Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Monster-Con Happened, and I Was There

Unlike San Diego, Atlanta, or even New York, New Orleans isn't known for a particular convention, but the Gulf Coast is home to several conventions held throughout the year. It's my goal, here at She-Geeks, to showcase those smaller (but no less enthusiastic) conventions. If there is a convention in or around the Gulf Coast that you'd like to see me cover, please send the convention details to

Last weekend I drove for I don't even know how many hours to visit Monster-Con in San Antonio. Not only was this my first time at Monster-Con, it was my first time visiting Texas! I'm not ashamed to say that my expectations for the Lone Star State were a wee bit skewed, and that I was more than a little disappointed that I wasn't immediately met with dancing cowboys and tumbleweeds when I crossed the Louisiana/Texas border. Thankfully, the unconventional convention I was there for more than made up for the lack of stereotypical Texas landscaping. In addition to being a free event, Monster-Con takes place not in hotel conference rooms or a convention center or even a warehouse, but in a shopping mall. Yep, you read that right. The Wonderland of the Americas apparently hosts several events throughout the year in addition to the horror convention, and while it was a bit weird, they managed to make it work much better than I expected.
The children's Zombie Pageant was full of enthusiastic ghouls!
One of the things that impressed me with Monster-Con was how family oriented it was, particularly for a horror convention. There was some fabulous cosplay, and nearly all of it was the work of families, children, and teens. In fact, the majority of the people I saw (and there were A LOT of people there) were families and teenagers, and many of the events were geared toward a family friendly environment. From carefully choreographed dance routines from tiny costumed ballerinas and hip-hop dancers, to a photo booth full of costumes for those not already wearing one, the organizers made sure there was something for everyone! 

Feathered for the Earth was even there with a live owl for photo ops and education. For a small donation (that goes to the care of the birds), you could have your photo taken while petting this gorgeous creature! Rescued at only a few weeks old, Phoenix was incredibly well behaved and a favorite for fans of all ages. 

While I was wandering the hallways full of vendors, I received a message from my next-door neighbor asking me to seek out a guest at the con, William Instone. It turns out that in addition to being a film maker, actor, and (for that weekend) a makeup artist, Instone also happens to be an ordained minister and had performed my neighbors' wedding ceremony a few years ago! He was at Monster-Con promoting his film, Among the Dead (which looks like it's going to be tons of fun), and was just as surprised and delighted at the random connection we had as I was. It's a tiny world we live in, folks! You never know who you're going to bump into!

The kids from the San Antonio School of Rock had a captive audience, and two of those talented kids were awarded scholarships to the camp from the convention last year!

One of the best parts of this convention for me was meeting the people who organize it. I didn't know a single one of them before I set foot in San Antonio, but I can honestly say that by the time I left we were making hilarious memories and getting into shenanigans together! During a late night trip to Target for some TV dinners and emergency supplies (the con life is a glamorous life) we saw a man nearly kill himself by angrily slamming the door to the kid's meals so hard that he knocked the blade of a display windmill onto his head (don't worry, he was fine):

I cannot make this stuff up.
...and I ended up scavenging through the clearance section for a bathing suit since they'd invited me to a late night pool party at the hotel. This miss-matched treasure has earned its place in my permanent convention wardrobe as 'The Hot Mess Bathing Suit' and will travel with me wherever I go:

That pink and blue monstrosity was literally the only pair of bottoms left!
This is not a big, fancy organization. These are people who do this for the love of it, and put their hearts into the convention every year. They're a family, much like the 'Island of Misfit Toys', and are quick to add new members to their tribe. Monster-Con may be unlike any other convention I've been to, but I had a blast at this no-frills, leave-your-ego-at-the-door con! I'm so glad I made the drive out to Monster-Con, and I plan on making it back out every year that I can!

Now, here's some of that fun cosplay I mentioned:

Check out this nugget of adorable! She made the costume with her dad!! I died.

...and how about a few vendors for good measure?

1. Tiger Galindo Art - This guy makes beautiful, sparkly art with GLITTER! For reals!

2. David Prieto - Handmade sculptures and wall art fit for any haunted house!

3. La Santa Luna - Gorgeous head pieces to adorn your dome!

Sadly, I never did find any actual tumbleweeds, but I DID take a detour on the way home and found a Texas Longhorn named Tumbleweed! I'm so easily amused!

1 comment:

  1. This place is stunning. The architecture is beautiful and the decoration is spectacular. Environment was transparent and resonant and warm and immediate. I loved this Chicago event space and my experience here was very exciting.