Monday, October 16, 2006

The western Massachusetts crew is back from its triumph at the 2007 Rock and Shock Convention at the DCU Centre in Worcester, MA.

(First photo: myself and Amberly Ashe; second: The Rock and Shock Glowing Screen table crew of Jeff Allard, Matt House, Marty Langford, Darren Langford, Scott Kittredge, and Karl Konopka; third, Steve Bissette being interviewed; and last another shot of Amberly, what the hell!)

I say “triumph” because Marty Langford & Company sold a bunch of “Magdalena’s Brain” and the Western Mass Horror Show DVDs; I sold three-quarters of my “I Hate People” wristbands: and Amberly Ash managed, through handing out free candy to passersby, to sell quite a number of the horror film in which she appears, House of Carnage.

Honorary western Mass. resident (I can hear him snort now!) Steve Bissette also made a tidy sum on Sunday when he joined us. Steve is of course, the legendary cartoonist (“Swamp Thing,” “1963,” “Tyrant”), publisher (“Taboo”) writer (contributor to many books and magazines who now is a teacher at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT.

This was Steve’s first convention appearance in many years and people were gob smacked to see him behind a table once more.

Now Rock and Shock is an interesting concept in that it’s a horror film convention and a heavy metal rock show. We all went to it last year and were impressed enough we wanted to try to do something at it this year.

Steve and I worked a table at Chiller Con in New Jersey for years and this show is about one-tenth the size of that one. The advantage, though, is Rock and Shock is not as over-powering and as crowded as Chiller.

There were a number of guests selling autographs at $20 a pop and while I think it’s fine for actors to make money directly off their own fame, it’s sad that you simply can’t go up to them to say how much you admire their work without the awkward silence when they expect to sell you a photo.

Some of the my fondest memories of Chiller revolve around the guest stars coming around the tables and talking to you since at that time the Chiller staff mixed the guest and dealers together.

It all changed at Chiller the year that someone who shall remain unnamed convinced Mary Oromo and Barbara Steele that they were big stars that should charge people for their autograph even if it was on an item owned by the fan.

Working a show like Rock and Shock can be fun, but it’s also tiring. To get the folks to stop your table, you need to engage them in some way. Our technique was straightforward: say hello and try to establish eye contact. Of course this didn’t work so well with the guys wearing some sort of horror make-up and determined to stay in character.

Well, at Rock and Shock, film makers Marty Langford, Warren Amerman, Scott Kittredge, Jeff Allard, and Karl Konopka got to mix with other independent film makers, which was a plus at this show. Attendees were impressed with what these guys have done and rightly so.

I got the satisfaction of having accurately judged the audience and created a product that moved off the table at the right price point.

Media Blasters interviewed Steve for an extra on an up-coming DVD. His reward? A tee shirt!

And we all got a charge out of Amberly offering candy to guys walking by and then quickly convincing them to buy her film and an autographed photo.

Would we do it next year? It’s tempting to say “yes,” but I think we’d all want bring something new to the show and that’s the rub.

© 2006 by Gordon Michael Dobbs. My private life has nothing to do with my professional one, so understand these words are my own alone.


Marky Mark said...

Does Ashley always hold her chin up?

Marky Mark said...

I mean Amberly Ashe.