Rock and Shock Recap Part 2 – Vendors
Another Rock and Shock has come and gone and with it a slew of new memories and experiences. I will be documenting all of my personal interactions, stories, and anecdotes throughout the weekend in a series of Rock and Shock Recap articles. Rock and Shock is a 3-day horror convention and concert series that takes place in Worcester, Massachusetts every October.
When covering a con, it’s best to create a plan of attack. What I mean is if you take the time to get the lay of the land, scope out where vendors are, look around for some interesting booths offering various wares ranging from VHS tapes to collectibles, and decide which celebrities can be approached regarding interviews. Generally, I take a couple of days to really explore the convention I’m covering with my wife, introduce her and myself to folks, and try to get to know a little bit about the traffic surrounding their booths before I approach them. Many of them are counting on the revenue to help earn a livelihood as well as help promote whatever they happen to be working on, be it art or a film or simply selling other things that they make like Fiona’s Fright Shoppe (fionasfrightshoppe.com) and their horror-themed soaps, or Brewtalitea (brutaliteas.com) and their horror-pun-named tea flavors like Silence of the Jams and Sage Against the Machine. As a huge fan of wordplay, I can appreciate this. No matter what your taste in teas, they have something for you.
These are but two of the many, many vendors that patronize Rock and Shock each year. There are also t-shirt vendors, Funko vinyl figures, and all sorts of horror-based knick-knacks, and folks selling their films, like Brian Paulin of Morbid Vision films (morbidvisionfilms.com). If you like extremely gory horror, these are the films for you. This is another thing to take into consideration when you’re a horror fan – on which things do you want to spend your hard-earned dollars? If you’re planning to meet a celebrity and get an autograph or two, most of the vendors sell things that are unique keepsakes that would be a fan’s dream to have signed.
I love interacting with the vendors at Rock and Shock. I enjoy talking to them about what it is they do, and if someone is passionate about something, you can tell right away. There is a lot of love and compassion put into the things they wish to sell. Take Rough House publishing (roughhousepublishing.com) for example. Speaking to artist and owner Derek Rook about the glorious artwork that he creates for Gore Shriek, he says that he does what he does because he wants to see artists properly compensated for the work that they do. Being a great admirer of horror in all its forms, he pours that love into his artwork despite how graphically macabre it may be. I look at it as a blood-splattered love letter to the genre that means so much to him. And it might not be necessary to point this out, but just in case- his comics are not for kids.
This is just one more aspect of the Rock and Shock convention that I enjoy so much. The people there are friendly, fun, and I’ve made so many acquaintances, friends, and folks that I consider my family over the time that I’ve been going to this show year after year, since 2008. If you’re a fan of horror or the horror community, or you’ve ever wanted to meet like-minded people who share your fondness for all things spooky and scary, then you owe it to yourself to make the pilgrimage to this convention. I’ve got a lot more to talk about so stay tuned!
…I haven’t even talked about celebrities yet!
Be sure to check to out each part of the Rock and Shock series.
Patrick Rahall covers entertainment for MFST. Follow him on Twitter at @patrickrahall.