Halloween is a special time of year for Wheatfield resident Matt Patterson. The 45-year-old tire builder is probably better known as “MonsterMatt,” a classic horror aficionado and artist who has written a number of monster joke books for fun. He’ll be appearing at Cats Like Us in Tonawanda from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 22.
Patterson first became a fan of the monster genre when he watched the classic Hammer film, “The Horror of Dracula” with Christopher Lee, at the age of 5.
“I became a fan of monsters and horror at an early age,” he said. “I loved reading comics and books with monsters in them. Monsters were villains, and yet, some are heroic or have a story that garners empathy.”
As a child of the '70s, Patterson discovered a plethora of media about monsters, from reruns of television shows like “The Addams Family,” “The Munsters,” “The Hilarious House of Frightenstein” and even “Star Trek.” He checked books out of the North Tonawanda library about Dracula, Frankenstein and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. He also built model sets of the classic monsters and read magazines.
“It was the start of a boo-tiful relationship,” said Patterson, who turned his fandom into a productive hobby by creating his own monsters and makeup that appeared in the horror films “Pigman” and “Sledge.” His work appears in the Frankenstein Museum on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, Canada, and Patterson even appeared in a few Troma films like “Return to Nuke ‘Em High.”
Patterson began writing comedy in 2010 for the Horror News Net site, a gig that eventually turned into his first book, “Monstermatt’s Bad Monster Jokes Vol. 1.” After having troubles with a few publishers, Patterson moved to Mystery & Horror LLC for his next book, “Ha-Ha! Horror,” which he wrote and illustrated. It won a President’s Choice award for Best Humor Book in 2014. His latest book is “Bride of Ha-Ha! Horror.” He’s also a regular on the Six Foot Plus horror podcast.
“What’s nice is I have readers from 10 to 70 years of age, and they all identify with the corny content,” Patterson said.
He started painting in 2012 and has even met some of the actors he has rendered including Doug Bradley, who played the evil Pinhead in the “Hellraiser” films. “He was quite the gentleman and we talked at length about film, music and art,” said Patterson, adding he gives copies of his artwork and books to stars as a token of appreciation.
Other special memories for Patterson include stars reading from his books: special effects master Tom Savini at Niagara Falls ComicCon (“He was really appreciative of my mummy joke. He said the jokes gave him headaches! I can’t stop smiling.”) and Patterson's hero, Adam West (television's “Batman”) at Toronto’s Fan Expo. “He just randomly picked a chapter, and my daughter and I were floored! To have your idol read your work is just breathtaking.”
The lifelong horror fan counts the Wolfman and Frankenstein’s Monster as two of his favorite monsters. Patterson also is planning costumes and getting ready for one of his favorite holidays.
“For Halloween, I love getting and carving pumpkins and decorating the house,” he said. “Spooky movies and music is on nearly all day, every day. I enjoy this stuff all year round, but when it’s Halloween, it feels like everyone is on the same page and gets to enjoy it.”
Who: “Monster” Matt Patterson
Where: Cats Like Us, 67 Main St., Tonawanda
When: Noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 22 (live comedy at 2:30 p.m.)