I'm home from Shock Stock 2014, the 4th annual horror/cult movie show in London Ontario, Canada!
I flew across the country to be there, and it was quite a trip. About 10 hours of traveling if you count all the time sitting around in airports, and I totally fucking DO. Here's an embarrassing thing that happened: I was going through my wallet while sitting there in the airport in Toronto, and I stood up to go ask a question of the airport staff and my chain wallet was still in my lap, but accidentally left open. It of course fell and dangled from the chain attached to my belt as I stood and walked forward, and ALLLLLL of my money and credit cards and all the other shit (my wallet is like a fucking purse, man) spread all over the goddamn floor right in the path of all these strangers who were disembarking. For further hilarity, I then scrambled around like fucking Jerry Lewis trying to collect the several hundred dollars in twenties that fell all over the floor. People laughed, my head turned as red as a cherry tomato, and it totally felt like a nightmare where you go to school with no pants.
Anyway, once I got there everything was daddio-cool. I was a special guest, and was sitting next to Sig Haig and Ginger Lynn. As a massive fan of the movies that Sid made with director Jack Hill back in the 1970s and 60s (SPIDER BABY, PIT STOP, BIG DOLL HOUSE), and with Ginger being one of the stars of the very earliest porn movies I ever saw, you can bet that was pretty gratifying and exciting for me.
Sid is, as one would imagine, a grumpy old man. Gawd bless him. Haha, not much else to say! He seemed tickled to see his fans though, which is about as much as you can ask from an old crumudgeon.
Ginger is exactly as graceful, kind, and congenial as you would expect. Meeting both of them was very cool, especially Ginger who really seemed to like the full color poster I did of her as a Shock Stock con exclusive, as well as my new Graphic Thrills book. That she was into them at all kinda made my week, to be honest. I mean, I don't wish to sound like a slobbering Ginger Lynn fanboy, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that there are only about 10 living porn superstars that would genuinely make me simply giddy just to be in the same room as them, and she's on that short list.
I also got to meet and hang out with that crazy looking evil dude from THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2, Laurence R. Harvey, Marc Sheffler from the original LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, and Felissa Rose from SLEEPAWAY CAMP! Damn. Wish I got more photos, but I've never really been a "photo guy". I'm often too wrapped up in living the moment to want to stop and document it. I guess I'll regret that when I get old and can't remember my own memories anymore.
James Bialkowski, along with Jake Grimbo, are the two guys in charge of putting the whole show together. They really have something special here. A really good vibe. I love that they've brought the world to them, instead of just being like "Oh shit, we live in London Ontario. I guess everything sucks." I've lived in enough small and medium sized towns in my life where that attitude is just soooooo ever-present, so to meet two individuals who are working so hard to make a culture of awesomeness in their own community is really quite inspiring. They aren't just sitting back and waiting for cool shit to happen. They're MAKING it happen. Fuck, yeah. We could all learn a little something from that, if you ask me. Here's James and I:
Of course, a show like this doesn't come together thanks to two people. There are many other personalities and volunteers involved, making sure everything goes smoothly. James' wife, Tessa, for one. She made me some awesome drinks while tending bar at an after party. Yummers! I made friends with many of the volunteers, actually. Nina (who picked me up at the airport), Holly (who drank booze out of a stranger's butt crack), Tyler (who I finally got to meet after being online friends for years), Rin (who gave me some of her zines) and David (who went out and got me a foot long sammich!)
Here I am getting to know Nichole, who was also one of the many accommodating young people at the convention! CANADA. WHAT A COUNTRY.
Getting to finally meet Art Ettinger and his lovely wife Allana after being online friends for as long as there has been internutz was cool, too. His magazine ULTRA VIOLENT is pretty much a must-read, and he tells me there is finally going to be a new issue in the near future. Here's Art holding some pictures of ladies with top hats on their butts. You know, like you do.
What else fun things did I do? Oh yeah! Buying tons of paper collectibles off Cameron Sholes and then finding out he was the guy who used to put together SHE magazine back in the day! And he gave me some sweeeeet deals! Thanks Cam. May I also point out that it was super wicked that Jill Nelson, the author of GOLDEN GODDESSES drove for hours to come and see the show! She's one of my faves, so that was a giant flaming pile of neato.
"That's all fine and good" you may say. "Let's talk about $$", you may say. Well, actually maybe you won't say that, but I did really well. Sold piles of books, especially of GRAPHIC THRILLS. One of my best cons ever, from that point of view. Here's a blurry view from my table. Look at that funny little dog. It looks like a poop. I wish that blue lady there would have brought him over so I could have patted him. Pet him? Whatever.
So then the show ends on Sunday and I gotta scram outta my hotel room because check out time is noon, but I don't have anything to do for almost a whole day! Could have been mega-boring, so thank goodness my new pals Nina, Holly, Jeremy and Kellan were thoughtful and gracious enough to take me out for awesomely delicious tacos and then for a tour around the sleaziest and coolest sites of downtown London! Here I am being genuinely amazed to witness a musty old love doll that looked like a pickled woman in formaldehyde. You're supposed to take it out of its cryogenic tube and fuck it.
Anyway, thanks again, London! That was really fun! Much love to you all, even the jokers in the airport that laughed at my comedic slapstick antics. Glad I could provide some entertainment.