Frightmare 2011: The Paradigm Shift

I promise you, I don’t JUST type about Frightmare. But I am starting to see a trend.

This year, the plans were to make this Casher and Mirth’s Repugnant Recrudescence to North Texas. I had even arranged to pay Casher’s way in. But alas less than 24 hours before we were to leave, the plans COMPLETELY fell apart. In a fit of karmic malevolence, he found out that he just couldn’t go. I took the time to rearrange my fecal roster (no, Casher is FAR from it), and looked for a suitable traveling companion.

My wife, the truly amazing RealityChick, is not a big fan of crowds OR horror movies, and both she and the kids had school that they couldn’t miss. So I asked my friend Leif Jonker if HE wanted to go. Leif had written and directed a horror film with a cult following a few years back called DARKNESS, and we had been gearing for a follow-up film for a while. So I figured he’d be interested in going, and rightly so. He did, contacted Loyd Cryer (the grand poobah of Texas Frightmare Weekend)… and immediately became an official GUEST OF THE CON.

That I wasn’t expecting. It put a paradigm shift on the whole trip. Not an unpleasant one, mind you. Things were just different.

He contacted Loyd Cryer (the grand poobah of Texas Frightmare Weekend)… and immediately became an official GUEST OF THE CON. That I wasn’t expecting. It put a paradigm shift on the whole trip. Not an unpleasant one, mind you. Things were just different.

First of all, I was in full-boat promotion mode. I had done the t-shirt and marketing art for the convention, so I saw my art everywhere. I had ordered about 400 Sharpie Pens with my contact info on it from LOGO ENVY (represent!) which I was using for my personal business cards (Sharpies are always at a premium at conventions; I surprised no one had done it before, and I’m sure there will be tons next year), and had printed up about 500 postcard advertisements for my day job at Wirewaves, featuring Shannon Lark (the day job’s only real horror movie street cred, right now, is creating her site.) But I also had to assist Leif in setting up HIS booth. Not that there was a TON of heavy lifting involved, but it did eat up the afternoon that I had planned on us going to Hard Eight BBQ with TFW friends and a buddy from High School who now lives in DFW. (Next year for sure, Howie!)

The DARKNESS Booth happened to be right next to the Booth for Kerry Beyer’s Kerosene Films who had released the hilariousSpirit Camp, and were now working on a sci-fi horror piece called Code of Evil. Who had just been cast in it and was one of the folks “manning” the booth? Shannon Lark. Yeah, I know. It’s a small weird world.

The Texas Frightmare Weekend 2011 Having access to the booth was nice as I had a “home base” to work from on the con floor, and I needed it this year. As a way of getting face time with all the guests, I had printed up a personal one-of-a-kind “Directors Cut” of the Marketing Artwork that I had done for the show which included a lot of the people that were announced too late to make the cutoff for the program cover, like Malcolm McDowell and Jill Schoelen. I had every guest autograph it, from Cary Elwes to Roger Corman, from Angus Scrimm to Yoshihiro Nishimura, and it’s now hanging in a place of honor in my home office.

Next time: Anecdotes, old friends, new acquaintances, and how knowing how to draw will open the most interesting doors.