Days of the Dead Atlanta – Rebecca’s Convention Review

Conventions, conventions!  Yes, I have thoughts on yet another con.  Last month, Days of the Dead came to Atlanta.  This particular convention is a celebration of all things horror.  It was held at the Sheraton Atlanta downtown from Friday, February 3rd, to Sunday,
February 5th.  Like so many of the conventions these days, Days of the Dead is held in multiple cities throughout the year: Indianapolis, Louisville, Chicago, LA, and my hometown – Atlanta.  It makes sense to have a horror convention held in Atlanta, since so many horror films and tv shows are filmed here – though I don’t believe any were actually represented at the con other than Stranger Things.  But to be honest, Stranger Things was my main reason for being interested, so that was fine.

Upon checking into the hotel, I found that DOTD had taken over the bottom floor of the Sheraton.  My only real thoughts on the Sheraton were – that’s where I pick up my DragonCon badge, so I honestly hadn’t spent any real time in this particular hotel.  The bottom floor is fine, but the smokers were right outside the sliding glass doors, so the entire event reeked of cigarettes.  As you came off the elevators, to the right was the panel room and the film viewing room.  To the left was the autograph room and dealers room.

As with any con, folks cosplayed.  It was a horror 1-32con, so mainly horror cosplay – though one dude was the Swedish Chef and I really never understood the correlation – but the Muppets are cool so whatevs.   There were lots of Michael Myers and Freddys. Various versions of Jason.  One awesome Sam from Trick ‘r Treat. Some Five Nights at Freddy’s – which folks really need to stop classifying as horror – just a terrible jump scare boring game.

The dealer room was actually decent.
Much larger than I thought it would be.  It was filled with artists, Pops, and vintage toys.  Everything was pretty much focused on horror – Living Dead Dolls, skeleton jewelry, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho hand bags – with the exception of one lady selling jam…. still confused there.

My big purchase was from an artist I had actually seen at DragonCon, but had missed ghostspurchasing the print I had wanted.  I grew up in Orlando.  We always had Disney year round passes growing up.  My favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom was The Haunted Mansion – surprise surprise.  Dad always took me on the ride, and at the end of it, you came to the hitchhiking ghosts.  With the use of extremely cool smoke and mirror technology – especially for the 80s – a different ghost each time was placed in your car.   Well as a small child, I believed whichever one that had been put in our car that particular time, came home with us until the next time I rode the ride.   Again – very young child.  Seeing the print of the hitchhiking ghosts brought it all back to me and I had to have it.  So now, all three are here with me on my wall in my home lol.

The panels were interesting.  My favorite was Tom Savini.1-5  I absolutely love special effect makeup and how they do all that they do so realistically.  I used to subscribe to Fangoria, and actually considered doing a special effects makeup intensive up in Philadelphia at one point in my life.  So Tom Savini was incredibly interesting to me.  He talked about Nicotero and in his opinion, how he cheats with his effects by using food.  Tom didn’t take that easy rout with his effects in zombie films.  He spoke of giving Quentin Tarantino one of his first major breaks – which actually made me like him less since I can’t stand Tarantino.  But just listening to him talk about Romero and working on several of his films was really fascinating.

The Stranger Things panel was great.  1-18The four boys from the show were there and each one was extremely engaging.  The contrast of Savini, who’s been in the industry for 40+ years, to these kids who are just beginning, was very interesting.  Each told of their experience on the set.  They were asked about playing life in the 80s – Eleven didn’t know what a record player was….I felt old.  Though, they do still sell them in Target – but I digress.  Dustin was my favorite, of course.  1-22Awesome personality, just like in the show.  His father was their raising money for others suffering from cleidocranial dysplasia.  Mike was the most talkative, and will always stand out in my mind for answering Trainspoting to the question, what is your favorite film.  All four were awesome, and the really cool thing is that they really do get together and play DnD.

Overall, Days of the Dead was fun.  I wouldn’t say there was really enough to do to keep your interest for three days.  The films were pretty terrible quality “horror” films.  The Slasher Prom was a bunch of folks standing in a room – not really dancing.  There was a tattoo contest – which just didn’t interest me at all.  Linda Blair was there, but didn’t hold a panel – just signed pictures – lame.  The three faces of Jason panel wasn’t really of any interest – like I would have known if they were really behind the mask.  It’s the equivalent of getting stuff signed from members of Slipknot.  Could be the key grip with a mask on.  But I still had fun.  Conventions are always an escape from real life.  You get away with other folks with common bizarre interests.  Dress up if you want.  Shop for things you don’t normally get to shop for.  A nice diversion from the every day.


Rebecca Bozarth is an artist who lives in Atlanta.  A graduate from SCAD Atlanta, she runs her own freelance business, Fotografia Film & Design, specializing in photography, film, social media, programing, and graphic and web design.

In her free time, you can find her exploring the city, at the park, reading, or playing on her PS4.  She loves classic film, concerts, and geek culture, especially Star Wars, Nightmare Before Christmas, Marvel, TWD, and recently has fallen in love with the art of cosplay.

A Geeky Girl’s Guide to Dating

quest
So since last week was the mother of all romanic gesture days, I thought I would write about the quest to find true love.

“And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva… So treasure your wuv.”
The Impressive Clergyman

dragonOne day my prince will come – well we’ll see. I admit, if his sole aspirations were me and dragonlslaying, we would probably make it. So how does a geek girl find her nerdy prince charming? No clue, but I’ll share the details thus far of my quest.

So there’s me. One of my big issues is that I find most men incredibly boring. I don’t want to spend every Saturday watching or molding my life around football – or any other sport for that matter, with the exception of Quidditch. If there’s something awesome happening, your answer to me better not be, but honey, there’s a game on. (This one is not a deal  breaker, and I make a small exception for college football- Go Dawgs!)

I don’t want to clean any dead animal that you felt like killing. And if you feel the need to kill animals, don’t even try to begin a conversation with me. I also don’t care what kind of car you drive – nor do I want to discuss your love of cars. I also don’t want someone who lives for working out in a gym. I know I’m being basic, or sound like I’m putting all men into the same category, but if you try online dating, they really do all seem to be the same guy.

That brings us to the next topic – online dating – or my own personal hell. So though I’ve NEVER wanted my story to be: I met him on Eharmony, I mean, where do you find someone? So I gave online dating a try. First, one month of Christian Mingle – scary. Then, three months of match.com – scarier. Then, about six months of Harmony – even more scary.  Shocking you don’t find someone of substance by answering 40 questions on your favorite kind of food or how you act at a party.  Then, my last ditch effort, Plenty of Fish – scariest!   Every guy that liked me seemed less than human – serilettuce_1_2ously, Bubba with his profile pic on a tractor was one of my followers. There was also a guy who’s picture was taken in the shower.  With POF, every text I received seemed to be straight out of Fifty Shades of Grey.  Deleted that account fast!  So in all that, I went on only one date. Turned out he was ten years older than he had said on his profile, and spent the entire night talking to me about growing lettuce in his backyard – in Midtown Atlanta. Needless to say, It’s not something I would ever do again.

But that’s the problem, where do you meet not only a good buy, but a good geek guy?  I want you to play video games – or at least support my love of them. I want you to be well read.  If I ask you about the last book you read and you stare blankly at me, don’t even bother.  I want you to be incredibly smart and have an opinion on the world around you.  I want you to like my weird Funko Pop collection.  I want you to have a zombie apocalypse plan.  And I especially want you to love horror, scifi, cary_grant_new_5agaming, superheroes, and the world of Joss Whedon. I want you to know why Captain Jack Harkness, David Tennant, Malcolm Reynolds, a boomstick, and Rod Serling are awesome.  I want you to binge American Horror Story and Big Bang Theory with me. I want you to know what happened on Lost.  I want you to love all things zombie, time travel, and hate sparkly vampires.  And, one of the hardest things to find, I want you to love classic films.  I dated a guy in college, who saw a picture of Cary Grant, and thought it was Humphrey Bogart.  Shocking we are no longer together.

“The unsuspecting victim of darkness in the valley
We can live like Jack and Sally if we want
Where you can always find me
And we’ll have Halloween on Christmas
And in the night we’ll wish this never ends”

quest2

So, geek man of my dreams, do you exist?  I’m beginning to loose hope.  But, that’s what a quest is all about. A long or arduous search for something – in my case, someone.  That one person that gets me.  That one person that doesn’t bore me.  Who’s idea of a vacation is going to DragonCon over Labor Day.  Or idea of a date would be going to Monsterama. Who doesn’t want to go to a club on a weekend, but would rather stay in and watch horror movies.  As one of my best friends told me, every pot has a lid. I’m just looking for my one extraordinary lid.


Rebecca Bozarth is an artist who lives in Atlanta.  A graduate from SCAD Atlanta, she runs her own freelance business, Fotografia Film & Design, specializing in photography, film, social media, programing, and graphic and web design.

In her free time, you can find her exploring the city, at the park, reading, or playing on her PS4.  She loves classic film, concerts, and geek culture, especially Star Wars, Nightmare Before Christmas, Marvel, TWD, and recently has fallen in love with the art of cosplay.

My Thoughts of Atlanta’s First Heroes and Villains Fan Fest

So I like going to conventions.  Been wanting to write about this for a bit, but due to some dramatic occurrences in my personal and family life, I’m just getting to it now.  None the less, I hope you enjoy…..


Sci-fi cons can be traced back as far as the 1930’s. The first recorded comic book convention took place in the 1960’s in New York City.  They called it the Tri-State Con and it was held July 24, 1964.  The con was a one-day convention at it’s start. Official guests included Steve Ditko, Flo Steinberg, and Tom Gill. Over 100 people attended.  Still an annual occurrence, it is now known as the New York Comicon, which this past year had over 180,000 people in attendance.

Atlanta is known for the south’s largest convention, DragonCon, which pulls in over 80,000 people over the Labor Day weekend.  This year, William Shatner attended, along with celebrities from Torchwood, Gotham, Firefly, and many other films and tv shows.  It’s an awesome weekend and I love it.  Have my pass and hotel for this year and can’t wait.

The creators of Walker Stalker Con, which celebrates everything zombie – the main pull being celebs from The Walking Dead – came up with a new convention concept, the Heroes and Villains Fan Fest.  Their slogan is “for fans, by fans.”  They hold these events all over the world from Chicago to London, and in 2016, for the very first time, Atlanta.

So the weekend before Thanksgiving, Heroes and Villains came to town.  One of my best friends had never been to a convention, and I wanted her to go to DragonCon with me, so I asked her to go.  I thought this would be a good emersion into the crazy cosplay convention world, and it was.

Celebs attending the convention included John Barrowman, Milo Ventimiglia, Stephen Amell, Robin Lord Taylor, Jason Momoa, and many many more.  My friend specifically attended for Jason Momoa. I was more there for Barrowman and Milo.  Barrowman never disappoints and I’ve been a team Jess/Peter Petrelli fan from way back.

So day one, Saturday, we both Uberd to the Georgia World Congress Center, where the fan fest was being held.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect with crowds.  I figured it wasn’t going to be anything like DragonCon, but I have to say that it was a lot less crowded than I ever thought it would be.  Probably not great for the convention, but awesome for us.  We could walk around without getting poked in the ribs with swords, or in the face with wings.  Novel concept I know.  It was held in one large room in building C.  The room was divided into sections – vendors, celeb signing and photo ops, and a panel area.  The first panel I was interested in wasn’t until 12:45 with John Barrowman, so we decided to check out the vendors first.  As expected, there were tons of Funko Pops, t-shirts, swords, corsets, and artists.  Can’t say I was really looking for anything, so I just enjoyed window shopping.

screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-3-06-35-pmI was in the mood to see beautiful people, so I suggested we move on to the celeb area.  First I saw John Barrowman and his husband.  Both are beautiful men.  We kept walking and and there before us was Jason Momoa.  You could stand in line, pay $40 and get a signed photo of him, but he wasn’t allowing anyone to take a picture with him – which is strange.  Usually you can pay to take a selfie with the guests, but not Khal Drogo.  So I held my phone up to take a
picture of the warrior leader of the tribe of horseman in Essos, and his handler told us that we could not take his photo.  Whatevs, still did.

screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-3-06-47-pmMoving on, we saw Milo.  Right then for me, the $30 entrance fee was worth it.  Though I love the celebs, I’m not the type to pay for their signature.  So we just gazed at all the beautiful people and went and stood in line for the Barrowman panel.

screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-3-06-55-pmOne awesome perk of the fan fest was that if you waited in line, you actually got in and
seated at the panel.  For anyone who has been to DragonCon, you know that is not always the case at the larger conventions.  So we stood in line and got a seat fairly close to the stage.  My friend had never seen John Barroman in anything, but I promised her that she would be entertained, and oh how I did not lie.  John Barrowman is famous for Torchwood, Dr. Who, and Arrow, but you go see him purely for his stage presence.   You never know what is going to come out of his mouth – he is a born performer and it’s impossible not to fall in love with him.  He spoke for an hour, answered all sorts of audience questions, and ended the panel singing Your Song to a sweet young girl in a wheelchair.  He made a life long fan out of my friend.

The next day, Sunday, was the Jason Momoa panel and the Heroes panel.  So the whole reason my friend was excited for the convention had arrived.  One problem – Jason Momoa turned out to be a complete douche.  He decided to leave the convention and skip his panel – and he was a headliner of the con.  So instead of keeping fans of his mediocre success, he ticked everyone off.  A stupid move on a celeb’s part.  The cast of The Walking Dead did the same thing at DragonCon, and are no longer allowed to attend.

screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-3-07-02-pmThough disappointing, the fest was still fun.  The Heroes panel was later that day, which
meant Milo.  My friend had never seen Heroes, but she did watch Gilmore Girls, so she was interested.  I ended up getting a front seat at the panel and it was glorious.
The panel consisted of Milo, Jack Coleman (Noah Bennet), and Robbie Kay from Heroes Reborn.  All three men had great personalities and were extremely entertaining.  The three shared stories from Heroes, their current shows such as Once Upon a Time, and This is Us, and cool personal insights.

As I sat there in the front row, I understood how the girl screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-3-07-10-pmin Raiders of the Lost Ark felt sitting in Professor Jones class. Milo was about five feet in front of me and I was totally fan-girling out.  He spoke on Heroes, Gilmore Girls a Year in the Life, Gotham, and This is Us.  He and Jack worked so well together on stage.  Made sense why Heroes was such a great show the four short seasons that it was on.  screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-3-07-17-pmInterestingly enough, they spoke on why Heroes ended.
I had always assumed that it died due to the writer’s strike, but actually the creators decided to end the show.   A shame, because it was one of my favorites.

 

The Heroes panel was one of the final parts of the convention.  My friend and I made one more round in the venders area, stood and watched John Barrowman and his husband Scott pack up their booth, and just soaked up the final minutes of the con.

screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-3-07-27-pm

 

 

Overall, Heroes and Villains Fan Fest was a success.  It’s a more intimate setting than other cons.  Much more enjoyable, the celebs seem to be more at ease, and definitely much less stressful than DragonCon.  They’re already adding celebs to this year’s con, so I’m sure I will attend.  It will give me more opportunities to fangirl out and hang with those that have a like minded inner geek.


Rebecca Bozarth is an artist who lives in Atlanta.  A graduate from SCAD Atlanta, she runs her own freelance business, Fotografia Film & Design, specializing in photography, film, social media, programing, and graphic and web design.

In her free time, you can find her exploring the city, at the park, reading, or playing on her PS4.  She loves classic film, concerts, and geek culture, especially Star Wars, Nightmare Before Christmas, Marvel, TWD, and recently has fallen in love with the art of cosplay.