Tuesday, August 21, 2012

ICS Update - August 21, 2012

Good Eve-e-ning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Ahead of us this weekend, for your enjoyment, is the August ICS Meeting. We will be having JUDY PENTZ doing a presentation on that Master of Mystery and the Macabre, ALFRED HITCHCOCK. As John Ward once remarked, "Hitchcock is a genre of his own". I think we can agree with that- we've all heard this film or that as referred to as "HITCHCOCKIAN" in style.

We're coming to the traditional end of Summer, and we'll briefly recap some of the highs and lows in the movies this summer, led by John Ward.

So come on out and have a good time at the next meeting!


Saturday, August 11, 2012

ICS Update - August 10, 2012

Greetings one and all!

I thought I'd fill you in with some stories and photos for a summer's night.

First off, we had a meal of salads and sundaes at our new SUNDAES and SALADS NIGHT- suggested by Gary and handled by Tom Proveaux- at the last meeting. It was a wonderful suggestion- and lighter fare sits better on a hot humid night than pizza does! Never fear, we will be having a PIZZA NIGHT later in the year.

Also at our last meeting, we played ICS-ACADEMIC, the ICS quiz show. We had 3 teams compete against each other, with Jolly John Weber acting as the MC. The winners- Dave W., Darryl and Skip aka The Headless Ghosts- all won a double vote card for their mastery in answering genre-related questions. I have attached some photos of the teams, along with Charlie Wittigs' masterful invention, THE BRAINIAC- used for "chiming in".

After that, Nina Hawes gave an interesting presentation on TIM BURTON. The movie selected for the evening was Sleepy Hollow- one of my favorite Burton films.

Today I burned a vacation day at work and went to the MID-ATLANTIC NOSTALGIA CON, aka MANC, at Hunt Valley. While there I got to see guests Ron Ely (Tarzan), James Darren and Robert Colbert (The Time Tunnel), Shirley Jones (the Partridge Family), Sherry Jackson (of the classic ST episode "What are Little Girls made of?") and Hammer favorite Veronica Carlson. And along with them outside they had THE GOTHAM SUPERCAR, aka the 1966 Batmobile. As we can all guess, BATMOBILE is now trademarked. I'd have called it the BATCAR if it were me. The were showing movies and TV shows periodically throughout the day. Autographs ran $20 and up.

Now let me get on my soapbox (Tide Detergent, of course) here. I enjoy conventions. I don't go as often as I used to, though. I haven't been to a Shore Leave in years. Horrorfind is too far to drive now. I went to MANC this year because I'm an Irwin Allen fan, as you all know, and a chance to see James Darren and Robert Colbert was one I didn't want to miss. I spent a fair amount of time walking through the dealer's room, but I was not in the mood to empty my wallet there. Can't say any of the things they were showing in the movie rooms interested me, and there weren't multiple showings going on.

And that's the rub. There was nothing else to do.

I found that Veronica, Sherry and Shirley had done a panel the day before, and had nothing else planned. James Darren and Robert Colbert would not be on until late evening, and I couldn't stay that long. I'm cutting back on DVDs and "toys", so the dealer's room was nice to look at, but I wasn't really looking for anything special. Nowadays thanks to the Net, there's a good chance I could order most of the stuff. Older, hard to find items I wouldn't be able to afford.

Which made me think of one of the best local cons ever- Gary and Sue Svehla's FANEX. By the hoary hosts of Asgard, THAT was a convention. Every hour had something going on- and one had a lot of choices. I heard at least once a patron say- "There's two things I want to see but they're both at the same time!". They had multiple movie screenings. They had panels- panels made up of movie lovers interacting with the audience. They had guests that you could see each day in some form or another. Oftimes walking around, intermingling with the patrons and staff. And the guests... believe it or not... were not allowed to charge for photos! 

The admission price was very reasonable, the dealers' room was packed (although dealers always complain). And the guests weren't herded into the dealer's room like other vendors- each had their own signing room (and signing times, which worked very well but would not work today with them charging. Except when some guy named Ron, I think, showed up with an armful of items he wanted signed. That I believe led to a 2 item limit). I worked a lot of those cons, beginning with I believe FANEX 6. It was thoroughly enjoyable. The staff members would often hang out in the bars tween working sessions, have a fun time shooting the feces. I remember when the theme was "It Came From the Drive-In", where they were going to do a promotional spot on Channel 13's morning show with Don Scott and Marty Bassho.

 I was asked if I could bring the old Camaro out to be a prop, since it was live from the Bengies Drive-In. I got up at 4 in the morning, drove down to my sisters (she had a garage we used), drove out to the Bengies, being one of the few cars on the road. The burbling V-8 sound in my ears, and the lights of those round headlights stabbing the darkness, with Todd Rundgren on the cassette player. There was no trace of sunrise yet. Made it out there- Channel 13 used a filter that made it look like early morning when I swear it was still dark out. Shot the spot (I have it recorded somewhere) and drove back to my sisters, then back to my place, then on to work.. zzzzzz  It was fun, it didn't cost you an arm and a leg, and there were a lot of memories to be made.

But the only thing constant is change, they say.

Attached you will find photos for you to peruse of the last meeting, and of some MANC Stars. The person's name is the name of the image, in case you don't recognize them.

Til next time! Nuff said!