While Friday night’s kick-off to the 2013 Rock N’ Shock Convention was all about meeting and greeting actors and performers, yesterday evening was spent almost entirely in the artists gallery discovering new work, and perusing different vendors who had set up shop for the weekend. My VIP access had granted me my own “swag bag” upon entry, which was filled with little trinkets, a commemorative t-shirt (that I’ve already wrinkled,) and vouchers for some of the local businesses and upcoming events/promotions in the area. I got some other neat stuff, too:
Initially, the only autographs I had wanted were from the cast of ‘The Walking Dead,’ to add to my collection of signed paraphernalia, and Michael, Scott, Lew, and IronE were king enough to help out (the Daryl Dixon laminate poster was a bonus,) but when I saw Gunnar Hansen and Zack Ward (FARKUS!) were in attendance, I couldn’t resist- I picked up a couple of photos and asked them for their signatures, too. They both portrayed two of my all-time favorite movie villains- but were, of course, so lovely in person. I briefly forgot how badly Leatherface had traumatized me as a kid while I talked to Gunnar, since he was so kind and polite- but then I look at the picture he signed and get chills all over again.
One of my absolute favorite apparel companies, SKULLebrities, had a booth set up with a bunch of their morbid/fun/cute designs on display (I currently own the Amy Winehouse-inspired t-shirt and I get a lot of compliments on it,) and although they were unfortunately out-of-stock on their recently released Breaking Bad shirts- they did have this great Boston design for sale. I picked up a t-shirt (and they threw in a matching sticker, too,) that I wore proudly today as a way of celebrating the Sox making it to the World Series last night.
I really can’t say enough good things about SKULLebrities. Truly. I was first introduced to the brand about 2 or 3 years ago, and I’ve I loved their stuff ever since. It’s so unique and well made, and the folks who run it are just some of the nicest, most fun people around. I highly recommend taking a look at their website and checking them out on social media. You’ll definitely find something you like.
I had met up with my friend Evan last night at Rock N’ Shock, who bought me this little plushie Daryl Dixon doll as a present. I’m pretty sure I squealed when I saw it. Between the poncho and the crossbow, it could very well be one of the most adorable things I (now) own. My friends know me all too well.
Now I just need a matching Merle plushie doll to go with it.
Lastly, there was a booth set up that sold authentic Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) items. The holiday fascinates me, and I find myself marveling at the colorful, eye-catching sugar skulls used to commemorate the days. This particular skull, while made of ceramic instead of sugar, was so bright and beautifully painted that I knew I had to have it. There’s a hole carved in the bottom where you can place a candle or a tea light to illuminate the space you place it in through the nasal and eye cavities- which will make it a pretty interesting decoration for Halloween, too.
I did stop by Rock N’ Shock briefly this afternoon for the third and final day, as well- but it was mainly to take one last stroll throughout the convention center, bid farewell to a few familiar faces, and have a brief chat with Robert Englund while it was quiet. If you ever want to meet a man who is so grateful, open, and warm to his fans- Robert Englund is the man to see. He was very excited to talk about his upcoming projects (one that involves Malcolm McDowell- the love of my life,) and to get to know some of us who had come by to say hello. Total class act.
All in all, I had a phenomenal time this year. It was fantastic to get to see and speak at length to some of my favorite actors and meet some wonderful new people who are working on incredible things. Rock N’ Shock, despite being considerably smaller than other conventions I’ve been to, remains one of my favorites for the overall laid-back attitude of the guests and attendees. There’s no insane rushes to get from panel to panel, no ridiculous lines, everything (except food or water, of course) is reasonably priced, and as long as you aren’t behaving like a rowdy drunk or a creep- security are pretty lenient and very helpful.
I’m looking forward to seeing what they have in store for next year.