August 6th, 2007


MarcyCon 2007

You know the summer is slowly but surely winding to a close when MarcyCon has come and gone.

I've been going to dean_italiano and gsguitar's annual backyard BBQ outside Toronto for...what, five years now? Six? I can't even remember anymore, but somewhere along the line it picked up the affectionate moniker MarcyCon. After all, it's almost entirely populated by Canadian and New York horror writers, so why not call it a con? Instead of panels we eat grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, and instead of room parties we sit on the back deck and drink Canadian beer.

Unfortunately, my good friends Jay Ridler, Michael Kelly, Carolyn Kelly, Brett Savory and Sandra Kasturi couldn't make it this year. It just didn't seem like MarcyCon without them, but somehow we soldiered on. Until glamberson put on that DVD he brought with him, an amateur zom-com written and directed by a 17-year-old with a $1000 budget called Die and Let Live. That pretty much did us all in. Or me, anyway. I couldn't make it past 45 minutes. Greg tried to convince me it got better after I left, but I find that impossible to believe.

Speaking of glamberson, he's a real sport for chauffeuring me to and from the Buffalo airport this weekend. The border traffic crossing back into the States on Sunday was brutal! We allowed six hours to make a trip that should have only taken two and a half, and I still almost missed my flight home! At least I got to spend extra time with his wife Tamar and their toddler Kaelin, who was extremely well behaved given the circumstances of being strapped into a car seat for six hours.

strange came too, with her husband Brenton, and she had me flat sign a bunch of General Slocum's Gold from the second printing in exactly the way I forgot to for the first printing back in April. So now people can finally get signed copies directly from the publisher!

But the real joy of MarcyCon is getting to see Marcy and G again. I only see them about once a year now, and it makes me sad. They're so much fun, and such good friends. No one hugs like Marcy (who actually hurt her back this weekend trying to break my ribs), and G cracks me up no end (and grills a mean hot dog and burger). I wish they would move closer. Especially so I don't have to keep schlepping to Canada to see them!

Another MarcyCon come and gone. Sigh. The years just keep going faster and faster.


If you've got glamberson, gsguitar and/or dean_italiano on your Friends List, you've no doubt been hearing about the Gruesome CD for months. Well, I finally got my hands on a much anticipated copy during MarcyCon, and I have to say it does not disappoint.

I've had the pleasure of watching Giasone Italiano come a long way as a musician and songwriter. I own a number of his earlier CDs, and while they're all very good, none have quite the power on display here. Marcy Italiano's lyric work here is outstanding, too. I think they've both found their calling in crafting hard rock horror-themed songs.

My favorites on the disc are "Monster", "Gruesome" and "Death Mobile", since they not only rock the hardest but also have the catchiest tunes ("Gruesome" is one of those songs that stays in my head for hours after I listen to it). "Graveyard Blues" is up there too, along with "Aunt Alicia" for its very funny nod to Bub from Day of the Dead.

You can find out more about the whole Gruesome project, including the CD, the Halloween mask, the music video, the trading cards, the comic book, and of course Greg Lamberson's soon-to-be-published novel that started it all, at