Our GalaxyCon Louisville 2019 Photos

Day and Ray!

Me with Jonah Heston and Kinga Forrester, a.k.a. Jonah Ray and Felicia Day from Netflix’s MST3K revival. Yes, this was a very good day.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: last year my wife Anne and I had the sincere pleasure of attending the inaugural Louisville Supercon, a three-day festival of comic-con goodness with screen actors, anime/animation voice actors, comic book creators, and other talents in the house to sign, pose, chat, and thrill. A con on the cusp of a holiday season was a tough sell for us, but we gave it a shot and had a blast, albeit on a tight budget at year’s end.

Fast-forward to today, and here we are again. Our budgetary crunch was even tougher because this year half the inanimate objects in our house have broken down and demanded attention. We made plans for a return engagement in Louisville anyway, now subsumed into a larger organization and rechristened GalaxyCon Louisville. Once again all the dreams we could afford to indulge were fulfilled, and we didn’t experience a single issue that could be blamed on the con. It was smoothly run A-plus fun except for the part where our aging bodies failed and imposed limits upon us. (Among other lessons, I learned trying to carry a heavy convention bag with the strap slung on your shoulder that’s just received a flu shot the day before is…not a pleasing sensation.) Otherwise: 12/10 very awesome, much entertainment, would convention there again.

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MCC Home Video Scorecard #11: Where the Movies Begin or End

MST3K The Return!

Repeat to yourself, “It’s just Netflix, I should really just relax!”

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: the recurring feature that’s me jotting down capsule-sized notes about Stuff I Recently Watched at home. In this batch: frankly, I’ve procrastinated returning to this idea for so long that my list has grown out of control and consumes far too much of my MCC idea back-burner file, so I’m dumping all its current contents here, zipping through whatever recollections have stuck with me, and resetting the counter to zero. Three cheers for fresh starts!

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Our 2005 Road Trip, Part 2 of 10: In Search of the Southern Sasquatch

Monster Mart!

Hi, I’m the Boggy Creek Monster! You might remember me from such films as The Legend of Boggy Creek and Boggy Creek II: The Legend Continues! But I would be shocked if you did.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Welcome to the first installment of another special MCC miniseries, representing the original travelogue from our 2005 drive from Indianapolis to San Antonio, Texas, and back again in far too short a time…

Anne and I have been to Arkansas exactly once. Sure, we could’ve spent that singular opportunity hiking Hot Springs National Park, visiting the official Walmart headquarters and museum, peeking inside our first Bass Pro Shops, or touring something related to the Clinton family while my wife made faces and rolled her eyes. But my peculiar TV fandom took us off-course in another direction…

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Our Hall of Heroes Comic Con 2017 Photo Gallery

MST3K Mads!

Say hi to the roadshow cast from Manos: The Jazz Hands of Fate.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: last May my wife and I traveled three hours north to the town of Elkhart to visit the Hall of Heroes Museum, an impressive collection of toys, comics, merchandise, and movie memorabilia. We also walked along their Main Street downtown, enjoyed ourselves despite the unseasonably bitter temperatures, and expressed hopes of returning one day.

Today was that day. This weekend museum owner Allen Stewart oversaw the first annual Hall of Heroes Comic Con, a natural extension of his longtime hobbies and all our favorite comic cons where we’ve encountered his company’s booth on multiple occasions. Thanks to the event explosion we’ve been enjoying in or near Indianapolis over the past four years, we’ve had chances to attend more shows and meet more creators and actors than in all our previous forty Hoosier years combined. We can’t attend every show ever, but we’ll make the time and the drive if something or someone nails our interests.

For me, Stewart and his team did exactly that. Pictured above at left is Frank Conniff, a.k.a. TV’s Frank from Mystery Science Theater 3000, one of my all-time favorite TV series. At right is Trace Beaulieu, better known as TV’s Frank’s nefarious boss Dr. Clayton Forrester, and the original voice of Crow T. Robot. We previously met him at C2E2 2015, but this is a far better photo, and not just because it has TV’s Frank in it. Beyond meeting Joel Hodgson at Indy Pop Con 2014 and Mike, Kevin, Bill, and Mary Jo in St. Louis in 2000, the esteemed Mr. Conniff was the only major cast member I hadn’t met yet.

For that alone, for giving me the unexpected opportunity to complete the autograph set on my copy of The MST3K Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, I deem this a fantastic weekend, 12/10 hope to visit yet again someday.

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Road Trip Origins Year 2, Part 2 of 3: Trainwreck at the Trainwreck

Trainwreck!

American history! Frontier architecture! Bison tongue appetizer!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: a flashback to our second annual road trip, attending St. Louis’ second and final Gateway Sci-Fi Con in the year 2000. Actors from Mystery Science Theater 3000 were met, autographs were treasured, panels were enjoyed, and dozens of internet peers showed up to put faces with names. But we didn’t limit ourselves to the convention hotel’s property. None of us were from St. Louis; some of us were eager to explore and see what else the city had to offer.

Saturday night, seven of us piled into two cars and drove out to LaClede’s Landing, a district on the banks of the Mississippi River and down the street from the world-famous Gateway Arch. LaClede’s Landing is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with warehouses and facades dating back to the mid-19th century that were renovated circa 1975-1976. Not so renovated: the solid cobblestone streets we navigated at 2 MPH, feeling bump after bump after bump after bump after bump after bump as we crawled the blocks looking for sustenance and wishing someone would make the bumping stop.

Fate brought us to a saloon called Trainwreck on the Landing. Other Trainwrecks have existed in the 314 since the 1890s, but we knew nothing about any of them. We figured why not and gave it a whirl.

Hated it. We hated it so much, I wrote a skit about it four days later.

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Road Trip Origins Year 2, Part 1 of 3: Internet Fandom Rendezvous 2000

Gateway program!

If you recognize the logo that this program cover is aping, then you may appreciate who we met that year…

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. My son rode along from 2003 until 2013 when he ventured off to college. From 2004 to 2011 we recounted our experiences online at length for a close circle of friends. From 2012 to the present we’ve presented our annual travelogues here on this modest website for You, the Viewers at Home, which I’m grateful includes some of those same friends. Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover, we told the story of our very first road trip together, an amateur expedition to Wizard World Chicago 1999.

Fast-forward one year later to July 14-16, 2000. While we remained best-of-the-best friends in separate apartments, we had begun pooling resources on select line items and seen our situations improve when she left McDonald’s after a ten-year stint and switched to an adjacent, much better-paying career track — call-center work for a major mail-order club. It was still customer service, but with 100% less grease and 0% chance of having to stand for hours at open drive-thru windows in zero-degree weather. Overall we were in slightly better standings one year after WWC when an idea for a second road trip walked right up, pinched my cheeks, and wouldn’t let go.

As with our inaugural outing, this would be another geek convention in a state beyond our own, with a guest list of well-known media personalities and hotel accommodations required. However, the proposal was far more ambitious in one groundbreaking respect: it would be our first time meeting people we knew only from the internet.

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Former Kickstarter Junkie VI: Reboot MST3K? You Do It, I’m Bitter

Bring Back MST3K!

If you’ve never seen an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I’m really sorry that you’ve been deprived of the pleasure. I missed the first several seasons of its basic-cable run, but the Rhino Home Video releases began in May 1996 at exactly the right moment in my life when, more than any other, I needed powerful reasons to laugh, to overlook emotional pain, and to appreciate sci-fi puppetry. Joel, Mike, Crow, Tom Servo, and the rest of their motley crew were like a shining, snarky beacon through so much real-world darkness. I snapped up every episode as it was released and filled up a few shelves. When I could afford basic cable again circa 1998, I caught up to speed with the Sci-Fi Channel reruns, and the rest is a great time in history for this latecomer MSTie.

Some of its funniest fans were among the first online citizens I met when I discovered the wild world of Internets. My wife and I met several of those odd-fellows in person and quite a few cast members over the past fifteen years — at a St. Louis convention on our 2000 road trip, at Indy Pop Con 2014, and at C2E2 2015. It’s been kind of a wild ride.

Today news broke out across my social circles that MST3K creator Joel Hodgson, with the assistance of the good Samaritans at Shout! Factory (the show’s home-video distributor for the last several years), has obtained the rights clearance to pursue a full-on revival with the same puppets but probably an all-new cast — a bit like the Sci-Fi years in a sense, so some of us are bound to fret and complain till we get used to Tom Servo’s new voice. Rather than rely on modern studio executives to come to their senses and right the wrongs committed by their soulless ancestors, Hodgson has launched an ambitious Kickstarter campaign that will allow fans, newcomers, and hopefully kindhearted deep-pocketed investors to determine whether or not the world’s greatest Cowtown puppet show deserves another chance to live and riff.

As a fan, I hope it succeeds and I wish I could help. I also wish there were a way to do it without Kickstarter.

Right this way for more MST3K info! And for an update on this regretful ongoing MCC series!

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