Goth Chick News: Wizard World’s 2018 Chicago Comic Con

Thursday, September 6th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Wizardworld Comic Con Chicago 2018

Nothing says summer in Chicago like the annual August bacchanalia that is Wizard World’s Chicago Comic Con. Granted, the title Granddaddy of All Comic Cons still belongs to San Diego, which paces our attendance at 167K fans annually, but the local Midwest version is still a sight to behold.

Though exact attendance figures haven’t been made public since 2009, estimates place the August, 2018 event at the Donald A. Stephens Convention Center at over 100K. With more than 300 exhibitors, many of which attend a number of Wizard World shows across the country every year, all (and I do mean all) of the 840K square feet of exhibition space is consumed. Black Gate photog Chris Z and I have covered this event since 2010 and its been amazing to watch the show nearly double in size, both in the number of exhibitors as well as attendees, during the past eight years. It is equally amazing to consider the guy who works on your car during the day may be dressed like Superman for four days every summer.

Because though it is billed as a “comic” convention, Wizard World draws in a large number of cosplayers from all over the region, and they are what make this event one we never miss. The costumes are simply incredible, but just as entertaining are those which are not; created from cardboard and fabric scraps and held together by the sheer love of a particular character.

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Goth Chick News: Everyone Needs an Exorsister

Thursday, August 30th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Exorsisters 1-small

When we were little, my cousin and I used to discuss our future career aspirations. Connie, who was a few years older, had what seemed like an unusual obsession with becoming a truck driver — unless you knew she was binge-watching BJ and the Bear courtesy of the cable channel Nick at Night, and was teen-aged crushing on Gregg Evigan. So, the whole truck-driver thing actually made sense.

Meanwhile, I was sneaking into the family room in the wee hours to watch old Universal Studios monster movies on the public access channel. While Connie dreamed hunky guys calling her some cute name over their rig’s CB radio, I either wanted to look for mummies in the desert or be a gypsy fortune-teller.

Connie thought I was strange.

Years later, she went on to be Miss Illinois before moving to NYC for a soap opera stint followed by a lucrative career on Broadway. I’m writing a weekly horror column under the bi-line “Goth Chick.” All this also makes sense when you think about it.

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Goth Chick News: Jamie Lee Curtis Was, Is and Always Will Be a Serious Bad A**

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween 2018

Forty years ago, 17-year-old baby sitter Laurie Strode had a really lousy Halloween that forever changed her (and our) lives. Played by a then 20-year-old pedigree scream queen in her first movie role, Jamie Lee Curtis, daughter of Janet Leigh of Psycho fame, Laurie spent October 31st of 1978 being menaced by the evil-incarnate psycho Michael Myers who, in spite of being repeatedly damaged to death, returned for seven sequels collectively raking in $366 million at the box-office worldwide.

Unfortunately, not all of these films were created equal and though many had great elements, quite a few of us still considered the original film to be one of the quintessential horror films of a generation. That said, it probably comes as no surprise that a now 57-year-old Laurie Strode is facing Michael Myers one final time in what is meant to be the swan song of the franchise and one that ignores all the sequels, picking up the story line left off in 1978.

Thanks to USA Today, a brand-new shot from the final installment to John Carpenter’s original classic shows Laurie preparing to take down Michael once and for all, and she’s looking mega badass in the process.

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Goth Chick News: YouTube Takes the Virtual Ruler to The Nun

Thursday, August 16th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

The Nun poster-small

As we all know, there is no such thing as bad press. But in the world of horror, “bad” press is actually the best possible press you can get. Remember when several stores pulled the 90’s PC game Phantasmagoria off their shelves due to the violence? And suddenly if you had a copy you were the most popular kid on the block?

I do.

Earlier this week, a YouTube ad for Corin Hardy’s The Nun got a lot of people talking, mostly because it scared the crap out of them. In case you haven’t been following the plotline, The Nun is a spin off from The Conjuring 2, which itself is the fifth installment in The Conjuring series. Based on a story from James Wan, chief architect of the franchise, The Nun will be the chronological starting point for the entire shared universe, telling an origin story of sorts for a recurring villain, the ghoulish nun Valak.

And by the way, Valak isn’t and never has been a nun. According to the demon conjurer’s go-to guide, The Lesser Key of Solomon, a 17th century grimoire that acts a kind of Yellowpages of Hell, Valak (or Ualac, Valac, Valax, Valu, Valic, Volac) is none other than the Great President of Hell. Often depicted as riding a two-headed dragon and commanding 30 legions of demons, he takes on the visage of a small child with wings, which if you ask me, would have been way more terrifying than a nun in corpse paint. Hopefully The Nun will explain why a big cheese in the demon world has decided to take on the persona of early Marilyn Manson.

Anyway, back to the video.

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The Lithuanian Legend of Witches Hill

Thursday, August 9th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Lithuanian Legend of Witches Hill 5

Each year I have the pleasure of traveling abroad, in part to seek out the folklore and legends of other cultures. Though every country I have visited (53 as of this trip) has its own take on the supernatural, I find it fascinating that from Egypt to Germany, and Iceland to Singapore, every culture without fail agrees that ghosts, demons and witches most definitely exist.

On this year’s visit I discovered Lithuania, a country full of fairy tales and legends about its history, geography, and its people. Many of these amazing stories never make it outside of the country, often due to the language barrier. However, you need only to sit and talk to a native Lithuanian to learn the mystic legends that surround their country. Following the advice of one such local I set out to pay a very early morning visit to Raganų Kalnas, Lithuanian for Witches Hill.

Located in the sleepy little island village of Juodkrante just off the coast, Witches Hill is situated on a long, narrow islet called Curonian Spit. It is made up of beautiful sand dunes and dense pine forests, and the only way to get to it is via ferry leaving from the town of Klapedia, which only adds to the magical quality of the location.

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Goth Chick News: Welcome to the World of Comic Book Gross-Outs…

Thursday, July 12th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Die! Die! Die!-smallThis week Image/Skybound Entertainment broke with new release tradition and dropped the first issue of an all-new series without preamble, by comics titans Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta, Oblivion Song), Scott M. Gimple (Punisher: Nightmare, writer and producer for The Walking Dead TV adaptation on AMC), and Chris Burnham (Batman Incorporated, Nameless, Nixon’s Pals), with colors by Nathan Fairbairn who gets to use whichever one he wants as long as it’s red. The first issue of the series entitled DIE!DIE!DIE! went on sale Wednesday.

Kirkman himself made the rather gleeful announcement circulated Tuesday, which is rather last minute as these go, and entirely on purpose:

That’s right, in stores TOMORROW! We want to make going to a comic shop exciting again — a place for discovery! The internet has drained all surprise and anticipation from comics. Everyone hears about exciting new projects and then has to wait months or years for it to be in their hands… and half the time at the end of that buildup, the stories get spoiled in some lame attempt at getting wider media attention. So, surprise! Here’s a new monthly series. How cool is that?! This is literally the only way I can be like Beyoncé.

Gimple added:

I spend most of my time working in TV, the big Walking Dead programs keep me plenty busy, but I’ve had a burning passion for comics since I was nine. I used to go to panels to see Robert Kirkman talk. And now he’s writing quotes in a press release as me that I can read over and tweak!

Yes gentlemen – the euphoria is real and we feel it too.

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Goth Chick News: Filed Under “Is This Necessary?” A Men In Black Reboot / Spinoff Is Really Happening

Thursday, July 5th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Men in Black reboot

Honestly, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about this one.

Sony has recently been toying around with the idea of revisiting several of its franchises, which may be due to the clamoring of fans, but sounds suspiciously like a sincere and long-lasting drought of new ideas. Word has it they’re already casting another Charlie’s Angels (insert face palm here), with Kristen Stewart attached (double face palm), as well as having planning meetings around the most rebooted of all rebooted franchises in the last 20 years – Spider-Man.

This, when we can all name at least five books each which should become films immediately, but for whatever reason remain in development hell… if they even got that far.

But there we are. Life is definitely not fair.

However, this week we got some serious Sony reboot news – or it may be a spinoff, we’re not entirely clear yet. But we did learn that Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) will star alongside Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Liam Neeson in next year’s revisiting of Men In Black being directed by F. Gary Gray.

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Goth Chick News: Disenchantment — Your Next Netflix Obsession

Thursday, June 28th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Disenchantment

There is a demon in here, so bear with me.

Last summer, Netflix ordered twenty episodes of Disenchantment, an  animated comedy-fantasy series from the mind of The Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening. If you’re a fan of either show, you know how close to the line both get without stepping over what would be tolerated on commercial television. So, l invite you to let this news sink in…

It’s going to be an adult-themed animated comedy-fantasy series on Netflix.

Sweet.

In Disenchantment, viewers will be whisked away to the crumbling medieval kingdom of Dreamland, where they will follow the misadventures of hard-drinking young princess Bean, her feisty elf companion Elfo, and her personal demon Luci. Along the way, the oddball trio will encounter ogres, sprites, harpies, imps, trolls, walruses, and lots of human fools.

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Goth Chick News Reviews Stephen King’s The Outsider

Thursday, June 21st, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Stephen King The Outsider-small Stephen King The Outsider UK-small

If it seems like I’ve been talking about Stephen King a lot lately, you’re right. King has experienced a significant renaissance over the last few years, not only cranking out quite a lot of fresh new stories but seeing his work both old and new getting treatments for the large and small screen.

The Book Hub recently tallied up all the King tales about to be part of your entertainment lineup.

Movies

  • It: Part 2
  • Revival
  • Pet Sematary
  • Firestarter
  • Hearts in Atlantis
  • My Pretty Pony
  • Doctor Sleep
  • Drunken Fireworks (based on the short story from The Bazaar of Bad Dreams)
  • The Talisman
  • The Stand

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Goth Chick News: Tish, That’s French…

Thursday, June 14th, 2018 | Posted by Sue Granquist

The-addams-family animated-small

Most people assume The Addams Family started life on TV in the 1960s, but they were actually conceived by Charles Addams as a series of comic panels for The New Yorker magazine, beginning in 1938 and running until Addams’ death in 1988. The roughly 150 unrelated panels that make up The Addams Family story are still enormously popular today, especially with me, who has stationary, artwork, and couple of tee-shirts depicting the family as well as a vintage Morticia and Gomez, Ken and Barbie set which is about as close as I have or ever will get to the Malibu version.

In the spring of 2017 there were rumors that on the heels of the success of The Incredibles and Hotel Transylvania, the world was now sufficiently primed for a seriously upscale animated version of The Addams Family which to me sounded like first-rate idea considering what happened the last time.

If you can believe this, The Addams Family had been animated before, having appeared in a well-received 1972 episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, “Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family” which saw several of the original cast members return to voice their TV roles. This resulted in Hannah Barbera’s launch of a cartoon modelled on Addams’ comic panels, which ran for two seasons (although the second was just repeats). A big change to the format was having the family hit the road in a Wacky Races-style Victorian motorhome. Sadly, the format change along with the loss of all but two of the original cast sort of doomed this venture, though not without launching the career of a 10-year-old Jodie Foster who voiced Pugsley.

Last summer it was officially announced that Oscar Isaac (Star Wars, X-Men) was slated to voice Gomez Addams in Sausage Party director Conrad Vernon‘s animated Addams Family film for MGM. This week Deadline has reported the entire core voice cast was announced, and it’s pretty unbelievably awesome end-to-end.

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