NIAGARA FALLS COMIC CON/MACABRE CON: Where Dreams Come True And The Occasional Nightmare Too
Friday June 8th:
What better way to spark the electric energy in the air, than a launch party of epic proportion Heavy Pickle style? Counting down the hours to the forth coming Niagara Falls Comic Con/Macabre Con spectators clambered to bash to get the festivities rolling. Hosted at the rustic Seneca Queen Theatre at 4630 Queen Street, Niagara Falls, entertainment from every corner of the venue threatened to combust each of your senses into over stimulated oblivion. The beverages flowed freely, loosening up the guests, attendees and performers alike.
A special nod of recognition and thanks go out to Adam Buller for organizing the Heavy Pickle Party. Clearly if there’s one thing Mr. Buller knows its how to celebrate- in style. With three separate stages, musicians, comedians and magicians there was just about something there for everyone to stoke the anticipation of the following day’s celebration of all that is macabre.
First on the bill was a screening of locally produced sci-fi bonanza Android Re-Enactment. The audience was well received as talk of the production ensued long into the night. Some were treated to a most memorable question and answer session following the conclusion of the runaway cult classic.
While on-lookers, guests and door crashers had the opportunity to mingle and carouse, Alex Kassam assumed the host position introducing Spookey Reuben to play a set that is best described as elasto-pop alchemy. A good time was had by one and all as the theatre quickly filled in to dance sing-along or even just show their undying support by looking on.
Simultaneous action unfolded on the lobby stage where Johnny come lately could catch a glimpse of entertainment. The Waxbills played a memorable set, igniting the crowd into an infectious ovation. James Millhaven was introduced to show case some eclectic, enigmatic poetry while DJ Marinko and DJ Blenderhead invaded the top floor with dance explosion.
There truly was too much for one to take in all, simultaneously. Yet the excitement and jovial energy was undeniably in the air. After consuming dangerously close to my personal limit of ‘once in a blue moon’ booze I sat and pondered a reoccurring night mare I’d had.
Agoraphobia, you may have heard of it, know someone that has endured it or perhaps even suffer from it yourself. It can typically be described as one’s intense panic or anxiety of public places. For the record it wasn’t until recently that I broke free of a long bout of seclusion and reclusive behavior. I had pretty much had it with society and couldn’t be bothered to interact.
In lucid slumber my mind would inevitably wander back to the same old theme. A capacity crowd filled a hall type atmosphere, growing increasingly loud and restless awaiting some type of performance or another. Somehow in my hazy state I’m pushed out into the limelight reluctantly in a cold sweat, disoriented, disheveled and oblivious to what’s really going on. In my dream I look down to realize in absolute trembling horror that I’m completely stark naked as the day I was born. An uproar of venomous laughter ensues, rendering me paralyzed with shame, terror and humiliation.
Of course this is merely a symbolic representation of our subconscious unwinding, an irrational presentation to an after thought of complex emotion. Metaphorically the clothes are concealment to vulnerability in displaying or appearing to someone that you are something not what they expect. Or of course these could be fears of being ridiculed or disgraced, apprehension arises in midst of attempting to impress someone. This particular reprised nightmare always bothered me and yet until this night I was unable to figure it out.
Yes yours truly even ended up joining the fray in midst of the theatre stage while the very unusual, yet catchy and upbeat antics of The Woodshed Orchestra played on. As clearly no one else had accepted the invitation to dance on stage, with enthusiasm I leapt over the theatre seats to shake my money maker and bang my hip off the saxophone player’s tambourine. As the audience and even my daughter Mandy burst into an encouraging round of applause I somehow knew my Agoraphobic fears had been officially slain and put to rest.
I’m particularly grateful to conquer these fears to briefly meet and interact with true bona fide horror icons Marilyn Burns (Sally) and Teri McMinn (Pam) of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The ladies were gracious in signing autographs share anecdotes and even down to earth enough to pose for photos. My wife Leona had them laughing in stitches sharing her charisma and zest for life.
While chin wagging with these legends another chance of a lifetime presented itself in the form of Mr. John Russo and Russ Streiner ( Russ was Johnny in the original Night of the Living Dead taunting his sister with the famous quote, “They’re coming to get you Barbara..”) taking the time to introduce one another. In classic Russo form he did indeed state he didn’t remember me and it took some encouragement to recall the interview we’d had promoting the event. A good laugh was had by one and all over society’s fanaticism with zombies and even poked fun of Children of The Living Dead.
A special extended thanks to all of the performers for making a truly memorable evening including Dearly Beloved, Joel Van Vliet, Awesome Sauce, Perpetual Peace Project, David Green, The Black Flies, Graham Davidson, Oak and Elm and Whitney Peterson. Most of all I’d like to express my infinite gratitude to the team of Annessa Allen and David Daniloff for launching such an unforgettable experience.
As the evening wound down and I had a moment to exhale, absorbing all the chaos I knew that this was merely the beginning of a very special adventure. Who knew what lied ahead at tomorrow’s Macabrecon?