Good evening, faithful readers Today, I had the pleasure of making it to the somewhat rainy but nevertheless temperate city of Salt Lake City to touch down for World Horror Convention 2012, which has finally arrived. It was a bit of a trek getting up to Utah from Canada, but I made it and upon checking in and getting registration sorted with my badge and goodie bag, I had the good fortune of meeting Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Lincoln Crisler, and Ed Kurtz, all in one fell swoop!
The opening ceremony took place at 6pm with the convention co-ordinators reminding people of the local autograph signing at the Columbus library in town. There will be two cemetery tours, one tomorrow and one on Saturday, as well as reminders for the seances happening each night of the convention (for more information on these, visit the WHC 2012 website). There will be an updated grid of locations listing where each panel is taking place at the registration desk, as well as a complete list of readings, which people can pick up.
The winner of the HWA’s grand master award was also announced as T.E.D. Klein, who although he was quite honoured with the distinction, was unable to attend the convention to accept the award.
Although the night had no shortage of engaging and exciting panels, including ones on social media, vampires, and breaking into comic books, one of the coolest ones was with Scott Allie and Alice Henderson chatted with moderator Dana Fredsti about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other cult shows and why they have had such enduring popularity in the minds and hearts of fans and readers, and it was great to get feedback on the fact that Buffy in particular resonates with people because Joss Whedon imbued horror with meaning and made it easily relatable to a mainstream audience.
Character development is agreed upon as one of the cornerstones of what establishes a series of the Buffy level of cult status, but another important component of graphic novel adaptations and novelizations of such series is to keep the core character details intact and to retain a particular voice to make it as authentic and true to the original as possible. Scott confessed that he doesn’t find Spike or Angel’s voices to be as taxing as coming up with the dialogue for Buffy and Xander. Scott and Alice also touched on the business aspects of licensing rights involved in acquiring a property for a graphic novel or book adaptation. There’s definitely more freedom in the areas both are allowed to explore or the plotlines, and since they’re not restricted by budget, they can do things like making Dawn a giant, or going against something Fox may not necessarily approve, like giving Buffy a lesbian subplot. Although most of the panel focused on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scott and Alice touched on some of the other series that they wouldn’t mind adapting, which for Scott included Twin Peaks and for Alice included Kolchak.
The Cutting Block Press party was also heaps of fun, and lots of the authors came by to join in the drinking and merriment. Tomorrow night, WHC attendees can expect parties from Damnation Books, Dark Moon Digest, and Evil Jester Press. Stay tuned for more coverage from the convention in the coming days.