C4’s St. Valentine’s Horror Con slashes through Winnipeg
RACHEL CARLSON, BEAT REPORTER
The only red some Winnipeggers saw this past Valentine’s Day was blood, blood and more blood.
Central Canada Comic Con (C4) held its first ever St. Valentine’s Horror Con — a celebration of the horror genre. It’s like a sophisticated version of Halloween that features art, comics and discussion panels. People roamed the convention in costumes ranging from the subtle to the conspicuous.
A tiny trickle of blood dripping from a bullet wound to the temple graced a woman’s forehead, and there was a single bloody bite wound on the neck of another. Others lumbered through the throng, wrapped in dirty bandages and sporting gapping demon-dog-maw-masks.
Among the crowd, a woman in orange dragging a burlap sack held the hand of a slight girl in black. For them, the horror genre is fast becoming a mother-daughter tradition.
“She’s my partner in crime when it comes to stuff like this,” said Patricia Oige, 39. Oige is dressed as Sam, a mischievous demon-child from the 2007 horror movie Trick ‘r Treat.
Her obsession with horror is a combination of how-did-they-do-that fascination and the pleasurable surge brought on by fear.
“My parents, when I was at a young age, got this documentary that showed the behind the scenes of the blood and guts and I’ve just been interested since then,” Oige said. “The pump of adrenaline and the feeling that anything can happen. That’s my favourite part — the rush.”
Her nine-year-old daughter, Angelina Todd, is dressed as The Marionette from the popular point-and-click horror videogame, Five Nights at Freddy’s. For her, it all boils down to a love of Halloween.
“It’s fun,” Todd said. “You get candy and lots of people and kids compliment you on your costume.”
While Todd doesn’t quite know why she likes being scared, she knows the feeling well.
“It feels like something is crawling on my back,” she said.
But, it’s not about the creepy crawlies for everyone at Horror Con. For Dean Cooper, a Creative Communications instructor and owner of Bronzeageboy, it’s all about a community made up of diverse niches.
“I specialize in mint condition, high-grade horror comics and magazines from the 1970s,” Cooper said. “One of the things you’ll find at these shows is that people specialize in all different kinds of things. So, there’s something at these shows for everybody.”
This particular brand of comics is on the light-hearted end of the horror spectrum, said Cooper.
“I think it makes people take death and gore less seriously and gives it a bit of a fun kind of spin so you don’t have to take it as seriously,” he said. “It’s fun to read because it’s so campy and cheesy.”
J.H. Moncrieff, author of The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave, said the joy of horror is in the surprise.
“I love that you can’t predict the ending,” said Moncrieff. “I find in any other genre the guy’s going to get the girl at the end, or there’s going to be a happy ending. You don’t know that with horror, and that’s what I love about it.”
Horror Con played host to an eclectic set of main stage attractions over Feb. 13 and 14 including Kane Hodder, aka the original Jason Voorhees of Friday the 13th fame, comic artist Tommy Castillo and Marlin Marynick, author of Charles Manson Now, a contemporary insider’s account of Charles Manson’s life.
Ultimately, Horror Con offers a sense of community and belonging, according to Oige.
“Just bumping into people who like the same things as you do is great,” she said. “Not a lot of people like horror. It’s a tough sell and very few of my friends can handle as much as I do. So it’s nice to have a community.”