Grue-Believers, this past weekend (March 31 – April 2, 2017), the Thug made his way to the New Jersey Horror Con in Edison, New Jersey. It was a miserable night outside as it had been pouring rain all day but my spirits were quickly lifted when I arrived. Although, not the largest con I have attended, it was packed with interesting guests and things to see & buy. One thing I really dig about horror conventions is how great the people there are. You have fans of a specific genre gathering under one roof too meet heroes, villains and crushes, see and purchase some unique memorabilia and just hang out with others that have like interests. The con is run by Filmmaker/producer Ryan Scott Weber and Comic Book Men producer/ pop culturist Rob Bruce. I will say they do a nice job and make it fun for everyone. The big draws for this con were Jon Waters, Matthew Lillard, Traci Lords and Ted Raimi to name a few. Here you can do anything from getting autographs to buying a preserved snake in a jar and even purchase coffee from a coffin from Deadly Grounds Coffee. You can and should check out the con page at newjerseyhorrorcon.com.
After picking up my press-pass from will-call (which was nicely done), I began my first lap. Now, understand, I love these things and can spend multiple hours/days at them browsing and chatting. During the first leg of my journey, I just checked out every room quickly scanning things of interest to me and mentally noting for my second lap when I begin to talk with and interview folks. One of my first stops was to chat with a company called Superheroes Unlimited. They are a company out of Morristown, NJ run by Derrick Nova. They will make any costume and/or prop you request, heck they can even make a prop or costume with the Thug’s picture on it….I detect my wife’s next present. I think she will love it, I mean who wouldn’t? Derrick, his designers and models have an impressive body of work some of which was put on display at the con including a take on Storm, the Joker and a mutated Gwen Stacy. They were a great group of people to chat with. You all should definitely check them out at a con near you or on their website or their Facebook page. There you can see some of the other awesome designs they have done.
My next stop brought me to a company called Holidayoddities. Holidayoddities is a company owned by Scott Pensak. Scott has taken his love of holidays and horror and combined them in his designing of decorations for all seasons. These designs are not mass produced they are hand made by Scott and take time to produce. Not only does Scott mold decorations, his paintings are equally impressive. You can check His designs out at Etsy and you can also follow Scott on Pinterest. Definitely check out his art it is unique and awesome.
The next thing that caught my eye was a booth which had some antique collector appeal. Obscura Antiques and Oddities is a shop that is run out of Manhattan and boasts some pretty unique things creepy and odd from days gone by. You can see in some of my photos below the dolls, masks, games and playing cards that will appeal to collectors and horror hounds.
Aside from the stars and the cool things to gawk at and buy there are also people there to promote good causes. As an animal lover a group called Little Darling’s Pinups for Pitbulls caught my eye. PFPB as they are known as works to educate the public on the American Pit Bull Terrier as well as other pit bull type dogs. They are working to rid the bad reputation these dogs have gotten throughout the years. In the past these animals were companions, war heroes and therapy dogs. As part of their fundraising they put out an annual calendar and sell products such as collars, clothing and bags. Please check them out at their website or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. By the way they thought Watson and Xander (my French Bulldogs) were adorable.
One of my last stops was at the booth of an awesome artist, Joel Robinson. Joel has been at it for a long time and by looking at his work it is easy to see that he loves what he does. Joel and I spent a bit of time chatting about his method and the time he puts into it. The piece he did from The devil’s rejects took him over 80 hours to complete. I have to say Joel was definitely one of my favorite people there; heck he was even sharing his Slim Jims with the con goers; who doesn’t like snapping into a Slim Jim? He even posed with his picture of The Black Saint’s all-time favorite film character. Definitely go check his work out and support him at his website , I walked away with three pieces.
Last, but definitely not least, I spent the rest of the night hanging out with some of the guys behind a little film you all may know called Night of Something Strange (NoSS). NoSS was definitely one of my favorite films of 2016 (it made the Thug’s Top 10) and has won awards and gotten some major buzz. Jonathan Straiton and his nephew were manning the table along with one of the lead actors in the film Michael Merchant. I’ve said this a lot but if you haven’t seen this film you really should if you are a fan of the genre. When great people put out a great movie you have to support them. They offered some pretty cool stuff at their table ranging from their film and associate’s films (The Barn, She Kills and Plankface) to t-shirts, key chains and other memorabilia.
This was a bit smaller than other cons I have attended but it did not lack at all. This was an awesome con at which I had a great time and would like to thank New Jersey Horror Con for allowing me to cover it, it was certainly a pleasure. Everyone on the staff was friendly and helpful and the guests, vendors and fans were just as nice. I see big things and growth in the future for these guys so make your way to New Jersey for the next one and support them I’m sure I will be covering it again.