Due to some conflicts with work, I was only able to attend Friday and Saturday this year, leaving around 4:00 Saturday afternoon. This doesn’t mean that I wasn’t able to soak in tons of genre goodness, grab some choice signatures and see some great friends.
We arrived at the hotel Friday afternoon, about 3 hours before the show opened, just in time to see a sweet ride pull up.
After checking into our room, we headed down for a beer and to see who was around. It was good to see some old friends, as well as make some new ones. That is really what TFW is all about. It never ceases to amaze me just how friendly and genuine horror fans are.
My plan was to get as many signatures Friday night as possible. I knew from past experience that Saturday is a mad house and the lines are much, much longer, so I wanted to avoid that if possible. As we made a game plan for signatures and our time at TFW, we noticed right away that the new venue was huge. The last couple of years at the old venue were always really packed, so it was nice to see so much more room.
As soon as the doors opened, we headed for Tom Savini’s table. I wanted to get my 11×17 posters signed so I could get them back up to the room. There were a few people in his line, but nothing too crazy. I had heard from a couple of people that he could be difficult to talk to, but I found him to be friendly and very engaging. I had him sign my Dawn of the Dead Poster as well as Friday the 13th.
After Tom’s both, I headed for Gaylen Ross, figuring to get my Dawn poster done for the event. I was able to walk right up to her booth, and she was very sweet and one of the nicest celebrities I have ever met.
The same could be said for Barbara Crampton, who along with being very nice is still amazingly beautiful. Her signature was the first on my Re-Animator poster, but hopefully it won’t be the last. I looked around a bit for Ari Lehman, who for some reason wasn’t listed on the directory, but was in attendance. I couldn’t find his booth, so I brought the posters up to the room and grabbed my Texas Chainsaw DVD and Behind the Mask print.
George A Romero, Tom Savini and Gaylen Ross
Meeting Gunnar Hansen, Ed Neal and Ed Guinn was very cool. I was surprised to learn that Ed Neal does a lot of voice over work, especially for the DC Universe. He was hilarious and much goofier than I was expecting for The Hitchhiker.
Gunnar Hansen – Leatherface
Hooper, Hansen, Neal and Guinn
One of the crowning moments was the Behind the Mask booth. Director Scott Glosserman, Nathan Baesel, Ben Pace and Britain Spellings were having an absolute blast and were totally involved with the fans. It took a while to get through the line because the guys were so talkative and friendly, but it was well worth it. The guys all had fun with signing my print and even went as far as to personalize the van.
These guys were a blast. They even convinced Nicole, my wife, to get into the picture as well. Only other one to ever accomplish that was George Romero.
The Behind the Mask crew – Glosserman, Baesal, Spellings, Pace
After getting some photos, it was time to get ready for Prom. I had a lovely date and decided to forego costumes and just get dressed up. It was an amazingly mixed crowd as some people just showed up in t-shirts, some dressed up and some were in costume. There were several Carrie costumes and just about every other horror icon you can imagine. There was even a very cool Alien costume on the dance floor at one time. We left the Prom around midnight and headed to the bar upstairs where several of our friends were hanging out. We stayed up late drinking and telling stories.
Prom with my lovely wife Nicole
Saturday was insane in the exhibit rooms, but I was able to finally find Ari Lehman and have him sign the Friday the 13th poster. We ended up with a t-shirt for the wife and a couple of Winchester beer glasses for me, courtesy of T-shirt Bordello. The last thing on my list was the Walking Dead panel. It was a madhouse getting into it, but we were able to get some decent seats and really enjoyed the panel. All the guests were very engaging and it was a very fun and informative 90 minutes. We didn’t learn much about season 3, with the exception that Merle will be back.
Ari Lehman – First Jason
Friday the 13th – Savini and Lehman
It was a little sad to have to leave a day early, but I was looking forward to being back home after being on the road all week before TFW and knowing that I would have to leave again on Sunday. Loyd and company did an amazing job again this year and I guess it is time to start planning for next year!