Rhode Island ComicCon
Posted on November 29 2018
By Peter Skiera
The RI Convention Center in Providence, RI, played host to tens of thousands of fans over the course of 3 days.
ComicCons are a great place to meet a slew of celebrities all under one roof and at the same time be surrounded by like-minded geeks. Where else could you meet such a diverse group of stars from Kiefer Sutherland to Tony Danza to Dee Snyder, and many more. This year’s RI ComicCon took place from 11/2-4 and they were anticipating 90,000 visitors. I was one of them.
The event didn’t start off well for me. Cold rain aside, in checking my email before my long drive down to Providence, RI, I was notified of a refund due to a cancellation by Randy Quaid (“Cousin Eddy” of the National Lampoon Vacation franchise). Cross that one off my list. Thankfully, that was the only cancellation that impacted my plans.
Twenty-five years ago I stood in line at Spooky World to meet Elvira (Cassandra Peterson), but she had to leave before everyone made their way through, so the long wait in line was for naught. Determined to avoid a repeat, her table was the first one I went to after entering the Convention Center. I was greeted by a worker who told me she hadn’t arrived yet but her line was already at capacity and closed and to come back in 15 or 20 minutes. I walked around and returned to spend 1 ½ hours standing in line, but I finally got to my chance. She was very pleasant but was struggling with a very bad cold, hacking in between sentences and apologizing for not shaking people’s hands. Unfortunately, she wasn’t in full Elvira regalia. A man standing in line in front of me told me she rarely dresses as Elvira these days because of her age. I beg to differ. Not that 67 is “old,” but I can say from personal experience she looked fantastic.
It took 25 years to finally meet Elvira, but it was well worth the wait.
From there it was on to see singer/actor Meat Loaf. Surprisingly, the line to his table was considerably shorter than Elvira’s. This was a good thing because after the standing in line for what seemed like forever to meet Cassandra, I was in serious pain thanks to sciatica. “Meat,” as he likes to be called, was equally nice and was very generous with his time with each person in line. I told him I enjoyed 2014’s Stage Fright, a sort of horror film musical he starred in. Although I added that I didn’t like his mustache. He laughed and told me he purposely picked the worst mustache he could find because he wanted people to hate his character. He went on to explained to me that all of the songs in the film were performed live, not overdubbed after the fact as is normally the case with songs performed in movies. He noted that his last album, Braver Than We Are, was also entirely recorded live...”old-old school,” as he told me. But he admitted the album didn’t do so well partly because he had sung in a low voice, not his characteristic higher voice. He then began singing in each voice to demonstrate. Meat Loaf was personally singing to me!
I had hoped to meet Tim Curry (Rocky Horror, Scary Movie 2, Clue, Pennywise the Clown) who has been confined to a wheel chair since a stroke in 2012, but only pre-signed autographs were available unless you wanted to shell out $130 plus shipping to have an item personally autographed, or $100 or more for a private photo opportunity. I like Tim Curry but not that much. I settled for the autograph. Just a few feet away from me was a very long line of fans eager to get their picture taken with Tim and lighten their wallets.
Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
Another stop on the list was to meet Ice-T (Rapper and Law and Order: SVU star), which required yet another long wait in line. He donned a bright red NY Yankees baseball cap and I could hear some fans ribbing him since our Boston Red Sox won the World Series. I asked him if he was getting abuse from Red Sox fans. “I don’t care,” he told me. “I don’t listen to that s**t.” Classic Ice-T, no extra charge.
Seeing so many people in costume (I wasn’t one of them) was just as much fun as meeting the celebrities. Even more than Halloween, this was one time where geeks could gather without fear of judgement. Some people clearly went to a lot of effort to get into character and it was surreal to be walking amongst such a wide range of cool cosplayers.
Wait, isn’t that…
Looks a lot like my Senior Prom photo.
Super Mario in the flesh, so to speak.
The Good Witch and the Wicked Witch. Who knew they were really BFF’s?
And the hits just kept on coming. A couple of weeks after attending ComicCon, I received the below in my mailbox. Larry Thomas (Seinfeld) even sent me a personal email letting me know he had mailed it out.
The other was from “the prince of puke,” movie director John Waters, whom I contacted through a bookstore he frequents. I had no idea if he would even get the envelope I mailed. I had to wait multiple months, but he signed the picture (from a Simpsons episode he was in) and sent it back to me.
An animated John Waters as "John", a flamboyant antiques dealer, in a 1997 Simpsons episode.
And so brings a successful end to another ComicCon adventure. I’m already waiting to see what next year will bring.