Expectations were running high as everyone was counting down the days until Blood on the Beach, the first horror convention of it’s size to hit the Tidewater region of Virginia, which includes Virginia Beach. The event took place April 20, 2012 through April 22, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Virginia Beach-Norfolk Hotel & Conference Center.
The Zombies…….they’re coming
The convention kicked off at 2pm with a Zombie Walk (organized by Zombiewalk Hampton Roads and BOTB organizer Al Keisel) at Virginia Beach Towne Center. Cast members from The Walking Dead (Addy Miller, Madison Lintz, and Michael Rooker) made an appearance to kick off and participate in the walk. There were a wide variety of zombie characters, including a zombie Katniss (Hunger Games) and zombie Luigi (Nintendo’s Mario Bros.). Ghostbusters were out in force to combat the zombies as well. There was a little something for everyone, and it certainly was a fun way to kick off the convention.
I don’t think zombies do this, but I thought it was entertaining, eh? hehe
Once the zombie walk was over, those not dead on their feet along with other convention goers headed back to the convention site to mingle with various celebrities and explore the various goodies being offered up for sale from vendors.
People came dressed in costumes, makeup, or their favorite horror themed t-shirt. Meanwhile, others wore something stylish & goth, black, clubbish, or something simply comfortable. If people watching is something you are into, I could think of no better place to be than Blood on the Beach. Interesting looks and interesting personalities were on full display.
I went to the convention with my gal pal, Katie. Both of us were very excited because we wanted to meet Norman Reedus – didn’t everyone? Sadly, Norman arrived late Friday night. However, Norman came straight from the airport to the hotel and started signing autographs and pictures with the fans. I am sure he had to be jetlagged yet he felt it was his duty to be there for his fans.
The Search for Edward Herrmann
Katie and I got to the convention a little later than 5pm, but the line to meet Norman had already begun before he had even arrived. Katie and I walked in and got our convention bracelets for the weekend and headed to the celebrity room. While, I was there to meet Norman, there were others I wanted to meet and see. First on my list was Edward Herrmann. This was his first convention and he was there to support the 25th Anniversary of The Lost Boys. The Lost Boys was the movie sealed the bonds of my first true friendship. It meant a lot for me to met him because it have casually followed his career, and I have enjoyed him in various roles from Overboard with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell to Rory Gilmore‘s grandfather on The Gilmore Girls. Sadly, he wasn’t at his table.
My friend Katie attracted a lot of comments and looks because she was dressed up like Buffy the Vampire Slayer a la Kristy Swanson mode.
When you are dressed up at one of these conventions, you can pretty much expect people will want a picture of you or with you. The nice thing about this is it sparks conversations and promotes fun interaction between the fans. Goofy pictures abound.
I didn’t really have a costume. I just dressed in black. I kept it simple.
Santa Has Fangs….. No way!?
While looking around and checking out what celebrities were around, we ran into Sal Lizard aka Vampire Santa. Katie struck up a conversation with Sal after looking over his table material. She asked could they pose together. Sal asked us to wait while he dug out his fangs. Sadly, in the process, one dropped and went missing for a good 5 minutes until we finally found it.
After meeting Sal, I insisted we go pop in on friend and vendor – Jason Crawley aka The Bloke. Dressed up in his finest and in good form, The Bloke greeted us with his wonderful English accent and exchanged some greetings.
Horror Comic Nostalgia
I know Jason because of a smaller local horror convention called Monsterfest and through an extended circle of Horror Hosts and Horror scene friends (It’s pretty nice community of folks). It was the first time we met in the flesh and it was a real pleasure to finally meet him.
Jason is a writer and with the aide of some fabulously talented artists, he puts out two comic publications – Bloke’s Tomb of Horror Anthology and Bloke’s Terrible Tomb of Terror. If you miss comics in the style of Tales from the Crypt, Eerie, Weird Tales, and Creepshow, Jason’s work really brings back the nostalgia of classic creepy tales.
Stay Tuned for Part 2