March 12, 2014

Con Recap Part 2: Monster Mania 27 Vendors, Artists, and Auctions

You have already seen my pictorial journey through Monster Mania 27 weekend, but that is not all there is. There is a lot more to the convention weekend that celebrities, panels and autographs, although I will admit that I do love those parts, there is definitely more to it. There is another large room filled with vendors (not to mention a couple of hallways and a couple of smaller rooms, as well) selling all sorts of goods, toys, shirts, artwork, and more. Now, this will not be as extensive as the other piece, but these guys deserve a little love too.

When you walk through the ropes you cannot help but be at least a little in awe of what you see right off the bat. There is a table selling convention t-shirts, one selling some pretty solid looking Jason Voorhees hockey masks, a FearNet table with a Sam statue in front, plus a toy dealer (I believe it was Amok Time Toys), and artist London 1888 selling some great prints.

Now, I did not spend a lot of time or money on vendors (I would have liked to have spent more of both), but I did enjoy the time I did spend in there. The thing that is great about the vendors is besides the stuff they have, they are largely really friendly and love to chat with whoever comes by. Sure, they are running a business and would be happy to sell you something, but they are fans too and love to talk about the stuff just as much as you do. That leads to another thing, go to enough shows and you will begin to see a lot of familiar faces. I am not going to lie, but I have made a number of friends going to these shows, people I look forward to seeing when I go.

If art is what you're after, be sure to visit CJ Draden who practices his art on glass and has a very distinctive and intense style. Joel Robinson is also an excellent artist whose style is rather colorful and and vibrant. Quiltface Studios has some fantastic custom poster designs, if you stop by his table make sure to ask for the story behind his awesome Don't Go in the House print. I also really like London 1888's work, he has made some great limited editions. One artist who could not make this show, but deserves a mention is Kevin Spencer, the man behind Inkspatters, he has a great style and is a lot of fun to talk to. Now, it is only one step removed from art, but t-shirt dealer Fright Rags always has a great presence and their shirts are works of art.

Maybe art isn't your thing, maybe you are after toys. Super Creepz is a table you should swing by, run by Gordon and Dina Heater they have a wide variety of toys and memorabilia and pretty good prices too. There is also Amok Time toys with a great selection and solid pricing. House of Mysterious Secrets is pretty awesome too, with an eclectic selection of items. Are movies your thing? DiabolikDVD, Alternative Cinema, and VHSPS all do a great job of helping you find those rare and obscure movies. There are also independent filmmakers selling their films, including Rob Dimension who has made a couple of short films (No Clowning Around and Baggage) and will even draw you a quick sketch as he continues to teach himself to draw.

This really is just the tip of the iceberg. There are poster dealers, knife dealers, clothing dealers, booksellers, autograph dealers, and pretty much anything else you can think of. I managed to snag a few movies and a couple new knit caps (with logos for Demons and The Burning on them).

Once you make your way through the dealers and if you have any money left (a small feat in itself), there is the Save a Yorkie Rescue Auction. No, they are not a auctioning off little dogs, it is a charity whose goal is to save Yorkies who would otherwise be left to die or euthanized. It is a charity close to Monster Mania founder Dave Hagan's heart and is hosted by the previously mentioned Rob Dimension. They have donations from attending stars and vendors, as well as items from pretty much anyone. They still had item donations coming in as the auction was going on.

Besides being a great auction, I mention it because I have been pretty lucky at the auction the past couple of cons. Last august I won a ticket to see Goblin on their first ever tour of the US, it was a transcendent experience. This time, Quiltface Studios had been given the opportunity to design a poster for a Goblin concert this past December in Philadelphia, he donated a print that was signed by three of the band members. Needless to say, I won! It is gorgeous print.

I am not sure where else to go, I fear I am sounding like a commercial. I just wanted to give some notice to the beyond cool vendors and artists I have met, befriended, and purchased from. It is all a part of the con experience, being a part of the con family. No one is forcing you to spend money, but you will meet some great, passionate folks and you just may come across that one thing you've been looking for. Related Posts with Thumbnails


Anonymous said...

Monster Mania was a great time this year, as always. I agree with you about the friendliness of the vendors, I have as much of a good time talking with them as the rest of the con. One vendor/bookseller that I missed this time was a gentleman whose grandfather was an author and friend of Lovecraft and Houdini. I talked with him last time and he had lots of information and stories besides the great books. His table was Fenham Publishing and

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