This Valentine’s Day weekend, celebrate your love for the wonderfully weird with Shock Pop Comic Con at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center from Friday, Feb. 13 to Sunday, Feb. 15.
On Saturday, filmmaker and author John Waters performs his updated one-man show This Filthy World: Filthier and Dirtier followed by an autograph session for his book, “Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America.”
Other Shock Pop media guests include Elvira, Naomi Grossman (Pepper in “American Horror Story”), Rutanya Alda (Carol Ann in “Mommie Dearest”), as well as actors from “Friday the 13th”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2,” “Demons,” “Gremlins,” and “Karate Kid.” Events are also scheduled with actors from “Sons of Anarchy,” “Dr. Who,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” and “The Brady Bunch.”
Shock Pop organizer Mark Heller is a self-described “lifelong comic collector and pop culture enthusiast” who shared in an email to SFGN that he has been attending and participating in comic cons since the mid eighties.
One of his motivations for creating Shock Pop was “to address issues with homophobia, racism, and bullying” and “to create an inclusive fan experience.”
“It was my hope to not only create this huge convention with a broad spectrum of pop culture and comic guests but also to break down barriers within the fan community, and establish a safe haven for everyone to enjoy pop culture.”
Shock Pop commemorates the 30th anniversary of “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2,” a film with “a unique history in the LGBT community,” Heller noted. This chapter of the Freddy Krueger franchise was viewed as controversial throughout the decades due to its gay subtext.
In an emailed response to SFGN, Mark Patton who played the lead character, Jesse Walsh, observed that the film’s “subject matter resounds well with today’s audience although some men and women are still terrified of anyone stepping outside very tightly controlled gender models.”
“As I am playing the part traditionally played by a woman, many people have trouble with the film and at times have become quite hateful,” Patton said.
However, he loves the film and the fans. Patton is optimistic about the current representation of LGBT characters and storylines in Hollywood. “I am happy to see that the times have changed and continue to change.”
Shock Pop also features Bob Schreck, editor-in-chief at Legendary Comics. In 2001, Schreck was an editor with DC Comics when he introduced Terry Berg, a gay character in the Green Lantern series. Schreck responded to an SFGN email on his view of LGBT characters in comic books.
“Our society has become more open and understanding of the LGBT community…so the inclusion and acceptance of these characters will only grow with time,” Schreck said.
“I hope they continue to become less and less of an event and are eventually viewed as natural and commonplace as our community.”
If you go to Shock Pop Comic Con:
Friday, February 13
2 p.m. -10 p.m.
Saturday, February 14
10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday, February 15 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Fort Lauderdale Convention Center
1950 Eisenhower Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL. 33316
Friday Only Ticket
Saturday Only Ticket
Sunday Only Ticket
Children 12 and Under
when accompanied by a paying adult. (Limit 2 per paying Adult)
John Waters This Filthy World
Saturday Feb 14
Elvira Photo Op
Saturday February 14 only
Demons Ultimate Fan Experience
Friday Feb 13
Nightmare on Elm Street 2 Ultimate Fan Experience
Friday Feb 13
Friday The 13th Ultimate Fan Experience
Friday Feb 13