What I discovered was the event was divided across the hotel in a unique, if not entirely successful way. First, there was the screening/panel room, fairly modest spatially but perfect for the respectable, if not overflowing, crowds it would attract.
Next, there were the hallways. Due to capacity, many celebrities had booths set up on their way to the larger vendor rooms. Cassandra Peterson, Scout Taylor-Compton, Tippi Hedren, and Tyler Mane were banished to the hallway for all three days. They attracted respectable crowds, especially Peterson, whose line wound down the hallway like some sort of majestic snake made of nerds.
Of course, her’s was nothing compared to Norman Reedus, the star of Boondock Saints and The Walking Dead. My heart sank as it wound down the hall, as, at first, I thought it was the line to the main vendor’s room. Actually, it was – just Reedus’ part of it. As the weekend waned, his line grew to larger and larger proportions, at one point threatening to wrap around the outside of the hotel itself. The question of the weekend from most fans was “Is this Norman Reedus’ line?” I used it as a handy geographical marker of which part of the vendor’s room to avoid, as I hate, hate, hate big crowds of people.
I entered the first vendor room after working my way around Reedus’ ever-extending lines. The Horrorhound Staff-er checked my VIP pass and I entered what can only be described as some sort of horror nerd Valhalla.
To the naked eye, it was merely a large convention room crammed with celebrities, vendor tables, and artists’ booths. To me, however, it was an impossible vision I had only toyed with in my wildest dreams. The synapses in my brain blew a fuse at the sight of it all. My mental hard drive crashed. My cerebral CPU was fried. And in that moment, I felt the hand of God touch my geeky shoulder and whisper, “Go forth, my son, and waste your income on frivolous merchandise. Embarrass yourself by trying to make conversation with celebrities. Avoid eye contact with needy bootleg vendors asking $25 for a DVD-R of The Incredible Melting Man. Fulfill your destiny.”
And so I did. After wandering around the epic room, taking in the celebs (Sherilyn Fenn next to Nathan Baesel and… um, that chick from Pet Semetary!), T-shirts (Fright Rags!), toys, models, posters, DVDs, and other knick-knacks, I finally found a familiar sight: Synapse Films’ table.
Why is there a Peddy-Bear pic on the next page?