Sunday, October 31, 2010

ZomBcon I Seattle Halloween Weekend - Going next year too!

I'm now calling this, "ZomBcon I".
Because, I know there will be a ZomBcon II next year.

Things went very well. Here are a couple of shots from a less crowded moment but there were times when it was pleasantly, pretty crowded.
Viewer Army on G4 at ZomBcon
We went to ZomBcon this weekend. First ever in Seattle. I can't speak to the numbers of attendees as I don't have those numbers. But those in the know said, they are now expecting another ZomBcon, next year. We didn't get to any of the seminars, lectures and such that were going on around the various convention halls, and other locations (see, ZomBcon web site). We just stayed in the main arena.

We parked in the parking garage across the street from the Opera House, which the con was next to and below. We ate at Thai Heaven, directly on the north side of the garage, incredible food.

We first parked on the street on the west side of the Seattle Center, thinking we'd get our bearings, come bac and move the car, which is what happened. We wondered through the convention halls (outside through them, not inside) and ended at the Key Arena, where SOME thing was going on, but there were NO signs indicating what. Like it was a secret. Once we found it was the "Women of Faith Conference", well, I realized there were only women there, and most of them were looking at us.

I start to feel very out of place. We weren't all zombie'd out but, I suspect we cut a look rather less than desired at this event. Actually, it was more because of our having mentioned we were looking for ZomBcon. On the other hand, these were such ambiguous looks that we were getting, that it could have been more of a "want to get a drink with me after the 'come to Fath' meeting, later?". Either way we beat a quick retreat, found the con, asked about where to park, went back, moved the car, took the skybridge over the traffic and directly down into the bowels of ZomBcon.

I think had my satchel checked. We went in, got wristbanded and hit the freebie table. One of us grabbed up magic cards by the box, that they were giving out and checked out the other free flyers and such. A few handouts were there for many writers' works and other odds and ends as I'll talk about later.

First I'll mention my friends and the anthology I am in with Cal, Alan, paranormal romance author TL Mitchell and others in The Undead Nation Anthology:

Then there was Cal's (a hugely fun book) The Zombie's Survival Guide:

Cal with his "Het Maddem" book and George Romero (pretty sweet, right?):

And Alan's (I bought one) "Voyeur Dead":

I've never been much of one for wanting to sign my work, but I do love getting signed editions myself from other authors, so after a while, I was feeling how fun it might be to have my own book out there and ready to go. But I'll have to wait till the publisher gets done doing whatever voodoo they do, so we can get out there with it.

Once we got through the door, everyone was very friendly and having a very good time. This was about 11AM Saturday. The trip over required a ferry which we got to just in time and nearly drove right on. The trip back was the same, where we timed it (accidentally) nearly perfectly. The good time and the great service and excellent food at the Thai Heaven restaurant (352 Roy St). I had the Larb salad (Thai Salad) which I couldn't get enough of. It was messy to eat, wrapping the chicken and veggies in a leaf off the quarter cut of cabbage, but it was worth it. We ended the day not only feeling it was almost perfect, but exhausted, with happy smiles all around.
Taj Jackson, the Brazilian Sco triplets and the CodeZ table
As we entered the main floor, the first thing we couldn't miss was the CodeZ table with the Brazilian Sco triplets from Brazil. You make up your mind, but they were just so... pleasant. Beautiful, goes without saying (seem below). And they were being interviewed on camera. I wasn't surprised. There was an HDTV running a disc showing a looped promo of their show, CodeZ. With them, was Taj  Jackson, their director and producer who is Michael Jackson's nephew. Taj, is son of Tito Jackson (member of the highly acclaimed "Jackson 5") and  Dee Dee Jackson. More about CodeZ later. Taj was very cool. I hope he makes it, I don't see how he cannot.

Inside were plenty of Zombie types in makeup (hopefully) and many sellers at tables of all things Zombie. Books, both comic and prose, gadgets, swords, graphics, prosthetics, food (Zombie Flesh), drink (Zombie Blast, at a store near you soon....). Right of stage, was George Romero, signing and talking. Here's a shot of him with an anonymous attendee:
Left of stage was Ted Raimi, actor brother of the famous director, Sam Raimi (Evil Dead series, Spiderman, need I go on?).
As a young boy, Ted Raimi had Bruce Campbell as a babysitter. Thus, his life was meant to be entangled with Zombies. Raimi started out acting as an extra in his brother Sam’s films, including The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, Darkman, and the Spider-Man series.

Further around on the left, the Legendary and notorious Malcolm McDowell.
Behind Malcolm McDowell, you can almost see the Zombie Tools table with some very cool and extremely functional swords, machetes and knives, ranging not inexpensively from $150-$450, but built for the zombie kill environment and made to last.
Zombie Tools table:

Between them, the notorious and legendary, sub-culture favorite, Bruce Campbell (most recently of USA channel's "Burn Notice" fame as Sam, the all the time womanizer and hip, and sometimes Savvy, Saturated ex-Navy SEAL). Each took the stage for interview or general mayhem among other speakers. Here's a bad shot (more better coming soon):

Another shot:

A better shot, Bruce holding a Zombie Tools machete:

Malcolm McDowell got on stage for a little while and talked. I didn't feel he needed to say much though, as simply being in the room with him was a great pleasure. Then George Romero (photos coming soon) sat on stage to be interviewed for a while which was again like having Malcolm on stage, another icon of cinema.
Finally, and most entertaining of the "big three", was Bruce (more photos coming soon) Campbell. Bruce entertained for about an hour, remaining in true "Ash" (from Evil Dead franchise) form, brash and slightly rude, but funny as hell. He came on stage as the guy from Zombie Tools was about to come of stage, sharing about his company's products, Zombie killing devices. Bruce was pulling people out of the audience and making them work for his comedy. It was really too funny at times and people both on stage and off were having a great time.
He explained how to make good and professional stage blood (Karo syrup, red food coloring, a touch of blue food coloring and most importantly and typically forgotten, a whitener such as Coffee-mate for opacity). Bruce pointed out how zombies are actually dead and one cannot kill them, as they are, well, dead.
When asked which movie he regretted making or disliked the most, he answered that he liked all the movies he was in as he got paid for them and since we pay to see the movies, that complaint is for us to make.

One kid, sent up by his parent's and wearing a Boba Fett set of pajamas, asked, "When are you going to do "Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash" which broke everyone up. Bruce said that was a bad idea and a loosing concept. Then (jokingly) he said they actually got a call from the studios about just that topic and when his people said:

"That's a GREAT idea. How will we go about having Ash kill both Jason and Freddy? Hello? Hello?" which pretty much summed it up. You can't have a franchise hero be killed by another franchise hero (Aliens and Predators, notwithstanding). Then someone showed him a comic book of just that topic "Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash". Bruce said, that indeed he did know about that comic, but it was never going to happen on the big screen.

Bruce was very happy someone asked about his work on "Burn Notice", as he put it "I'm so glad someone mentioned Burn Notice, the number one show on cable television!"

Later, we got to see a very informative and entertaining talk by Sean “The Butcher” Smithson – Fangoria Writer, Horror Film Historian and Thom Carnell – Writer, Fangoria Magazine who read the first chapter from his book. Check out his Halloween Top 10 Third World Cannibal Films over at Dread Central. Here s Thom reading from his book.

I had to buy his book, so of course, I got a signed copy of "No Flesh Shall Be Spared". I'm looking forward to reading it. Partially because Thom said he addresses such things as how you can't shove a stick through a zombie's head, but you can break the sinoid bone in the middle of his head and it sounded like it would be an accurate and lucid and therefore, more fun read (albeit in a kind of slightly sort of darker sense, if you will). I bought a copy, and I have high hopes for it being a great read.

Thom and Sean talked about the entire Horror genre, and Zombies in particular. I would sum up what the said as this, if you want more of this, support it. If you want to stop watching the horror movies that are geared toward thirteen year old girls, which is what the theater exit polls indicate who is paying for these films, then you have to go to the theaters.

Pay, go to see movies you like. Ask for your money back if its a bad film. The money the films make, speaks volumes and studio execs listen to those numbers. If you are going to illegally download a movie like Spiderman, or Iron Man, okay, well, you shouldn't do that; but certainly do NOT download, and therefore not pay for, the smaller movies you love, because movies like that, won't get made, if they don't see that they make money. Get it? Besides, James Cameron isn't going to go hungry at dinner, but some of these people making these low budget films, just may. Be careful whose hands you are taking money from.

They went on to say, if you are into this, then get a notebook, keep notes of what people say are good movies, because there is a lot of bad schlock out there, but there is also some very low budget but good films too.

We also talked with Zombie Research at their table for a while.
Fun people and interesting background.

ZomBcon International has teamed up with the Zombie Research Society to bring you some of the biggest names to discuss the culture from infection sources, survival to Zombie brain function by the nation’s greatest zombie experts minds discuss the culture at the ZRS panels this year.

I had to get this print from the artist for my daughter who had to work and couldn't make Seattle's ZomBcon I. Maybe next year.
It seems I didn't get a photo of the Zombie Flesh stand, brand or product, but here is one for Zombie Blast.


On the way out (we came in and left several times, one for some lunch), we stopped our last time and visited with the Brazilian Sco triplets and Taj. I can't sum him up better than this from - Siane Hollan on "Squidoo:

"Upon the untimely passing of his Uncle Michael, Taj proceeded to make good on his directing promise to his uncle and is currently directing the action-packed, zombie series entitled, "Code Z". Taj Jackson is a highly gifted, conscientious, humble, and multi-talented artist. The stratosphere isn't even the limit for this up and coming director. His compelling and dynamic artistry is conjuring up a whole new brand of Jackson magic on the world's stage, that's center stage, of course!"

That being said and now having met Taj, I believe what Siane says about him. We talked with him for quite a while. He has a vision and an energy. I believe he is going places and if this is what he's chosen, we will be seeing more of it. He is very pleasant and energetic to talk to, and just as likable as the triplets of CodeZ:  Thaísa, Thainá and Thayana Sco. They were born in the capital of Brazil, Brazilia.They are just a congenial as they are beautiful. Every time we walked passed them, they were either still being interviewed, or interviewed again by another camera team and interviewer.

These Brazilian triplets have been entertainers (acting, dancing and singing) since a very young age. The three of them are best known as T-Rio, an internationally renown, multi-platinum album selling music group. Hailing from Brasilia, Brazil, T-Rio began performing together at the age of three, and have also refined their craft in Paris. So cute....
I will certainly watch for their career rise to stardom (Think, Buffy the vampire Killer times three).

One of the cool things about what I was seeing, were all this grassroots efforts. People creating something from nothing, a freshness (ironic at Zombie Con, right?), an energy of new things happening. And perhaps, what with AMCs The Walking Dead, premiering tonight, maybe they are. There were many great artists (even a tattoo artist), authors, film makers, etc., that I cannot get to here, but they were there and they worth checking out.

Overall and in the end the one questions are (as always), was it worth the time and will you go again?

Absolutely! We had a great time! I will be going next year for sure as it will be bigger, and better and continue its rise on the full moon of Halloween and of the ever rising undead.

See also, Seattle Met Mag

1 comment:

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