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MONSTERS UNLEASHED: OKC’s homegrown Underground Monster Carnival back for more blood

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OKLAHOMA CITY – What began as a small experiment in terror six years ago has gone on to become a city-wide gargantuan beast, one that all of the army’s tanks and missiles can’t stop. Beware as the Underground Monster Carnival returns to Oklahoma City for its sixth year, continually growing and slithering from a cult movement to an outright yearly obsession, bringing out the genre fans in droves.

“What I’ve seen grow the most is the diversity of fans showing up, and so many of them getting into it by actually showing up in horror costumes,” UMC founder Art Sunday said. “When it first began, we had the anime cosplayers and even furries, people that love dressing as Captain America and all that, but I’m starting to see where people are actually starting to dress like, you know zombies, Bela Lugosi and other monsters, which is great, because this is the Monster Carnival. It’s nice to see the obscure things.”

Essentially a one-man show, even though Sunday still faces the occasional logistical nightmare or two, he said that, after six years, the show has definitely becomes easier to manage, from dealing with vendors to selling tickets to the local fanbase. But, still, Sunday is his own toughest critic and as conventions of all convictions continue to proliferate in the Metro, he’s determined to make sure the UMC remains ahead of the pack.

“There are so many more conventions now than when I started, I almost get into the fear that this could be one of those things that just “happen” now,” Sunday said. “For me, I try to make the Underground Monster Carnival special and different, and really, that’s the hardest part of putting this show together every year: making it something that is different than what everybody else is doing.”

This year’s Underground Monster Carnival will be from 1-9 p.m. March 4 at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds in the Hobby, Arts and Crafts Building at 3001 General Pershing Blvd. Tickets are $11 for adults, starting at ages 11 and older; children ages 10 and younger are $7, with those under 3 years old admitted free.

Even though other cons promise ton of celebrities and other gimmicks, Sunday believes that what keeps the UMC so special is the “local-ness” of it, filling vendor spaces with local artists and crafters who wait “all year” to ply their wares at the UMC, as well as the opportunity to see local horror heroes like Count Gregore.

“It’s all about the artists and the fans that are there,” Sunday said. “It’s a gathering of all local people, local artists, local writers, local horror celebrities, and not to mention, but my show has always been the same price. I want people to come and experience this unique fandom that really no one else here celebrates. This is the only con in town that truly celebrates monsters from a totally local viewpoint.”

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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