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Sunday, July 24, 2011

FLORIDA SUPERCON 2011


  Florida SuperCon 6 took place on the 4th of July weekend this year. Unfortunately for me that meant I wouldn’t be able to attend all four days of the convention. Yes, this year they expanded it to four days of fun. I could barely handle three days last year, so I give a lot of credit out to anyone who survived four days worth of SuperCon. I attended the convention on Saturday, and as I did last year, I want to take you through my adventure.


  Just like last year, I attended mostly events that were horror related. The first event that I went to was “Meet the Florida Ghost Team.” I met them last year, but it was good to hear from different members of the team this time. They talked about several interesting topics, one of which was the personalities of their team. Some are spiritual minded, while others are more scientific minded. They said having a balance of both personalities was important in their investigations. It helps them rule out reasons for possible spiritual events happening, and finding out the truth.
  Whenever I attend one of these ghost-hunting events, I always find the audience interesting to listen to as well. They are eager to share their ghostly experiences. Someone always gives details of an event that happened, and then they wait for the ghost team to validate the events that happened to them. The ghost teams answer them respecting the situation they went through, but also explaining that there could be causes for the events happening besides the presence of ghosts. Of course, it is hard for the ghost teams to say for sure without an investigation.


  Moving on from the ghost world, the next event was “Writers: Finding Your Audience.” This event featured writers James Hudnall, Terry Cronin, Thom Zahler, and Aya Knight, as they talked about how they found their audience. To no surprise, they mentioned using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, but gave some good tips at making the most out of these social mediums. Some of those tips included making a Facebook page, and coming up with a teaser video for YouTube. They said not to wait until your work was finished. It is all right to start doing these things to prepare your audience for the final product. Also, they said creating a blog, and posting certain chapters, or portions of your book would be a good idea. No matter which route you choose, make sure that you are always updating the information to keep readers involved.
  Besides social media, they talked about how to get an ISBN number and barcode for your work. Some of the audience had concerns about copyrighting, so they shared different ways to go about copywriting. However, they made sure to tell everyone not to stress over copywriting, and focus more on your work. Other people asked about how to create merchandise such as, t-shirts to promote their work. They gave out some websites like Cafepress, and 295guys.com that do t-shirts. I found it funny how they said to be careful with that because it sounds like a good idea, but most of your shirts will end up in your basement.


  Now to the event I was looking forward to the most, “Walking Dead TV Q and A.” This Q and A featured Sonya Thompson and Charles Casey. When you see them you might not recognize them from the show because they played zombies. On the other hand, you might recognize Sonya because she was the zombie on most of the promotional posters for The Walking Dead. To my surprise, she has a lot of experience playing zombies not only on this show, but also in Zombieland, Night of the Jackals, and more. Even more interesting is that she is a zombie consultant. I didn’t know there was such a job out there. Where can I interview for that job position?



  Both of them talked about their experiences on the set of The Walking Dead. They mentioned how it was a long process putting on the make up, but a much shorter one taking it off. It was hard keeping the make up on in the Atlanta heat. Also, that the directors were very detailed with the zombies. In scenes where there were a lot of zombies, even the actors playing zombies in the background would have a certain amount of make up on. They just weren’t people standing in the background.




  They told a funny story about the zombie that was just a torso crawling through the forest. That actor actually had their make up put on at an offset location, and had to be driven to the set. The driver and actor had plenty of great stories about people’s reaction to them driving through the city. Sonya and Casey also mentioned the funny looks people gave them that didn’t know there was a zombie show being filmed in the area.



  From there it was onto the exhibition room to check out the merchandisers, celebrities, and comic book guests. The merchandisers always have a bunch of cool stuff for sale. There were plenty of comic books, along with movie posters, action figures, shirts, and more. Some of the celebrities that attended the event were Cary Elwes (Saw and The Princess Bride), Bruce Boxleitner (Tron and Babylon 5), and Emma Caulfield (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Darkness Falls). Comic book guests included, Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Sheldon Moldoff (Batman ghost artist in the 50’s-60’s and Hawkgirl), and Allen Bellmen (Captain America and The Patriot). Of course that is only a short list of all the great people that were part of SuperCon.



  After taking several laps around the room, the bell had just rung and it was time for “SuperCon Championship Wrestling!” This is a fan favorite every year. Some of the wrestlers include, The Geico Caveman, Cobra Commander, The Mario Bros., Joker, Chun Li, Storm Shadow, and Robin. No, I didn’t get wrestlers mixed up with cartoon characters. This is how wrestling is done SuperCon style.




  This year it was all about Cobra Commander, and his quest for the World Heavyweight Championship. Once he captured the title, it was up to Team Cobra to prevent the Geico Caveman from regaining the title. So who did Cobra befriend to ensure his title reign lived on? Raven… yes Raven from ECW working side by side with Cobra. It was certainly cool seeing, and hearing Raven up close. Of course, you couldn’t expect him to take orders from Cobra Commander for long.



  Back to the world of the supernatural, as it was time for “Scott Tepperman Q and A.” He is one of the stars of Ghost Hunters International. I have seen him speak before, but it is always interesting to hear about new things happening on the show. He talked a little about the upcoming season, and how they go about picking sites to investigate. There was also a big discussion about the house from The Amityville Horror. It seems like someone always has to bring that house up.




  Continuing in the ghost world, next it was “How To Start A Paranormal Investigation Team.” Members of the Florida Ghost Team took the audience through certain steps to putting together a good team, or least they were trying to. It was funny because this one member of the audience kept interrupting them with question after question. The questions really weren’t even about forming a team. They were more about what locations they had investigated, and what their experiences were at those places. On top of that, he would ask a question, and then try to answer it. Then he left the room, and said goodbye to the Ghost Team like he was the only one in the room listening to them. I give a lot of credit to the team for having patience with him.



  That wasn’t the only funny thing that happened during this event. One of the team members was talking about owning your space, and not being afraid of ghosts. He said to respect them, but make sure they know whose house it is and how it is time for them to move on. So while he is talking about this, some guy on the outside of the room walks right into the room’s sliding glass door scaring half the people in the room. As expected, that changed the guy’s mind about coming in the room, and he continued on his way.



  I ended the night with a quick stop by “Zombies: A-Z.” I thought this event would be very interesting because there is plenty to talk about when it comes to zombies after all. However, because guys that were putting on some kind of Resident Evil game held the event, the focus of the conversation was… Resident Evil. I mean they tried to talk about zombies at first, but then it became a discussion and trivia on Resident Evil and video games. Since my video game days are pretty much over, I decided to call it a night.



  Even though I only got to attend one day at Florida SuperCon, I still had a lot of fun. I listened to a lot of great stories, and saw some very interesting sights like these kids:



 I’m a little out of touch with the younger generation so my best guess is that this is some kind of “flash mob” thing. Oh well, it just supports my belief that this is a great event for everyone, but especially for kids.


(Additional videos and pics below!)

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