Goth Chick News: If You Sniffed Dracula, Would You Be Coughin’…? Or, Our Trip to the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo

Thursday, April 19th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

C2E2 2018 cosplay 2

For the last eight Aprils, Chicago has played host to one of the most heavily-attended comic conventions in the US, not to mention the largest and most prestigious cosplay competition in the world. The final numbers for the 2018 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2 for you cool kids) have not yet been reported, but estimates have the attendance approaching the 100,000 mark, meaning that is indeed quite a lot of spandex all in one place.

And boy, do we love cosplayers.

I mean, press credentials aside, I would probably have payed the organizers, ReedPOP, for the privilege of hanging around McCormick center and people watching all day. Instead, Black Gate photog Chris Z and I got to do it for free (aside from the fireball shots John O still won’t let us expense).

This year’s show boasted 1370 exhibitors ranging from costumes to books, memorabilia to comics and wall-to-wall artists of all kinds. It was truly difficult to figure out where to look first, or how long to look before someone pointed at one of the signs posted throughout the facility declaring “Cosplay Is Not Consent.”

Where, oh where to begin.

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Goth Chick News: Two Shots of Fireball, Some Blankets and a Candle; or Our Road Trip to the 2018 Halloween and Attractions Show

Thursday, March 29th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

2018 Halloween and Attractions Show Goth Chick 1

Normally, our annual road trip to cover the first trade show of the year is not only something we look forward to (for the obvious reasons), but also a chance to get our first whiff of spring.

The TransWorld Halloween and Attractions Show has been the premier, international event for the haunt industry for the last 30 years, boasting over 300 vendors catering to the industry’s professionals. We discovered it 16 years ago when it used to make its home here in Chicago until it relocated to St. Louis. And though the location makes for a long day, we can usually count on St. Louis to be in the 50’s as opposed to Chicago which is usually getting its final blast of winter right around the March showtime.

Except for this year.

Last weekend the weather forecast was calling for an all-day winter storm to cut a 100-mile swath straight across central Illinois and pushing freezing temperatures (and freezing rain) all the way south to our destination – meaning we were facing a thoroughly crappy commute both ways. With Black Gate photog Chris Z at the wheel of his ridiculously huge, military-grade Jeep, my primary worries included a 5-hour one-way trip turning into 7-plus hours or sliding into a ditch in the middle of nowhere and having to wait hours to be rescued (most of central Illinois IS technically the middle of nowhere).

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Goth Chick News: My Vacation to Hell

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick News My Vacation in Hell-small

This was just too good not to tell you about.

Back in 2012, I had the pleasure of vacationing in Turkey for several weeks. During that trip I fell in love with Istanbul, Turkish coffee and meat on sticks dipped in yogurt. I also thought the coolest story from that trip would be how our tour guide agreed to drive us within 200 miles of the border with Iran and Iraq so I could crawl under the jeep and take pictures of “war zone” checkpoint with a 500mm zoom lens. Apparently, the military is a bit twitchy about being photographed.

But no, the coolest thing I did on that trip, I didn’t even know I did until last week.

One of our stops was in the modern city of Pamukkale, in the region of Anatolia, from which we ventured into the countryside to the ruins of Hierapolis. To me the remains of this Greco-Roman city were especially magical because they have not been converted into a tourist attraction with paved parking and a gift shop selling stuff made in Taiwan. Instead this site is still very much under excavation by universities and preservationists from across the globe and in many places, we waded through waist-high weeds to get the best vantage points. It truly felt like we were discovering a lost city.

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Goth Chick News: The Satanic Nuns of the Chattering Order of St. Beryl Rejoice! Good Omens is Drawing Closer

Thursday, March 8th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Good Omens cast-small

David Tennant and Michael Sheen as lead characters of Crowley and Aziraphale

A little over a year ago I brought you the nice and accurate prophecy that Amazon was adapting one of my favorite books of all time, Good Omens, into a mini-series.

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s novel stands as the only book that ever made me laugh out loud the first time I read it, and still gets me every time. I only recently delved into the audio book narrated by Martin Javis, and nearly drove off the road when I snorted my coffee out of my nose.

In my humble opinion, the story is sheer genius.

Good Omens takes place when the Apocalypse is near and Final Judgment is set to descend upon humanity. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, and tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan — except a somewhat fussy angel, and a fast-living demon are not looking forward to the coming war, and someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

This week we have new casting news in addition to Michael Sheen and David Tennant playing the lead characters Aziraphale (the angel) and Crowley (the demon) respectively, and John Hamm as Aziraphale’s jerk of a boss, the angel Gabriel. Plus we have some new production stills to share.

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Goth Chick News: Reality Really Does Bite… Apparently

Thursday, March 1st, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick dude

Given my avocation it probably comes as no surprise that for a time I never missed an episode of the Travel Channel show Ghost Adventures. The hand-held-camera “reality” series follows paranormal investigator Zach Bagans and a small crew as they spend the night in various locations around the globe which are reportedly haunted.

By any series standards, Ghost Adventures has had an amazing run since premiering in 2008. Allegations that Bagans and crew play loose with the facts, and emphasizes showmanship over hardcore research is a bit of a non-sequitur considering the subject matter. But somewhere around 2013 the productions values as well as the dramatic, over-acting went too far and for me at least, the show lost its gritty fun. Then in 2014 a member of the original crew, Aaron Goodwin went on record telling the us all the shocking news that the Travel Channel faked most of the paranormal activity documented on the show. At that point my willingness to suspend my disbelief had been stretched to the breaking point and I was done. However, here we are in 2018 and Ghost Adventures just aired their 182nd episode in January, with new episodes coming in March.

So, color me shocked that it took ten years, but I’m here to tell you about the inevitable – a Ghost Adventures movie.

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Goth Chick News Anniversary Interview: Aliens Carrie Henn

Thursday, February 15th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick Aliens Newt

One of my favorite horror/sci fi movies of all time is the second in the original Alien franchise, Aliens (1986) directed by James Cameron, which I’ve watched more times than I can count. The film is a classic, from the story to the acting to the special effects, not to mention being one of the most quotable movies ever made (“Game over, man” and “Get away from her, you bitch!”). Even though the movies that came after paled in comparison, fans have continued to follow the crew of the Nostromo in games such as Alien: Isolation and kept hope alive for a real sequel to the storyline.

So, it is with great pleasure that I celebrate my 18th year and 400th article for Black Gate by scoring an interview with the youngest star of Aliens, Carrie Henn who played Rebecca “Newt” Jorden alongside Sigourney Weaver. As I mentioned in the post about Days of the Dead, she agreed to an interview in spite of my telling her how I cyberstalked her, while Black Gate photog Chris Z died of embarrassment behind me.

So without further delay – everyone, meet Carrie. Carrie, meet everyone.

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Goth Chick News: Color Me Shocked: Vegas Takes Escape Rooms to a New Level of Terror

Thursday, February 8th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick Vegas-small

Escape rooms are definitely the latest thing in entertainment and if you haven’t experienced one yet, there surely are multiple ones in your city to try. What started out as a way for haunted attractions to make money in the off-season has turned into a multi-million-dollar industry with permanent, year-round locations, and elaborate puzzles and sets.

The premise is simple: solve a series of puzzles, either with your group of mates or bunch of complete strangers, in the allocated time in order to “escape” a situation which ranges in dire-ness from low (heist jewels and get out before the police arrive) to high (find a key to get out of a lab before the zombie in the corner chews through its restraints and eats you). Most escape room experiences can be adjusted based on the age group of the participants and can be completely kid / family friendly.

But given the excesses Vegas is famous for, it should come as no surprise that the most extreme escape room I’ve encountered so far is in Sin City.

The Official Saw Escape Experience is now open in Las Vegas.

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Goth Chick News: New Info on the Movie Adaptation of Doctor Sleep

Thursday, February 1st, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Mike Flanagan Doctor Sleep-small

Having taken a rather long hiatus from reading Stephen King novels, I tentatively put a big toe in back in 2013, due to my love for The Shining.

Doctor Sleep is King’s sequel to The Shining and as you may know from my past posts, I loved it, which is saying a lot. However, what wasn’t much of a shocker was that King almost immediately sold the movie rights to Warner Brothers, and that Academy Award-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman stepped up to adapt Doctor Sleep. After all, Goldsman has had plenty of experience adapting other high-profile books such as The Da Vinci Code, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, and The 5th Wave, though those last two were meh

However, we’ve now learned that following out-sized grosses on last summer’s movie adaptation of It, WB has put Doctor Sleep on the fast track. Mike Flanagan is set to direct the story, which picks up the life of tortured kid Danny Torrance (“Redrum!!”) now in his 40s and struggling with the same demons of anger and alcoholism that plagued his father and still haunted by the ghosts of the Overlook Hotel. Flanagan’s producing partner Trevor Macy will produce, along with Vertigo Entertainment’s Jon Berg.

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Goth Chick News: Oscars Smoscars – Pass Me a Stoker Any Day…

Thursday, January 25th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Goth Chick Stokers vs Oscars

Gather round friends – it’s once again time to don the footie pajamas, pour a steaming hot-toddy and hunker down until spring with the most awesome reading list of the year: namely the annual nominees for the coolest award ever.

The Bram Stoker Awards have been presented annually since 1987, and the winners are selected by ballot from the active members of the Horror Writers Association (HWA).

Several members of the HWA including Dean Koontz, were originally reluctant to endorse such writing awards, fearing it would incite competitiveness rather than friendly admiration. The HWA therefore went to great lengths to avoid mean-spirited competition by specifically seeking out new or overlooked writers and works, and officially issuing awards not based on “best of the year” criteria but for “superior achievement,” which allows for ties.

Which is lovely and all, but I believe I would not be above doing something mean-spirited if not downright evil to get my hands on the award itself, which is a haunted house whose front door opens to reveal the category and winner.

Take that, Oscar…

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Goth Chick News: Pop Culture Meets Couture…

Thursday, January 18th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

JC-RT Alien

Gather around friends, because this is kind of awesome.

Of course, we see wearable fan merchandise at every trade show and convention we cover, but for the most part the designs would be only be worn on high school and college campuses – or at said trade shows and conventions. It’s rare if nonexistent to find an article of clothing that would actually be suitable for average social situations while still paying homage to your favorite bit of pop culture.

That is, until JC-RT came along.

Touting themselves as the creators of, “a better tailored plaid shirt through the union of our analog and digital worlds,” JC-RT has taken plaid away from emo, west coast hipsters and elevated it to a new artistic level. Their standard shirts have amazing names like “Grandpa’s Haunted Attic Vintage Flannel” and the “Bell Jar” plaid, but the company recently outdid themselves but producing a line of gaming-inspired as well as movie-inspired shirts. Each piece in the two lines is based on the color scheme of a classic video game or movie poster.

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