Happy Halloween!!!! In last week’s blog, I talked about zombies, derby girls and my own experience as a zombie. This week I’d like to talk more about horror and derby girls.
Like zombie names, horror names are also quite popular. When I was with the Savannah Derby Devils, I skated with MyKill Myers and Nouvelle Nightmare. In Houston, we have Sweetie Todd as well as Jekyll & Heidi. There’s an obvious love of horror among derbykind, and horror filmmakers are starting to catch on. A quick internet search found two horror films featuring derby girls: MurderDrome and The Storm. And last week, some of Houston’s derby girls were asked to be in an independent horror movie. The merger of these two loves can also be seen at conventions.
In 2011, my friends Angel and Perry (yes, the same Perry who was in Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies) invited me to go to Spooky Empire‘s Mayhem, a horror convention held at the end of May, hence the name. Since I knew so many skaters who loved horror movies, I was expecting to run into other derby girls and possibly score some cool merch for bouts and afterpartys. Nope. I had a great time meeting the cast of The Boondock Saints and Walking Dead. I listened raptly to Greg Nicotero during his Q&A session and laughed at the stories told by the cast and crew of the Evil Dead movies. But the closest thing to derby merch I found was a pair of knee socks. There were two other derby girls at the convention who were also surprised that there wasn’t more for us. In the span of a year, this all changed.
This year, I took my SDD teammates Nouvelle Nightmare and A.C.E. Since all three of us love a good scare, I knew it would be a fun weekend. After a caffeine fueled road trip, we finally made it to the convention. We were bouncing with excitement like little girls at a slumber party.
Sporting our Derby Devil shirts, we made the rounds through the vendor room. This year, we spotted tons of derby merch: skate earring, cute shorts, and art. One booth offered vintage pictures in frames, on canvas, or turned into buttons with cute messages stamped on them. The artist, who used a bunch of roller skate pictures, was happy to dump out her bowl of buttons for us to search through. I ended up with a sweet bottle opener.
A.C.E., Nightmare and I also really love comics. After signing up for a few comic giveaways, A.C.E. mentioned that one of her friends had published a comic about ghosts in St. Augustine. A few minutes after she said that, we actually met her friend. Andre Frattino was promoting his graphic novels The Reaper of St. George Street and Lost Souls of Savannah. Lost Souls hadn’t been published yet, but he let us look at some of the art which featured some familiar Savannah faces. We bought copies of The Reaper, and Andre created bookmarks for us. When A.C.E. mentioned that it was my birthday, he also drew something special for me.
As we were leaving the vendor room, we spotted a skater. It could have been just a random girl on skates, but we know our own. She was derby! We followed her out to find the Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls. They had a booth set up and were selling merch and posing for pictures. A.C.E., Nightmare and I were more than happy to support them.
In the span of a year, Mayhem went from almost no derby presence to derby stuff everywhere. I see this as a sign that derby girls can use their fandoms to spread the love of derby. (