By Jordan Cohen
Pop culture devotees are fervent about the objects of their enthusiasm — people such as Scott Hendricks, a standup comic from Ashtabula who showed up at this weekend’s Eerie Frequency Film, Toy, Comic, Pop Culture Expo at the Eastwood Expo Center.
Hendricks, 47, who performs at medieval festivals, has long been enamored with the comic books of the past for two reasons.
“A, I love them, and B, they’re an investment,” said Hendricks who owns a museum at his home that features a number of mint-edition classics, including the first comic book appearance of Spiderman published in 1962.
“They’re absolutely beautiful and a piece of history,” he said.
Travis Bowen of Howland, president of Eerie Frequency, his production company, is the driving force behind the pop-culture expo, the first of its type in Niles.
“I decided to bring this here after my kids asked me to do something for them that they would like,” Bowen said.
He hopes to attract 500 people to the show by the end of its weekend run. “If we’re successful, we’ll be back next year — absolutely,” Bowen said.
Bowen also has brought in several actors made famous by their association with classic films and television shows. The most
notable may be Linda Harrison, who portrayed Nova, a scantily clad, mute woman rescued from her simian captors by Charlton Heston in the 1968 science-fiction film that spawned a franchise — “Planet of the Apes.”
“We had no idea how big this would become, but I sensed when I did it that this could be special,” said Harrison as she signed autographs on stills from the film at $25 each. “I was fortunate, wasn’t I?”
Harrison, now 68, is the only leading cast member who survives. She said she is asked at every appearance about working with Heston, whom she described as considerate and caring.
“I was only 21 when I did the film, and he was extremely helpful the whole time,” she said. “Many years later when [our paths crossed], he made a point to stop what he was doing and came over to hug me,” Harrison said.
For those more interested in zombies than apes, Stephanie Henry and John Gorski of Boardman can indulge their fantasies by creating makeup reminiscent of the TV series “The Walking Dead.”
The pair spent 90 minutes crafting gruesome faces for Nate Foster of East Palestine and Katie Corrado of Niles. Corrado sported bright blue contact lenses that stood out against what appeared to be a charred face.
“She’s our burn zombie,” Gorski said.
Corrado and Foster said they planned to walk through the nearby Eastwood Mall to show off their undead look.
Other pop-culture displays include cars and actors from “The Dukes of Hazzard,” collectibles from films and television, and a pro wrestling match scheduled for 5 p.m. today that will conclude the show.