Astronomicon deserves to take over the Detroit Metro area. The state of Michigan needs this type of music/comic book culture colliding as one to help flourish the murder mitten’s economy. Out of staters stuff themselves full (like that old school Yoshi’s Island Super Nintendo commercial) at restaurants not in their areas, use local Uber services to get around, fill up the motels and hotels and, well, you get the point. Money is spent and therefore the economy benefits. *Cough* Years ago Detroit should’ve granted Michael Jackson permission to build an amusement park in Detroit.*Cough* Despite mother nature dumping tons and tons of snow during the weekend of the first annual Astronomicon convention, and the blizzard-like conditions being responsible for flights being delayed or flights turning completely around to land and causing a few celebrities to have to cancel, Majik Ninjas Entertainment’s independent event was still a major success! Hundreds upon hundreds of music fans, comic book enthusiasts, cos-players, and horror movie buffs from all over the Midwest (not just Michigan) attended. I witnessed people hailing from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and even quite a few people flying in from across the country or driving twenty hours away. Juggalos and convention die-hards were chilling peacefully and enjoying themselves together at all three days of Astronomicon to the very fullest. Twiztid and MNE should be extremely proud of themselves.
Astronomicon Day 1
After getting back from Tampa, Florida, I woke up at a friend’s place near Harrison, Michigan and their propane tank was having issues over the weekend and thus there was no heat or hot water.
So waking up that morning was nearly as brutal as waking up outside naked in frostbite weather. Not that I would know, but it was damn cold for sure. I was shivering my ass off, even with the thick coat and a few layers of clothes. How cold was it that night? It had to have been a below freezing wind chill. I was super thrilled that Astronomicon was starting soon, but was not looking forward to the road conditions. Sometimes you gotta ignore the news, but sometimes it can help you prepare. This time Channel 9 & 10 news actually helped. The weather forecast was grim, but still helped us figure out what we truly were in for.
I receive a message from Scottie D letting me know his flight was turned back around and headed back to Texas due to the snow . I immediately frowned. I really wanted Scottie D and his family to experience Astronomicon with me. Plus him and his wife Amanda always take amazing pics! Shortly after reading the stale news, my great friend Wes Berger arrived a little before noon to snatch me up and then we picked up our friend Kim and hit the road. “Are we going to die?” says the passenger in the the front who declared shot gun at a gas station stop. To which the passenger in the back seat sarcastically replies, “if a car doesn’t wipe out in front of us.” That’s when we witnessed a red Ford F-2 150 wiping out on the other side of the highway and then shortly after seeing three other people successfully push out an old Ford Taurus near an exit. About an hour and a half away from Detroit, we nearly wiped out from black ice. Thankfully Mr. Berger is Bruce Wayne when it comes to arriving safely to your destination, even with a little hiccups, his car was never damaged and we arrived alive. All rooms at Wyndham had already been booked, so we ended up checking in at Knights Inn. It’s not that bad of a place, actually quite clean. Still feels sketchy somehow.
Day one inside the parking lot felt like a glorious Juggalo invasion. “Whoop! Whoop!” could be heard down the streets of 16 mile and beyond as ninjas’ cheerful cries of excitement erupted. Nothing but smiles, positivity, and laughter filled the doorways of the Wyndham Garden Hotel. Fans were super anxious to meet their favorite celebrities and enjoy a weekend of phat (90’s kid here. What you know about that slang?!) nerd life. Astronomicon was their independent nerd kingdom away from home. The attendees needed this type of Convention in their lives to shake that stress off the brain.
My friends and I finally enter Wyndham Garden.
Not even six minutes of checking the vendor floor out, Adrenaline PR was already blowing up my phone (in a good way) confirming that the Vandala Magazine Twiztid interview before their Bloody Valentine show tonight is still a go. A few more minutes pass by and we decide to check out Twiztid’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” script read panel. It was gut busting hilarious! Madrox and Monoxide were thoroughly enjoying themselves, as if their past kid selves somehow managed to possess their bodies and started wiling out. I actually ended up reading a long with Twiztid and Boondox, being selected from within the crowd to voice Ego The Living Planet.
I walk up and Monoxide gives me this slight evil grin that turns into a brief smile and says to me,”Turn to page 43 and hop on in”. Funny enough, my opening lines were, “Son of a bitch, they’re here!” and the crowd roared in positive laughter. After the script read my friends headed off to check out the game room so I can be alone and dive into my journalism skills. I had fifteen minutes before the interview was supposed to start and I’m going over the questions in my mind over and over, taking Buddha Monk style deep breaths as I shift into positive vibes. That’s when Twiztid’s manager George Vlahakis approaches me, shakes my hand, apologizes, and then let’s me know that the interview had to be rescheduled for sometime tomorrow afternoon. It was chill. I know that an event this big during it’s first day is bound to get behind schedule due to all the freshness popping off. I obliged with rescheduling the interview and rushed over to check out Mr Creepy Pasta‘s panel. Horror-tastic!
Mr. Creepy Pasta successfully knows how to scare people into a near Twilight Zone coma thanks to his classic “Tales from the Crypt” inspired bone-chilling story telling. This cat needs to write a horror novel or get into the independent horror movie scene! Straight genius when it comes to presenting horror! After the story telling, the crowd and Creepy Pasta discussed their favorite slasher flicks and horror movie chase scenes. After Mr. Creepy Pasta’s gut wrenching, yet immensely enjoyable panel, my posse decided to roll out to Pontiac and catch Twiztid’s epic “Be My Bloody Valentine” show. I wasn’t able to arrive until a few minutes right before REDD starting slayed the stage due to the snow piling up even more, but a few people said the previous performer “Knowledge” killed it! Good to know Majik Ninja Entertainment invited great talent. I ran into Franky Grudge of Body Bag Syndikate and he expressed appreciation behind the album review I wrote for B.B.S.’s sophomore release and that’s when G-MO-Skee offered both of us a blunt to smoke. After REDD’s powerful performance, Gorilla Voltage flawlessly conquered the Cro-Foot, followed by Boondox and R.O.C. awe-inspiring sets, and then ending the night of course was the legendary Twiztid! The crowd moshed and went hype for Twiztid the entire set! A mesh of Twiztid sex rhymes and classic murder tales. It was all love between the fans and Majik Ninja Entertainment the entire show! It didn’t end until nearly 3 a.m. and My body was screaming for me to hit the bed and enter an 8-bit dreamland snooze.
Astronomicon Day 2
I woke up late, but enjoyed a great breakfast at Denny’s with my friends and we rolled out for the second day of Astronomicon. We arrived right when Kane Hodder’s influential “Friday The 13th” panel kicked off. Kane dropped knowledge onto the horror floor and had the audience gasping at the harsh facts behind Hollywood life and pulling off dangerous stunts. Soon the crowd became engrossed in discussing their favorite Jason killing scenes with Kane Hodder. It was incredible to witness, especially with how happy Kane Hodder professionally presented himself when answering the audience’s questions. It was announced Angry Video Game Nerd would not be attending the convention due to more staleness with the blizzard causing high winds. I had a classic NES gift to hand AVGN too out of respect, but there is always next year. So my friends and I wandered around the vendor floor and it was beyond packed! Difficult to squeeze through the people to get around, but the cosplay excitement made everything worth it!
Joshua Werner of Source Point Press noticed me (we first met at Cheyenne Wyoming’s Comic Con) and we chopped it up for a bit. Eventually he took over Faygoluvers live and went into detail on what his successful comic book company had to offer and how Source Point Press kept the comic book world fresh. If you’re a fan of Comic Books, then definitely look into Source Point Press. Amazing talent in every issue they drop! Seriously, Source Point Press are the future of comic books and graphic novels! I then noticed ABK at his table signing autographs. First thing ABK said upon seeing me was “We need to kick it later!” I agree and we catch up for a few and then I asked him if he wanted to take over FLH live and he kindly accepted. While I was streaming ABK signing during Astronomicon I heard someone ask if I was live and when I told them yes, they backed away quickly. I noticed more and more people were piling in to meet ABK and I decided to cut the feed short out of respect for the fans trying to meet the Native World founder for the first time.
After the stream ended I hear, “You can’t leave yet!” from the same person asking about the live stream. That’s when Stir Crazy of Detroit introduced himself. We ended up discussing projects we were currently working on and then gamed it up in the exciting on-site Astronomicon video game room for over an hour. The underground producer and I played some classic Turtles In Time for the Super Nintendo and classic Dragons Lair on the vintage Panasonic home console, while watching G-Mo Skee slaughter attendees in the Smash Bros. tournament. Stir Crazy, my friends, and I then attended Twiztid’s informative “Haunted High- Ons” panel with Dirk Manning where they dissected the Comic Book’s story and the history on how everything fell into place behind Haunted High-Ons success.
After that, I receive a text from Natalie of Adrenaline PR to meet at the press room early to interview Twiztid in person. I introduced myself to Natalie for the first time after networking with each-other for over three years. Crazy how time flies. She was cool enough to let me do two separate interviews with Twiztid for both Vandala Magazine and Faygoluvers. Fresh! The Faygoluvers Twiztid interview idea was more so out of respect for Scottie D not being able to attend. Since I was the only FLH cat on site at the time, Stir crazy ended up filimg the FLH interview. Both interviews went beyond great and Twiztid were mad appreciative for the support and asked for my contact info and where I was staying, so they could hand me a gift out of appreciation. I was lost for words! I wish you guys could’ve seen Jamie Madrox’s surprised face when he found out Stir Crazy was filming the FLH interview. Priceless. Jamie was super stoked for Stir Crazy to be in the house! After the interview my friends and I headed out to our room and I passed out early with a huge smile upon my face.
Faygoluvers interviews Twiztid from Astronomicon! Hear Twiztid speak on their inaugural event, Haunted High-Ons and their relationship with Source Point Press, their favorite guests at the con, making their comic book a reality, and more!
Posted by Faygoluvers Heaven on Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Astronomicon Day 3
I wake up to texts from Adrenaline PR confirming that I was able to interview Jason Mewes in person after 2 P.M. Woot was all I could say. It definitely made my week for sure! For the first event of the day, we witnessed WWE Hall of Famer Booker T’s astonishing panel. It was brimming with mind-melting wrestling facts and ended with a Father and son sharing a heart-warming story on how Booker-T inspired them in their own personal lives and struggles. Beautiful, indeed!
Stir Crazy texted me to see if I was attending the MNE panel and found me already sitting inside the panel room. I live streamed the best I could. People bumped into me a few times and the signal kept becoming weak. MNE presented another gut busting panel and had everyone laughing their asses off. MNE dropped some back history knowledge on how everyone met. Paul went into an in-depth story on how Jamie and him first met during their childhood. The first day the demented duo met, the other kids in the area were picking on Jamie due to his weight and wouldn’t stop making fun of the fort Jamie made that day. Monoxide ended up sticking up for Jamie and told the other kids to leave Madrox alone. The Detroit duo became great friends after the incident. G-Mo Skee later admitted to being hung over, while Jamie Madrox jokingly expressed popping everyone signed to MNE’s convention cherries because Astronomicon was nearly all of their roster’s very first convention. The audience was beyond thrilled the entire time. MNE delivered a kick ass panel stuffed full of laughter. After the panel I went to surprise my friend Wes with a Twiztid Batman and Robin photo-op to keep as a memory/souvenir. I noticed King Gordy walking around but people started hound dogging him and I left him a lone. I then found out that I didn’t have to pay for the photo and was handed two tickets. I guess that was the gift from MNE? Whoa, fresh!
We get the hysterical Twiztid Batman & Robin picture snapped and that’s when I get ready to interview comedy icon Jason Mewes. Mr. Mewes was down to earth and had the biggest line for any celebrity there! It backed up down the halls and wrapped around twice! His fans were super hyped to meet him! I was patient and then the time had finally come when Jason Mewes agreed to do two separate interviews. I had to get one for FLH since Scottie D had to stay in Texas. Vandala interview went first for transcribing purposes. Jason thought my question of “using a food dish to describe the atmosphere of the Astronomicon Convention” was funny. You’ll have to read the upcoming Vandala Magazine issue to find out Jason Mewes answer. After that, I got word that the press room had peeps inside and I became little worried on where to do the video interview and didn’t want to run out of time.
Well, that’s when Mr. Mewes expressed wanting to go outside for fresh air and needed a cigarette to chill out. I wasn’t looking forward to going outside because of the cold, but I accepted out of kindness and respect and was given five minutes to do the FLH video interview while we were near the front doors of the Wyndham. I then showed Jason where the game room was located, he hands me an autograph, and we went our separate ways.
Next up was Twiztid’s “Old School Panel”! Fans were super stoked and every seat was taken! Stir Crazy and I tried to go live for all the Juggalos at home, but poor signal wouldn’t allow it, so we just chilled back and enjoyed the detailed back history Twiztid and R.O.C. were beyond happy to share! They discussed meeting Eminem and how Eminem would only want to hang out with Monoxide, R.O.C. getting shot at while sitting on a front porch, and R.O.C. and Monoxide standing up for Jamie when a kid kept rudely bragging about hustling Jamie out of his comic books, pretty much ripping Jamie off. R.O.C. and Monoxide weren’t having any of that and retaliated against the kid. All of them ended up getting kicked out of where they were selling the comics and weren’t allowed back.
After the stunning Old School Panel Twiztid hung out in the lobby and signed as much as they could for free! Monoxide thanked me again for the interview and then I said my goodbyes to Stir Crazy. I left with Kim and Wes to the Detroit Airport where I ended up stuck until following morning and became trapped at airports for nearly twenty hours. But the airport incident was totally worth it! I had a hell of an amazing time and would do it all over again in a matter of a heart beat! The MNE staff were professional, helpful, and made sure attendees were entertained. Twiztid and the Majik Ninja Entertainment label delivered a successful first convention. Next year’s Astronomicon is guaranteed to be ever better! Get ready! Shout out to Wes Berger and my friend Kim for tagging a long and venturing into the brutal weather. Thanks again to MNE and Adrenaline PR for the opportunity and keeping it real and mad respect towards Stir Crazy, ABK, Franky Grudge of B.B.S., G-Mo Skee, and Nick Rybak for being chill and hanging out.
Other Random Pics From Astronomicon:
Astronomicon Wedding provided by Notslim1 of Faygoluvers