other guests just announced are Tom Towles, best known for his role as “George Wydell” in “House of 1,000 Corpses”, Ken Sagoes who played “Roland Kincaid” in “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3:Dream Warriors” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street 4:The Dream Master”, Nivek Ogre, original member of the band Skinny Puppy who most recently played the part of “Pavi Largo” in the rock-opera “Repo:The Genetic Opera”. Some returning guests are Kane Hodder “Friday the 13th VII & VIII”, Mike Christopher a/ka/ Hare Krishna Zombie from “Dawn of the Dead”, and paranormal favorites Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango from GhostHunters and GhostHunters Academy. They will all be joining some already established guests including horror’s favorite mother Betsy Palmer “Mrs. Vorhees” and Adrienne King from “Friday the 13th”, Danny Trejo of films such as “The Devil’s Rejects” “From Dusk Til Dawn”and the soon to be released “Predators”. It’s a family affair with father and son duo Jake Busey “The Frighteners” and “Starship Troopers” who is making a return appearance, and his dad the legendary Gary Busey star of over a hundred films including “Point Break” and “Silver Bullet”. The master of special FX, Tom Savini “Dawn of the Dead” will be there as well, plus more to be announced over the next few months!

Advance tickets for this ultimate event are available now! $50 gets you in for the whole weekend, that’s all three days of horror mayhem! One day passes are just $30 and $35. Visit the website www.spookyempire.com. VIP packages are available for $199 and include advance entry for each day of the show, a fast pass for the autograph lines, an exclusive VIP party on Saturday night, and a limited edition T-Shirt.

Make sure you reserve your rooms early this year. Last year sold out quickly and you don’t want to pass up the opportunity to stay on the premises, you don’t want to miss a thing. Rooms at the Wyndham are just $99 a night, if you mention “Spooky Empire” when you call for reservations. The Wyndham reservation line is 1-800-421-8001. You can also reserve your room via the website www.spookyempire.com

Join the legions of Spooky Empire fans on their Forum at www.spookyempire.com. Meet other fans, get answers to your questions, and find out the most recent updates on the show. You can also find and keep up with Spooky Empire on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.

For more information visit the website at www.spookyempire.com or call the Spooky Empire Hotline 954-258-7852.

Comic-Con International Autograph Schedule is Up

The Autograph Schedule for SDCC is now available.

Scheduled signers, just to name a few, include Olivia Munn, Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, John Kricfalusi, James Jean, Jim Caviezel, Jamie Campbell-Bower, Robert Carlyle, Alaina Huffman, Ming-Na, Adam West, Alan Dean Foster, Jim Valentino, Brandon Routh, Sam Huntington, Yaphet Kotto, Elvira, Thomas Jane, Kathy Najimy, Adrian Paul, Brande Roderick, J. Michael Straczynski, and Jane Wiedlin.

Located upstairs in the Sails Pavilion, the Autograph Area is the place to go for a special memento from a variety of artists, authors and actors from every era of popular culture. Some are signing right after their spotlight panel, so check the program grid daily.

The Autograph Area is open from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM Thursday through Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. No autograph sessions will be held before or after these times, but fans are welcome to come on up and get in line when the convention hall opens.

Due to high demand and the limited time available from notables appearing to sign autographs, the Autograph Area Coordinator may at any time shut down a line, even if people are still waiting for an autograph. We apologize for any inconvenience or disappointment.

Changes and surprise additions will occur throughout the show, so be sure to check the daily newsletter and the information boards located throughout the center. Schedules will be posted at the Autograph Area Information Desk, staffed 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM Thursday through Saturday, and 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM Sunday.

Most autograph signings are of a limited nature. Your badge does not guarantee autographs at any event.

All guests (that are at tables, booths, etc.) are required to sign one Program Book for free.