Dating back to our first year, the annual Halloween issue has been one of our traditions here at the Reader, and this year’s no exception. So before we get to why the reanimated corpse of Sen. Joe McCarthy whispering in the ear of Congressman Mike Kelly is on our cover for this issue, let’s talk about Halloween.
In this issue, you’ll find several appropriately-time event writeups, like the chilling sci-fi thriller Under The Skin, which is screening at FILM at the Erie Art Museum, as well as the Erie Playhouse Youtheatre’s upcoming run of Sleepy Hollow, A Musical Tale and the Erie Philharmonic’s Wicked Divas — all to help you get in the Halloween spirit. In addition to that, Ryan Smith penned a great feature that looks at two terrifying local attractions (with more online coverage to come at ErieReader.com) that also explores the upcoming Eerie Horror Film Festival and Expo. John Lindvay also covers the Horror Fest, dialing us into the geek culture behind making the region’s largest film fest and expo happen year in and year out.
And then there’s smiling Mike Kelly and zombie Joe McCarthy, as illustrated by Mark Kosobucki. Mark has designed a lot of covers for us over the past few years, but this one in particular — partly because it fits the Halloween theme, partly because it captures in a single image a strong theme of the feature, partly because it’s simply great art — is one of his best to date.
Behind the image, though, you’ll find an expansive feature written by Jim Wertz — one of his best pieces to date, too, and one of the longer long-form features we’ve run in a while — that tells the story of the Butler-area car salesman-turned congressman. Kelly’s no stranger to the spotlight and his football-inspired rhetoric has landed him multiple appearances on national TV, even one with Erie’s own Steve Scully on CSPAN, which Jim details more fully in the feature. In short, it serves as a strong reminder of how and why Kelly was elected and also examines how effective he’s been since taking office and explains why he was born into politics too late — a man who would’ve been at home in the McCarthy-era U.S.
In addition to the Halloween and Mike Kelly features, there’s something we’ve been talking about for more than two months now: The Best Of Erie finalists are featured in this issue, the Top Three vote-getters for each of the 177 categories. We listed them alphabetically to keep you guessing as to who the winners are, which you can find out at the Flavor Of Erie Party Thursday, Oct. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pilot House, located at 1 Holland St., featuring food and beer tastings from local vendors and music from some of the many Best Of nominees.
From Halloween events and entertainment to political features to celebrating the Best Of Erie, there’s a lot to enjoy about this issue — which also includes great columns by Rick Filippi and Rebecca Styn, a Reader Eater review of the Sheraton Bayfront Grille, a noir art review, and Erie’s local sports authority JRL giving you all the gridiron picks. And as always, we’ve highlighted two-weeks-worth of other Erie Events to keep you plugged into all the great things happening here in the Gem City, because there’s a lot to do and a lot to love about Erie — especially around Halloween.