HALLOWEEN 2016 WAS A SCREAM!

scottjayart2016halloween
A BLOODY GOOD TIME is right! One of the coolest things from this Halloween Season for me, if not EVER was Scott Modrzynski’s art of…ME! WHAT? So amazing. Check out his artwork here: http://www.mojoswork.com

Word on the social media street is that this Halloween season was painfully mediocre. While I can’t speak for everyone else, I feel like this Halloween will go down in my own personal Halloween Hall of Fame. To its credit though, as standard as it may have been, there was still enough stuff for me to write a giant recap post about it all, so dig in and enjoy! Happy Halloween!

THE SEXY ARMPIT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL

sahspromo2016web

CLICK HERE TO WATCH!

First and foremost, our Halloween Special this year was our most batshit crazy one ever! I was really happy with it and we received a ton of amazing feedback. Thank you so much for watching it and if you haven’t yet – check it out at the link above! Special thanks to our cast and crew and New Needle Productions. Check out New Needle’s page for their annual Halloween Short!

PODCASTING AND BLOGGING

The Purple Stuff Podcast took a short break, but we will be back! In the meantime, I was a guest on the annual Nerd Lunch Halloween Show. Will from Casserole of Disaster joined us as we created Scary Movie Menus. It was a fun show so give it a listen! You can check it out at the Nerd Lunch site.

Dex over at AEIOU and Sometimes Why interviewed me for his Halloween Memories Series. It was very cool of him to invite me on there. You can check out the post HERE where I discuss Halloween memories, costumes, and other anecdotes, some that I haven’t shared anywhere else!

FOOD 

pumpkinpailmcds

Not actual food, but I got one at a place that serves food, so this counts: McDonald’s offered The Great Pumpkin Trick or Treat Pails which were a huge win. Celebrating the 50th birthday of this classic Halloween TV Special, these pails are very cool. Even if you don’t collect these, their lineage ties back to the ’80s when McD’s released their McBOO pails!

There was so much pumpkin flavored stuff that hit the grocery store shelves this season that they forgot to make it feel important. Rather than make a big deal about some of these products with a promotional tie-in to Halloween, it seemed like shelves were flooded with Pumpkin Spice and Candy Corn everything and not many of them had a Halloween vibe. I really hope that we see some strong, more blatant Halloween tie-ins in the future. The “Fall” offerings are usually weak. Let’s get some more spooky imagery on packaging and in commercials! I was still impressed with the Reese’s commercials, although it feels like they air only like a week before Halloween, which sucks.

After thinking on it, I agree with Matt, the pumpkin spice gimmick is getting a little long in the tooth. The only area where it will never get old is probably coffee, because there’s something about pumpkin flavored coffee that has become truly synonymous with the season. Although, as Starbucks highlighted, you don’t necessarily need pumpkin flavor to create a killer Halloween drink. Their Frappula came back this year and they even had an amazing poster touting it where the Frappula had bat wings.

Kool-Aid’s Ghoul-Aid changed its formula and not for the better. If you’ve ever had cough medicine, you know what I mean. The old blackberry formula was delicious and now it seems like they needlessly changed it and I barely heard anyone talking about it this year except to complain.

Butterfinger Skulls were pretty badass. If it wasn’t for their cardiac arrest inducing fat content, I’d be more upset to see them go.

slimerjay

Even though Ecto-Cooler came back way before Halloween time, it’s still on shelves, so it can loosely be considered part of this year’s Halloween season. The release of the new Ghostbusters on video and on demand definitely fell in the prime time of the season and that brought us the insane Wayback Burgers promotion. A Slimer Shake AND a Ghostbusters burger made for a tie-in of epic proportions. Thus far, it’s been pretty much the leader this year in terms of cool stuff.

In terms of cereal, Halloween Crunch still remains at the top for me even though the box art stayed the same this year. As for other cereals, Cheerios got into the Pumpkin Spice mix. I searched like a madman and finally bought roughly 18 boxes and had a tough time finishing half of one box. It’s heavier on the spice rather than the pumpkin, but at least they gave it a shot. Maybe if they went with a more mellow pumpkin flavor and did a Great Pumpkin tie-in too? You can’t go wrong with the Peanuts.

In this post, I will brag twice. I try to keep it to a minimum, but these are instances where it’s worthwhile. First, the Japanese Halloween Garlic Doritos. I hadn’t even the slighest clue that these would ever be made when I brought them up as an idea I had on The Purple Stuff with Matt. I just conjured up a product I would like to see made and BAM, a year later, they exist…but only in Japan. We ordered them and I wasn’t a big fan of the texture or flavor as it was a little different than the Doritos here, but it was still incredible that this became an actual thing. The spooky bag art was cool too!

I must say that I came right out immediately and called it from the beginning: the Monster Cereal Election tie-in was pure garbage! For me, and I know many of you as well, the Halloween season is pure escapism. We can travel back in time and recall memories of Halloweens of the past and we can delve into other horrific worlds while watching or reading spooky movies or books. Infusing some convoluted Monster Mascot election into the promotion of the cereal this year was utter nonsense. It brought us out of the nostalgia factor for those cereals and reminded us about the most mocked presidential election in U.S history. I felt like I was really onto something with the Monster High tie-in that I brought up on the Purple Stuff as well as on Twitter many times.

MERCH!

stuffhalloween2016

Matt at Dinosaur Dracula continues to enthrall nostalgia nuts with his monthly Fun Pack. His Halloween Fun Pack was one for the ages this year. You can subscribe at his website www.dinosaurdracula.com

8 Bit Zombie released one of their coolest and most unique items ever: The Monster Squad Lunchbox and Glass set. The cartoonish art by Matt Skiff is freaking awesome and the whole idea of this set brings me back in time. It’s such a cool addition to my collection.

If you haven’t visited the Cryptocurium, Jason McKittrick has been creating his own horror inspired sculptures and magnets for a while now. He’s done a hell of a job with his monthly Trick or Treat subscriptions this season.

Rob Zombie and Fright Rags tagged up to release a bunch of cool Rob Zombie related tees and sweatshirts. As always, the artwork was superior!

We were blessed with insane Zombie straws and a Pumpkin shaped Slurpee cup both from 7-11.

Artist Travis Falligant @IBTrav has been killing it with his Lost Mysteries pins and now he has Halloween Costume Kits for sale! The “Dead Dame” is in the style of Frankenhooker and it is perfect…but it’s now SOLD OUT! I’m glad I ordered early.

We’ve seen the release of a lot of cool pins and tees this season, although Matt Skiff’s Spooky Storyteller inspired by Curly the Skeleton from Goosebumps was a standout for me.

Tyler Ham aka @Ham_FX created a print mashup of Halloween III and The Great Pumpkin and it was GLORIOUS!

walmartpajamas

My friend Bob helped me realize that one of the most simple and dare I say overlooked aspects of this season was Walmart’s clothing offerings. They had horror t-shirts including Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, NMOES, and Hellraiser, as well as lounge pants, which are awesome. I instagrammed a pic of the lounge/pajama pants that I bought and I’vee been wearing them like crazy. They’re comfortable and they even have pockets, which is key for me. I need somewhere to put my phone once in a while.

MONSTER HIGH

monsterhigh2016

The reboot film, Welcome to Monster High, came out for one day only at the end of August in theaters and then went to video and on demand. I saw it in the theater and absolutely loved it. I was actually surprised at how much of a jump it made from a quality standpoint compared to their previous movies. The storytelling was simple, dialogue was fun, voice work was on point, and the CG animation looked absolutely fangtastic (I had to!) I consider this part of the Halloween season since it really hit the world in early September. As if a brand new rebooted film wasn’t enough, the doll line was rebooted as well. And to put the exclamation point on the season on the Monster High front, the Lady Gaga Monster High doll was finally officially announced and went up for pre-order in mid-October. This doll had a long history and to see the attention to detail that it has received is awesome. It won’t arrive to The Sexy Armpit HQ until end of December/early January, but I’d say it really capped off a fine Monster High season.

MOVIES, TV, and MUSIC

davidpumpkinssnl

Saturday Night Live created another classic Halloween sketch with a character who will be everywhere in future Halloweens: David Pumpkins! The Tom Hanks episode this season was strong and he put the David Pumpkins sketch over the top to become a pop culture icon in no time!

screamqueenss2

Scream Queens Season 2 premiered and by the end of the first episode it blew the first season out of the water, and I LOVED the first season.

“If you like seeing Alice Cooper and getting stuck in the rain” – I changed the lyrics, but you know that song, don’t you? I’ve seen Alice Cooper live before, and nothing beats seeing him in the fall. Alice played First Energy Park in Lakewood, NJ on September 30th and it was cold, windy, and raining all night. Of course, the show went on! It was still a blast to see him regardless of the weather.

The FOX production of Rocky Horror premiered and it wasn’t awful. Obviously, if Victoria Justice wasn’t in it, I probably wouldn’t have been as interested in seeing it, but it wasn’t terrible. It’s impossible to reach the pinnacle of the original, but this was halfway decent. To me, more Rocky Horror is always a good thing.

bw31

After pining for a new Blair Witch movie for 15 years, it finally happened. In disguise as “The Woods,” it finally revealed itself as a Blair Witch reboot, despite them saying it was a sequel to the original. It wasn’t what I was hoping for, but it was still cool that it exists. At times it felt robotic as if it didn’t have much of a soul. I’ve come to find out that I’m in the minority here, but I felt 2015’s “The Witch” was more in line with my expectations and preference when it comes to a new Blair Witch movie. I wanted something that would’ve added to the mythology. Plus, this one ignores the events of Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and for that, it loses points in my cool book.

As a Rob Zombie loyalist, I was at the premiere of 31 front and center. Unfortunately, much like the Blair Witch situation, it wasn’t what I had hoped for either. Often, when a great deal of people are unimpressed with a film and I wind up liking it, I wonder “what the hell were they expecting?” In this case, I was totally expecting something more Halloweeny. I don’t mean it needed to star Michael Myers or little Sam from Trick or Treat, but I was hoping the story would be more tied into the holiday itself. More pumpkins and ghosts, etc you catch my drift. Maybe his next movie will fulfill that quota?

jayelviracomicbookmen

AMC’s Comic Book Men had a Halloween Special starring Elvira. This episode was filmed during a blood drive in Red Bank, NJ. I went to give blood and the folks at The Secret Stash asked if I wanted to meet Elvira. Although I met her before, who am I to say no to an opportunity like that? I’m an Elvira freak! I went over and met Elvira and out of all the people at The Secret Stash that day, the moment where I go to say hello to Elvira made it into the show! What better way to cap off this Halloween Season than to say that I was on one of the coolest TV shows meeting Elvira…in NEW JERSEY!

COSTUME

ninjaforcezartan01

This year there were a few costume ideas bouncing around in my head, but only one that I really wanted to be. My favorite GI Joe character is Zartan, always has been. But I didn’t want to do any old Zartan costume, I wanted to do 1993’s NINJA FORCE ZARTAN!

ninjaforcezartan02

Most people think this is way obscure, but if you’re a fan of GI Joe and 80’s and 90’s action figures in general, you probably know about this variation of the character. The Ninja Force subset of GI Joe was much more vibrant in color and had more of an edgy look to them.

We go out every year and this year it was back to Asbury Park and we had a blast. Miss Sexy Armpit dressed as Jillian Holtzmann from Ghostbusters 2016 and she was spot-on!

halloween2016nj

After reminiscing on all of this, it’s obvious that Halloween 2016 was pretty badass in the realm of The Sexy Armpit. I hope you’ve had a kickass Halloween Season and I’m looking forward to next year already! Happy Halloween Everyone!

The Sexy Armpit’s Trip To A Cabin In The Woods

cabintrip00

With my immense affinity for all things Blair Witch, how is it possible that I’ve never gone camping before?

Well, for starters, I’m not the outdoorsy type.

Through the years, various friends have asked me if I wanted to go camping with them. Inevitably, they’d attempt to try and sweeten the deal. As if the luxurious amenities of public bathrooms and shower facilities would sway my decision. On a few occasions, a long time ago, when the incentives of girls and booze joining us were put on the table, even that failed to entice me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the woods. I especially love fall foliage, but I don’t feel that I have to prove that point by sleeping in it. In theory, camping sounds like a blast, but I prefer to leave that area as a home for the bears…and witches.

There are exceptions to the rule. Going back many years, my friend Paul has asked me almost annually to head up to a cabin with his family owned by their close friends for some birthdays. See, from my perspective, a cabin is like bucking the camping system. Screw camping…who needs it when you have a creepy ass cabin to hang out in? When I first heard his offer, I almost started to give it consideration. As it goes, life got in the way and I wound up never making it up there. You know how it is. You have commitments. You have to film you and your pile of sludge getting into predicaments. You know, normal run of the mill stuff.

Eventually, I started to give this cabin some actual consideration. It was around December 2015 at a Christmas party when Paul and his close family friend Brian attempted one last pitch as to why I should head out there with them. They made it seem like I’d be in a wonderland of Fall, a veritable Halloween hullabaloo. They described drinking, debauchery, and demonic decorations. All right, so maybe I was drunk at that moment, but right then and there I had an epiphany and thought to myself, “Why the hell have I not gone to this cabin in the woods!?” I swore that when October rolled around, I’d be there no matter what – as long as it was after I premiered The Halloween Special.

Time flew and all of a sudden it was October 2016. The Halloween Special was completed and uploaded to YouTube. I was in the midst of getting the address of this storied cabin that I’ve heard so much about over the years. It was really happening and I was in for a nearly 3 hour drive (feel free to sing it to the Gilligan’s Island theme: a 3 hour drive!) Was I making the right decision? One thing was for sure, I thought way too much about what might happen there, especially left to my own devices in the car. Would I even make it there alive? The element of not knowing what this experience would entail was cool. Really, anything could happen. Would we wind up in alternate dimension? Was I going to be cut up into pieces and fed to hideous mutated beasts that they keep in the basement? Was it actually going to be a surprise birthday party for me 6 months early? That might have been the scariest option. Whatever happens, it seemed like I was in the opening credits of a real life horror movie. Then, I simply shrugged it off as watching too much AHS.

I was flying solo. Miss Sexy Armpit had to work, so she was off the hook. Since I love to drive and savor alone time, to me there’s nothing better than a good fall road trip. I was getting pretty pumped about the whole scenario. In the middle of the day I got a text from Paul: “What time are you leaving? It’s really hard to find this place in the dark.” I laughed it off with the assuredness that I can pretty much find any destination because of this newfound technology we have…Google Maps. “How difficult could it be to find?” I wondered. I got a much later start than I intended, mostly because I procrastinated and thought that the trip would be a lot quicker than it actually was. After I eeked out one more episode of Vice Principals, I mustered up the motivation to get ready, I packed up a few essentials, tossed them in the car, got gas, and headed out on the highway Judas Priest style.

cabintrip03

Swigging a can of Monster and my iPod shuffling through my Halloween playlist, I was a happy non-camper. Once I made it up to Northwestern New Jersey, I passed by a giant pumpkin and had to pull over for an Instagram. You can’t pass up an opportunity to photograph a giant inflatable pumpkin monster. So, that was Detour #1. Seeing that damn pumpkin made me feel like I was on track for an epic trip. It was merely the beginning and I encounter this? The only way it could’ve been better is if it came alive and started warning me that “WE’RE ALL DOOMED!”

cabintrip016

Things escalated within minutes. If I told you that out of the corner of my left eye I saw a raptor, would you believe me? I didn’t even believe myself so I had to bang a quick bat-turn to investigate. I thought I was taking crazy pills. First a mammoth pumpkin monster and now a Dinosaur? There you have Detour #2. Just a friggin’ dinosaur.

As I crossed the state line into PA, things started to seem more desolate. This was the ultimate leisurely fall drive since I kept passing huge stretches of nothingness. I saw creepy abandoned houses, dilapidated old farms, and ancient cemeteries. Sure, I was out of my element, but I was soaking up the vibe. Soon, I found myself driving through the center of a small town that looked like it was straight out of a horror movie.

cabintrip05

Scanning around this ghost town, there was no one in sight. I was the only one on the road and apparently the only human for miles. That feeling came to an abrupt halt when I jammed on my brakes after a bear ran out into the street and almost into my car. The bear then jetted back onto someone’s lawn after he nearly hurled himself into my car. I swore I thought my poor car was going to get attacked by a bear. I was fascinated by all this though. Bears don’t live in our area so I was having flashbacks to being on the Six Flags Great Adventure Safari. The bear sprinted back over to a set of garbage cans where he continued to eat garbage that he previously attacked and clearly had been munching on earlier. This was where I nonchalantly zoomed in and took a photo for Detour #3. Saying that this ride was pretty interesting is a total understatement. I love that cliche “You can’t make this shit up!” because it usually applies to the whacked out trips I take.

Deeper into the town, I drove between a long stretch of small houses on the main road. I noticed that none of the houses had any lights on, except for one to my right. There was a house blazing with Halloween decorations. I slowed down so I could admire it for a second. What caught my eye were the vintage light up blow molds they had all over the place! I’ve been a sucker for blow molds ever since I was a kid. In fact, I used to beg my Dad to keep the ones we had, even though both my parents wanted to get rid of them after they had pretty much gone out of favor. After the ’80s, at least in our area, these wound up being looked at as tacky or cheap. Whatevs. To me, nothing beats those houses with a hundred blow molds set up all over their property for the holidays.

I was being a real creeper. I basically slowed down to a crawl and threw my car into park to snap a few photos of the house. This blazing blow mold house had a front porch that was large enough for several chairs and a dinette table. The older couple who lived there came out onto the porch with a couple of plates of food. I was so mesmerized by their blow molds that I didn’t even realize that they noticed me taking photos of their house. Luckily, this was a couple we should all aspire to be. To save myself from getting questioned by police, I did something I rarely do unless I’m seriously interested in something – I engaged them in conversation.

cabintrip01

“HEY! YOUR BLOW MOLDS ARE BLOWING MY MIND!” Oh my God how embarrassing, what the hell did I just say? Did I actually just say those words out loud? F–k. Yes, I really did. But, what happened next was a pleasant surprise. The biggest smile came across both their faces and they walked down the steps of their porch. They started telling me how they’ve been collecting them for years and buy them from yard sales and flea markets anytime they see them. Not only was that anecdote so awesome, but, next, they delivered a little extra Halloween cheer that made my season. I asked them if they were big fans of Halloween and the gentleman said “Oh yeah, we LOVE Halloween and we’re just about to have Halloween dinner right here on the porch!” I thanked them and told them I just had to snap a photo. They actually thanked me for the compliment and we exchanged a goodbye. This trip kept getting more and more surreal.

cabintrip02

Was I actually in a Halloween wonderland? This was like following the black and orange brick road. As you may have read here in the past, one of my favorite aspects of any road trip I go on are the random things that happen to me and the quirky things that I see. In both cases, they’re much cooler if you just happen to come across them by chance. There you have Detour #4. I was only halfway there and I felt like, if this was the best it got, then it was a successful trip.

To recap, there was an enormous pumpkin monster, a dinosaur, a giant garbage eating bear, and a blow mold couple eating Halloween dinner on their porch 3 weeks early. Seriously, was I in an episode of Eerie Indiana? Because that’s what I’ve always wanted out of life.

My late start meant I’d be driving the latter part of my trip in the dark. This is indeed what happened and Paul called it. Darkness started to fall and I realized that I was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I still had about 45 minutes to go, yet I had to pee. I also realized that I had forgotten a couple of necessities and I also wanted to pick up some kind of goofy Halloween decoration. Paul mentioned that the whole exterior of the cabin is decorated for Halloween and I wanted to contribute something. Wal-Mart seemed like a perfect spot to hit for all of this. Problem was, it was 35 minutes away from the cabin in the opposite direction. Stopping at a store was imperative so I had to go off course. I was already running late, so what was another hour or four? I knew this was going to make me even later, but I figured everyone would be nice and toasted by time I got there.

cabintrip08

During my trip to Wal-mart, I passed the Circle Drive-In Theater on my right. For a second I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be pretty badass if they were showing a horror marathon or something to that effect? That would’ve been another notch in my belt to make this excursion even more insane. I squinted as I zoomed passed the marquee to see the lineup. The beautifully beaming sign actually had a goblin face on top of it (difficult to see in the photo). Sure as shit, Blair Witch AND Sleepaway Camp were playing as part of the Circle of Screams Halloween theme, and I couldn’t contain myself! On my way back, I tried my best to snap a pic although it came out blurry. To think that Jersey was the birthplace of the Drive-in, yet I randomly witnessed this magnificence in PA. I looked this place up and it happens to also offer a Halloween Haunted Attraction that bills itself as America’s Only Haunted Drive-In Theater! If horror and drive-ins are your thing, it’s your dream come true. Detour #5.

Here’s the guy I picked up. He’ll come into play later.

cabintrip014
Wisecrackin’ Simon as I affectionately refer to him, comes equipped with various classic quotes from that rotting old bastard including but not limited to: “Wait, you can’t just leave me here!” and “I can’t believe I came back from the dead for this!” followed by vibrating and moaning.

I didn’t think I could run into any more giant monsters, but I did.

This is where I ran into…a Gorilla. I am not kidding you guys. This is 100% legit. He was the coolest muthaf*ckin’ Gorilla I’ve ever seen, and he worked at a car dealership. This whole experience so far was unfathomable, better yet, PREPOSTEROUS! I was driving to a cabin and NOT tripping on LSD! Imagine if I had been on some kind of hallucinogen? Holy shit, this post would be 23x more entertaining.

cabintrip06

Finally, after spending way more money than intended, I started on the final stretch to the cabin. This is the part that included pitch darkness, dirt roads, and the feeling of dread that made me feel like I’d be encountering the Creeper from Jeepers Creepers at any moment. Were these streets even listed in the GPS? I couldn’t be sure, but they felt just like some of the famous scary roads we have back home that always get mentioned in Weird New Jersey.

Next thing I knew I was driving through some kind of campsite where tons of teenagers were running around wildly with masks on scaring everyone. I was so overstimulated by that point that this was not surprising me in the least. Screaming Masked Teenagers? PAR FOR THE COURSE. Nothing compared to what I’ve seen. I later found out that this was a nearby campsite that was hosting their annual haunted attraction…an attraction that I’d been illegally K-turning my way back out of. Minutes later, the GPS had me turn into someone’s dirt driveway that wasn’t my intended destination, but fittingly looked like I had just entered into the Wrong Turn franchise. I had a hell of a time backing out and nearly hit a tree. That’s when I caved and called Paul. He made it very clear that the cell service there is spotty and he was right. He hopped in his car to find me and I was literally down the hill from where I was supposed to be.

cabintrip013

I drove up a big hill into an opening in the woods. Yup, it was a cabin…in the middle of nowhere! As I parked my car I was in awe of the huge bonfire they had going. This fire looked like it was big enough for 35 people to sit around it. I greeted everyone and went inside to make a drink. I brought Tequila of course and wasted no time cracking it open. Inside the cabin, the decor reminded me of my Uncle’s basement. There were animals that had been stuffed greeting me from all angles. Some of them even had Halloween masks on. This was going to be interesting. It couldn’t have been more Evil Dead/Cabin in the Woods if it tried!

cabintrip09

In the bathroom, I zeroed in on a random frame with a hologram of a demon faced girl. Always a fun Halloween gag. It was perfect.

cabintrip04

The exterior of the cabin was being illuminated by the bonfire out front. All around the porch there was an eclectic mix of witches and skulls and demons hanging and eerily dancing in unison with the breeze. The air was crisp, a perfect October evening, hoodie mode=activated. I sat with Paul and his family and enjoyed my drink. I explained to them that I had a totally whacked out time driving up there.

Suddenly, the next thing I knew, I was being awoken by an incessantly spooky theremin sound. I swore the fact that now the sun was out and I was half asleep on a top bunk bed with a theremin playing meant that I had literally crossed over into the Twilight Zone. I hit my head on the ceiling as I tried to climb down from the bunk to figure out what the hell was going on.

cabintrip011

I walked out into the living room area and everyone was up talking, laughing, and enjoying breakfast. I was being treated like a king and all I did was arrive, raise hell, and drink Tequila. A brisk, gray Sunday morning was being celebrated with good friends over some crispy bacon, eggs, English muffins, and Orange juice. What the hell did I do to deserve this? Did they secretly feed me mind altering drugs to go out and sacrifice one of those kids at the campground to Lucifer and they just knew the right smoke screen to distract me? Mmm breakfast. I’m like Homer Simpson. And, suuure get The Sexy Armpit drunk and make him do your bidding. I see. The plot thickened.

It wasn’t just me who was mystified, because it seemed as if none of us remembered what happened the night before. Legitimately, the last thing I remembered was playing Cards Against Humanity. The rest wasn’t even a blur. It just skipped from the card game to the spooky theremin waking me up. What happened in the meantime?

Something insane could’ve taken place the night before and I would’ve had no clue at all. My brain immediately went into deduction mode. Was it the Blair Witch? Did she possess the cabin to make us lose a gap of time?

After breakfast, Paul brought in the Halloween decoration guy that I bought. We’ll call him Simon for the hell of it. He had no idea where this dude came from and he was asking everyone if they happened to know his origin. I told him I bought him at Walmart, but I didn’t remember taking him out of my car at all. It felt like he mysteriously made his way onto the porch on his own volition. I needed to piece together the events in those missing witching hours.

cabintrip010
I found plenty of photos like this on my phone

Some of Paul’s friends had photos and videos on their phones. It was all there, although I had no recollection of any of these events. There was a video of us singing and dancing like idiots, nothing out of the ordinary when you hang out with me, but it was like seeing a clone of myself doing these things. I wasn’t even hung over at all, I actually felt great. That’s when I checked my phone to see if I had taken any pictures or video myself. Sure enough, I found a few photos that, for the life of me, I didn’t remember taking AT ALL! I had to believe there was something that overcame me while out in those woods so I couldn’t recall any of this. Was a I temporarily possessed by the Blair Witch?

cabintrip07

There was also this blurry photo of a family of deer congregating on the lawn in front of the cabin. Finding this and not remembering taking it was quite amusing…and creepy! I headed home with the bizarre notion that I may never fully understand what happened at the cabin.

The next day, it all came together in a form of a text message from Paul and all it included was this photo:

cabintrip017

In the middle of the previous night, in the wee hours, over a game of Cards Against Humanity, Paul’s sister thought it was a good idea for us to do shots of Jameson. Mystery solved. That’s one way to erase your memories and create a gap in your consciousness! The next time you suspect The Blair Witch is up to her old shenanigans, blame it on the Jameson.

It was more fun to believe that I may have been possessed by The Blair Witch, but there seemed to be enough evidence to the contrary. Buzzkilling it all even more, I found out later that I wasn’t actually in the Twilight Zone either 🙁 The spooky theremin that woke me up wasn’t my mind’s internal soundtrack, but actually Paul’s friend’s phone receiving non-stop text messages.

With that, my yearning for an actual Blair Witch experience of my own has been debunked, but there’s always next year.

If you enjoyed this insane trip, why not watch our 2016 HALLOWEEN SPECIAL on YouTube right now! Thanks for reading!

Halloween Special PREVIEW!

sahallowenspecialpromo2web

So, this is it. We are here. It’s October!

I’m sitting at my desk with the window cracked open. I’m literally being blasted with cool fall wind and it feels awesome. There’s apparently a hurricane developing, so that’s added to the ambience of the last few days. I also cleaned my disaster of a desk to get me prepped for the season. A pumpkin candle is blazing and I just ate a bag of Japanese Frito-Lay Halloween Pack bat-shaped thingies and I’m now primed to provide you with an official Sexy Armpit Halloween Special update: You can join us if you tune in at 8pm ET on October 7th, 2016!

Tell us about The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special this year.

As many of you know, each year I produce a Halloween special for our YouTube page. This year, I’m proud to tell you that this will be our 5th installment. I pour pretty much every bit of life I have into these annual videos. During production, everything and everyone in my life gets pretty much ignored from start to finish usually. My bills stack up. I neglect the gym. All I think about is the special. Ultimately, my main inspiration, aside from the desire to make it the best special it can be, is Halloween.

Halloween is everything. There are memes that always say Halloween is year round, and obviously Ministry sang about it being everyday, but realistically, the season happens once a year. It’s fleeting. Capturing the essence is vital to appreciating it in the moment. Once it’s November, it seems like the non-Hallo-freaks have moved on. If you breezed through the season, without truly memorializing it, all you can do at that point is be bummed and pissed at yourself for not soaking up as much horror and pumpkin guts as you could. Of course, I watch Horror all year long, and am obsessed with Halloween throughout the year, but that’s what makes this time of year special. All the stuff I love is magnified x1000. That’s why I tried my damnedest to get the special done fairly early this year.

Would it be possible for me to actually enjoy the season without killing myself making a short film AND trying to put together Halloween costume? I figured if I got a little bit of a jump on things, I wouldn’t have to be feverishly editing until the witching hour. While I’m still putting the finishing touches on it currently, it’s nearly ready for public consumption. The head start actually granted me some extra time to put a teaser trailer together too, something I didn’t have the time to do previously for any of my videos. You can watch the teaser above if you haven’t already!

sahallowenspecial2016promo3web

This year, the Halloween Special is quite different than anything you’ve seen from us before.

As I rewind several months, I recall a hot June afternoon in downtown New York City. I had set up a meeting with Louie Cortes, a New York filmmaker (his company is New Needle Productions), and a fellow Halloween and horror freak. Louie and I had been following each other on social media for a long time and not only did we have a lot of friends in common, but we’ve traveled in the same circles, attended the same conventions, and plain and simple, share a ton of the same obsessions.

There was a two-fold reason for me reaching out to Louie. First, I just couldn’t keep looking at his Instagram and watching his short films on his YouTube without finally shooting the shit with him over a beer. Secondly, I wanted to pick his brain about his filmmaking process. In my constant pursuit of trying to improve my output, I figured I could probe Louie’s brain to see if he could shed some light on a few questions I had regarding how the pros do things.

Aside from some advice, and a few laughs, I honestly didn’t expect much to come of our meeting. When it comes to my own creative endeavors, I like to do things my way. That’s pretty common amongst creative people from what I’ve seen, but I’d never really thought of the possibility of collaborating before. Sure, I have friends who help with the show in many ways, but ultimately, it’s always my baby. I like to see it through. I’d never entertained the idea of a collaboration because I hadn’t spoken to anyone who wound up being serious or followed through on their claims. I’ve been asked many times by people if they could appear in or help out with the show, but often, they wind up flaking out when they find out how much work is involved. Fortunately, a legit collaboration was actually on the horizon.

Louie and I met at this punk bar downtown and had a few drinks. It was one of those meetings that, if we ever did hit it big and became famous one day in some kind of insane fantasy world, this is the type of story that we’d be able to share when being interviewed. It’s like those legendary stories you hear about how Madonna gave her demo tape to a DJ at a club in NYC.  It was just a simple meeting that has already kicked into high gear. When we met up that day I seriously had no clue that by the end of the summer we’d be much closer friends and have basically all the footage for my Halloween special filmed. Needless to say, I’m glad we met up! Louie is on point with his work and also an exceptional dude. We’ve already discussed more possible projects on the horizon, but for now, I’ll concentrate on the present.

newneedleproductions

So, what exactly makes this year’s Halloween Special so different than previous years?

First and foremost, Louie’s production company New Needle Productions handled the filming of the majority of the special. The shot composition, lighting, and high quality of the video stemmed from Louie’s expertise and all added a completely fresh take on what The Sexy Armpit Show really is all about. It looks so damn good! Louie did a kick ass job and he’s a total pro. A huge thanks goes out to him.

The vastly improved visual aspect helps bring the horror/thriller storyline to life. Of course, it’s still complete nonsense and an all out horror-comedy, but there’s a pretty intriguing story in there…one that hasn’t yet been explored in our videos. In fact, not to spoil anything, but in this one you’ll witness a major shakeup at Sexy Armpit HQ that could have repercussions on the future of the show!

What I’m most proud of is the fact that we keep improving each year. To me, there’s no point in doing the same thing every year because that’s boring. This time around, the special is pretty batshit and just the right kind of whacked out that you need to enhance your Halloween season. You’ll see some awesome cameos and familiar faces as you’ve seen in previous installments, but, trust me, this is a whole different ball game. With all that said, I don’t want to give up any spoilers, so you can watch for yourself on 10/7!

As always, I want to send out another giant thank you to the cast Miss Sexy Armpit @MissSexyArmpit, Mike Wirth a.k.a @IdiotAtPlay, Holly Knapp @Frankenholly, Jeff Somogyi @Sommerjam, Dari Mehl, Frank Campisi, and Lauren Wirth @TheNerdyPumpkin. Everyone did a bang up job again this year and each cast member brings so much to the table. By understanding my bizarre mind, they make it easy for me to bring the stories to life. It might sound like I’m making these specials sound more monumental than they actually are, but that’s how important they are to me.

Make The Sexy Armpit Halloween Specials a part of your Halloween Viewing!

Even though I make these videos, I still have fun watching them too. They become these warped video yearbooks to look back on. Each year, I usually suggest trying to incorporate a viewing of any or all of The Sexy Armpit Halloween Specials into your seasonal viewing. For example, if you plan on watching Poltergeist or Halloween, use our Hallowen special as a funny lead-in. Maybe throw in a Halloween cartoon as well! I know you all can pull YouTube up on your TVs and the best way to enjoy these videos is on your big TV with all your Halloween lights and decorations in full effect. Get some candy corn and pumpkin beer and really feel the season. If you do this, take a pic and post it somewhere on social media, that will help us get the word out! If you want to thank us or support us in any way, the best way is to get more eyes on it and for that we thank you!

I’m proud of what my crew and New Needle accomplished together. These Hallowen Specials are truly comprised of passion and hard work. The only compensation we receive from these videos is you, our friends, fans, readers, viewers and social media companions, getting a kick out of watching them. Sure, it would be nice to be funded one day, but there’s nothing that satisfies me more knowing that a good portion of you were able to sit back and have some laughs for a brief spell during your Halloween celebrations. That is what makes me want to continue, otherwise, I’d be laying around like a lump watching mediocre horror movies on Amazon Prime.

As I was saying at the start, it’s October. It’s officially here! It’s time to start working on your costume, decorating, and planning your Halloween viewing for the month and hopefully The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special can be a part of it!

ShopRite or Shangri-La?

IMG_5182

Adults traversing their entire state chasing down juice boxes is normal right? Who knew we’d be grown ass adults searching feverishly for a tiny box of green juice that we used to bring in our lunch boxes as kids. It makes sense though, it’s sort of similar to finding the fountain of youth. Ecto Cooler hasn’t been on store shelves in so long that having the opportunity to suck that ectoplazmic green elixir out of that beautifully retro Hi-C container is worth going to the ends of the earth for, or in my case, New Jersey. And I pretty much did just that. Those color changing Ecto Cooler cans were procured on a wild goose chase that you can hear on a recent Purple Stuff Podcast, but the elusive juice boxes were still, well…eluding me. By the time you read this, you’ll probably have gulped down 3-4 cases of juice boxes already, but let me tell you about the night that I finally found them.

Continue reading ShopRite or Shangri-La?

Getting Those Great Adventure Vibes!

GAFrightFestNJ

Ever since I was in my teens I had a season pass to Six Flags Great Adventure. I can’t say that every friend of mine was as hell bent on constantly spending their summer days incessantly riding some batshit crazy roller coaster of fury, but there always seemed to be a select few who were brave enough. Brave enough not only for the thrill rides, but also to voluntarily take the trip with me. Some of my friends still tell stories about our trips there ’til this day.

Maybe they reminisce about those crazy times because life was pretty simple then. Aside from the shore and malls, there wasn’t a ton of stuff to do in suburbia. We went swimming in our pools, hung out playing board games, went to the movies, all the standard fare. Compared to that stuff, not living too far away from Great Adventure was like holding a key to an action packed alternate dimension. I’ve written about Great Adventure plenty of times here at The Sexy Armpit, and if you’re from the Tri-State area, you know all about its allure, especially when you’re a teenager. Even if you had to get a little crew of friends together and get dropped off by someone’s parents, the whole experience still made me feel like a wild, reckless adult. A trip with me to Six Flags never lacked controversy, that’s for sure.

A season pass to G.A was like having a VIP laminate to a concert. Once I got my license, that season pass got used anywhere from 10-15 times in a season. That was back when having fun and filling up my summer days with cool shit was basically my job. With the ability to drive my friends and I down there came the opportunity to elevate these excursions to Ferris Bueller levels. I blasted music in the car, exceeded the speed limit by at least…9 miles per hour, and maybe we didn’t eat pancreas, but we inhaled Quick Check subs and chugged Mountain Dew in the parking lot (right before nausea inducing rolling coasters.) It was a tradition for me to get us into a few scrapes on the way down there, and there was usually the inevitable “disagreement” with a line cutter or some other miscreant.

GAsign

Some people reminisce about high school. Me? I’ve been reflecting on all the years I’ve been going to G.A. and it’s incredible how many memories I have at this place. Comparatively, I’m proud of what I accomplished in high school, but I wasn’t a fan of it at all. I always wanted to be somewhere else. I knew I was going through the motions. A testament to that is the fact that I met most of my closest friends that I still talk to way before high school. A ton of people go to high school reunions, some gossip about people they graduated with, and some never really let go of that period of their lives. To me, those 4 years can’t hold even the tiniest birthday candle to the immense amount of time I spent through the years at Six Flags Great Adventure. It might sound preposterous, but it’s been part of my entire life. It served as a backdrop for long summer hangouts with friends, and as the pinnacle of romance for a 17 year old kid with a driver’s license and a bring a friend free pass. If you can’t relate to that, I guess you’ve never tried to impress a girl by taking her on The Skyway? Now that’s class! Sure you could tell a girl you were picking her up in an actual CAR, a licensed road vehicle, but when you offer the opportunity to take a leisurely flying wicker seat ride, that gained you a day or two of her adoration. That is, at least until she revealed that she secretly had eyes for a guy on the intramural football team who laughs at all your jokes in 5th period, plus she didn’t really want to hear you gush about what kind of impact A Lonely Place of Dying had on your life. But that’s a whole other 19 paragraph post, isn’t it?

Do you remember the names of all your teachers from high school? I don’t, save for a select few. Did you have a moment from your prom that still gives you the butterflies? I don’t. But, I can tell you that I get choked up just thinking about how I’ll never get to ride The Great American Scream Machine ever again. Of course, I should be more than satisfied that I’ve ridden it literally hundreds of times in its entire 20 year existence. Now that Nitro has turned 15, I’m already worrying that I won’t know how to cope if it ever leaves us. Scream Machine and Nitro are my favorite coasters of all time and I’ve probably spent more time on them than I’ve spent with most of my relatives and that’s saying something since they each last a little over 2 minutes.

Mind you, it wasn’t all “More Flags, More Fun.” A lot of it, the parts we ignore for posterity, kind of sucked – and still do! Take for instance, the often blistering heat, sunburn, sweat, agitation, fatigue, and hunger. Long ride lines were never a good scene, but they usually indicated that the ride was worthwhile. A big chunk of time was spent hanging on the steel railing and saying dumb things with your friends or trying to make our with your then-love interest. It’s easy to suck up those negatives to be enthralled by repeated whip-lashings for 35 seconds, but damn, each one of those seconds makes us feel like all life as we know it could stop instantly and we’d all have abnormally huge smiles with rippling cheeks permanently plastered on our faces. What could be more fun? It makes some people drool. Others vomit. Come to think of it, those peeps probably don’t revere all this nonsense as highly as I do.

By now, you’ve gathered what Great Adventure symbolizes to me. My affinity for the park hasn’t changed, but my trips to Great Adventure have. They aren’t as dangerous. They don’t involve near death experiences on the New Jersey Turnpike (well, most of the time) and they’re a heck of a lot shorter. As an example, I’ll leave you with a summary of our latest Great Adventure excursion.

GAJoker01

Miss Sexy Armpit and I made our way down to Jackson, NJ after work one night last week. Considering they close at 9pm, that didn’t leave us much time. By the time we got down there we had a solid 2 hours and we didn’t plan on wasting it. Traditionally, as long as we get to ride Nitro, we’re happy campers, but this time we rode their newest roller coaster, The Joker! At first, it seemed like it wasn’t running. This was a possibility since the ride broke down shortly after it opened and many riders got stuck. I assumed it was just stopped for repairs, but as we got closer, the ride was indeed operating, so we were in luck. I had every intention of riding it, although Miss Sexy Armpit needed a bit of coercing. She wasn’t fond of the idea that the coaster cars themselves spin around while the coaster was running. This could be extremely vomit inducing for some people. She relented and we hopped right on. The ride turned out to be pretty tame – almost more of a wild Ferris wheel gone haywire. I laughed maniacally the entire time like Cesar Romero, so I can see why they named it, The Joker. We were glad we rode it, although, much like The Dark Knight Coaster, it’s not on my must-ride list.

GAJoker02

Number one on my absolute must-ride list is Nitro. The lines were pretty much non-existent this late in the day, so we got right on without a long wait. After that, I convinced Miss Sexy Armpit to stay on for one more ride. Even though we technically only went on 2 rides, we accomplished our mission.

Then, as always, I checked the DC Hall of Justice store. I’ve mentioned this place before, but to reiterate, this is the ultimate gem of a store that DC Comics fans might want to consider buying admission to the park just to gain access to this shop. It’s not a gigantic store by any means, but it’s about the closest answer to the DC Super Hero section of the old Warner Brothers store in the mall that we may ever have. I didn’t pick anything up this time, mostly because I had something else in mind that I was hoping to find on the way out.

SFGreatAdvShirt2016

Last stop was the Main Street Market. For regulars, this is the first shop you see after you make your way through the metal detectors (yes the park has excellent security.) I was asked if I needed help finding anything and in my best Lando Calrissian voice I said, “As a matter of fact you can…” Then, I explained that I had heard about a few Great Adventure t-shirts that had just been released with the vintage logo on them. He had no clue what I was talking about. The poor kid looked at me like I just posed him a question that Einstein couldn’t figure out. Finally, Miss Sexy Armpit dumbed it down for him, “it has like…a rainbow with stars…” “OHHH YEAHHH!” then it dawned on him that we weren’t complete psycho nutjobs after all and actually perfectly normal customers towing the Great Adventure retro t-shirt line.

Before we even got to the park, I had it in the back of my head that I absolutely HAD to get this shirt. Thanks to Miss Sexy Armpit for getting it for me. I’ve always had a major soft spot for the old Great Adventure logo, and years back, I even made a Sexy Armpit parody of it. (Below you can save the Sexy Armpit/Great Adventure iPhone Wallpaper) Perhaps even more coincidentally, I’ve been scoping out actual vintage Great Adventure tees on eBay for such a long time: Check out this ridiculous old post.

What does this all mean? I really don’t know, but maybe it’s just my way of telling you that you should get out of your house and go to your nearest amusement park this summer and maximize your fun! Thanks for reading!

Follow me on Twitter @SexyArmpit and Instagram @SexyArmpit

sexyarmpitsixflags

 

Into The Junk Shop, Flyboy!

Frankenstein750

I’m telling this story backwards…have I gone MAD?!

As you’ve gathered, the things I do are not very traditional. It’s not like I venture off to golf getaways, weekend wine tastings, or to the batting cages and for beers with the guys (as I pretend to sucker punch you in the stomach like guys do). None of that would ever happen in my life. Even though I’m an actual adult, I do things that bear the ever so slight possibility of being misconstrued as juvenile, but what the hell do I care? One of my recent posts documented my trip to an NXT wrestling event in Asbury Park. If you’ve read that, you know what a blast it was, but I haven’t yet told you about what happened before we got there! Put it this way, it wasn’t your average Friday afternoon. Continue reading Into The Junk Shop, Flyboy!

NXT: Con. Hall Brawl in Asbury Park!

NXTSoldOutAsburyPark

Let me catch you up on some of the cool shit that’s been going down in The Armpit of the Universe.

A couple of months back, I scored tickets to see NXT Live on February 19th, and I basically forced Dinosaur Dracula to come with me. I didn’t give him much of a choice at all – it was like, “Dude, I got tickets to NXT, don’t make plans that day.” Matt was on board for it and I was extra pumped. It wasn’t only momentous for the fact that I’d be seeing an NXT house show virtually in my backyard, but there was a little more to it. Continue reading NXT: Con. Hall Brawl in Asbury Park!

New Jersey Comic Expo Was Nerd Nirvana

SANJComicExpo

Much like Jello, there’s always room for another large scale comic convention, especially in New Jersey. Thinking back to when I was a kid and events like this were basically non-existent in my neck of the woods, the sheer abundance of pop culture conventions in the Tri-State area is reason to rejoice. The amount of cons is unfathomable to me at times, but it’s the quality that matters of course. Lately, I haven’t been disappointed. You might remember the AC Boardwalk Con, which was pretty awesome and set a pretty high standard for the modern era of NON-NYC Comic Conventions. With no affiliation to NYCC or Wizard World, this weekend’s New Jersey Comic Expo turned out to be an event we Jersey geeks can call our own, hell…look at that logo! It all went down this weekend at The NJ Convention and Exposition Center in Edison, NJ and I will give you the full report.

A sunny and cool Fall day provided the background for my excursion to the NJ Comic Expo. It was the perfect reason to ignore the fact that I desperately needed to clean my condo. On the ride to the convention center I thought to myself “How is this going to be any different than the other 462 conventions that I’ve been to?” For one thing, the complex I was driving to is where I had covered several Exxxotica conventions in the past. So, right there, it was definitely going to be different because there would be a lot less porn.

Even though I was an early bird, the parking lot was already starting to fill up. I got registered and made my way inside. First thing I noticed was the massive scale of this event. It was on the level of NYCC, and it hit me right away that it wasn’t bogged down with too much promotional nonsense. Everywhere I looked I saw collectibles, toys, and most importantly, COMICS! There was copious amounts of nerdery for me to gorge on, but I emphasize comics because that is the crux, the spirit, and the lifeline of all comic conventions, as it should be. When you have a hard time finding actual comics at a comic con, then there’s a problem. You may have read previously here that I stopped collecting physical comics a while back, opting for digital, and although it’s extremely tempting, I try my damndest not to buy hard copies unless it’s something really special. Further into this article you will see how I flip flop on this stance.

GarbageChute
The Dianoga in the Garbage Chute from A New Hope was a little ornery, but he finally quit squirming and posed for this photo for me. He was the true star of the event.

I continued on my trek through the entire expo center. The layout was logical and left enough room for me to not feel claustrophobic like I often do at these things. I stopped at Robert Bruce’s table to see his wildly diverse assortment of toys and nostalgic collectibles. You know him from AMC’s Comic Book Men and his accounts on social media (@popculturizm.) I’ve known him for a while now and I always enjoy talking with him because he loves what he does so much. He’s the real deal when it comes to toy collecting. After shooting the shit with Robert, I went over to talk to my friends in the New Jersey Ghostbusters. They had their Ecto 1 parked next to their table as we discussed their upcoming appearance in the Ghostheads documentary that is coming out soon. They are great dudes and they also appeared in The Sexy Armpit Halloween Special this year so I owe them a Chinese Feast with the last of our petty cash! They even had a small billboard for themselves that was a screen shot of them from their cameo in my Halloween Special. Check them out here: GBNJ.NET

Then, I found the autograph tables. I went to say hello to my friend Tommy Walker, star of Netflix’s Daredevil, who was appearing. Actress Amy Acker (Angel, Person of Interest) seemed very friendly as I passed by her table while she was meeting her fans. At that point I remembered that Samantha Newark, voice of Jem was appearing as well, and I had to go and meet her. Voice actors, especially those from cartoons that I grew up watching obsessively, are icons to me. Samantha was so cool to talk to and since I was in there just before the crowds started piling in, I had a while to chat with her. I told her about how I felt the Jem movie was needlessly shat upon (well, I didn’t use that exact terminology) and she agreed. I still stand by the fact that it in 5-10 years it will be looked at as a cult classic. You might think that’s a stretch, but stranger things have happened. Samantha had various Jem promotional photos to sign and other items, but I opted for a JoeCon exclusive GI Joe #212 comic with Zartan and Cold Slither and Jem and The Holograms on the cover. It’s one that I had been watching on eBay for a while. I’m glad I held out because now I can say I bought it and had it signed by the voice of Jem herself. This was one case where I had to get the Hard Copy. In fact, Barry Nolan is going to do a schlocky TV report about this.

What was cool about meeting Samantha Newark was that I didn’t even go to this expo with that objective in mind. I totally forgot that she was appearing, so it was this cool little unexpected moment for me. I actually smiled in the selfie we took which is rare for me. She even brought up her last name and how it has nothing to do with Newark, NJ, so all of those burning questions have been answered. It’s not a secret nod to her hometown or anything. It was just a cool moment because I’m that type of person who can hear Jem’s voice in my head, or any cartoon character from my youth, like He-Man or She-Ra etc. Not like “voices in my head,” but those are the voices I hear if I think of the character. I’d imagine not everyone feels as strongly about voice actors as me, but I’ve always been so fascinated with them, especially those who voiced characters that I loved as a kid.

AshleyUncanny
NJ Cosplayer Ashley Uncanny as a Gotham Cheerleader

Next up, I walked over to the Cosplay Corner. I’ve always been heavily interested in Cosplay and dabble in it myself. I can’t make any claim to be a cosplayer per se, but I do put together my own intricate costumes. What is so insanely impressive about cosplayers is their dedication. The cosplayers I know put so much time, money, and love into whatever character they are portraying. Their attention to detail is incredible and the fact that they travel hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles to be at these cons is a testament not only to their love of cosplay, but to meeting fans and being a part of the scene. I had a chance to speak to Princess Morgan and Ashley Uncanny, and both were very cool. Princess Morgan had such an elaborate costume that left in me in awe (it won best in show at a Wizard World con) and traveled several hundred miles by car to be there. I told her I’m going to wallpaper my walls with her Harley Quinn photo shoots…she didn’t laugh. You can see the one that I took home below. Ashley Uncanny (pictured above) is a bubbly Jersey girl who was sweet and super friendly as she greeted everyone who went to her table.

PrincessMorganNJCE

By that point, all I purchased was a comic book. I always go into these things trying not to blow too much cash, but this wound up being like a small leak that grew out of control. Actually, I’m exaggerating. Truthfully, I wound up picking up a few things I had on my mental wish list for a while. Let me tell you about my haul!

NJComicExpoStuff
I bought some cool shit, didn’t I?

I came home with some action figures, naturally. I’ve been re-watching the first season of The Flash TV series now that it’s on Netflix and that made me realize that, out of all the Reaction figures I own, I didn’t have The Flash! He’s now speeding around my condo cleaning for me (yeah right!) wouldn’t that be so awesome? I continued through the little mini storefronts that were set up with T-Shirts, Pop Vinyl figures, old Star Wars memorabilia, and my eyes zeroed in on one figure out of about 50 hanging on pegs. It was the Jae Lee Wonder Woman DC figure that I had been looking out for. It would’ve been easy to just get it on Amazon, but since it was right in front of my face, I figured why the hell not. It’s such an awesome figure! Glad to have it as part of my collection now and it coincided with the release of the Gal Gadot/Wonder Woman movie promo picture that hit the Internet. And the one figure that I hadn’t seen up until that moment was this Game of Thrones Daenerys figure from Dark Horse. It’s really more of a figure-statue since it’s not articulated, but I’m fine with that considering how detailed it is. Surprisingly, this is my first Game of Thrones collectible even though I’ve watched and loved the show since it premiered.

Toys are great, but Artist’s Alley is always my favorite place to browse at a comic convention. Jim Lee was appearing, but I was more interested in the creators in artist’s alley. Whether I’m discovering a new artist or meeting one of my favorites, it’s an excellent opportunity to pick up some original work from artists from the comic book world and elsewhere. After checking out almost all the artists, I arrived at two shared tables by a husband and wife from Chicago. The pieces they had on display were enticing me. Note to those with a table at a con: easiest way to lure me in: just put Lily Munster somewhere in your display and I will be at your table in mere seconds. After trying to decide what I wanted, I came to the conclusion that the Julie Newmar Catwoman print pictured above was perfect. This oil painting style of her had that special quality and it was like nothing I’ve seen before so I had to have it. I also picked up a couple of other pieces for friends here.

It was about time for me to wrap up since I couldn’t afford to stay any longer! I dug the Jersey Comic Expo and I hope they come back next year to the same venue. Next year, I’d like to see a larger roster of celebs as well as an expanded cosplayer area with photo backdrops and faux sets. Otherwise, there really wasn’t anything to nitpick, and if you’re into comics and buying geek paraphernalia, this is one of the best events I’ve been to in the area and I recommend it to you for next year! Thanks for reading.

Halloween 2015: There Was So Much Stuff!

halloween201501

There was so much stuff. That’s what I’ll remember most about Halloween 2015. That and the fact that “‘ween” and “15” rhyme made this such a memorable season. Of course there was the Sexy Armpit Halloween Special AND this year marked the beginning of The Purple Stuff Podcast. Can we pile on anymore stuff?

frappulafrappucino

Think about it, grocery stores had aisles of limited edition Halloween cereal and candy packed from floor to ceiling! We saw BK’s Halloween Whoppers, Krispy Kreme donuts, Pumpkin Spice Twinkies, and spooky 7-11 cups. What’s crazier is that I didn’t even name half the stuff you probably bought on a whim at Target! Starbucks even jumped into the game with their release of A FRIGGIN’ COUNT FRAPPULA FRAPPUCCINO…wha-what? There was just so much that the sheer amount of Halloween spirit was awe inspiring. It was like Christmas morning for Halloween lovers for like 2 months straight. While in the midst of the season it may have been hard to process all this, but after the fog juice clears, it’s easy to see that Halloween 2015 was completely nuts in all the right ways.

I’m not sure if I’m rationalizing this or not, but think about it: quantity was the underlying theme this year. I’ve already touched on the amount of food and snack gimmicks that we were bestowed with, but what about everything else? In terms of my own little universe, our Halloween Special was an anthology, so you wound up getting THREE mini stories in one episode. It was pretty epic for us. Premiering a couple of weeks after our special was the anthology Tales of Halloween, with more stories crammed into it than I thought was humanly possible. We also saw the arrival of the long anticipated graphic novel Trick ‘r Treat: Days of the Dead which tipped the scales at heavy 144 pages! I’m here to urge you to reflect back and marvel at just how colossal this Halloween really was. I for one am still basking in its glow.

We had so much of the good ol’ BOO and yes, we know about the green POO, but I’m certainly not complaining. Monster Cereals were back in such a big way that they had various types of boxes to collect. You could even build a freaking mansion out of some of them! I still cannot believe that I have a Monster Cereal Mansion in my living room, as Old Man Parker would say, “…it’s indescribably beautiful!”

halloween201502
What’s Halloweenier than a Jack O’ Lantern vomiting Spinach Artichoke Dip for all to enjoy? I took this shot at the Carnival of Shadows Masquerade at Trenton Artworks 10/24/15

This Halloween was awesome. I’m not merely listing all the crap that came out this season, but it’s important to mark this Halloween season as one that felt like it wasn’t a struggle to be a Halloween fan. When every company is slapping their products with limited edition labels and squirting them with pumpkin spice magic and ghost shapes, that is always accepted in my world. And while I’m on the subject of my world, last year for the masquerades I attended, I wore the same costume twice. This year, I somehow managed to conjure up 2 different costumes for the parties I went to. Double the work, but double the fun. Where are those More twins from The Final Chapter?

halloween201504a

Here I am as the Kenner Grim Reaper Action Figure from the Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure line which I wore to the Trenton Artworks Carnival of Shadows Masquerade party. As the story typically goes, this costume was on my short list of ideas every Halloween, so it was awesome to finally get to do it. Of course, no one knew who I was supposed to be and I was 100% expecting that. I don’t create these costumes to get a rise out of people, if that was the case there’s so many obvious costume choices in the Spirit Halloween store that I could easily go out and buy. Nothing made me happier than to see friends on social media totally geek out at this. That’s why I enjoy participating in social media, because in my real life nobody sees the cool factor in dressing up as an obscure Kenner action figure. They’re missing out and they can go back to gawking at some HILARIOUS guy who bought the Caitlyn Jenner costume. “Hey Henry, can you believe how creative Todd is in that Caitlyn Jenner costume…oh he’s always the life of the party!”

halloween201505
These Pumpkin decorations hanging from the ceiling really manage to add that extra old school flair to an otherwise lame Halloween party. We made our own fun anyway.

On Halloween night, we played it low key, but still went out to a local establishment for a Halloween party. It wasn’t much of a Halloween party since about 60% of the joint was NOT in costume, unless everyone was dressed in that classic “Miserable, Middle-Aged Drunk” costume. I think Ben Cooper manufactured that at one point. Seriously, a Halloween party is not a Halloween party without the costumes. At least we know where not to go next year. The place had a couple of saving graces though. First, the ’80s cover band was pretty decent and their female lead singer was dressed as Big Bird, so yeah, that was surreal and right up my alley. Then, when I went to find the bathroom, I saw their elaborate Halloween decorations which I spent about 20 minutes Instagramming. No one knew where I was for a while. At one point, a twenty-something girl stopped me, grabbed my arms, stared at me and said to me in a very serious tone, “You are scarier than any of these Halloween decorations.” I chuckled like a big doof and said ‘Thanks, you look pretty scary yourself” which was a joke that I don’t think landed properly since she was in a Cinderella costume. She gave me a dirty look. It was fine nonetheless because, as I was walking into the bathroom, I heard a noise and looked back to see that she stumbled over her own feet, fell into the exit doors, and face-planted on the pavement outside. She was a little tipsy, but don’t worry, her friends were there to assist her. She was A-OK as she awaited her Pumpkin carriage and/or Uber.

halloween201503

On Halloween night I dressed up as Alice Cooper in a straight jacket, which is based off of a portion of his live concert spectacle. Miss Sexy Armpit did a badass job on my wig and makeup too. In comparison to previous costume help that I’ve enlisted her for, this one was pretty easy for her. I got a lot of compliments and it was fun to be Alice for a night, especially since it was another costume that I had been meaning to do for several years. Miss Sexy Armpit was WWE Superstar, and one of my personal favorites, Paige. I even noticed a guy in a Bubba Ray Dudley costume walk in and he and I immediately gravitated to each other because wrestling fans just do that. It’s like, “hey, you’re weird like me! let’s talk about pro-wrestling in public fairly audibly as if it’s a real sanctioned sport!” Later in the night they rolled back over with their new friend STING! It was a who’s who of the WWE.

halloween201506

I recall a few Halloween’s in recent memory where I almost felt guilty for celebrating as hardcore as I do, but this season, all the binging on Halloween was perfectly acceptable. It feels like Halloween is truly getting to a point that it demands more respect as a bonafide holiday. Usually, Halloween gets curb stomped by Christmas way too soon, but not this year. Thanksgiving and Christmas felt like they swooped in at a strangely appropriate time. Is this all just me? Am I officially taking crazy pills? I know I was taking Hallocor in the Halloween Special, so maybe I’m still on a bender? All I know is, I never give up on Halloween, it possesses me all year long.

hallocor

I hope you enjoyed your Halloween season! Did you dress up in a cool costume? What was your favorite part of Halloween 2015? Leave us a comment! Thank you for reading and celebrating with us!

NJ-Set Velvet Rope Horror Anthology Gets Trailer Treatment

VelvetRope03Is it possible? A horror anthology comic set in a New Jersey movie theater? That requires a really obnoxious fugetaboutit! Words cannot express how close to my heart the mere thought of that comic is. Old movie theaters, The Garden State, and sexy fishnet stocking-clad movie usherettes comprise Velvet Rope and there’s no way I can go wrong with it.

Since it was a based in New Jersey, I’ve owned Mark Poulton’s (Savage Hawkman, Avengelyne) Horror Anthology from Arcana Comics, Velvet Rope since it was released,  but now is a perfect time to spotlight it because our fellow NJ’er, Poulton, and the Underbelly crew have created actual movie pitch trailers for the book to show the Arcana bigwigs the potential of making it into a feature film!

The anthology’s frame tale features a phantom movie theater, a possibly demonic (and hot) theater usherette, and an unsuspecting dude who’s just trying to get his horror movie marathon on. Oh, and adding to the pot, it’s freaking Halloween night, 2008!

Out of the roughly 10 stories contained within the book, there were a few that should definitely be included if a film ever gets made. First is Poulton’s own story, Baker’s Dozen, a deliciously sick yarn about beef jerky that takes place just outside Atlantic City and recalled classic late night Tales From the Crypt episodes. Continue reading NJ-Set Velvet Rope Horror Anthology Gets Trailer Treatment