The very first FantaCo t-shirt also featured this rat in a spacesuit on a light blue shirt. Raoul was the one who named the character Ed after we both got tired of constantly calling him “the rat in the spacesuit”. From Ed, Raoul then blended him with a 1950’s children’s show personality and began calling him Smilin’ Ed. He then lost the spacesuit and started his own adventures.
FantaCon, once an Albany tradition for fans of comic book, fantasy, and in its latter incarnations, horror films, is returning after a brief, two-decade hiatus. FantaCon 2013, operated by its original creator, Tom Skulan, will be held Saturday September 14 and Sunday September 15 at the Marriott Hotel on Wolf Road in Albany. Ticket for the related Three Nights of Horror at the Palace Theatre on September 11-13 in Albany, will be available from the Palace Theatre box office, starting on February 13.
FantaCo, the store/mail order company Tom started, operated from 1978 through 1998 at 21 Central Avenue, Albany, NY. I worked there from May 1980 to November 1988, worked at the first five FantaCons and attended the sixth.
Incidentally, Skulan is pronounced like the third word in Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love.
Tom, when you owned FantaCo, you ran seven FantaCons, in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1988, 1989, and 1990. But you had a store, and often, publications to use in cross promotions. You have a FantaCon planned for September of 2013, after a twenty-year hiatus. Why FantaCon, why now?
There are three reasons that come to mind. First, I have always wanted to do another FantaCon when I wasn’t preoccupied with the store, the publishing and the mail order. I have always wanted to see what that would be like!
Second, time is creeping up on me and these old bones have only so much time left where I can handle the demands of the show. And finally I like the numbers of doing the show the weekend of Friday the 13th in 2013.
What is the theme of the upcoming convention? What guests have you lined up so far?
The theme for this show is to try and recreate all the FantaCons all at once. Some shows were strongly comic-oriented and some shows were strongly horror-oriented. This show will be both at once. I want to create a party atmosphere for all the original attendees AND the new attendees too.
The guest line up confirmed at this time is Continue reading “The Tom Skulan FantaCon interview”