Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image
Mid-Ohio Con was a great fun-filled weekend for me, full of lots of cool things and lovely people. But given that the name of the website is The Doug Jones Experience I shall endeavour to keep my report as Dougie-centric as possible.
Ready? Here goes:
Our tale starts in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the city I have just moved to from my hometown of Kingston, Ontario.
After renting a car, and packing for the con, my friend and I got caught in rush hour traffic leaving Toronto which more or less extended our trip by nearly two hours. I had let go of most of the frustration though, by the time we reached the Canada/US border.
Boy! Never have I ever been so glad I decided to go into make-up as when the border guard looked at me somewhat suspiciously after asking us for our occupations/areas of study.
"Special Effects eh?" he said. "So … you blow things up and stuff?"
"No sir," I answered with complete honesty. "I do make-up and costumes. I make monsters."
Seemingly satisfied, he let us through.
The rest of the trip was very long but pleasant and uneventful. We pulled into Columbus and the lovely Hyatt hotel at 2:00 am. Remember that number - there will be a quiz later.
Originally Dougie was scheduled to appear at Mid-Ohio Con both Saturday and Sunday. But due to the filming of Hellboy II running late he wasn't actually flying out of Budapest until Saturday and instead of flying home was coming straight to the con. Talk about a trooper!
So no Dougie on Saturday meant that we had to make our own fun. And part of that fun was cosplaying. Partially because I am studying SFX make-up and it seemed like a good project to try and partially because I am just a bit nuts (but in a harmless way I assure you) I actually have an Abe costume of my very own. Prior to the con my friend, once she found out I had plans to wear said Abe costume to Mid-Ohio Con, immediately declared that she would like to go as Kroenen. So one leather trench coat, an old airforce hat painted black, and a somewhat last-minute gasmask later, we had ourselves an undead ninja Nazi.
We had to get up fairly early to get the costumes on (the make-up job on Abe took roughly 2 and a half hours) and then headed down to pick up our convention passes. There we met up with the lovely Elegance Liberty, a fellow Fan-Sapien (Dougie's pet name for his fans) of the highest order. She'd flown all the way from Nebraska just to see Doug. We've been friends on the Hellboy and DelToroFilms.com message boards for awhile but this was our first chance to meet off the internet.
The three of us shopped for a bit and checked out the other various sights. The costumes went over VERY well with lots of people going "Oh gosh - you're coming tomorrow right?" "You gotta show that to Doug tomorrow!" and other various comments about how excited people were that Doug was going to be there. Unfortunately due to a number of factors, like checking out of the hotel, clean-up time, and the fact that wearing the head too long does really weird stuff to your vision, I was not going to be able to wear the costume the next day. But at least we got pictures - lots and lots of pictures. In fact we went a little nuts out in the hallway with the pictures. Kroenen pictures. Abe pictures. Plushies were involved. I shall say no more.
The big day! This was it, the time we had been waiting for! Although we had packed the night before, and set the alarm so we could sleep in I actually woke up a good forty minutes before the alarm went off, just out of sheer nerves. I managed, somehow, to eat my breakfast but had to pass on my customary tea.
My friend decided to wear Kroenen again (since it wasn't hard to put on or take off). Although I didn't wear Abe we did take the headpiece down to the convention hall with us, mounted on my lifemask so we could at least show Dougie. We met up with EL again who was even more nervous than I was. She'd barely been able to eat dinner the night before in fact, the poor dear.
EL's pass let her in at 9:00. Our passes let us in at 9:30 but there wasn't much to do other than to "take a lap" since Dougie wasn't there yet. Pretty much the first booth we passed had Bumblebee Transformer toys which I had been looking all over for on Saturday. We'd gone by that booth at least 3 times the day before but with my limited vision I must have missed them (have I mentioned it's really hard to see properly out of that costume?). So I snagged myself a Concept Camaro Bee.
By this time a line had started to form at Dougie's (still unoccupied) booth so we slipped in at the end. No one felt much like making small talk so I attempted to transform Bumblebee. ATTEMPTED being the operative word. Good thing the fate of the world didn't depend on me transforming that toy or else Megatron and the Decepticons would have won a LONG time ago, let me tell you.
Dougie arrived around 10:00 (which was the time the main doors for the con opened) and the line started to move. I tried to distract myself by deciding on which of the available pictures I would like autographed (normally when I ask for autographs at cons I bring a picture I have printed out at home, but this time I hadn't had a chance to). Although there were some
gorgeous pictures of the Faun from Pan's Labyrinth, I finally settled on one of my favorite promo shots of Abe.
EL was immediately ahead of me in line. Just before she got up to see Doug she flipped her con badge around to where a friend had drawn 2 of EL's characters and written "Elegance Liberty.”
Finally the moment of truth arrived! EL walked up and Dougie gave her a big smile and started to ask her name and where she was from. Then he saw her badge. You could practically see the lightbulb go on over his head and before you could say "Silver Surfer" he was up, around the table, and had grabbed EL in the biggest bear hug a guy as skinny as Doug can give. It was great. EL was so touched.
Finally Dougie leaned back and said "I got an email from you ... wait no, it was the other Kate" (oh, did I mention EL and I practically have the same first name?) at which point I put up my hand and said "That would be me."
"AH! Well get over here, silly! You need a hug too!" And then it was my turn. Now EL and Dougie are pretty much the same height. Dougie and I are … not. I had to get up on the very tips of my toes to give him a decent hug back. But it was totally worth it let me tell you.
After the hug-fest Dougie went to sign our autographs and I showed him my Abe head. He seemed quite impressed that I had made it entirely myself and said it looked pretty much just like the one he'd taken off the day before! That just tickled me pink, let me tell you.
Dougie wrote "To Kate, 'All us freaks have is each other,'" which of course is one of Abe's lines in Hellboy and a quote I found all so very appropriate given I had been dressed like Abe the day before.
At this point it was my friend's turn. She introduced herself (and Dougie was amused to have "Kroenen" asking for his autograph) and when Doug asked about her costume, mentioned that I had made her mask. Made? Ack! I had almost forgotten to give Doug his present! I'd made him a dolphin print fleece blanket for those times when he got too cold in his make-up
We just took a few minutes more to snap one or two pictures - otherwise we knew a certain Hellmistress would NOT be a happy camper [so true - Ed.] - and then finally stepped aside to give other people a chance to meet Dougie.
We went out into the hall and I failed miserably at teaching the others to play B.P.R.D Horrorclix (mainly because I barely remembered how to play). After a half hour or so we left "Herr Kroenen" to have a brief nap in the hall (as she had a headache) and EL and I went back in to see if the line-up had died down. This became the norm for the rest of the day - if
people were at Dougie's table we'd 'take a lap' around the Dealer's room and continue to do so until the coast was clear.
Then we'd walk up and make small talk while Con-Booker Derek got Dougie to sign things for other projects (like an upcoming actor trading card collection). If anyone else walked up, or looked like they wanted an autograph we'd step aside. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Random tidbits gleaned from our conversations with Dougie:
- He found doing Abe's voice in Hellboy: Animated very odd compared to playing Abe in the live-action movies - mainly because he found it weird performing by himself in the recording booth. On Blood & Iron only Doug and Selma Blair were available to record on the same day.
- The last character Dougie performed on HBII was the Chamberlain in a sorta mass crowd scene.
- When I asked Doug if his vision gets messed up after wearing Abe all day he said "Oh yes, all the time. It goes *insert random noises and wiggling hand gestures here*"
- Dougie's new, and very snazzy, watch was a parting gift from one of his make-up artists (I think he said it was Thom Floutz but then we'd also been talking about Simon Webber as well, and sadly I can't remember who for certain. I'm pretty sure it was Thom). This touched Dougie deeply as it is usually he who gives presents to them for taking such good care of him on set. Doug said his make-up team are more like nurses for him, looking after him, helping him eat, and generally trying to keep him in good spirits. Being in an extreme make-up can be very isolating due to lack of mobility and limited vision, hearing, etc and Doug said you really start to appreciate physical contact like being guided into a chair, or just the occasional pat on the shoulder so you know people are still there.
- On a related note, I asked Doug if he ever found the physical demands of a role coming into conflict with his desire to play a really interesting character like Abe, or the Faun. He said oh yes, all the time, since as he gets older he finds a lot of his make-up roles a lot more taxing then he used to.
I also got a chance to show Doug a few pics out of my make-up portfolio. He asked me several in-depth questions about the techniques I'd used in the pictures, as well as several more questions about how I'd made Abe. He told me a few things about his Abe costume (like for instance, the triangular yellowish patches on Abe's jawline are not actually foam latex at all - they are a weird silicon/gel material).
Sadly 4:00pm and our departure time came far too soon. We would have loved to stay one more night as Doug had offered to let us hang out with him after the con, but jobs and school wouldn't let us. So we collected one more round of pictures, and one more big round of hugs. "Never change, ok?" Dougie said to me as we left.
We said goodbye to EL too, who had been lovely, and great fun to hang out with. Hopefully it won't be too long before we see both of them again.
All the way home my friend kept saying how awesome and nice, and sweet Dougie was and how happy she was she'd gotten a chance to meet him. The whole next day at work I couldn't stop grinning.
And thus concluded Mid-Ohio Con and our Day With Doug Jones.
Toronto, Canada, 5th December, 2007
to MID-OHIO CON
Home | Biography | Filmography | FAQs | News Archive | Photo
Album | Media | Dougie Trivia | Contact