Sunday, May 30, 2010
Adventures At ADVENTURECON!
ABOVE: Fred “The Hammer” Williamson (FROM DUSK TIL DAWN) and Jim O’Rear (THE DEEPENING).
The beautiful Smokey Mountains… home to Dollywood, giant black bears, family fun, and ADVENTURECON! I’ve just had the pleasure of spending four days in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, TN, area appearing at the long-running pop culture event known as Adventurecon, featuring celebrities, comics, collectibles, costuming, and more. I had heard about this event for some time and was very excited to have been invited to be a guest alongside some old friends.
ABOVE: G.I. Joe, anyone? Go Cobra!
This year featured a wide range of guests from all areas of the entertainment industry, including Billy Dee “Lando” Williams (STAR WARS), wrestling legend Mick “Mankind” Foley, James “Roscoe” Best (DUKES OF HAZARD), supermodel Angie Everhart (BORDELLO OF BLOOD), David “Bud Bundy” Faustino (MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson (FROM DUSK TIL DAWN), Marv Wolfman (creator of BLADE), Gary Friedrich (creator of GHOST RIDER), Jake Lloyd (STAR WARS), Daniel Taylor (RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING), Kiowa “Embry” Gordon (TWILIGHT), and many more.
ABOVE: Kiowa “Embry” Gordon (TWILIGHT) clowns around with Jim O’Rear, Daniel Taylor, Jason Crowe, and Michelle Perkins.
The first day opened with a bang, as the line was formed to get into the building over an hour before the doors were scheduled to open. This area of Tennessee must be really into wrestling as large crowds of people rushed to the tables of Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Ted “The Million Dollar Man” Dibiase, Virgil, and Raven before checking out the actors and vendors.
ABOVE: Wrestling legend Mick “Mankind” Foley towers over Jim O’Rear.
It was a fun day on the convention floor. It was, also, the first time I’ve ever had someone come up to my table and tell me, “I want to buy one of everything.” Of course, I was glad to sell him one of everything! As the day went on there were various Q&A’s, costuming, and gaming experiences. Speaking of costumes, there were some great ones. Here are some that I found entertaining, for various reasons:
Instead of attending the masquerade ball that evening, Daniel Taylor (RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING) and his wife Ami, Misty Simmons-Poteet (THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND), and myself went to grab some dinner where we met up with wrestling greats Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Virgil. A wide range of topics were discussed, including Virgil’s secret greens recipe which involves smoked turkey wings… not bacon… smoked turkey wings… not bacon… smoked turkey wings… If you run into Virgil somewhere, ask him about it, then you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear with Deep Roy (CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, STAR TREK, CORPSE BRIDE, PLANET OF THE APES, TRANSFORMERS).
Upon returning to the hotel we noticed that the parking lot was flooded with people. Elvis was alive… sorta. In true Tennessee fashion, an Elvis impersonator was entertaining the crowd… singing and shaking his hips to all of The King’s classics. We laughed… but in all fairness, he was actually pretty good.
ABOVE: Elvis puts on a show in the hotel parking lot.
ABOVE: Elvis and Jim O’Rear.
The next day of the show was full of events and celebrity signings. I had the chance to take a brief break and cruise the vendor floor, which was loaded with goodies ranging from rare DVDs, collectible toys, T-Shirts, action figures, art prints, and more. They also had the time travel car from the Back To The Future movies on hand that you could have your photo taken in. I wish I had more time to look around the vendor floor but I’m afraid I would have spent A LOT of money if I had.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear with Jake “Anakin” Lloyd (STAR WARS, JINGLE ALL THE WAY).
That night the convention hosted a “Party With The Stars” event that consisted of drinking, dancing, and Karaoke. This was a blast and provided some sights I never thought I’d see in my life… some that were almost surrealistic. Check out some of these moments below:
ABOVE: Mark Ryan (the voice of “Bumble Bee” in TRANSFORMERS) sings Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” with Maria De Aragon (“Greedo” in STAR WARS)… aka a Transformer and Greedo duet.
ABOVE: Deep Roy (CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY) boogies with Maria De Aragon (“Greedo” in STAR WARS)… aka Ooompa Loompa dances with Greedo.
ABOVE: Byron “Coy Duke” Cherry (THE DUKES OF HAZARD) does his best Elvis impression.
ABOVE: Kiowa Gordon (TWILIGHT) gets crazy on stage with a group number.
There was also a rousing rap performance by Daniel Emery Taylor (RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING) who commanded the stage with his uncensored rendition of Lil Jon’s “Get Low.” Daniel rocked the house!
ABOVE: Daniel Taylor (RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING) brings the house down with his rap performance of a Lil Jon classic.
The last day of the show was slightly slow, but this allowed for more visitation time between the guests and some last minute shopping. A nice way to wind down from the event.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear with Paris “Mike Teevee” Themman (WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY).
Adventurecon was a fun event located in the heart of a very fun town. I look forward to attending this event again in the future.
ABOVE: Jim O’Rear with Rusty Goffe (WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, HARRY POTTER, STAR WARS), MMA Champion Dale Miller, and Dale’s daughter.
Thanks for reading,