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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Horror Realm Report

As many of you know, I had the opportunity to attend Horror Realm this past weekend in Pittsburgh, PA. It was the first horror specific convention I have attended. I know, I know… I hope you don’t think less of me. I do attend regular geek …er, comic and toy conventions on a regular basis.

Overall I had a great time. I was able to put faces to some familiar names, have some conversations with interesting people, and bring back some swag for the fine readers of Zombies & Toys! You can expect a “part 2” to my Horror Realm report as I have more pics, notes, and information to go through yet.

The first person I had the pleasure of meeting was Frank Serrao who is better known as The Gray Suit Zombie from George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. Frank was one of the genuinely nicest people I have met. If you ever have the opportunity to meet him, make sure to stop by and say “Hi”. Besides, it’ll give you the opportunity to see first hand the Gray Suit Zombie sculpture that has been featured on Zombies & Toys. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, please check out this month’s feature on Colby Blair.

Frank introduced me to an author I was unfamiliar with and whose books I purchased, Robert Cordray. His books, Memoirs of a Haunted Man: A Zombie Trilogy and Zombies 101: Knowledge Is Survival are in my possession and on my very long list of books to read. Even better is Robert took the time to answer some fun questions I had prepared in addition to donating an autographed copy of one of his books to be given away to one of you! Here’s what Robert had to say and I’ll apologize if my transcribing is not 100% correct; it was extremely noisy at the con:

Okay, Robert, so we’re fighting off some zombies and you’re bitten. Should I shoot you and put you out of your misery or just walk away? No, let me walk around because I’m still valuable for a short while. Anywhere between (pauses) you know 10 and 12 hrs before I start getting really sick. Then it’s seizure, coma, death, and reanimation..

But what about once you reanimate? Put me out of my misery. Three in the head and I’ll stay dead.

Alright. So we’re going to make a toy of you. Would you be a zombie or a hero? Oh, I’d be the hero.

What accessories would you come with? I’d bring 2 pistols. One’s called a ZKA . It’s an 8mm ultra round. About 32 caliber about 1650 ft per second has a 22 round magazine capacity plus one in the pipe. Then I’d bring the Jury. It’s a 12 round magazine plus one in the pipe. That means it’s your judge, your jury, and the person who’s wielding the gun is your executioner.

You know a bit too much about those guns. Actually, that’s the book. Those are the weapons that our hero uses in the book.

Finally, when the apocalypse happens…

The Zombpocalypse, yeah.

When it happens, where do you want to be?

Anywhere. I’m prepared at all times.

Thanks to Robert for taking the time and sponsoring an upcoming contest. A super-friendly guy who takes his zombies seriously, make sure to spend some time with him if you have the opportunity.

I was also able to meet Travis Adkins whose book, Twilight of the Dead, is another one of my favorites. It’s one of those books that I read a while ago and have been meaning to post a review of. I’ll try to get that posted more sooner than later as I obtained his follow-up book, After Twilight: Walking with the Dead and plan on reading that one ASAP.

S.G. Browne was also present at Horror Realm. I didn’t bother him with my questions since he was kind enough to take the time a few months ago. Instead, I learned that the ending we are familiar with in his book, Breathers, is not the original. I also discovered that it took over 80 agents before someone finally decided to move forward with his book. For those who didn’t already know, it was this agent who had ties with Diablo Cody and is the reason we can now look forward to a Breathers movie! Browne was also kind enough to give me some pins and stickers that I will be giving to a few lucky readers.

Across from S.G. Browne was another featured artist this month, Billy Tackett. Again, I didn’t bother Billy with any printable questions since he we already have him featured. Instead, I learned more about some of his upcoming projects. Sorry, folks, top secret stuff but rest assured Zombies & Toys will have more news as I’m able to report it. I also picked up the amazing Zombie Sam print Billy was kind enough to sign and donate for this month’s contest.

Check back later for part two of my report where I’ll share my experience with Kim Paffenroth, Ken Foree, some of the artists and vendors present, as well as report on more goodies guests donated to give to you!


  1. Pittsburgh, PA eh? Any steelers zombie stuff?

  2. I just finished Breathers a while back. It was very good. Mr. Browne is a swell guy too (sorry, channeling a 1950's square at the moment). I have talked to him a bit on Twitter.

    Looking forward to a movie, but better yet, a tv show - HBO/Showtime, whatever. Serializing the chapters would really help. Those networks may be more interested in a "this will run two seasons" kind of affair.

  3. No zombie Steelers, I'm afraid.

    And, yes, Browne is indeed a very swell guy. It's great that despite his popularity he remains grounded. The same can be said about Billy Tackett and the others I mentioned in this post.

    The same can't be said for everyone I ran into. You'll have to wait for part two for the scoop!


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