NFCC AND MACABRECON 2: Where Dreams Come True And The Occasional Nightmare Too
Saturday June 9th:
The entire golden horseshoe area and beyond was all a buzz about the forthcoming convention held at the new Scotiabank Convention Centre at 6815 Stanley Avenue just minutes from the world famous falls. No one could argue the event was highly promoted and hyped through all media one could fathom in newsprint, radio ads and websites. Fans, enthusiasts and aficionados of comics, contemporary television, film, wrestling and horror clambered as far as the eye could see to get a glimpse of their heroes, villains and icons.
Boasting over 27 000 square feet of vendors, artists, celebrities and all that is celebratory in animation one was skeptical if it could all be absorbed in one day. From the opening gates at 10:00 it was far from standing room only. From a sociological perspective it was fascinating to see generations among generations hustling and bustling about in random chaotic fashion. I can safely speak for all that attended the spectacles before everyone rendered the imagination in awe.
People lined up from pillar to post in utter patience just to get a few seconds of greatness, an autograph and perhaps photo with the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be Bret “The Hitman” Hart. The WWE legend and multiple former world champion was more gracious than imaginable in typical Canadian fashion. Many a fan young and seasoned alike walked away with smiles ear to ear and a memory of a lifetime.
Who could forget the highly anticipated Burt Ward, television’s original Robin of the dynamic duo? Holy ageless Batman! Mr. Ward looks as spry as ever and it makes you wonder if the boy wonder still has a caped crusader episode left in him somewhere. I never did get to ask him about the infamous sixties swingers parties that have been publicized in some of the notorious unauthorized biographies. Then again what happens in Gotham stays in Gotham and that’s good enough for me.
Perhaps most compelling is soaking in all the fans’ costumes and enthusiasm. Druids, androids, super heroes, and even a bloodied avatar of Christ could be seen roaming the concrete confines of the convention centre. One notable teen looked like a reanimated carbon copy of the protagonist buzz slinger from Lollipop Chainsaw. Comic geeks take their participation seriously and it’s endearing to see the youth of today invest their time and energy into something that is not entirely self-destructive and condemning.
Never shy on memorabilia, NFCC delivered in spades. For nostalgic keepsakes browsers could get a photo within the original 1966 Batmobile or even the Delorean from the Back to The Future series.
Last but certainly not least was the horror quadrant of the floor devoted to Macabrecon. One could easily spend the balance of the day there perusing artifacts, books, DVD’s, photos just to name a few. This fan wishes he went with a fistful of cash but is ultimately grateful just to be in the company of those that scare the hell out of us for a living. One could not help but be hypnotized by the imposing presence of Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface) of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame. Of course the ladies Marilyn Burns and Teri McMinn were present and accounted for offering up some of the sweetest of smiles you could ever dream for. John Russo and Russ Streiner offered nods and jovial salutations promoting Night Of The Living Dead Live at their table produced by Daniloff Productions. Spookey Reubin was also there decked out in Puzzleface costume (more on Puzzleface in the VIP continuation of this article). Who could forget the stunning visual allure to one April Mullen and Tim Doiron of Dead Before Dawn 3D? Last but certainly not least Chandler Rigg’s looked right at home among zombie enthusiasts straight from the runaway hit TV series The Walking Dead.
As the capacity crowd began to multiply by the minute, the buzz of browsers magnified to a steady drone I decided to retreat to higher ground outside, get a breath of fresh air and absorb all the stimulaie presented before me. Surprisingly on onslaught of yawns had virtually possessed me. I guess that I hadn’t received as much rest the night prior as I’d hoped for. Snippets of a hazy, vague nightmare I’d had in the wee hours of darkness eclipsed my subconscious steadily.
I recall tossing and turning recklessly back and forth never really becoming entirely comfortable. The air was stagnant, humid and from out of nowhere an epic rain shower had cascaded from the mid night sky. As lightning surged and lit up the back drop, thunderous claps across the stratosphere quaked all beneath. I felt a certain unsettling sense of Deja-vu as I glimpsed upon the vast mammon of architecture before me. I knew full well this was a plot of impending destiny before me, yet I’d never seen this place before. Eerily the contours, nuances, nooks and crannies of the building were as familiar unto me as the back of my hand. I had arrived to The Scotiabank Convention Centre, the last stride of my journey about to unfold. I exhaled in relief in my slumber feeling euphoric borderline ecstasy. I could not subdue the rapid pulse surging through my veins. My diet consisted of my own adrenaline and I was about to bear witness to all that was deliriously and nostalgic in the realm of macabre. My feet felt like wet sand bags trudging through quick sand as I approached the glass doors to the main entrance. Blue streaks of lightning reflected off the flawless transparent panes. As I reached for the handle my throat grew dry, my hands trembling beyond control. My eyes bulged in the darkness dilated in my own neurosis. One final step and all spectacle around me vastly changed within a fraction of a second. I bolted, jolted and started in my restless slumber. I’d fallen into a pit, shards of debris and earth crumbled all around me. Unseen hands had unearthed the landscape filling my presence in to conceal forever after. I attempted to scream, to thwart their diabolical deed. My mouth was filled with fresh earth and squirming worms for my efforts. Thrashing, writhing, contorting and twisting at last my clambering hands achieved purchase onto the grassy perimeter around my make shift grave. I hoisted myself out gradually, slowly, methodically.
I just about screamed in revelation, succumbed to full conscious reality around me. The tell-tale sign of condemning judgment flashed a smile before me.
“Huh? What?” I replied at last, oblivious to the external variables around me.
“I said, do you want to head back in, it’s started to rain.” My beautiful wife Leona queried ever so patiently. She truly deserves the title of saint at times.
“Oh, yeah sure,” I extinguished my cigarette and squeezed my eyes shut, blindly in search of rejuvenation.
“Waking nightmare again,” she commented, as equally as asking.
“The buried alive one,” I mumbled, a little embarrassed.
“You know theorists allegedly state a buried alive dream is symbolic of someone’s anxiety that a big mistake is about to be made.” She regarded me with the concern and nurturing of any supportive life-long companion. “Sure you’re up for this?”
“Oh yeah, you bet,” I answered finally. “Besides I got out so that must count for something.”
Back inside we’d headed counting down the minutes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre VIP events to transpire.