It doesn’t matter what you’re a fan of, there’s a convention for everything and everyone. Sure, there will always be those mecca cons that come around once a year (Comic Con, E3, etc.), but there are also a lot of great opportunities available throughout the year.
Most outsiders view conventions as the ultimate nerdiness: a place where a bunch of losers dress up as characters that have long since faded away and spend exorbitant amounts of money on useless memorabilia. I won’t lie – I used to believe this, too. I would scoff at the pictures online and roll my eyes at the people waiting in line in the middle of the night for the new Halo release.
Until I discovered horror cons.
Oh, yes, there are conventions dedidcated to the glorious world of blood, screams, and nightmares. Conventions where it is completely normal to arrive drenched in food dyed corn syrup, prosthetic eyes hanging from blacked out sockets… I had discovered Heaven. Or Hell.
Now, Sean Clark knows a thing or two about horror. Conveniently enough, he’s also well-versed in the conventions scene. Sean is the founder of Convention All Stars, a company that brings the likes of Norman Reedus, Robert Carradine, Jeffrey Combs and a whole slew of others to conventions all over the place.
Sean was gracious enough to answer a few questions about the world of horror conventions, and what sets them apart from others like Comic Con.
LEGLESS CORPSE: It’s astounding the number of horror conventions that have seemed to pop
out of nowhere. Between HorrorHound, Monster-Mania, and even Wizard
World, it seems like fans have so many options for horror conventions these
days. What is your opinion on these kinds of conventions that cater to a
SEAN CLARK: As long as they can all co-exist and be successful I think it is a positive thing.
More options is always a good thing for the fans.
You’ve put together conventions for Halloween in the past. What was that
like, and do you see yourself putting together other cons in the future?
I have a huge amount of respect for those that put on big, well run
conventions. It is an enormous amount of work and I would rather do what
I do and go to someone else’s convention than put one on myself. I have no
plans of doing it again and had no plans of doing it for the Halloween 35th
Convention but got sucked back in at the 11th
thought all in all we ended up pulling off a great show for the Halloween fans
that were in attendance.
You’ve made quite the name for yourself in this particular field: Horror’s
Hallowed Grounds, the work you’ve done with the Halloween franchise, The
Black Waters of Echo’s Pond. What draws you to the horror genre?
I’m just a fan. I have been my whole life and I have always gravitated to the
horror genre. I never dreamed in a million years I would be able to make a
career out of it. I’m just a really lucky fan.
Cons of all types bring together fans of a particular genre, whether it is
sci-fi, fantasy, horror, anime, etc. With Convention All-Stars, I’m sure you
find yourself thrown into all sorts of eccentric crowds. Would you say the
personalities of the fans differ from genre to genre?
Absolutely. The Comic-Con crowd is a completely different animal than the
horror crowd. The horror fans and stars are more like a fraternity and even
after the show has ended and the doors have closed they hangout together and
hour to help try and salvage it. I
party all night long. You don’t really see much of that in the sci-fi or comic
crowd. Yes they have get togethers and such but you are not going to see
William Shatner hanging out until 5:00 am raging with the fans. That sort of
You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that the founding of Convention
All-Stars was an accident. Has it turned out to be one of those “happy
A very happy accident. This was and is still a hobby of mine. The fact that I
can make a living out of it blows my mind. I love what I do and even still I
have those moments where I look around and have to pinch myself because I
end up in the most surreal situations. Its crazy.
I can only imagine what it’s like to work with the likes of Linda Hamilton,
Robert Carradine, Jeffrey Combs, and (from one of my favorite movies, Pet
Semetary) Dale Midkiff. Have you ever been starstruck by a horror legend?
It doesn’t happen that often. I rarely get star struck in general but when I do
it is for the geekiest reason or over someone not that famous. Like a really bit
actor or character that someone on the street would never recognize. The last
one I think I was the most excited about was Robert Romanus who played
“Damone” in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. That is the kind of people I
geek out about.
Last one: Can you describe the best convention experience you’ve had this
That is a real tough one. I think the most fun I ever had was back in 1993
when a group of my closest friends and I took our first convention trip
outside of California and flew to Pittsburgh PA to attend the Zombie
Jamboree. It took place right across the street from the Monroeville Mall
where they filmed the original Dawn of the Dead and going there to see the
mall before it was remodeled like it is today was a real thrill and I doubt
could ever be topped. Plus it was a time in our lives before real life made us
all too busy to do that sort of thing together again. Fond memories indeed.
Again, a huge thank you to Sean Clark for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions and entertain the horror fans he has here. Be sure to check out http://www.conventionallstars.com/ for Sean’s con work and http://www.fearshop.com/podcast/2014-horror-conventions.asp for a list of horror cons near you!