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Toronto

Bone Dump and Nuit Blanche

on October 2, 2011 - 12:19pm

Last night was Nuit Blanche, when many of the streets in downtown Toronto are turned into living art exhibits. It runs from dusk (6:59 pm to be exact) till dawn.

Yetch and I got an early start since I didn't think I'd be able to stay up late (I'd been working all day, and recovering from a nasty week of migraines and cold viruses) .

We actually didn't get home until 3 am, but that was more due to having to wait for a subway train that was actually in service (we had three go by that weren't picking people up. Thanks for extending hours, TTC. I could've caught the bus faster. Or walked).

There seemed to be less art exhibits this year, which is a shame, because it's such a big night in the city and it's one of those things that defines who we are (to me, anyway). Hundreds of thousands of people, all walking around in the middle of the night, pointing and smiling at the sights. Even when the throngs of bar-goers come out, you generally don't see any scuffles along the art routes (there was a LOT more drinking happening last night than previous years. That and the prevalent waft of pot that hit you every five minutes. I joked with Yetch that if any tourists are visiting, they'll go home telling everyone that in Toronto, everyone just walks down the street getting high) .

I'm Not One for Celebrities But...

on August 30, 2011 - 10:38am

This year was certainly the busiest one for me in terms of people: general chatting, introductions, requests for interviews and interesting propositions for future shows or projects (many of whom are waiting for some sort of email from me, and if they are reading this, I hope they'll remain patient. There was a family emergency and I'm out of town. I didn't even get a chance to unpack from the show. Poor Yetch is surrounded by the mess I left in my wake).

As a rule, it's these interactions I'm most excited about as my anticipation grows each August. Celebrities are fun to see, but it's all the different people I meet (fellow artists, horror folk and - dare I say it - actual fans of my work) who make the weekend so great. I also feel guilty leaving people to man my table for too long, so it's been 3 years since I've lined up for or attended anything at the convention.

Of course, every now and then, there's an exception.

Toronto FanExpo Update

on August 14, 2011 - 9:58am


August 25th is fast approaching.

Including today, I have 11 days left to get ready for Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear at FanExpo in Toronto.

They've officially announced the Horror schedule and the floor-plan for retailers, special guests, and people like me in Artist Alley.


I will be at table A248 which is in the back right corner of the convention. For whatever reason, they've separated the horror artists in the Alley from the rest of the horror section (we're not only a row back from them, but actually far to the right of where the horror retailers will be). Between us and our brethren will be huge corporate exhibits for video game companies.

The concern of course is that horror fans who aren't interested in visiting EB Games or Xbox will simply skip our little corner all together. They will see the video games section and assume there's no more horror goodness to be found.

No use worrying about it too much, I suppose. There's little to be done about it at this point.

Why Are My Feet Wet?

on August 9, 2011 - 9:03pm


It was the start to every haunter's nightmare.

Toronto finally got some serious rain today. So much rain, in fact, that many places around the city had serious flooding. Luckily, in my area, I didn't go outside to find my car submerged like some poor folks did.

Blissfully unaware of what awaited me in the basement, I headed downstairs to retrieve a box from the storage room which houses all of my Halloween props, decorations and even some supplies. I was distracted by my remarkable ability to actually walk down the stairs (albeit very carefully and clutching both rail and wall as I gingerly manoeuvred the injured ankle). I was smiling at the partial return of mobility. I was happy for the first time in a long day of ridiculous mishaps. I wasn't expecting the universe to play one more joke on me before bedtime.

I felt it before I saw it.

Barefoot on the cold tile. Two steps in.

*squish*

Saturday Fun and Distraction

on July 2, 2011 - 12:02pm


Looking for something to do today? Alright. I've got two suggestions on how to spend your Saturday.

First, for any locals in the Greater Toronto Area, you can attend The 7th Annual Scarefest hosted by Boneyard Bargains. It takes place at 115 Philip Ave in Scarborough. BBQ, props, a few vendors, and lots of local haunters. Officially kicks off at 1 pm (which means I need to finish getting dressed).

For the rest of you, I can offer a distraction for at least an hour. If you didn't get enough of me via my ten minute interview on this month's Hauntcast, you can now listen to the entire uncut interview on their "Treats" page. And if you don't doze off at the beginning, some of you might find my stories about being a first time vendor, and starting out as an artist, interesting.

Thanks to Shellhawk again for taking the time to chat with me.

Enjoy your holiday weekend, everybody!

A Night of "Ghost Stories" in Toronto

on May 12, 2011 - 10:33am


On Tuesday night I was treated to a live performance of Ghost Stories playing in Toronto at the Panasonic Theatre, put on by Mirvish Productions.

I think my review of the show is less about the show itself, and more about a lesson in managing expectations. Plus, I have no intention of writing spoilers for people who still hope to see it.

So what is this show exactly? Well, if you go to the website, there's little specifics but a lot of promises (and even disclaimers):

Ghost Stories has left even the most hardened of viewers gasping for breath and reaching for their coats to hide behind. Truly not for the fainthearted or those of a nervous disposition, but perfect for anyone who wants a thrilling night out they'll never forget, Ghost Stories carries an advisory age limit of 14+. Ghost Stories mixes the very best of theatre with the buzz of a thrill-ride, delivering something unforgettable. Just keep telling yourself it's only a show. You have been warned!

To add fuel to the fright-filled fire, trailers and clips shown on television are simply shots of a terrified audience: jumping, screaming, hiding their eyes, almost sitting in the laps of their neighbours.

Dia de Los Muertos Festival of The Arts - Oct 23, 2010

on October 22, 2010 - 10:56am

Dia de Los Muertos Festival of The Arts Toronto Oct 23, 2010

Just a reminder that I will be a vendor at Dia de Los Muertos Festival of The Arts on Saturday, October 23 (that's tomorrow!).

The craft fair portion is from 2pm-7pm with FREE admission. Come to my table for my last big show of the Halloween season!

Where:The El Mocambo, 464 Spadina Avenue, Toronto.

Stay later for a celebration of all things Indie/Rock/Rockabilly/Goth & Industrial.

Sunday Oct 10th, 2010 - Bazaar of the Bizarre

on October 8, 2010 - 11:09am


This Sunday from 11 to 7 is the 3rd celebration of The Bazaar of the Bizarre - a bona-fide Halloween marketplace! Kid friendly and with some prizes to win as well.

Where: 6 Noble Street (Queen st. West of Dufferin) Toronto, Ontario

Cost: FREE

It is a marketplace filled with amazing vendors: artists, designers, craft-folk, publishers and other independent makers of all things exotic, whimsical and macabre are assembled to attack your senses.

And of course, I'll have a table as well. I only have one more show after this one in October, so now is the time to come on out!

Need more incentive? Ok. The first person to come to my table and tell me they are dressing up as Super Grover for Halloween will get a small secret treat. Could be a cookie. Could be a sticker. Could be something from my table made of clay *wink wink, nudge nudge, head bob*. Could be a swizzle stick from Vegas. Who knows! Just walk up and tell me you're dressing up as Super Grover for Halloween. That's how easy it is.

POP With Brains Tonight at the Rivoli

on September 24, 2010 - 2:13am


I'm back after a week of radio silence! My gosh, what a terrible time to come down with a bug, and it left me hiding under covers in the dark. I've lost a week of work at the busiest time of the year, and I am once again behind in posts and emails.

But I'm back! Let's see if I can make up for lost time.

Most importantly, I need to talk about the show I am doing Friday Sept.24 - that's TONIGHT (writing this post at 2:21 am) - called POP WITH BRAINS. Takes place at The Rivoli 334 Queen St. W. Toronto, ON. It starts at 9 pm and costs $5 at the door with proceeds going to support CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health).

Five bands are playing: Northamorica, The Box Tiger, Fast Romantics, Rodrigo Wilde, and The Peace Leeches. Plus The FranDiscos spinning between sets.

Artists include moi, Poor Boy Clothing, Mikey Sin Clothing, Devon Sioui, Photostory by Lillith Z and Witch Water.

This is a 19+ show. Booze, music, art. Come and show some love!

Plague Doctor, Ghoulish Gary and Fido

on September 1, 2010 - 5:38pm


If you were following my blog last year during Festival of Fear, you may recall my post where I talked about wanting a certain print from Toronto artist Ghoulish Gary Pullin. Sadly, he didn't have any in 2009. I still walked away with a beautiful Frankenstein print (that looks fantastic framed, by the way), but when you have your heart set on one particular thing, it's hard to let it go.

It was the Fido image I was coveting. Not only is it easily one of my top zombie movies of all time (plus it's Canadian, and it has Billy Connolly as a zombie), but the artwork is stunning. So it should be no surprise that the very first thing I did when my table was set up on Friday was head over to Gary and lay claim to a copy of the print (pictured right).

The surprise (at least to me) came on Saturday. My table was buzzing with people (at the convention it went in waves: it was like you either had no one around or 5 people at once wanting to buy something), and in the middle of packing up an item I look up and see Gary.

No, that's not the surprise.

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