How To Be A Horror Convention Clodhopper In 12 Ham-Fisted Lessons

How To Be A Horror Convention Clodhopper In 12 Ham-Fisted Lessons

As an author, I have attended a variety of horror conventions over the years. Some were for writers and editors … some were for those literary types and their fans, too … and some were multi-media events and included TV and movie actors and directors.

At such events, there’s also one other type of attendee who you’ll never see listed in the program, but rest assured, he or she will always be there….

The Horror Convention Clodhopper.

Just what is a Horror Convention Clodhopper (or, in scientific terms, Clodhoppicus Conventionalis Frighticulus), you ask?

These lumbering beasts thud along on their meaty hooves from convention to convention, leaving behind piles of well-thumbed magazines, video boxes with greasy fingerprints and of course, beer-scented puke. I’ve been to a lot of conventions and I’ve seen dozens of these swaggering behemoths in action.

If any of you are tired of being civilized human beings, simply follow these simple steps at any horror convention. Your DNA will instantly unwind and then recombine in a new devolved configuration, turning you into the uncouth critter in question.

1. Bring a bunch of manuscripts and scripts and shove them at all the top editors and movie directors, no matter how busy their convention schedules. They are there to serve you: make them work!

2. Pick out one particular editor or director or star and monopolize all his or her time. Hound that esteemed personage without mercy. Talk at (not to) your victim in the bar, the elevator, the hotel restaurant… It’s not stalking if it’s done at a social event!

3. Get really drunk and rub up against anyone and everyone. ‘Convention’ is just another work for ‘meat market,’ right? If you puke from too much drinking, don’t bother brushing your teeth or even sucking a mint. Puke-breath is the ultimate aphrodisiac, you disco sex machine, you!

4. Writer and editors, directors and actors, feel free to arrive at your discussion panels drunk. Everyone adores a lovable lush!

5. If you are on a discussion panel, be sure to lapse into a lengthy sermon or even rant that goes on for what seems like eons. You’ve got their attention, so educate your audience without mercy.

6. If you meet an editor who has rejected your work, now’s your golden opportunity to tell him or her off. Never mind that they get hundreds of submissions and won’t be able to remember yours. Give ‘em hell, Johnny!

7. Wear the same outfit each and every day of the convention. Don’t bother washing it or yourself. Basic black is IN … of course, the outfit was white when you started! Like a Lovecraftian monster, by thy stench shall they know ye.

8. In the convention dealer’s room, talk to a salesperson for half an hour, but don’t buy anything. Be sure to stand in the way of those pesky customers. Those dealers are all independently wealthy, you know.

9. Thumb through and read all the magazines in the dealer’s room, but don’t buy any. They’re all just for display anyway. Don’t bother washing your hands after lunch … just use the merchandise in lieu of napkins!

10. If you are a professional editor, don’t talk to any of the new writers, no matter how politely they introduce themselves. Just talk to your own small group of established friends. No need to broaden your circle of acquaintances!

11. If you are a new writer, don’t introduce yourself to anyone. Just talk to your hotel roommate, who you’ve known for years. Then later, complain in chatrooms that everyone at the convention was stuck-up and inaccessible.

12. If it’s a convention with fan participation that encourages costumes, wear something with lots of protuberances … sword handles, tentacles, wings, whatever … that can bat people whenever you turn around. Then wear that costume everywhere — especially in crowded lobbies.

If the event has no costume element, wear one anyway! Rest assured, those rubber Spock ears will be the talk of the convention!


About bmoviemonster

Mark McLaughlin is the author of the novels, HUMAN DOLL, THE HELL NEXT DOOR, and INJECTABLES. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in many magazines, newspapers, websites, and anthologies, including Cemetery Dance, Black Gate, Galaxy, Fangoria, Writer’s Digest, Midnight Premiere, Dark Arts, and two volumes each of The Best of the Rest, The Best of HorrorFind, and The Year’s Best Horror Stories (DAW Books). Mark is the author of many books of horror, so be sure to visit his Amazon Author's Page at
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1 Response to How To Be A Horror Convention Clodhopper In 12 Ham-Fisted Lessons

  1. Mark, this was so hysterical I can’t stop laughing 🙂

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