Thursday, August 20, 2009

Recap: Vampire Con 2009

I had high hopes for the first ever Vampire Con, which took place last weekend in Hollywood. First, because I love vampires. Who doesn't?! They're sexy. They dress really well, especially for supernatural creatures. They'll gladly nibble on your neck. And, hey, they might not even kill you! Instead they'll just make you young, beautiful and hypnotically seductive for the rest of eternity. Sounds good to me. Also, I've always wanted to go to a horror convention. Every year I eye the lineup for Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors in Burbank and wonder if this should be the year that I finally bite the bullet and go. So when my buddy "Madame Magnet" (ahem, not her real name) over at Magnets de los Muertos announced that she would be selling her awesome macabre magnetic poetry at the Vamp Con, I naturally volunteered my services to help her man the table.

Magnets de los Muertos' Vampire Poetry! (Top two pics by me, bottom pic by Gendy Alimurung for LA Weekly.)

Here's a little taste of what we were selling. (If you'd like to see other poems put together by guests at our booth, click here or here.) People seemed to respond really well to the magnets, and we made several sales, including MdlM's first ever sale! (Yes, it's a very, very young company. In fact, the Vamp Con was MdlM's public debut!) Why only "several," you ask? Well, the fact of the matter is, there just weren't very many people at the convention. Here are my guesses as to why:
  • It was the first Vamp Con ever! Subsequent years will see more attendance, I'm sure.
  • It was a weekend-long event, but it changed venues. While Friday and Saturday featured film screenings at the New Beverly, Sunday was the only day vendors were allowed to pimp their spooky wares, and that was at the Henry Fonda. Somewhat confusing.
  • The vendors were on three different levels: The ground level, where the panel discussions were taking place, the mezzanine level, where we had our booth, and an outdoors balcony area, which was unbearably hot and bright. Hello, vampires don't want to stand in the August sun!
  • It started way too early. Vendors were only allowed to sell from 10:30 AM until 4:30 PM. Who's up that early, especially on a Sunday, especially to shop for vampire merchandise?!
Case in point: I dressed up as a vamp myself for the occasion, but I have to admit it was really hard to get into the right frame of mind at 9 AM.

SLG working the booth, fangs in tow. Blah, blaaaah!

Looking at this now, I'm like, "Hmm, I should've worn more eye makeup." But, again, it's really hard to get all gothed out right after you roll out of bed! Boo to that. You would be surprised how many people didn't dress up for this event at all. I can't even count how many people asked me if my fangs were real, and when I replied, "Of course!" (real answer: "Of course not!"), they were awed and asked to take my picture. One dude interviewed me and asked if I drank blood. Uh, no, see my vendor pass? I'm selling something! I'm not here because I'm one of those people you see on A&E specials about "Real Vampires!!1" around Halloween! I think everyone was just starved for freaks because, alas, the freaks come out at night...not 10:30 AM-4:30 PM. SIGH.

On the left: Nella, your new Vampirella. On the right: Girl who can't believe Nella is walking around with her rack hanging out like that. (Pic by Gendy Alimurung.)

That's not to say, however, that there was nothing interesting to see at Vamp Con. For example: Feast your eyes on Vampirella Nella! They were holding a contest downstairs to see who should be crowned the new Vampirella, and this girl was the only one who actually came upstairs to tell us to vote for her. And then she won! Yay! She seemed like a nice girl - she even turned around and showed us her ass as per Mdm. Magnet's request. (Nice ass, too!) I'm glad she won.
Sweet little pup, all vamped out!

Anytime an event inspires people to put their pets in costumes, it can't be all bad, right?

Hell-ga, Satan's barmaid. (Pic by Gendy Alimurung.)

This lovely lady was making the rounds to promote her Halloween-themed polka album, Polka Haunt Us. (Good name!) The tagline was: "If Hell had a polka soundtrack, this would be it." My response: "What do you mean if?!" Har har. I can't tolerate an entire polka album, but if I could, I would buy this one. At least her heart's in the right place...and her outfit was awesome.
How did I miss this vamp?! (Pic by Gendy Alimurung.)

You know, I didn't even see this woman on Sunday, although I wish I had. Now this is the level of commitment that I expected from Vampire Con attendees! Well, there's always next year.

In addition to the excitement of actually making some sales and meeting a few interesting characters, the best part of the con was the freebies we snagged right at the end. A charity was distributing vampire doggy hand puppets, complete with felt fangs and cape, and we each got one for free! (Their names are Count Dogula and Lord Barkington.) Also, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab was distributing tiny vials of their "Blood" fragrance, which I love and must now own. It smells kind of like clove cigarettes and kind of like incense - deep and mysterious, and dark. Would I go back next year? Of course. I'm excited to see how this event will progress as the organizers work out the kinks and figure out how to make it flow. (One idea: Allow vendors to set up shop on the film screening days!) Until then, there's always Fangoria...
Graffiti I spotted on the way to Hollywood. Also, this is just good advice.

Did anybody else attend Vampire Con last weekend? How did you feel about it?


Madame Magnet said...

Oof, yeah it was SO HARD to wake up that early for a Vampire event!

Your giant robot picture is awesome. As you know, I love robots!

Hell-ga and the Vampire hand puppets were the highlight of the day. And congrats again to Nella!

Thanks again for coming out - you are the best.

spooky little girl said...

Of course! I really do WANT to go to these things, so - while I would do such a favor for you, naturally - I don't really consider this a favor at all!


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