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.

Major Updates for Florida Supercon 2012

Press Release:

South Florida’s Largest Geek Entertainment Festival Returns

June 29 – July 2, 2012 To Miami, FL.
Featuring Comic Books, Anime, Cosplay, Animation, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Video Games, with over 200 guest celebrities, artists, writers and bands!

JUST ANNOUNCED: ALEX KINGSTON (DR. WHO), HORROR LEGEND TOM SAVINI, NICKI CLYNE (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) & MORE!

Miami, FL – Florida Supercon: South Florida’s Comic Book, Anime, Animation, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Video Game Festival returns to Miami for its 7th annual event to the Miami Airport Convention Center on Friday, June 29th through Monday, July 2nd. Florida Supercon is a massive four day festival that will feature over 10,000 fans, over 200 guest celebrities, comic book creators, artists, writers, filmmakers and bands, as well as hundreds of events, including: celebrity Q&A’s, costume contests, cosplay photo shoots, industry panels, live music, video games and much more!

Florida Supercon is less than a month away and has just confirmed several new headliners for the already massive guest list! New guest additions include:
Alex Kingston: Star of Doctor Who (River Song) and ER (Dr. Elizabeth Corday).
Tom Savini: Horror Legend and Icon. Actor, Director, Make Up Artist and more!
Nicki Clyne: Star of Battlestar Galactica (Cally Henderson Tyrol).
Bob Bolling: Comic Book Artist/Writer. Creator of Little Archie.
Priscilla Barnes: Star of Three’s Company, The Devil’s Rejects and Mallrats.
Marilyn Ghigliotti: Star of Clerks.
Some of the highlights of guests already announced for Florida Supercon 2012 include:

Television and Movie Stars: Dino Stamatopoulos (Community), Scott Adsit (30 Rock), Michael Hogan (Battlestar Galactica), Linda Harrison (Planet of the Apes), Chad Lindberg (Supernatural, Fast and the Furious), Noel G. (Walking Dead, Fast and the Furious), Cindy Morgan (Tron, Caddyshack) and Allen Oppenheimer (Six Million Dollar Man, Star Trek).

Stars of The Hunger Games: Dakota Hood, Mackenzie Lintz, Annie Thurman, Tara Macken, Sam Tan and Ethan Jamieson.

Comic Book Guests of Honor: Neal Adams (Batman, The Avengers, X-Men), Carmine Infantino (Godfather of The Silver Age, Creator of Batgirl, The Flash and Poison Ivy) and George Perez (The Avengers, Wonder Woman, Superman, Teen Titans).

Comic Book Superstar Artists: Olivier Coipel (Avengers vs. X-Men, Thor), Steve Epting (Captain America, Fantastic Four), Rags Morales (Action Comics/Superman), Kevin Maguire (World’s Finest, Justice League), Clay Mann (X-Men), Ariel Olivetti (G.I. Combat, Incredible Hulk, Cable), Brad Walker (Superman, Guardians of the Galaxy), Shawn Crystal (Deadpool), Dan Parent (Archie), Greg Horn (Green Lantern, Ms. Marvel) and much more!

Comic Book Legends: Denny O’Neil (Batman, Green Lantern), Roy Thomas (The Avengers, X-Men, Star Wars), Jose Delbo (Wonder Woman, Batman), Bill Sienkiewicz (Daredevil, New Mutants, Spider-Man), Howard Chaykin (Star Wars, The Avengers, Captain America), Allen Bellman (1940’s Captain America, Human Torch).

Comic Book Industry Guests: Lauren Sankovich (Marvel Comics), Alex Segura (Archie Comics) and David Uslan (Graphic.Ly).

Musical Headliners: Less Than Jake, Celldweller and over fifteen support bands.

Stars of Ghost Hunters on SyFy: Britt Griffith, Paul Bradford and Scott Tepperman.

Michael Uslan, producer of summer blockbuster Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.

Legendary Horror Filmmakers: Lloyd Kaufman (Troma, Toxic Avenger) and Herschell Gordon Lewis (Blood Feast).

Creators and Stars of Adult Swim’s Frankenhole and Morel Orel: Dino Stamatopoulos, Scott Adsit and Britta Phillips.

Anime Stars: Brittney Karbowski (Soul Eater), J. Michael Tatum (Black Butler, One Piece), Stephanie Young (Claymore, One Piece) and David Vincent (Code Geass, Bleach).

Video Game Voice Stars: D.C. Douglas (Mass Effect, Resident Evil) and Michael Hogan (Mass Effect, Skyrim).

Animation Voice Stars: Dana Snyder (Aqua Teen Hunger Force), Gregg Berger (Transformers), Richard Horvitz (Invader Zim), Rikki Simons (Invader Zim), Larry Kenney (Thundercats), Allen Oppenheimer (He-Man and The Masters of the Universe) and Billy West (Futurama, Ren and Stimpy).

Wrestling Stars: Raven, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and The Nasty Boys.

Florida Supercon has dedicated programming tracks for each of the genre’s being celebrated. Some of the amazing events planned include:
· Q&A’s with all of our attending guests
· Comic art portfolio reviews for aspiring artists
· Fan panels for all aspects of the show (Comics, Anime, Animation, Sci-Fi etc.)
· Industry panels for breaking into Comics, Anime, Animation etc…
· The FSC Costume Competition (with over $3,000 in cash and prizes)
· Dozens of Cosplay Photo Shoots for cosplayers and photographers
· Supercon Championship Wrestling featuring Cobra Commander, The Joker, The Mario Bros., The Geico Caveman and more!
· Filmmaking workshops with legendary Filmmakers
· The FSC Film Festival
· The FSC Tech Track
· Live Musical Performances
· Live Stand Up Comedy
· Anime Screenings and Anime Music Videos
· Over 100 Video Game stations and Video Game Tournaments
· A 50,000 square feet exhibition room with over 300 booths and tables featuring vendors, celebrity guests, artists, filmmakers and exhibits.

Complete information on all our guests and dozens of more events taking place all weekend can be found at www.floridasupercon.com

The convention hours of operation are:
FRIDAY, JUNE 29: 12:00PM – 2:00AM, SATURDAY, JUNE 30: 10:00AM – 2:00AM, SUNDAY, JULY 1: 10:00AM – 2:00AM, MONDAY, JULY 2: 11:00AM – 6:00PM
THE MIAMI AIRPORT CONVENTION CENTER is located at 711 NW 72nd Ave, Miami, FL 33126 and has over 175,000 square feet of total convention space.

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.

Ultimate Horror Weekend 2010 Announces 1st Guests

Press Release:

FREDDY KRUEGER CLAWS HIS WAY BACK TO ORLANDO

Orlando, FL – One, two, Freddy’s coming for you, three, four there’s a lot in store…as Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend dusts off their coffins for another spooktacular year. 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.

Their first guest announcements, which have already caused a stir, include a Nightmare on Elm Street reunion featuring the gloved one himself, Robert Englund “Freddy Krueger”, John Saxon, Heather Langenkamp, and Amanda Wyss. From Friday the 13th, horror’s favorite mother Betsy Palmer “Mrs. Vorhees” makes an appearance along with Adrienne King. Also in attendance will be Danny Trejo of films such as The Devil’s Rejects and From Dusk Til Dawn. Danny will be there supporting his two upcoming films Machete and Predator. 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 many, many more to be announced over the next few months!

Advance tickets for this ultimate event will be available starting this Monday, May 24th at 9am ! $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.
Contact:
Pete Mongelli
Spooky Empire, Inc.
954-258-7852

http://www.spookyempire.com

Fan Expo Canada Announces Full Celebrity Guest List

Press Release:

Fan-demonium to Reach an All-Time High at 15th Annual Fan Expo Canada 2009


Leonard Nimoy, Linda Hamilton, Lou Ferrigno, and Bruce Campbell among the star-studded line-up at this year’s event

July 9, 2009, Toronto, ON – Expect to see a surge of Vulcans, Storm Troopers, Zombies, Dragonballers and other strange and wonderful characters across the city as Toronto hosts the largest combined gaming, horror, comic, science fiction and anime event in the country. The 15th annual Fan Expo Canada takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building on August 28-30, 2009.

Owned and operated by Hobby Star Marketing, Fan Expo Canada offers fans of every genre the chance to meet their favourite celebrities and pop culture heroes at autograph and photo sessions; participate in informational workshops with industry experts offering advice, tips and portfolio reviews; and shop for exclusive Fan Expo offers, collectables and memorabilia from more than 600 vendors.

“By offering unique experiences and opportunities to interact with icons, industry leaders, and other enthusiastic fans, Fan Expo delivers a signature event in Canada that satisfies fans’ cravings like no other,” says Aman Gupta, President of Hobby Star Marketing. “For the past 15 years Fan Expo Canada has been the only event to bring this level of fandom to Toronto and Fan Expo Canada 2009 will bring even more to visitors than ever before with incredible limited edition offers, the widest range of industry merchandise available, and appearances by genre demi-gods.”

Hobby Star Marketing Inc. was founded in 1992 and has quickly become one of Canada’s premiere sports and entertainment marketing companies. Since its inception, Hobby Star Marketing has secured a niche in the industry by specializing in professional sport and entertainment celebrity placement at a variety of venues and events.

SPECIAL CELEBRITY GUESTS:

SFX Science Fiction Expo, in association with SPACE – the official National Cable Broadcast Sponsor, guest list:

  • LEONARD NIMOY – The legendary Mr. Spock of Star Trek
  • LINDA HAMILTON – Sarah Connor celebrating the 25th Anniversary of The Terminator
  • BILLY DEE WILLIAMS – Lando Calrissian of the Star Wars feature films
  • BEAU BRIDGES – Major General Hank Landry of Stargate SG-1
  • THOMAS DEKKER – John Connor of Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles
  • MARY MCDONNELL – President Laura Roslin of Battlestar Galactica
  • JAMES KYSON LEE – Ando of Heroes
  • AVERY BROOKS – Captain Benjamin Sisko of Star Trek Deep Space Nine
  • WALTER KOENIG – Pavel Chekov of Star Trek
  • ROBERT DUNCAN MCNEILL – Tom Paris of Star Trek Voyager
  • LOU FERRIGNO – The Incredible Hulk
  • DAVE THOMAS – Doug of Bob and Doug McKenzie brothers
  • LARRY THOMAS – Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi”
  • TONY CURTIS – Legendary actor and Hollywood Icon

The Comic Book Expo guest list:

  • JOE QUESADA – Editor In Chief Marvel Comics
  • DAN DIDIO – Senior VP DC Comics
  • CHRIS BACHALO – Legendary Artist
  • MIKE DEODATO JR.- Artist Dark Avengers
  • ETHAN VAN SCIVER – Artist of Flash Rebirth
  • J MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI – Award winning writer
  • STEVE MCNIVEN – Artist of Wolverine
  • IVAN REIS – Artist of Green Lantern & The Blackest Night – Rare appearance!
  • TERRY DODSON – Artist of Uncanny X-Men
  • DAVID FINCH – Artist of Ultimatum
  • OLIVIER COIPEL – Artist of Thor
  • MATT FRACTION – Writer of Uncanny X-Men and Invincible Ironman
  • MARKO DJURDJEVIC – Acclaimed Marvel Cover Artist & Thor
  • LEN WEIN – Legendary Creator of Wolverine & Swamp Thing
  • DARWYN COOKE – Artist of DC The New Frontier
  • DALE EAGLESHAM – Artist of upcoming Fantastic Four
  • BILL SIENKIEWICZ – Legendary Artist
  • STUART IMMONNEN – Artist of New Avengers
  • GEORGES JEANTY – Artist of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • RICHARD ISANOVE – Artist of Stephen King’s Dark Tower
  • MIKE CHOI – Artist of X-Force
  • DOUG SNEYD – Legendary Playboy Cartoonist

The Festival of Fear Horror Expo, sponsored by Rue Morgue Magazine, guest list:

  • BRUCE CAMPBELL – Legendary Film Actor
  • ROGER CORMAN – Legendary Director
  • UDO KEIR – Acclaimed Actor
  • BARBARA STEELE – Emmy Award-Winning Actress
  • TOM SAVINI – FX Master and Actor
  • ROBERT HALL – Award winning make up artist
  • JAMES DUVAL – Acclaimed Horror Film Actor
  • MAX BROOKS – Author Of The Zombie Survival Guide
  • ART HINDLE – Acclaimed actor
  • KELLEY ARMSTRONG – Best Selling Horror Author
  • JACK KETCHUM – Best Selling Horror Author
  • LLOYD KAUFMAN – Producer – Toxic Avenger

The CNAnime Expo celebrity guest list:

  • SCOTT MCNEIL – voice star of Mobile Suit Gundam, Dragonball Z
  • CRISPIN FREEMAN – voice star of Naruto, Eureka Seven, Ghost In the Shell
  • BRAD SWAILE – voice star of Death Note, Mobile Suit Gundam
  • AARON DISMUKE – voice star of Fullmetal Alchemist, Trinity Blood
  • COLLEEN CLINKENBEARD – voice star of Fullmetal Alchemist, Trinity Blood
  • MONICA RIAL – voice star of Kiddy Grade, Noir, Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE
  • BRINA PALENCIA – voice star of Claymore, Romeo A Juliet
  • DEREK STEPHEN PRINCE – voice star of Bleach, Digimon

The GX – Gaming Expo, sponsored by Zellers & G4 Tech TV, celebrity guest list:

  • STEVE DOWNES – Voice of Master Chief in the HALO video game series
  • VICTOR LUCAS – Creator / Producer / Host of Electric Playground
  • ED GREENWOOD – Creator / Author of Forgotten Realms
  • JESS HARTLEY – Editor / Developer of White Wolf Publishing
  • PIETER VAN HIEL – Role playing game Author of Sanguine Productions
  • JONATHAN LAVALLEE – President of Firestorm Ink gaming publisher
  • C.A. SULEIMAN – Director of Development CM Publishing
  • MALCOLM SHEPPARD – Role playing game Author of White Wolf

Gaming fans will have the opportunity to take part in dozens of official tournaments, play new games, win prizes, meet with industry experts, attend seminars and view upcoming products.

Additional Highlights:

  • Canada’s largest Masquerade Costume Contest on Saturday, Aug. 29
  • Industry Professional workshops for the public
  • Millions of dollars of collectibles and memorabilia for sale
  • Celebrity Q&A’s plus autograph and photo opportunities
  • More than 600 commercial exhibitors and retailers offering a full range of pop culture and entertainment themed merchandise including comic books, toys, collectibles, games, videos, and more!
  • Tons of costumed characters from your favourite TV shows & movies
  • Introducing a reusable shopping tote, made from 100% recycled materials and designed specifically for fans to take their goodies home
  • Exclusive show merchandise including:
    • MEGAN FOX photo cover variant for issue one TRANSFORMERS: TALES OF THE FALLEN comic book – Limited to only 1000 copies
    • STAR TREK: NERO comic, issue number one, “Spock Variant” edition – Limited to 1000 copies
    • ULTIMATE AVENGERS comic #1, “Sketch cover variant” edition (Limited to 1500 copies)
    • GREEN LANTERN: BLACKEST NIGHT Art Lithograph (Limited to 1500 copies) free and only available when you purchase a Fan Expo Premium Package

Stay tuned to www.fanexpocanada.com for more additions to this exciting line-up…

SHOW DETAILS:

WHEN: AUGUST 28 – 30, 2009

Friday, August 28th 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 29th 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 30th 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building

222 Bremner Blvd. Toronto, Ontario

TICKETS: Basic Adult Day Pass $25.00

Kids under 12 years old are FREE when accompanied by an adult

See website for further details

SPECIAL EVENT TICKETS: Some celebrity presentations are specially ticketed events – for dates, times and prices, please call Ticketmaster (416) 872-7777 or visit www.fanexpocanada.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT www.fanexpocanada.com