It was fitting that John Waters performed his one-man show, This Filthy World: Filthier and Dirtier, at the inaugural horror-focused Shock Pop Comic Con in Fort Lauderdale. And on Valentine's Day.
The obvious was the ironic pairing of very unsexy sex jokes being told to a crowd of horror movie fans on a day dedicated to romance. The less obvious is that Waters has always put those on the fringes of society on a pedestal. He doesn't sensationalize the differences; he admires them. His work, much like this comic con, makes the "horrific" human.
See also: The Best Cosplay of Shock Pop Comic Con
Cons generally attract those who maybe once were the nerds of their classes but now are kinda cool. They've found a community of same-minded people with similar interests. When they dress up like some mystery-to-me anime character, they're imbued with a sort of power. Much like the wonderfully weird freaks in classic Waters films.
Waters amused as well as shocked during his set. He showed up in red pants and tie, a navy blazer with white piping, looking dapper as ever. He talked of autosexuals (they prefer sex with themselves, and they get jealous when others fuck them) and turd terrorism. He chastised those who claim to have wheat allergies and people who do yoga at airport gates. He explained what a "snowman" is; it's a sex act, think about it. One day, he wants to be a weatherman in a horror movie ("Tornado warning, one minute!").
He said he's performed 13 gay weddings with only one divorce. When asked during the Q&A session which RuPaul's Drag Race performer he'd sleep with -- he'll be an upcoming judge on the popular Logo series -- he said Sharon Needles based on name alone.
Outside the area where Waters wooed his fans was a large gaming pavilion. Kids of all ages showed off their keen hand-eye coordination, laughed, and browsed through rows of comic books.
See also: Shock Pop Comic Con (Photos)
There were so many really good vendors. Truly impressive. People sold old (vintage?) toys (I got some E.T.s to match my initials), handmade jewelry that was at times funny and also wearable, and T-shirts that featured any imaginable nerdy character you can remember from your childhood. I even found a plastic Captain Kirk piggy bank. There was boba tea and other Japanese treats for sale as well. A local designer displayed her homemade novena candles that featured the faces of Elvis with a Jesus body and Dolly Parton or Cher as the Virgin Mary.
Radio-Active Records was there selling horror soundtracks. Jolt Radio was airing live from its own booth. Another extreme dance music station blared EDM from across the way, but it was all cool, because the vibe was actually really chill. Of course, there were plenty of people in costumes wandering about and even a cosplay contest.
At the other end of the hall, celebrities were set up for signings. I got an eye mask signed by Elvira herself (it looks like her eyes), which is my new favorite thing ever. From Dusk Till Dawn's Danny Trejo signed posters and things with a smile, as did Sons of Anarchy's Rusty Coones. You could find Karate Kid Ralph Maccio; American Horror Story's Naomi Grossman, better-known as Pepper; Nightmare on Elm Street's Robert Englund; and so many more at their respective tables. Members of the cast of Miami Vice were even on hand. And to truly horrify you, it's the show's 30th anniversary. Yes. You're old.
Shock Pop Comic Con had everything your inner child or inner creepy weirdo could dream up, and it'll be disappointing if it doesn't resurface next year.
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