Skip to main content

Background Image for Header:

2021 Annual Asimov Sci-Fi Symposium

Fiction that Redefined Genres: Celebrating the WVU Libraries' Special Collections in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror 

flyer for the October 28 sci-fi symposium advertising the appearance of John Russo. The background is a picture of a zombie with a green filter. The details of the event: a 2:00pm zombie makeup tutorial, a 4:00pm panel, and a 6:30pm movie screening.

Meet Night of the Living Dead co-writer and actor, John Russo! Russo will be joined by actor, director, producer and Clarksburg native, Gary Lee Vincent and musician, actor and author Solon Tsangaras for a panel discussion about the impact of his iconic film on the horror genre. Afterwards, enjoy the exhibits—which includes first editions of Asimov's works and items from Russo's collection at the West Virginia & Regional History Center. Read more about the Isaac Asimov Collection.

October 28th, 2021

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.:

Zombie makeup tutorial by faculty and students from the College of Creative Arts.

4:00 - 5:30 p.m.:

Panel with John Russo, Gary Lee Vincent and Solon Tsangaras. Vincent and Tsangaras starred in Russo's 2017 film My Uncle John is a Zombie!, as well as several other films and TV shows, including The Walking Dead and Stranger Things

5:30 - 6:30 p.m.: 

Break with exhibits and time to meet the panelists. The exhibits will feature items from Russo's archival collection at the WVRHC and a display of rare, first editions of Asimov's works, including I, Robot, from the WVRHC Rare Book Room. 

Free popcorn will be available. 

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.:

Free screening of John Russo's Night of the Living Dead at the Gluck Theatre in the Mountainlair. Cosplay is welcome—and encouraged—so feel free to have some fun and put your best (undead) face forward! 

Meet Our Panelists 

John Russo is an American writer, director, actor and producer who is known internationally for his work on the 1968 horror classic Night of the Living Dead. The film placed zombie horror in the forefront of popular culture, and it hasn't left since—one could even argue it originated the genre as we know it. If you can think of a classic trope of zombie films, chances are it originated in Night of the Living Dead. A Pennsylvania native and WVU alum, Russo has published 20 books and worked on 19 movies that are distributed worldwide. 

Gary Lee Vincent is a Clarksburg, WV native whose body of work spans several mediums, including acting, directing, producing, cinematography, writing and musical performance. Vincent has garnered over 50 acting credits, including work on Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, Mindhunter and House of Cards. He has collaborated on several projects with John Russo and Solon Tsangaras, including My Uncle John is a Zombie! and Belly Timber. He is known for his 2020 remake of John Russo's cult classic Midnight

Solon Tsangaras was born in Queens, NY and spent years there as a musician, working with several bands, including Long Island band Uncle Fester. He currently lives in West Virginia and works as a musician, writer and actor, publishing several books, including Belly Timber, a collaboration with Russo and Vincent. He has starred in several films and theatre productions, such as My Uncle John is a Zombie!, Midnight, and Strange Friends