Out of the various conventions and expos in Southern California that are geek related, the one in the last two years that has astonished me the most in terms of operation is Monsterpalooza. The three day show dedicated to the art of Monsters (ie- makeup effects and miniature models), has only been around for a few years. Yet, they’re already pulling in a following like they’ve been around for decades. If anything, Monsterpalooza is proving to have something in common with Comic Con this year:
They’re getting TOO big for their location.
Like last year and the year prior, Monsterpalooza was held at the Burbank Marriott Airport Hotel & Convention Center in Burbank, California. It’s a decent mid-sized convention center, one that has had the likes of G-Fest and Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors adorn it’s halls. Neither of those shows though managed to pack in as much as Monsterpalooza has. From the outlining perimeter adorned with dealers and make up artists, to the inner ballroom that features artists, props, and anything monster related in between. Add to that the use of the second ballroom as a museum dedicated to the classic creatures of days past, there’s a surprising amount of stuff to see in what can be considered a somewhat compact space.
For a fan, this kind of stuff is like going to Disneyland. Although that would be enough for any fan, one of the key things of Monsterpalooza‘s success (and part of the reason I believe that so many turn out) is their roster of guests. John Landis, Ve Neill, the old Stan Winston effects crew (now known as Legacy Effects), and guests from many classic horror films. It’s a damn fine show. One that I’ve begun to look forward to every year.
Now attending, that’s going to be another thing.
This year, upon arrival at around 1 pm on day two, the line to enter was over an hour long and wrapped around the building. Normally, this would result in sort of a clusterfuck, but the Monsterpalooza staff had things on lock down and kept it orderly. Inside though, that hour long line translated into no room. Flashbacks of Comic Con over the past few years hit me as my editor George and I tried to navigate through the mass of people at both the Marriott proper and the convention center. A unintended nightmare from a show celebrating the stuff that makes them.
I love the show, and the camaraderie that has developed with it, but I’ll say this: Monsterpalooza needs to change locations next year. It’s gotten too big, to fast. While I know that location is a lot for some shows, moving out of Burbank, or at least finding a larger place nearby is something I would say that the organizers need to start looking into.
Aside from the space which the show has clearly outgrown, Monsterpalooza is one hell of a show. It’s pretty much the only horror themed show I bother to attend throughout the year, and with good cause. It’s a grand, fun weekend for everyone to rock out their geekery on. Any show or convention that manages to do that within such a short time is all right by me.
Make sure to check out our galleries to get a good look at what you might have missed at this years Monsterpalooza.
This year's San Diego Comic-Con had no shortage of things to look at and experience. Whether you were stuck in line for some panel, or taking in the goodies going on in downtown you may have missed out on the exhibit floor. Don't worry as you can take it in or re-live it again through our immense exhibit floor gallery. Photos by Johnathan Rosas.
No convention would be complete without it’s attendees showing off their geek pride. Some people choose to do it with a t-shirt, others with a button/ pin or perhaps a hat. Then there’s the people that go all out and do a little thing called cosplay. What is cosplay? Well it not just putting on a costume you bought at party city. For the truly dedicated, it’s putting on a costume that you spent the better part of the year working on. Although some look like they still need some work done, it doesn’t deter this super fans. Photos by Johnathan Rosas.
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