AC Boardwalk Con Adventure!

You couldn’t move in AC last weekend. Everywhere you turned there was a bachelorette party going on. It was like an old B-movie, but, instead of the Jersey Shore getting infested with 50-foot mutated soon-to-be brides, it was overrun with literal hordes of drunken twenty-something girls wearing dresses that could barely fit my arm. They were stumbling all over the boardwalk, making a scene at the casinos, and even loud talking (slurring) on line at Starbucks. Believe me, I’m all for partying, but the combination of drunkenness only amplified the fact that they all seemed to think they were hot shit. Something about getting dressed up and downing weak shots of fruity liqueur makes even the biggest disasters feel like they could nail David Beckham. They couldn’t even pronounce Macchioto at that point, but, then again, they could barely walk – even with those giant heels in hand. Don’t think for a second that their male counterparts weren’t up to the same shenanigans in other casinos, they just disguised it better. Clusters of dudes on their bachelor parties were equally as obnoxious, but they weren’t wearing tiaras and sashes, so they didn’t stand out as much. Why am I telling you this? To set the scene of course!

While much of this turned out to be entertaining in itself, like witnessing multiple girls trip over their giant heels in their micro mini skirts right before my eyes, it got in the way of my real mission: getting to the FIRST EVER Atlantic City Boardwalk Con. Last weekend, Dinosaur Dracula and I escaped immediately into a parking garage and sought refuge in the most perfect place imaginable – The Atlantic City Convention Center. This place was bustling with an entirely different breed of revelers: Geeks. The Atlantic City Boardwalk Con was like being in the Merry Land of Oz, if Oz was a comic convention and Kevin Smith was the Wizard.

AC took on a double meaning for me. The Atlantic City Convention Center was supplied with Air Conditioning, which made it a haven in more ways than one; it was an awesome way to get out of the humidity (I’m currently AC-less at home), but it was also an immense emporium for all of my favorite geek things. From comics books to Zatanna cosplay, it was all there spread throughout the cavernous facility. The craziest part about it was that they didn’t even utilize half the floor space and ACBC was still a huge con.

Cosplay was in full force. Personally, I never get sick of seeing cosplayers and the insane amount of time and effort they put into their bringing their characters to life. Some cosplayers have such elaborate homemade costumes and they never break from their roles. They’re usually happy to chat and take pictures and those I spoke to at ACBC were friendly and seemed pretty psyched to be there. Cosplay was a key part of the AC Boardwalk Con (i.e Dark Helmet) and it’s welcome to see it get the spotlight that it deserves here in New Jersey. I saw Callie Cosplay as Sue Storm and she looked fantastic. Much like some of the other cosplayers at ACBC, she changed costumes over the course of the weekend, but in the video you can catch a quick glimpse of her as Sue.

Since ACBC is new, it was a fresh experience. There was an aspect of discovery that I don’t get from other cons. With New York Comic Con, it always feels like an organized mess, overshadowed by the mega conglomerates who sink the most ad money into the event. On the other hand, ACBC provided me with a happy feeling every time I turned a corner and noticed something that I hadn’t before. It was a mix of independent vendors and the random official Marvel Universe kiosk. An excellent balance of both. Plus. the easy to follow floor layout and the imaginative vendor set-ups infused the stagnant con prototype with a new style. Mostly, it was just different than the norm, and less stressful and aggravating to navigate than the other big cons.

Enticing my eyeballs for a few hours were random toys, odd collectibles, and beautiful artwork. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I actually didn’t come home with any. I resisted. I so desperately wanted the Batman/Harley Quinn painting you’ll see in the video above, but it was about $900 bucks! I got bills, yo! I’ll stick with the shots in the video footage I took. Further guilt was brought on by the fact that I’ve bought so many figures recently that I wanted to stick with a few original items to take home with me, so let me show you what came home with.

The NJ Ghostbusters were on site investigating a free floating full torso apparition of an old famed casino owner who is known to haunt the Atlantic City area. When I ran into the boys in gray, they didn’t have much time to B.S with me about the latest issue of Space Catalog because they just got an urgent call from Janine Melnitz, so I quickly threw them some cash so I could own one of their beautiful NJGB t-shirts! Could this shirt be any more apropos for me? NJ and Ghostbusters, perfect. I also picked up some stickers.

All the way from the far off land of Los Angeles, CA, I stopped at the table of JSalvador’s Super Emo Friends. These cute paintings of sad super heroes, rock stars, and pop culture icons grabbed me as if I saw a sad puppy in a pet shop window. How could I resist Emo Jason Voorhees moping on his mother’s severed head? I also picked up the Emo Arrow for Mike.

ACBC didn’t give me much to bitch about at all. I only had one minor gripe. I didn’t wind up meeting any of the guests, but the celebrity signing lines could’ve used more ingenuity. Once you reached the autograph and picture area in the back of the con, it was clogged up with people milling around trying to figure out whose line they wanted to go wait on first. Even getting remotely close to that wing would’ve gotten you caught up in a bit of a traffic jam. It’s possible they weren’t expecting such a huge turnout, but they’ll definitely have to expand this area next year.

ACBC was a success and I will venture to say that it was one of the most enjoyable conventions I’d ever been to. There was a positive vibe throughout and people weren’t acting like jerks. Seeing kids and families there also brought me back to when I was young and geeky things like comics weren’t ruled by 40-something dudes. It’s a family affair and that’s cool. ACBC did a bang up job right out of the gate. Looking forward to next year already!

You didn’t think our adventure ended at The Atlantic City Boardwalk Con, did you? Of course, there’s more to come from our exploits AFTER the con! Things got pretty interesting so come back soon to check it out. Thanks for reading!

AC Boardwalk Con Is Coming May 14th – 17th!

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Get Your Tickets at DOACBC.COM and USE DISCOUNT CODE “BLOG10” to receive 10% off your ticket purchase, courtesy of AC Boardwalk Con and The Sexy Armpit!

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Geek conventions and casinos have something in common. Think about it, aside from a few exceptions, for many years there were two main spots in the country to gamble in a casino, Atlantic City and Las Vegas. It was much the same with comic conventions. The official Comic Cons always happened in San Diego and New York City. No longer do we have to deal with only two major cons. Nowadays, comic and pop culture conventions are happening constantly all over the country.

Promoters have been capitalizing on the demand for cons and we have more events to choose from than ever before, especially here in New Jersey. One that I have been waiting patiently for the last couple of years for is the Atlantic City Boardwalk Con, a.k.a ACBC. The announcement for this huge event came quite a while ago and it’s finally upon us. In merely a couple of weeks (May 14th – 17th 2015) you can be a part of their inaugural event in Atlantic City, NJ.

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New Jersey has a few comic conventions throughout the year, but none seem to be on the same level as this one. ACBC’s organizers have spared no expense to hit the ground running. Although it’s the first ACBC, it has the epic feel of a con that’s been around for a decade. Celebrity guests, collectibles, concerts, events, contests, film fests, and an after hours party will comprise this jam-packed geekgasm of a weekend.

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This is a chance to hobnob with comic book artists and creators as well as check out some Q&As, workshops, take part in masquerades, and snap your cosplay photos at some awesome backdrops. There will also be the cosplay competition and crowning of Mr. and Miss Cosplay Atlantic City, a Warriors Reunion, and a Film and TV auto exhibit.
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I’ve always been a huge fan of events that take place in Atlantic City because there’s always stuff to do when the con ends for the night. Plus, it’s so much easier to make a weekend of it all and give it that “mini-vacation” vibe. The weather is warm, the beach is next door, the boardwalk is always filled with stuff to do, and you’ll no doubt want to try your luck at a table game or a slot machine while you’re in AC, because what’s the sense of being in AC if you don’t gamble away your life savings and fall deeper in hate with yourself in the process? But do that AFTER you head to ACBC because you may want an autograph from Thea Queen from Arrow first. Just looking out for ya!

From the looks of the website, this con is shaping up to be the real deal. It would truly be a feat to see ACBC succeed in such a big way that it cements it’s place amongst the major players of the convention scene. It’s looking promising, and New Jersey may finally have it’s official comic-con.

Celebrities Appearing for Autographs and Photo Ops Include:
Stan Lee, Kevin Smith, Adam West, Burt Ward, Julie Newmar, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanaugh, Willa Holland, William Shatner, Brian Tee, Bryan Johnson, Drew Powell, Charles Fleischer, Elizabeth Lail, Garett Wang, Georgina Haig, Jason Mewes, Jeremy Shada, Jess Harnell, Michael Rooker, Manu Bennett, Rob Paulsen, The cast of The Warriors, Tress Macneille and a host of others!

Bands Performing: September Mourning, New Politics, and Make Out Monday

Atlantic City Convention Center
1 Convention Boulevard
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

The Sexy Armpit Goes to HAUNTED GOLF in Ocean City, NJ!

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Happy Halloween! It’s been a fun season and I’m anxious to do a look back on all the best moments, but first, here’s a video that I’ve been waiting to present to you. It’s our trip to the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ for HAUNTED GOLF. Along the way we enjoyed the various activities on the boardwalk. Check it out! Please give it a thumbs up if you enjoy it and thank you for watching!

Halloween Countdown 2014, Halloween A-Z

Velcome to Castle Sexy Armpit! Just changing that W to a V made a world of difference, and it’s those little details that have completely transformed The Sexy Armpit into a virtual house or horrors, a terrifying realm of text in tribute to our favorite time of the entire year, HALLOWEEN!

For the past several years, The Sexy Armpit has taken on Halloween motifs that were parodies of stuff like famous horror film posters, and band themes like The Misfits. We continue the tradition with the parody you see above. This header is inspired by a brochure advertising the greatest haunted attraction of all time, Castle Dracula.

Castle Dracula is legendary among those of us who frequented the Wildwood boardwalk as kids. Although it burned down so long ago, it still lives on via the Internet. It’s been paid tribute many times by Matt from Dinosaur Dracula. He’s also gone on record to state  that “Last year’s Halloween season was one of the best ever,” and I am in full agreement with him. I’m not sure if 2014 will be able to surpass 2013, especially when the actual year number was an eerie one itself. Just from a commentator’s perspective, 2014 is going to have to pull off a big swerve to reach the haunted heights of last year.

So, the Halloween Countdown 2014 is on! On the horizon is our 2014 Halloween special which is categorized as “in production” as we speak.

It’s all a bit overwhelming for me. My brain is absolutely flooded with ideas. What will my costume be, will I have to drive all over creation to find the limited edition crap? It’s all about antici—PATION. My mind is racing with all the cool Halloween stuff, products, food gimmicks, events, attractions, costume parties, etc. We wait for it all year and then it just creeps up on us and BAM it’s officially here and I feel like I can’t possibly be ready. Glad this thing starts September 1st, otherwise it would be over with a snap of a monstrous finger.

There’s a moat around Sexy Armpit Castle, we’ll call it Crystal Lake, and we’re diving right in. The lake of course, is made of Ghoul-Aid, hopefully laced with some psychedelics.

So it’s here, we’re living it right now. It seems like everyone else is ready, while I feel ill prepared. It’s like those dreams that you show up late to class on a test day without studying for it. Well, that’s me right now and I’m in that Amazing Stories episode “Go to the Head of the Class” with Professor Beanes.

Every year I typically kick off The Sexy Armpit’s side of the Halloween countdown with a recap of the best posts of the previous years countdown. Since the blog is in it’s 10th year, I’m going to do it a little differently this time. Although I haven’t been doing the countdown for 10 years, I’ve still accumulated so many posts that I feel are worthy enough to present to you once again, especially since you may be new to the site. These are posts that include personal stories from life events, movies, attractions, trivia, monsters, and a homemade comic book among other things. Do a little digging and maybe you’ll unearth something spine tingling.

To get A through Z, I had to do some finagling to get it to work out. You’ll notice some repeats, for instance, it felt like I had 23 “H” entries and there could’ve been at least half of these starting with “S.” And you’ll also notice THAT I HAVE AN ENTRY FOR Q and Z! Hell yes.

Interview With Pinup Artist Erica Hesse

Erica Hesse brought to life our vision to commemorate The Sexy Armpit’s 10th birthday in a vivid, epic work of art. In my interview with her, we get an in-depth look at her creative approach, her influences, her favorite comics and horror movies, and growing up in New Jersey.

SA: I’ve had this idea for a commission from you in my head for quite a long time and it’s finally come to fruition and it’s very exciting. Since I’m not an artist, how does it feel knowing that you’ve created the exact piece of art that I had in my head?

EH: It’s pretty rewarding, as an artist you can only hope you can bring every idea to life that the person has- and be able to do it justice. Especially when the client has original ideas and thoughts and you want to be able to convey what they are thinking. I think it helps in this case, a lot of the subject matter I’m familiar with and a fan of. So it made it that much easier to interpret and have fun with! 

I’m glad you had some fun with this project! Do you prefer to create a piece of art directly from your imagination or do you like having more of a direction such as in commission work?

I like doing both to be honest. Doing art straight from my imagination is therapeutic and freeing. I can do whatever I would like with no one to tell me any different. But I do like commission work too, because it keeps me on the straight and narrow and gives me a sense of direction. I learn a lot from each commission and it gives me a new perspective on how to solve or approach each new piece of art. I find that a lot of commission work I get the clients usually have a lot of imagination and creativity, some things that I wouldn’t think of doing. So it’s refreshing, challenging, and fun to do these pieces of art, subject matter that is “outside of the box” for me. There is this one project I’ve been working on with a writer for a while now, about a year or so. It’s completely different than what I’m used to illustrating, it’s really creative and thought provoking. The story is pretty amazing and we have a great working relationship. He has a great imagination and has a clear vision of what he wants, and that’s exciting. I welcome other people’s ideas and thoughts when it comes to art, I think a large part of it is due to the some of the training I had. I worked for a company before where I had a lot of art direction and creativity within a team. I welcome that because in some cases you only become better at what you do.

Can you briefly tell us about the process you went through to create this piece? You incorporate traditional and digital art, right?

Sure! You’re right I did incorporate traditional and digital art for this piece of art.  Every artist has a different way of approaching a new piece of art, I feel I kind of do things unorthodox as far as my approach in laying out the composition. I usually sketch/pencil in the main characters first, trying to capture a feel for them, then build up the background and elements around them. I usually do two different concepts and email them to the client to see if I’m heading in the right direction concerning their ideas. If it’s approved I then go back and print out the rough concept, lightbox the rough onto a piece of heavy bristol paper and start working on the final pencils. The final pencils is a tighter and more clean version of the rough concept. From there I ink over my pencils with a brush. I typically use a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen or a Windsor and Newton watercolor brush. All depending on the look I need to achieve. When the inks are done, I erase any remaining pencil lines and it’s ready to be scanned and digitally painted. Once I have the line art scanned in and cleaned up, I started blocking in loose colors using Photoshop and my Wacom tablet. From there it’s a lot of playing around with colors and determining if any small details in the composition need to be changed. Colors, for me, I find at times to be challenging, I like them to be heavily saturated and have a certain “pop” to them. I work best when I’m working on a piece of art and walk away from it for a day or so, that way I have a fresh eye when I look at it again. Sometimes it changes everything.

And that POP is certainly distinct in the final piece! How do you feel about it? Is there an aspect of it you think is exceptional?

I was a bit concerned as I first started digitally coloring the art and how I was going to make it all work with each other. Honestly I think every artist has that thought when they approach a piece of art, the gears are constantly turning and asking yourself “How am I going to make this work?” But as the piece progressed I was pretty happy on how it was turning out, I really love it.

The parts of the art I think are exceptional are how a lot of pop culture references are sprinkled throughout the art, from the He-Man sword to the Toxic Avenger-like waste barrels, the art is one big fun New Jersey pop culture piece. I love adding the little elements in there that perhaps only people from New Jersey would get. I honestly could have added more, but didn’t want to take away from the main focal point, which is the characters. l do have to say I did add a little personal touch in the art. The license plate on the beach is one number/letter off of my own old license plate I had for years.

Ha! That’s awesome. A little Easter Egg hidden in there! I love it. Switching gears, I’ve always been a huge fan of pinup culture. When did you realize you were in love with pinup style art? Is it something you realized you excelled at and just continued to do or is it legitimately your favorite style to create?

I think pinup style art has been part of me since I was a kid, it was somehow always around me in some shape or form. A lot of the comics I read growing up had a “pinup” aspect to the art, Archie’s Betty and Veronica, Katy Keene, Millie the Model, Sabrina the Teenage Witch all had an impression on me growing up. I didn’t actually discover pinup (in the form of photography and art) until years later. I knew this guy and he had this calendar of Pinup art, I believe it was by Olivia. I remember the image for that month, the woman was a brunette and had on a white man’s dress shirt and it looked innocent and incredibly sexy at the same time. And it wasn’t a photograph, it was a painting! I wasn’t drawing for a few years around that time, that image resonated with me and was in the back of my head. Fast forward some years later I was introduced to Bettie Page and was intrigued by her. I was at a point in my life where it seemed pinup art was always reaching out to me, calling to me and I finally made the leap. I guess you can say it’s been a slow steady progression.

I don’t know if pinup art was something I thought I excelled at, it’s definitely a form of art I enjoy doing. Some people liked drawing animals or wildlife scenery, for example. I like illustrating those things too, but I’m always drawn back to illustrating women. I’ve always been drawn to the female figure and consider it to be one of the most beautiful forms in nature. It’s a form of expression, an extension of myself if that makes sense.

Well, we think you definitely excel at it! As an added bonus, much of your subject matter incorporates comic art, horror, burlesque – which just so happen to be things that I am heavy into. Your piece Roller Bride of Frankenstein really seems to sum up the stuff you enjoy. With that said, can you share with us your favorite horror movies and comic books?

Ooh yes! Ha, I sure can! My favorites change here and there, but here’s what’s on top of my head at the moment. For horror movies, I love a lot of the classics. All of the classic monster movies, Bride of Frankenstein,Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Mummy. I love Night of the Living Dead, White Zombie, Dawn of the Dead, Fright Night…I could go on and on! Fan of the first few Nightmare on Elm Street movies. For newer horror movies, none stick to the top of my head at the moment. I did recently see the remake of Evil Dead. While it was good, nothing beats the original.

For comic books, I’m currently liking/reading Brian Wood’s X-Men, The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, and the new Harley Quinn series by Palmiotti. Other favorites include Linsner’s Lucifer’s Halo, Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise, Wonder Woman, Witchblade and The Walking Dead series. I usually go for comics with strong and interesting women in them. Or if they have zombies.

Zombies are always a plus. I’m enjoying the new Harley Quinn series as well. Also on the DC front, what are your thoughts on the promo photo of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman from Batman v. Superman?

I thought the promo shot looked good, but kind of holding back my opinions until I see the movie. There’s a lot of thoughts and concerns that are rambling around in my head but I know that will probably change once I see the movie.

Can you tell us some of your artistic influences?

I kind of have a mash up of people, art, or artists that I’m inspired by. In no particular order: Gil Elvgren, George Petty, Alberto Vargas, Alphonse Mucha, Dan De Carlo, Stan Goldberg, Linsner, Coop, R. Black, Bettie Page, Rita Hayworth, Dita, Mosh…to name a few. Tara McPherson and Tokidoki are big for me in the Designer Vinyl Toy World. 

I’m a big fan of Vargas, De Carlo, and Miss Mosh as well. How about influence from your ? Were you born and raised in New Jersey? Growing up, tell us some of the places your frequented or fond memories you have from living here.

Oh heck yes. Born and raised here in good ol’ South Jersey. A lot of the memories I have growing up is where I used to live, in Egg Harbor City. I spent a lot of my time in the Don and Tom’s Newspaper store and the local Ben Franklin five and dime. Mostly buying comics and plotting which Barbie doll was going to be added next in my collection. I had a huge Barbie doll collection. It’s funny, I was never allowed to leave them naked (undressed) they always had to be fully clothed. I had a few Ken dolls but they were boring to me. I used to “borrow” my brother’s G.I. Joe dolls and make them Barbie’s boyfriend. The guy had flocked hair, how can Ken compete with that? I think I even somehow managed to make my brother’s 18-inch Alien figure Barbie’s boyfriend too. Barbie had great taste.

As far as places I checked out, I would say Ocean City was the top of the list. To me it was the “place to go” it had a little bit of everything. It had the boardwalk, ice cream, the beach, the Boardwalk Mall and of course boys. I was a bit of a boy crazy nut then. But what teen wasn’t? Of course I was rarely on the beach, I was always wanting to hop on the water slides or stuff my face with boardwalk pizza. Man, I loved that. And I used to tan, A LOT. So glad I gave that up…eventually, ha. Now I’m as “un-beachy” as you can get. The only tan I get anymore is a driver’s tan.

Same. I get as much tan as David the vampire from The Lost Boys. Similarly, I used to take my sisters Barbie dolls to have my GI Joes mingle with them on her party boat. It was a blast. So, what’s on the horizon for Erica Hesse? Are there any upcoming projects or comic shows you’d like to mention?

I’ve been keeping busy with quite a few sketch cards projects this year. Some are currently out right now. I did a few exclusive sketch cards for Zenescope’s Oz and Grimm Fairy Tales for San Diego Comic Con. I also did some cards for Chaos and the Women of Dynamite which were only available at the San Diego Comic Con as well. I have some more sketch card sets in the works but can’t mention them really until they are talked about in the press or been released. I’ve been kind of laying low on the comic con scene (which is really hard) this year due to commission work and the day job. I also made a point not to do any shows this year because I really, really want to jump back on some things I’ve been putting off. As much as I LOVE drawing pinups, I’m really itching to work on some sequentials/comics! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still working on pinups, but I just want to develop some ideas that have been in my head the past few years. These stories are dying to come out. I’ll be sure to talk about them when the time is right. To keep up to date on any news you can follow me on www.hesse-art.com or my Facebook page over at www.facebook.com/TheArtofEricaHesse.

We’ll be on the lookout! As we wrap up, being a fan of your work, I’ve read that you’ve really made your own way. You practiced hard to become a great artist and carved a space for yourself via Internet/social media as well as setting up at shows such as Wizard World to sell your prints. It’s very inspirational, so if you could leave us with some sort of motivational wisdom that might apply to anyone, not just artists, no matter how cheesy it might be, that would be awesome!

I guess the only thing I can say is do what you love. You’re going to get criticism and feedback on no matter what you do, just take it all in stride and grow from it- don’t let it affect you negatively. Do the best that you can do. Don’t worry about what this person is doing or how successful that person is, that’s a total mind killer. No art would ever get accomplished if we constantly compared or doubted ourselves.

Excellent advice Erica and thanks for the interview! The new Sexy Armpit artwork KICKS ASS!

Erica obviously has our full endorsement, so check out some of her art here:
http://www.storenvy.com/stores/159375-the-art-of-erica-hesse

CM Punk Rescued at Jersey Shore: A Sexy Armpit News Brief

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If the wrestling news and rumor sites are accurate, it’s been reported that CM Punk is now officially a “former WWE Superstar.” I still have a slight amount of hope that it’s all part of storyline though. Whether Punk ever returns to the ring or not, he still deserves a vacation. His woman, WWE Diva AJ Lee, begged him to go to Wildwood this summer, and becoming a softy in his old age, Punk gave in. Ordinarily he wouldn’t be caught dead in Jersey, but the irony is that he WAS almost caught dead there. Watch the Sexy Armpit news brief above for all the details on this near fatal occurrence. Later in the news brief is a video montage of The Sexy Armpit and Dinosaur Dracula’s trip to the Wildwood boardwalk! Music by The Brigantines. See them live playing shows this summer! Listen to a Free track at their official site: www.thebrigantines.com

SUMMER KICKOFF 2014!

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Watch the 2014 Summer Kickoff Show with The Sexy Armpit and Idiot at Play. It’s filled with nonsense, and a few good ideas of how you can enhance your summer experience. Plus, summer reading recommendations including Last Exit in New Jersey, Exit Zero, and The Non-Linear Flow of the Universal Tides by Michael Gary Wirth. Music by Lipstick & Cigarettes, Lux Devil, and Kevin McLeod.

BIZARRE AC II Video Recap!

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The first ever installment of the Atlantic City horror convention, BIZARRE AC, took place in December 2013.  Check out PART 1 and PART 2 of our recaps of the inaugural event.

BIZARRE AC was back for more on June 13th – June 15th 2014 with a giant guest list and even bigger itinerary of panels and after parties. Watch the video for our recap of the second chapter of this New Jersey horror convention.

Although it will take a few more shots to compete with the big guns like Chiller and Monster Mania Con, BIZARRE is on it’s way to being a contender.

eXXXotica 2014 Video Review

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The video posted above took a lot longer than expected. It took a couple of weeks to compile the footage for my eXXXotica review and edit it all up with the voice over and now it’s finally done. It felt like it took forever because I wound up sitting at my computer editing every night and dozing off! That’s what happens when you have to work a day job and wake up super early to begin the long commute. Things have been pretty busy around here and may only get busier in the next month or so, but I will always return and begin posting again. It may take me a few extra days to churn stuff like this out, but I’m usually always working on something for the site in one way or another. I hope you enjoy the video especially if you’ve never been to an eXXXotica expo, this will hopefully give you some insight to what it’s like to be at one. I appreciate you stopping by! Follow us on Twitter @sexyarmpit

10 Treasures Found at Dollar Store on Atlantic City Boardwalk

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Mysterious isn’t the most appropriate word to describe dollar stores on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Nope. I think the word that best sums them up is “obnoxious.” But, let me take that back, we found one of them on New Years Day and it was sort of magical.

While walking the A.C boardwalk on the brisk, but sunny first day of the year with Dinosaur Dracula, we came across a 99 cent store that Matt said he’d like to stop at. I’m so jaded by these stores that my expectations of its contents were at the aboslute rock bottom. Through my black sunglasses I took one last look around the boardwalk. The sun blasted my face with fire as the blue sky soothed it. I admit, I was dazed for a second, but give me a break, there was some New Years debauchery that I needed to shake off. After a giant seagull stared down at me ominously from atop the adjacent boardwalk Psychic building, I heard him say “What are you looking at, go the frig inside already you weird bastard!”

We ventured in. We made like Miracles and shopped around.

After about 40 minutes of being in the 99 cent zone, I could hear Rod Serling in my mind introduce our own Twilight Zone episode “…To many, what they held in their hands was merely junk, but to these two young Frog Brothers wannabes, it might as well be heaven.” Maybe it was too much Twilight Zone Marathon.

After another good half hour at least, we still had yet to do a complete revolution around the store. We soldiered on and continued for another half hour at least. During a few long stops at some end caps to smell outdated WWE air fresheners, and test out gadgets that would give Randy Peltzer an uncomfortably lengthy Viagra boner, we walked further back into the seemingly never-ending abyss of aisles. At that moment, we thought, “how could there possibly be more?” Then we wound up in the housewares sections, and I use that term loosely. Then into the children’s wear section, and finally ending up in a section dedicated to mid ’80s telephone number organizers. F*ck this was such a great place.

The best way to describe it to you is this: It’s the Vendredi’s Antiques from Friday the 13th The Series, of the Atlantic City Boardwalk dollar store scene. It’s maybe too specific to have its own scene, but I don’t want to limit it to the label of “a good store,” because that would in no way be accurate.

By the way, you can never go there. Not only do I forbid you, but I warn you that it’s not your store to shop in. A mystical energy force field will repel you from it if you ever try to take one step inside of it. It’s mine, all mine dammit! It’s my treasure store, MWAHAHAHA! Well, it’s not all mine really. Dinosaur Dracula discovered it, and yes, I reaped half of the schlockiest, um…most glorious benefits.

It was as if Matt discovered gold and realized he had to split it. Because he’s such a good guy, he didn’t kill me over it in a fittingly Boardwalk Empire-like fashion, but he actually let me get a piece of some of it. Kindness must be a characteristic of the hybrid Reptile-Nosferatu, scientific name, Dinosaurus Draculus. Motherf*ckerus this is fun. I guess just add “us” at the end of the word.

I prefer to believe 99 cent EVERYTHING 99 cent has 100 million items, not 10,000 and it’s possibly the real mecca of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Don’t get me wrong, Boardwalk Hall is an institution, and the Beatles played there, but can you buy a Skeleton Clicker Licker there? Most certainly not.

Yes, it’s full of outdated, unloved bric-a-brac, chachkies, and doohickies, and all the other more elaborate words my mom used to use when she couldn’t think of the word “junk,” but shopping here will actually save you from losing all your money in A.C. Here’s how: if you gamble the entire time you are “Doing A.C,” then you will surely lose your money, maybe even your home. But, if you opt to shop in 99 Cent Everything 99 Cent, you may only spend a measly $8.74 cents like I did, AND wind up going home with all the luxury items below.

As George Carlin once so eloquently stated, “A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.” Stuff is certainly what I don’t need more of. Unless it’s 1985’s “The Stuff,” that I’ll watch all the time. So, I made it a point to be more organized in 2014. I really shit the bed. Here it goes…

10. MY MR. MIDDLE FINGER

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If you know me, you know that it was only a matter of time before I actually owned this beautifully sculpted statue. It’s been a fascination of mine ever since the first time I stepped foot on the boardwalk with Miss Sexy Armpit. For only a dollar, the value was tremendous considering it’s made of pure ivory. In comparison to the classics, I put “My Mr. Middle Finger” (I just named him that) on par with The Thinker or Venus DeMilo. It’s hard to put into words, but this piece of fine art perfectly epitomizes what Jersey is all about.

Next time you have your boss and his wife over for drinks, make sure you keep this displayed as prominent in your home as Darrin McGavin did with his leg lamp. Mark my words, no item you find in Homegoods will ever evoke more style, class, and refined beauty as “My Mr. Middle Finger.” TM yo.

I can’t speak for other boardwalks or shore communities, but if you visit the Atlantic City boardwalk and you feel like buying someone an authentic souvenir and you feel a little bit more generous then picking them up some salt water taffy, this might be THE perfect thing. It’s been a staple of these dollar stores for probably 15 years or more. That makes it not quite as old as the Renaissance period, but it does trace back way longer than the dumb t-shirts you see in those stores that spell out Jersey Shore like this:

JER
SEY
SHO
RE

If there’s a true generation gap, please submit that as prime anecdotal evidence.

9. DENNIS THE MENACE PINBALL GAME

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Dennis the Menace. Damn him and his posssibly mid to late ’80s pinball…and his A.D.D. Fitting that he’s the spokesperson for a pinball machine that makes your head spin cause that little bastard used to make Mr. Wilson’s head spin for sure. You may have never heard about it, but the poor old man died of a massive heart attack. Autopsy report confirmed that his arteries weren’t clogged and he seemed to be in perfect health. You know what that means, right? Dennis killed Mr. Wilson. He literally annoyed the living shit out of him. I suppose that if it keeps him occupied for more than a few minutes, this cheap ass pinball game is worth it. More of a selling point for me is the packaging. If this mint-on-card pinball game ever manned up and f*cked a mid-20s Hot Topic employee, their spawn would be this exquisitely trashy and gorgeous packaging. I think Brutus Beefcake wore the same spandex pant print before he became “The Barber.”

8. BON JOVI CASSETTE SINGLE

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I couldn’t walk the boardwalk and not pick up something for Miss Sexy Armpit. In fact, you get an exclusive, she doesn’t even know about this yet. Since she loves Bon Jovi, I picked her up a cassette single from Bon Jovi. “This Ain’t a Love Song” is a song about his love affair with himself from the discarded album titled “Portrait of a Megalomaniac.” I know, real scathing. Do you really care though? Didn’t think so. I know you want to hear about the Blood Ball key chain. Patience young Padawan!

This cassette single was originally on the shelves of The Wiz – an electronic store which was big in the NJ/NY area. Word at the time was that Nobody could actually beat The Wiz, but they eventually gave up and filed for bankruptcy in 1998. *PC Richards runs a sub-site using The Wiz’ name and logo.

7. TOTALLY ADORABLE DINOSAUR TATTOOS

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MORE TATTOOS! Possibly the most adorable dinos I’ve ever seen. It includes the cutest, most ass backwards Stegosaurus ever and the little scamp at the bottom right. Matt tells me his name might be the good old galactic squidhead “Tailosaurus,” but that really hasn’t been scientifically proven. Either way, I’m through gushing.

6. WOW, ATLANTIC CITY POSTCARD

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This poor guy. 

Who really needs the whole “DO AC” campaign when there’s an entire branding bonanza on the front of this WOW! ATLANTIC CITY postcard? In all the years I spent roaming around the boardwalk in A.C, this is one that passed me right by. I guess I was never an avid “rotating postcard display rotater.” When I saw this one, confusion hit me instantly. Was this a modern post card meant to be ironic? Or was this just a really weird and f*cked up serious post card from an era when every damn thing in the world had its own postcard? When the process of buying and sending a postcard was still an activity people actually involved themselves in. More importantly WHO IS THIS GUY? AND WHY WOW? Even though I missed out on this joke when it first started popping up in stores along the boardwalk, I can still appreciate it. Wow.

5. CLICKER STICKER HALLOWEEN CANDY AND WHISTLE

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMCl73nh1-4?rel=0]

Super awesome looking skeleton bashing himself in his skull incessantly AND it’s joyously annoying as hell! At one time in the distant past, this was a blue raspberry candy, now it is completely green and really disgusting looking. How the hell do they actually get away with selling this stuff? The whistle doesn’t work. Oh no, wait, that’s not it. I don’t want to put my mouth on this thing that’s been sitting in a dollar store for 12 years.

4. SHITTY ASS DVDS

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Moon Stalker and Time Chasers DVDs. Low budget late 90s horror and sci-fi. Avid dollar store goers might already know these films, but they are completely new to me. I am familiar with the sub-par DVDs sold cheaply without a plastic snap case, but I’m not familiar with these two who were so sub par that they were produced somewhere deep within the mantle of the earth and outfitted with fancy cardboard sleeves. I can foresee this getting a special enhanced Blu-Ray edition within the next 6-8 months. Who’s bringing the multi-colored popcorn? Even though both of these are most likely to blow chunks, Moon Stalker looks more appealing to me, mainly because of the subtle power of the movie’s log line, “Campfire Stories can be Deadly.” F*CK YEAH THEY CAN!

As I’ve made clear in this post, I often like to come home with, fine, museum quality pieces at bargain basement prices…

3. NUDE FEMALE TORSO SHAKER 

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The beauty of this nude female porcelain torso isn’t the virtuoso sculptor behind this piece, it’s the versatility. You can shake salt OR pepper out of it, or why not combine both into one to save time and cop a feel AT THE SAME TIME! I’m thinking about buying some Red Robin seasoning to fill it up with, then I can instruct house guests to shake my boobs onto their burger if they want. Ah hell, who am I kidding? It would only be a bun.

What’s not really sinking into my mind is the fact that I actually bought this. When I first saw it out of the corner of my eye, I literally thought to myself “WHO THE F*CK WOULD BUY THIS?” Then, of course, I buy the damn thing. But, that’s not even the worst part. People MUST buy this. A lot of people MUST buy this fairly frequently. You can’t buy a nude female torso salt and pepper shaker made of high quality porcelain WITH a bonus stamp indicating that this is authentic from ATLANTIC CITY at just any local store.

Do YOU own one of these? I can’t wrap my head around it. If you are one of “these” people, I need to know who you are. I need to talk to you. Seriously. We need to converse, possibly discussing what size baseball bat you were hit in the head with when you were a kid and you need to give me a very detailed verbal tour of your home.

2. McDONALD’S ERASABLE WHITE BOARD (for the anal retentive Happy Meal kid)

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Getting organized is high on my list of new years resolutions. In fact, it’s on there every year and I never seem to fully succeed at it. I really need to stop buying more stuff, but there is hope. Without a doubt, this McDonald’s dry-erase To-Do list is my only hope. I’m looking for it to be the spiritual shove in the right direction, that performance enhancing drug, that surge of adrenaline that’s gonna catapult my organizational dreams. It even has a spot for a check mark for each day of the week. I don’t really understand how to use this, but I feel it’s an efficiency booster nonetheless.

The fact that the week starts on Sunday makes me want to tear my eyelids off and stomp them. I know technically Sunday is the first day of the week, but Monday is the start of the work week, and this calendar is made to look like the weekend is only one day. Screw that. And screw McDonalds.

1. BLOOD BALL KEYCHAIN

Ohh yes. I say that in the closest I can sound like Paul Bearer as possible. The blood ball is a severed fingertip inside a ball of goo. On a key chain. That is all.

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Now be sure to read about the amazing crap that Dinosaur Dracula put in his treasure basket! From Garfield to Ghostbusters 2, he ran into some serious finds!

Thank you for reading, the soundtrack to this post has been:
“Ooh Heaven is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlisle