Written by John Edward Betancourt
You have to admit that horror films are the stuff of magic. I say that because this is a genre that elicits so much emotion and debate from the people that enjoy the films that it happens to produce. A great example of this, you either love them or hate them and you are always willing to explain why you cannot get enough of them or why you despise them.
Yet we are all united by horror by one single emotion, fear. These are motion pictures that scare the living hell out of us. If you're a big fan of horror it may not terrify you like it used to, but the fact that they were able to reach that primal fear within you...is why you love them. On the flip side, if you despise horror films...it's because of the fact they make your skin crawl and leave you heading to bed with the lights on.
That kind of unity is rare and the fact we have all shared some kind of experience with horror is the sole reason that we in Denver celebrate the genre as a whole once a year at the Mile High Horror Film Festival. This annual tradition, now being hosted by the amazing Alamo Drafthouse is a wonderland for horror fans and fans of conventions alike. Every year, legendary stars from the genre come to town to say hello to the fans that have enjoyed their films for years and initiate a new generation of horror lovers to the amazing work they helped bring to life.
Horror is a genre that I have had around me for most of my life, one that I celebrate every chance that I get and I'm getting chills just writing this because this festival is now underway and I cannot wait to head down to the Alamo for a reunion of people that love the genre as much as I do. Some of the folks appearing this weekend are now friends and that's what makes this convention so magical...it goes beyond our bond in the genre, these are simply great people that you want to spend time with as often as possible.
I'm so looking forward to seeing horror legends Jonathan Tiersten and Jeffrey Reddick. I'm looking forward to meeting scream queen Linnea Quigley and I cannot wait to see what incredible art Robert Elrod and Kevin Gentilcore have set up at their tables for our eyes to feast upon. But most importantly, I'm looking forward to simply enjoying a wonderful weekend with fans that understand the magic of horror. I can't wait to see all of you there this weekend and if you haven't been to this one before, I invite you to come down to the Drafthouse and check it out.
Shae's Day Three Thoughts
It's sad to say that the con is officially over, and for us three geeks it's an 8 hour trip home. But, we're not leaving empty handed. I'm not going to lie, some of us may have bought a bit more than we needed. With a total of 15 POP figures between us, some really awesome new art, and a Keyblade, I don't think any of us are complaining.
The Dealer's Room is always my favorite place to hang out in, but it's not the only part of a con I love. There was a plethora of events for goers to attend. From panels on writing and publishing, to celebrity guest panels, the whole experience was an amazing one. The last night of SLCC had the coveted costume contest that so many cosplayers and non-cosplayers look forward to see.
The chance for those to show off their talent in costume and prop construction is always a favored event. This year was no different. For me personally, it was awesome because a friend entered and won second place with her group! Which, is kind of a big deal! While it is a competition of skill, it's also fun! Some groups perform skits, while other individuals give a show. Either why, it's a chance for many talented costumes to strut their stuff and show their abilities.
For my first out of state convention in a long time, SLCC has left a lot of memories with me. This con had so much going on and so many great experiences, and not to mention the POP figures! It's a double edged sword when a con is over, however, we all have next year to look forward to.
Mattie's Day Three Thoughts
I’m sad that Salt Lake Comic Con is now over. It was a weekend filled with lots of walking and Pop! figurines. Let me tell you, there were a ton of them and Shae and I went a little crazy for every vendor there who had them. We even brought John into this. I can’t remember how many we bought or what we bought at this point in time, but what I can remember is that we got the Frozen Fever
Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. I guess they had just come out two days ago and this vendor got them in a shipment, SO they were the only ones to have it. Needless to say, we picked them up right away.
On top of that though, we got to walk around the artist area a little bit. Shae and I did buy a ton of art. This one vendor had Steven Universe
art, where he had Steven with Rose Quartz, Pearl, Amethyst, Garnet, Lapis Lazuli, Jasper with Peridot and Ruby with Sapphire. He gave us an incredible deal…and now we have all of them with no place to put them in our house. This will be fun finding what to do with them. We also had the privilege to meet a very talented artist and his father who was helping him sell his work. They’re quite adorable and his work can be found at thetonus.com
. It was really cool to meet local Salt Lake artists.
Though, I have to say that the celebrity photo ops were my favorite, because we got to meet Sebastian Stan and Chris Evans! Somehow, we got to get a picture taken with Sebastian Stan three times which I’m sure was going to make Shae pass out. The first time we held our breath and went for it. The second time, we ran into our friend Lessa who was scared to do it on her own and had accidentally bought two photo ops. So, we did it again. THEN we had our group photo op with him and Chris and I think he recognized us. We each took a hold of our celebrity crushes and Sebastian was ALL up on the hugging of the Shae. Chris…wasn’t so much. Whatever, I looked cute anyways. I also met Chris for an autograph before and I wanted to tell him that The Losers
was my favorite movie and all that came out was, “I CAME ALL THE WAY FROM COLORADO TO SEE YOU!” Good job Mattie, you failed.
Over all, it was a fun weekend. Now to head back into a car for EIGHT hours to come back home. I don’t want to, but I have no choice.
Written by Scotty
While the group is off at Salt Lake City Comic Con, I will be home preparing for my favorite event of the year, the Mile High Horror Film Festival. Now, I know that this is not one of the biggest events in the area, but it does give me a chance to rub elbows with some of the faces that have haunted my dreams for years. I have always found that it is better to face your fears head on, but when you get to see that some of the most frightening characters in movies are just down to earth individuals like you and me, well, you have to respect them even more.
One of the special events that is going on this year will be the 90th Anniversary screening of The Phantom of the Opera with Q&A with the great Lon Chaney’s great grandson, Ron Chaney who is no stranger to the industry. Lon Chaney has been a fixture in everyone’s horror collection if they know the name or not setting the bar higher for anyone that has wanted to be frightened in the past or present. It is easy to think that this event will just be run of the mill, but there is talk about a lifetime achievement award for Lon as well, I cannot wait to see this.
One of the things that this event has done over the years is bring some of the greatest names in horror to our doorstep and the first guest that was announced being Linnea Quigley, I was already making plans to show up. If you do not know Linnea Quigley, you better start doing your research and watching some movies as she has been in over a hundred movies and is a scream queen that should just be great to meet. I know her from The Return of the Living Dead where she played a character named Trash who had the deep dark fantasy of being eaten alive. This was one of my favorite foreshadowing moments in a zombie movie, since her wish came true.
Kane Hodder will also be in attendance this year and I believe it is his second time at the festival. With Hatchet and Hatchet II playing, he will be doing some Q&A sessions afterwards and that should be nothing short of a good time. I have enjoyed watching these movies when they came onto Netflix, along with Exit to Hell with our buddy Tiffany Shepis. This is one of those actors you never know what to expect from since he is no slouch when it comes to size and every time you see him on screen, he commands it. Stay tuned on how this works out for someone that never even made it to six feet tall.
Sid Haig has also been announced. That’s right our favorite clown, Captain Spaulding will be in attendance this year and I could not be happier. Although I have seen him in several more movies, more than people would even admit to watching, he will be doing some Q&A after the screenings of House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. Two movies I will have to check out again since I really do like them. If I had one question to ask him, it would have to be if he had a fear of clowns and if he ran and hid after looking in the mirror when the makeup was applied, I know I would. But with so many great movies under his belt, it would be great to hear some of his stories about how the industry has changed and what he thinks about how horror is becoming mainstream once again and his role in helping to make it happen.
Now who else will be there? Neil Marshall will be in attendance. If you don’t know who Neil Marshall, then you need to check out a movie called The Descent. Something about being trapped in a cave has never been a highlight on any of my lists and this movie brings all of those fears to light, especially with something hunting you. This was written and directed by Neil and I would just have to ask him what his motivation was behind it, because I remember going to Cave of the Winds as a young child and being freaked out of my mind when I heard howling that was ‘the wind’, but sure as heck did not sound like the wind. He will be doing a Q&A after the screening of The Descent and will also have a short film featured in the very popular Tales of Halloween that has just added a second screening.
Now what could I be forgetting? I think I have everyone wrapped up, there will be some groups that are promoting their new movies, Tobin Bell who plays Jigsaw and is a talented writer. A music showcase that is going to be epic, my buddy Jeffrey Reddick who brought Final Destination to life and is working on his new product Dead Awake that looks freaking out of this world. Who else?
Oh, I have never made it a secret that I am a bit obsessed with The Shining…have I? If not, I will come out and say it. I love the movie, I love the book and I love the TV miniseries. It is my favorite story that has hit the three mediums and I will love it for years to come. Well anyway, three characters of the movie will be making an appearance this year. Lisa and Louise Burns, the TWINS, ‘Come Play With Us Danny’ will be at MHHFF! Joseph Turkel, Lloyd the best bartender west of the Mississippi will be at MHHFF! Say what? If you even had a bit of understanding how much I loved this movie, hopefully you can grab on to this, I LOVE THIS MOVIE and cannot wait to see the occupants of the Overlook Hotel in person. It has been years, but I wonder if they know how much that The Stanley Hotel is trying to capitalize on what they helped make into movie magic. We are talking about my favorite horror movie and I don’t think you will hear my say otherwise. While others come close, this one has always stayed very near and dear to my heart.
Well, there you go. This is the lineup for MHHFF. This is going to be a great year once again and after last year I thought that it would be hard to beat, but as long as the stars align, this year is shaping up to be epic. With plenty of guests, stars, and don’t even try to forget about the movies, if you have one bone in your body that likes horror, you will love this. Last year most of the movies sold out on Monday, so make sure to get your tickets early for anything that you want to see, or else you may be left blowing in the wind while it passes you by. Hope to see you all there, I know that I cannot wait.
So, we literally drove 8 hours from Denver to Salt Lake and I have to say, it was well worth it. This is my first time coming to this con, and I might be completely hooked. If you missed the video blogs I did for Facebook, I was a bit excited. Granted, I haven't road tripped since I was a kid, but this was the best idea ever. Not only did we make some fun memories hitting up some attractions, we also got to get here just in time to con it up.
Thursday offered the mother load of all Dealer Room scores, the Funko POP! booth. I was lucky enough to find the elusive Age Of Ultron Black Widow POP to complete my collection. Not to mention, lots of pictures and good fun. Sadly, Thursday had to end a bit early, I may have worked the night before and was seriously in need of naps. But we were up early for Friday! Sliding in just at opening I can't even explain the feeling. There's something about the excitement of a new con and the rush of getting in as the doors open. It was so fantastic to see all the cosplayers, the kids that were dressed and just as excited as the parents, and all the other amazing people.
Friday was the day of making new friends. Mattie and I had some photo ops and autographs to get, and it was the perfect day for it. There's a fantastic camaraderie that goes along with being in line to meet the same celebrity idol. It's also the common love of all nerdy things. People were so nice and welcoming here. Despite a crowded con, everyone was willing to offer answers to questions, give directions, and of course geek out with. The day was spent making new friends in lines, bonding, and laughing so much. When you're in line for so much time, it's hard not to talk to the people around you.
So far, SLCC has been an amazing experience. With good people, great guests, and a list of exciting panels, it's not hard to find something for anyone. There is so much in the Dealer's Room. The first thing I bought was from a favorite artist of mine, Jason Meents. And then it was a day of POP! figures, and even a Keyblade. The pictures turned out great, and meeting our favorite guests was so amazing. I have to say, SLCC blew me out of the water with how much fun this con has been so far. I knew it would be, I just didn't expect it to blow me away! I'm so excited for the last day. It's always sad for a con to come to a close, but it's also nice to still have one more day to look forward to.
The first day of the con you can always feel the electricity in the air. The fans buzzing with anxious energy waiting for the doors to open with passes tight in hand. The staff racing about making sure everything is in place to ensure the best experience for every congoer in attendance. Just how many will there be this year? We will see, but at this moment, as the doors give way to the stampede of enthusiastic fans it is day one of Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 and it’s off with a bang.
Thursday is the lighter of the three days by far, but doesn’t mean it’s any less significant as demonstrated by the volume of people through the door. I have not seen numbers for the day yet but from being bounced around in the dealer room I would have to say it was close to max capacity. Today wasn’t about the dealer room however, that’s being saved for tomorrow the focus was really on the cons founders and the stellar celebrity lineup for this season (For full lineup of this seasons guests, go here
). The press conference started with introductions from none other than the Animaniacs
(Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, and Tress MacNeille). I never get enough of this trio to be honest as they got the crowd warmed up and excited for this year’s event speaking in the all too familiar voices that calls back to the roots of everyone’s childhood.
Once every body was on their feet filling the hall with cheers and screams for more the founders of Salt Lake Comic Con, Dan Farr and Brian Brandenburg took the stage. I have been to a lot of con’s over the years, all across the country some good and some not so good and the deciding factor to that I believe has always been on the people at the top. I have been to cons that you never see the ones in charge, some figure head in an office, like Doctor Claw from Inspector Gadget
. I have to say with all honesty that these two individuals are not only in the thick of it but doing everything in their power to see every attendee walks away with the best experience possible.
As they spoke to all of the media and congoers in the main hall you could see the pride and love for the con they have built and their joy was overflowing like a parent before the start of its third year. To these two pioneers it was more about the family they had put together than the record smashing numbers of the previous years. They spoke of visiting other conventions, seeing the opportunities and building upon them to grant the smoothest and most engaging environment possible. It was also a chance for them to honor the true heroes, the military and first responders that were gathered on the stage with them.
Along with them were some of the best cosplayers, local and across the country to say thank you for your service and serve as an inspiration to us all, the ones that run towards the danger not away from it. Once finished it was time to bring on the guests that people had travelled across the country to see. From the expansive line up those that had arrived were called out by name to cheers and camera flashes to wrap up the media conference. That’s when they took it a step further and the first time I have ever seen this done. Along the front of the stage were tables for the stars to sit at as the media was invited to stop and talk with the celebrities. Encouraged to ask questions but keep it short so everyone would have a chance to ask questions, absolute genius.
I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has to bring as we head to the dealer room and artist alley where I have already ran onto a few familiar faces; but that will be a story for another day.
Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 started off with a incredible bang when it came to its first day. There were plenty of people there, and when we finally got into town, there were so many people and so much to do and see, that it was kind of overwhelming.
Then again, after traveling close to 9 hours half way across Colorado, into Wyoming and then into Utah with less than 4 hours of sleep…anything could be overwhelming. Yet, this was a good overwhelming. To be immersed in the world of pop culture via a convention is a wonderful feeling. Especially when it’s so big that I got lost just stepping though the door.
I'm not kidding by the way, I literally got lost stepping though the door. Simply because of the sea of people that greeted me. It was just a wall of my fellow geeks and it was such a incredible sight, my mind tried to take all of it. I have to admit though; the wristband thing is pretty ingenious. You have to be scanned, to be admitted into the convention, which is brilliant. Then you have the option to stay upstairs where the panels are, or head downstairs to the huge convention floor. It’s so cool though, you can see the convention floor from the upstairs portion. I never would have guessed how big this convention was.
We then headed into the dealer's room where we attempted to locate one of our friends. Well…after we saw the giant Funko display, we were distracted to say the least. It was if tunnel vision happened and we magically weaved our way right to the Funko booth. I don’t know if you all know, Shae and I have a Pop! addiction. It was fabulous though, and I did end up spending money at that booth. It wasn’t for me though.
Afterwards, we explored the convention floor just to get our bearings. After talking to some very nice volunteers who talked very highly of the convention, we were able to figure out our plan of attack for today. I’ll let you all know how that goes.
Needless to say, I’m super excited for day 2 at Salt Lake Comic Con.
Written by John Edward Betancourt
Ah, it's a wonderful day. Fall has officially arrived, the leaves and the temperature have started to change and as we barrel toward winter we are all faced with the tough fact that con season is coming to its end. It's not something that any of us ever enjoy facing, but we can take solace in the fact that con season is going out with a bang, courtesy of Salt Lake Comic Con.
Yes, today is the day and fans from all over the land have come to settle in and enjoy one last epic convention at the Salt Palace Convention Center and I am beyond excited for a chance to attend SLCC because this one is going to be special for me. Fact of the matter is, I've been to a lot of conventions in my day, love every second of them, but this is the first time I've ever done one out of state.
This is one that I've heard nothing but rave reviews about from my con buddies, in fact several of them damn near pleaded with me to attend, telling me day and night that I had to be there because it was going to be an absolute blast and well, when you hear that from every single person, how the heck do you say no? So as you read this, myself, Mattie and Shae are on the road, somewhere in the middle of Wyoming with snacks, tunes and whole lot of road in front of us and no doubt it's glorious (we'll do our best to tweet from the road depending on who isn't driving, social media responsibly my friends) because we are mere hours away from days of fun.
I mean really, there's so much to see from what I'm told and the roster lineup for celebrity guests is pretty freaking awesome. The Captain America reunion is one that has caught my eye and I know the girls already have their combo photo opportunity with Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan purchased because let's be honest, that's going to be one epic photo on every fan's mantle when they get it home. I myself am looking forward to meeting the cast from Mystery Science Theater 3000 because that was one of my childhood favorites back in the day.
But outside of that, what a fun little getaway this is going to be. Road trips can be a blast, and I'm expecting this one to be full of laughter and smiles because once we arrive in Salt Lake, we are once again among friends as we settle in for a convention that is new to us. We will no doubt make some new friends this weekend and spent plenty of time with old ones because that's what conventions are all about...camaraderie and I can think of no better way to say goodbye to con season than hitting the road with my pals and spending the weekend celebrating the fandoms I love. See everyone this afternoon!
Written by Shae
Guys! Guess what?! SLCC is literally at the end of this week. In just a few short days, Mattie, John, Dan and I shall be hitting the road and driving our way down to Salt Lake for the very first out of State Con together! I have not been this excited since….well, yesterday when a certain photo op went on sale. Actually, yeah, I was pretty giddy then. Mattie and I were really bummed when the Chris Evans photo op sold out in just a few minutes, so when I got on to check my e-mail and saw that Evans was doing a shoot with Stan….well, we hopped on that faster than any normal human should have. Needless to say, we get to have our picture taken with our two most favorite celebrities, and it’s all thanks to SLCC.
Now, Mattie and I have been to out-of-state cons before, we actually became best friends at Dragon Con, of all places. As I am learning, though, this seems to be a common occurrence for friendships and even relationships! So, when we decided to give it a go again, we thought that SLCC was the perfect place to start. It has been a few years, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t magical. Neither of us have been to this particular convention before, and even better, it’s kind of next door. Ish. Like that neighbor you could ask for sugar if you really needed it. Yep, that just happened.
So, what am I expecting from SLCC? A ton of fun for starters. Having had many friends attend this con previously, I am really looking forward to kicking back, getting to hang out with con friends, meet new people, and experience a convention that isn’t in Colorado. Don’t get me wrong, we have some rocking cons here, but hey, con season is nearly over and I need a fix. Not to mention, it’s the perfect time for a vacation. With the impending holiday season baring down on all of us, and life, that can add a lot of pressure. Salt Lake Comic Con has so much to offer in order to help break that mundane routine, even for just a few days.
Between the cosplays I cannot wait to see, and actually am going to do myself. I know I said we wouldn’t be, but, hey, we do have some fancy Star Trek uniforms just sitting around…might as well wear that, am I right? And I cannot forget about the Dealers room. But guys, it gets better. POP! figures! They have an entire POP thing going on at SLCC. Like…I can’t even begin to explain to you how broke I am going to be at the end of this convention. Especially since I just discovered the Kitten may have knocked two of my existing POP’s into the trash without me knowing it. Sorry Groot and Vision! I promise to replace you! Kittens can be devious things.
So, yeah, between the celebrities, the venders, artists, authors, voice actors, cosplayers, and over all, just the awesomeness that is this convention. It’s going to be hard to get through work this week. I already want to leave now…annnd, okay, the fact that there is an In-N-Out down there, really isn’t helping! A great con, friends, and food? Really! This vacation only needs some random good surprise to make it perfect. And with the inability to have patience, I am forced to sit here and wait….which is literally going to kill me. Probably.
Written by Shae
Well, it's finally happened, I'm going to be poor because Salt Lake Comic Con has announced another guest that has made the Must See List. Yesterday Anthony Mackie was added to the list of guests hitting the con we are all excited to go to at the end of his month. After all, you can't have a Captain America: The Winter Soldier
reunion without the infamous Falcon.
I actually know Mackie from other movies. I blame my obsession with Jeremy Renner for this one, because Mackie was in The Hurt Locker
. Most famously for us nerds though, Falcon has been an amazing role for Mackie.
This con isn't pulling its punches anymore with the guests they keep announcing. All they need is Jeremy Renner of Karl Urban and I am pretty sure I will just fall over dead in my chair. With an already stunning list of A list celebrities, it's hard to imagine the sheer number of fans going to meet them.
I've tried to imagine it and I can't. But I can imagine me meeting these amazing actors and all it does is make me giddy because....this is going to be the best out of state Con in so many ways! Should I start packing now? probably not, that might actually be a bad idea. You can bet I am working as much as I can to afford all the autographs. Mostly, I want pictures. Those not only last a life time, but look nice in the living room!
For pricing info please visit SLCC's website
! Also, subscribe to their news letter for updates on when picture and autograph opportunities go on sale. More importantly stay tuned here for updates on guest announcements and recaps of the con! Which you know you want. I really wish time would hurry so we could be there now, but also not...because I'm not ready for Con season to be over.
Written by Shae
Yesterday, just when I thought Salt Lake Comic Con was done bringing in incredible and amazing guests, they go and announce Hayley Atwell. Yes, the very actress who stole our hearts as the infamous Peggy Carter. Needless to say she is one of the main people we are going to have to see. After all, Mattie’s kitten is named Agent Carter and it would be a shame to miss the chance to meet the Agent herself.
Not only is this a pleasant surprise but a welcoming one. The growing list of actors and actresses to grace this convention is astounding. While I have yet to actually go to this convention, I can say I am beyond excited to do so. It was a huge shock when they announced Chris Evans, and you can bet Mattie was planning the trip seconds later.
Then we get Sebastian Stan, and now Hayley Atwell, I can only cross my fingers and hope for Clark Gregg! With a growing list of grade A actors, it really is an amazement that they keep throwing more out there. I’m pretty sure there is no out doing their latest set of announcements. But seriously, how awesome is this? Hayley Atwell has pretty much established herself as an acting icon over the last few years with her work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe all because of Peggy. She has managed to bring one of the strongest female characters in film and television to life and well...I really am blown away at the fact that Mattie and I get to meet her.
The only thing that could make this con even better is if we can convince all the guests to do one massive selfie. I’m only half joking. But really, it’s lining up to be an amazing convention. In just a few short weeks, fans are going to flock from around the ‘Verse to see their favorite people. You can bet we’ll be there with POP’s to sign and all. I guess it might be the perfect time to go shopping…