Written by Mistress von Gearmaster
So I’m going to start of by saying, I’m kind of biased. The main reason I was there was to support my buddies over at Ara’Kus Productions and my girls in Dark Dolls. That being said, I got to see both of them do their thing on the first night.
I brought a friend for her birthday, since she is a huge horror fan, and I wanted to do something special since I had to miss her actual birthday. We spent about an hour and a half driving to the Convention because of Seattle infamous traffic from hell (even though we driving less than 20 miles to get there). Luckily parking at the hotel was super easy, and the elevator took us right up to the 3rd floor, which I learned was the only floor the con was on. I had bought my tickets weeks before through Dark Dolls and we went up to the will-call counter to pick them up. There was only one person in front of us, and 3 people behind the counter, after about a five-minute wait they moved the guy aside while they were still helping him, and asked if we were there to pick up tickets. Then, like the guy in front of us, it took about 10 minutes and 2 people to find our tickets. I even had to pull up my confirmation e-mail from two months prior to show them before they went “Oh your one of those tickets” and eventually found my order. Now I had ordered weekend passes, and like many conventions before was expecting an actual pass, usually customizable. They appeared to only have those available though for vendors and VIP. The rest of us got a paper a wristband, of which I had to keep on all weekend. Now it’s not a huge deal, but they’re itchy, and after you take a shower you have this wet band on wrist, which is also mildly annoying.
Super excited, finally able to get into the convention we walked in. First was a pseudo artists alley mixed with what I think was larping…which was cool. Lots of fun costumes, and being my first Crypticon I wasn’t sure if they were part of the convention, or just enthusiastic fans, either way, it was pretty awesome. We quickly reached the end of that hallway and entered the more author artist/group type of room. Which had my lovely friend Remy Le Fey author of Nighthawk promoting her current and upcoming book. We circled around to the Dark Dolls table where I said hi to all the girls. After chatting for a while my friend and I headed over to the Vendors room. Where we promptly ran into the Arakus table. Yay! It was great to see their GIANT Ara’Kus banner poster, which I secretly thought of how I could steal it and put it up in my room. They also had new T-shirts which were AMAZING. In addition they were on the Vendor room stage playing for the next 30 minutes, so we quickly made our way there to watch. Now honestly I could never say anything negative about Ara’Kus because they are just that amazing, and I’ve enjoyed the last 3-4 years I have worked with them. Really though, there wasn’t anything bad to say, that’s not just me being biased.
Once the performance was done, we checked out clock and saw we still had a few hours till the Dark Dolls production at 10pm. At this point we also realized that we had walked through the entire convention. So we weren’t quite sure what to do now. We checked the schedule and looked through the few event rooms to see if we could find something. We ended up attending the Horror Films in 2012 Talk. It had 3 guests, and about 10 people in attendance. Now as I mentioned before I brought my friend because she was a big horror nut, so I have to say she enjoyed much more of the talk than I. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, but to be honest, I’m a total weenie when it comes to horror films and can barely watch X-Files by myself. So I was just sitting there hoping they weren’t going to start playing clips of the scariest scenes of the this past years horror films. Which they didn’t, so everything was ok. I do like horror in theory, I just have a very overactive imagination, and the last time I watched The Ring (one of my favorite movies) while I was home alone, after it was over I started seeing the creepy TV girl climbing out of all the walls in my house towards me.
The talk was about an hour and we still had another hour to go until Dark Dolls. So we checked the schedule again. As we had already walked through the entire Vendors area and Artists alley about 3 times, we didn’t feel the need to check it again so soon. To our surprise we saw a Comedy Hour scheduled. Upon arrival to the Comedy room we found the doors locked and people waiting outside. Dark Dolls was still rehearsing and taking promo pics. I wanted to run in an say Hi, but the guard wouldn’t let me. Oh well, I would be seeing the girls right after the Comedy show anyways. While waiting we ended up meeting one of the Comedians. For the life I me I wish I could remember his name, he was medium height, sandy hair, and had a “magical” beard. He hosted weird theatre nights in Seattle as well, which I will eventually look up and go check out in person. He informed us he only told cat jokes. Which while I assumed he was joking, I was kind of overjoyed. Because yes, I will admit, I’m that person that posts 800 pictures of Grumpy Cat and various other cat memes on FB all day. Turns out he wasn’t so much kidding. He showed us picture of his 25lb cat, and about a quarter of his routine was jokes about his cat. Once we were all let in the show was actually pretty amazing. Now I am a huge comedy fan and do laugh at almost everything, it was a really great energy and incredibly silly, very not what I was expecting at a horror convention. My favorites were the cat guy (obviously) and the first guy (Couldn’t find the names in the program) There is a fine line between yelling comedians and awkward comedians, that if played wrong can be bad, and if played right is plain hysterical. These two definitely nailed it.
After the show it was time for Dark Dolls. Which was in the same room, so we got kicked out again since they had to set up before the show started. After about 15 minutes we were let back in. Now I did already have some apprehension, as the stage was very low, the lighting was just three par cans on either side (wide flood type lighting), and little front lighting. The announcer guy was great though. Really creepy in a Tom Waits sort of way. The house was packed and the stage opened on to a severely creepy blank white face poking through the black curtains on a white retractable accordion thing. The sound guy who was set up on the top left side of stage wearing jeans and white tank top was playing some oober creepy chewing creature sounds I think. This first performance was done by a guy, which is getting more popular at least in Seattle. The production as entitle (Zombie Dolls from Outer space), and his certain was some sort of Outer space interpretive alien dance, so it was off to a good start. Now even though this next part wasn’t great, I do think it’s a testament to how awesome, off kilter and strange Seattle is. But before the second scene came on, some of the celebrities had already walked out. So yay for us being overly weird, boo that they didn’t stay. The concept of the show was really good, and I do adore the girls (I already know most of them form Con Questers), but the show itself was kind of confusing. Some of the scenes were very good, though none of them really seemed to go together. The two stage kittens Gaz and Inky seemed the most related to the theme of the show, and well, everyone loves the Stage Kittens. I think with a Production Designer and Sound person who wasn’t late with the sound queues on almost every song their next show is going to be stellar. They all have tons of potential and I’ve seen them do amazing things in Con Questers already. By the end of the show it was already pretty late and my friend needed to get home as she had work stuff early in the morning.
In conclusion I was pretty underwhelmed. Being hailed as Largest Horror Convention in the Pacific Northwest I was expecting it to be larger than just one floor of a hotel and a few event rooms. When Steamcon first came on the scene years back before it was popular, it took up several floors in two hotels. I figured a genre that was much larger and had been around longer would have had more going on. The ticket experience was less than satisfactory as it took 3 people to even find my tickets, as well as the person in front of us. Then before we knew it we had already circled all the artist tables and vendor area three times through, and that was just in the first few hours. I know most people go to conventions for the after parties etc. But I see most of my friends outside of convention on a regular basis, and paying for tickets, a hotel, and parking for a 3 day event seemed a little much, to do stuff with people that I can do on any weekend, especially when in the first day there was so much waiting around trying to find things to do while they were busy with their tables. In conclusion, I think I would only go again if I was part of a group.
Mistress von Gearmaster aka Gira is an official LFTD Friend and is a total Star Trek geek extraordinaire from the Seattle area! She loves all things science and Star Trek related, and can kick ass at sci-fi trivia. Check out her Facebook page and we look forward to more of her sci-fi geekery