Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Custom Monstermania, CSA Show, and more

I had no intention of attending Monstermania in Hunt Valley at the end of September. But getting Robert Englund for free and without putting up with huge lines (ie upgrading my photo op and getting autographs hassle and money free) was something on my bucket list. So I got his flight info and the stars aligned where I was able to make it. 

I arrived at the airport and a PA grapher was there. Apparently more Monstermania people are on the flight. Cool! 

We spot Robert and he is nice as can be. Get autographs and photo op, including one item signed by Wes Craven. Was nice to get him without waiting in those horrid convention lines and paying 1-2 days worth of flipping burgers to meet him. Also got updates with William Katt and Bill Moseley, and first time shots with Amanda Wyss and Ricky Dean Logan. Not a shabby evening. John Heard was on the flight but somehow slipped by, which didn't matter to me as I got him at a Cherry Hill Monstermania in the past. 

Robert Englund

Full list of photo ops


Next up I attended CSA sports show. Of course there was no sports name there I would even pay upper tier two figures for much less the three figures they were asking. So I stuck with the movie names. And as with last time I successfully managed to mooch admission. 

First up I get Dwier Brown who played Kevin Costner's dad in Field of Dreams. Already have a few names from that cast (including Kevin) so why not get another. Plus they had a Field of Dreams background. Then I got Susan Backlinie who is the first victim of Jaws and also in the movie poster. A good get if there name. And they had a cool Jaws background. Wow I like those authentic backgrounds. Much better than the typical horrid pro op backgrounds and certainly a ton better than CGI backgrounds some have been offering. My last guest was Rob Garrison from Karate Kid, adding yet another name to my Karate Kid collection. 

Full list of CSA photo ops

Later that evening I would try a venue for Kathleen Turner and Marg Helgenberger (Species, Hera in the Wonder Woman movie). That venue is sadly every combo hunter's worst nightmare. Multiple front doors, side doors, stage doors, garages, you name it this venue has it. And Kathleen Turner isn't photo op friendly and always drives out of this venue. I would never ever wait for Kathleen at this venue but I wanted to try for Marg so I figure might as well come a tad earlier and wait for Kathleen. As expected never saw Kathleen, so I waited by a door I thought Marg might come out of and prayed to the combo Gods (we could also watch 2 or 3 other doors from that spot). Thankfully she came out of that door and was nice as can be.

Marg Helgenberger

Leave the venue that is every combo hunter's worst nightmare to a venue that is every combo hunter's wet dream. Only one front door that goes in and out, and you have to walk through a tight alley that is 110% public grounds. So if they ever say you have to leave the alleyway you can just refuse (which has happened to me in the past). Additionally they can't even block the alleyway because people and cars go back and forth. The name I was going for is pop singer Jody Watley. She is not a huge want of mine but I was already in town and this was ending not too long after I got Marg. Plus it's a decent name so I figure why not. 

We wait and she eventually comes out with some kind of transvestite. She goes "I don't like people that sneak up on me in the dark". I say I want a photo op she goes in a lighted up area and says "let's do it here". She then removes her spectacles and I get a photo op. Another grapher has an item and she goes "I'm only doing one". As we thank her she goes "don't sneak up on people in the dark" as she walks away.

Jody Watley

Monday, October 17, 2016

Some scattered meets in September and October

It was towards the end of September, and I would attend a Jamie Lee Curtis book singing to upgrade my photo op. One of the security guards distributed the selfie instructions but I declined it. Despite the guard's insistence that you can only use phones I still said he could keep the paper. After all I'm here for an upgrade and a phone photo would be a downgrade.

She had a reading before the signing, then after the reading she proceeded to the signing area. Got the signed book and the photo op on my camera no issue. 

Jamie Lee Curtis photo op

Jamie Lee Curtis signed book

After the book signing I headed to a venue to get singer Gordon Lightfoot. I consulted a Master about going for Gordon and was advised that he is gettable but has a tour manager that despises combo hunters. 

Wait for the show to end. We are about a handful waiting. The tour manager says we are all ebay blah blah blah. I say I want a photo op he says it's to show on ebay as proof. He asks who has tickets and a couple shows their tickets. He escorts them to the back door for a private m&g! WTF? I get a ticket from someone and go through the front as Gordon is doing combos for the couple and tour manager says he doesn't know who I got that ticket off of but that I'd have to leave. So I exited and continued to wait by the front while the other graphers waiting by the back (so we have our bases covered). 

At one point a woman who works for the venue tries to get me to leave, saying that tour manager doesn't want me standing here. Since I am on a sidewalk, so I tell her "ok" and continue to ignore her. She then says she works for the venue and that I can't wait. I tell her that I know who she is and to have a good night. At this point the tour manager comes out with Gordon and there's another venue worker (a male) trying to block me. 

With all my vocal might I yell "ERIC" (the name of the grapher waiting in the back) so that that he comes and takes some of the attention away from me (and my plan works). I then demand the male worker to "get the fuck out of my way" as I plead Gordon for a photo op. Meanwhile the tour manager has this flashlight in an attempt to hinder and/or blind me. Now I don't know if his flash light was not a very good one or it was the adrenaline rush in me, but I was 110% impervious to its effects. I also respond by flashing him with my camera. 

At one point Gordon goes "let him get it, let him get it" and I grab a selfie. Meanwhile he signs for Eric. I try for an auto but to no avail. 

After this was done I pull up my Jimmy Carter photo op and showed it to the girl and said that I defied secret service to get this so nothing personal that I defied her. She then threatened that I would get banned from the venue. I go "can't ban me from the sidewalk" then I just walk away. 

Gordon Lightfoot photo op

Behind the scenes, tour manager uses a flashlight to repel me (next to him is the male worker that I mentioned). 

A few days later I decide to try for actor Charles Dance and singer Tom Jones. First Charles Dance. We wait for the event to break. While we wait one of the graphers has his photos out and a woman goes "please don't accost our guests" to which I respond "mind your own business". At one point we check the side of the building and sure enough Charles Dance is walking towards us. He is nice as can be and even asked me where I found the photo with him and Helen Mirren. 

Sadly this is where my success would end as Tom Jones got on his bus and left town. 

Charles Dance photo op

Charles Dance autographs

Beginning October, after the Margot Robbie bust in NYC Joresky went to Walker Stalker in Philadelphia. I wanted to go the route where less money is spent for photo ops. 

My choices were: 

Option 1: Stay in NYC and try for Adam Driver and possibly Tom Holland

Option 2: Go to Lancaster, PA and try for some old school pop names, namely Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon, and Fabian Forte. Frankie is a particularly good name especially since he has been in movies (such as co starring with John Wayne in the epic pro American film The Alamo). 

I chose option #2 for a few reasons. 1) I was sickened by the NYC crowd and wanted to go far away from them 2) Adam Driver has not been the nicest lately and we had just failed to get Iggy pop and Miranda at the the same event the day before 3) it was not known for certain if Tom Holland was going to be filming that day 4) The names in the PA option are older so better get them while you can

Got there and other graphers arrive. The 3 come almost close to show time and I get them all! Success! Also getting Bobby means less money spent at Chiller. 

On a side note EVERY person attending the event was old. I was literally the youngest human on the premises. The next youngest where other graphers 5-10 years older than me. 

Bobby Rydell

Frankie Avalon

Fabian Forte

A couple of days before I headed out to NYCC I had flight info on Trent Reznor, the singer and frontman of Nine Inch Nails. I arrive and he does photo ops no issue but when another grapher wanted a retake he would refuse. Essentially a very strict one combo per person. Sadly I had nothing to get signed as this was last minute for me. 

Tried to get a photo op with another one of his band members but he said to take it while walking and would not do valid shots. 

Trent Reznor

Invalid shot

Sunday, October 16, 2016

New York Comic Con Week 2016 part 2

If you have not already please see part 1 of my NYCC report.


This day would start at the Javits center where I would get a ton of photo ops. First one would be David Mazouz from Gotham. This is a great update because he now looks older than when I got him last. Would not have paid for the shot but for free that is a good score. 

Among the other upgrades I got include McG (Director of Charlie's Angel), Deborah Ann Woll (Daredevil), and Frank Miller. Some fresh names I got include Jon Gries (Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite), Tyler Posey (TVs Teen Wolf), among others. 

Unfortunately my time here was not without more punches in the face. First PUNCH was getting Ryan Hurst for free after paying for him the day before. Second PUNCH was finding out that Keanu Reeves did multi combos at MSG. I already had him but needed autographs. I guess Reeves is probably the softest punch of all as I can't be in multi places at once. Also missed the Power Rangers movie cast at MSG but they didn't do much so technically not a miss. 

Also went in the building to split an Evangeline Lilly photo op with  I managed to get a solo shot, partially mooching the photo op.

At one point it started raining and Joresky went inside. That was when I got Mike Colter AKA Luke Cage (among others). I also got another PUNCH in the face as Joresky gets Steven Blum from Star Wars Rebels. To make matters worse he had a booth but amongst all the chaos and all the pain and misery I was going through the past few days it just slipped my mind to look him up! Ugh that was a want of mine. 

I call Joresky and he says Amy Heckerling (director of Clueless) is just hanging around in the hallway. I then rush and get her and also Real Genius director Martha Coolidge. Martha looked at me with fascination. According to her I look like her family members.

Next up I try a panel. After it's done I get Chris Hardwicke, Reg E Cathy, Wrenn Schmidt, and Star Trek's Brent Spiner. Sadly at this point my camera battery dies and my backup battery isn't working! I fail to get a photo op with Patrick Fugit from Almost Famous! Damn another PUNCH in the face. 

I then rush to a spot where I can see randoms and also charge my battery. Luckily my friend Suzanne was there and could take my photos. Meanwhile I plugged my camera battery into a charger at a secret location where I was mooching a building's electricity. There was a huge crowd so I didn't fight for people I knew I had. But I did get a photo op with Verdine White from Earth, Wind, and Fire. 

Joresky arrives and after my camera battery is fully charged we head to the next spot to meet up with Vanessa the Jersey Shore stalker and find the info for the next spot. Upon arrival turns out she already found the info. She then hops in the car and we drive there. 

It is raining and it is miserable. Lin-Manuel Miranda is the only known name there and he is foul. Other randoms show up but I have them all. I got a couple of photo ops but this spot is a bust. Me and Joresky decide to cut our losses, commandeer a spot close to the Javits center, and get a some wonderful and much needed sleep. I so tiered I slept like a baby for the next few hours. 

Evangeline Lilly

Jon Gries

Deborah Ann Woll

Brent Spiner


Amy Heckerling

Frank Miller

Full list of Saturday photo ops part 1

Full list of Saturday photo ops part 2

Full list of Saturday photo ops part 3


The day starts off with pretty miserable weather. The perfect place to be is within the walls of the Javits center. First we line up for Noelle Foley. Wanted to split a Noelle combo with Joresky with him getting the photo op and me getting her to sign my Beyond the Mat poster. She marked out when she saw the poster going "oohhh wow the documentary, is it 1999?" and I said that it was. As she was signing it Foley goes "oh I signed it already" and I said that he did. Joey Styles came over and marked out for the poster as well. I also told Noelle I needed her mother and brother to sign it. 

Joresky got a dual photo op and I went and got a dual shot and also got a Noelle only update! Wow this worked out well. Paid for a Noelle combo mooched some additional photo ops. A good start to the day. 

Next we go to the Outsiders panel. After it was done got Kyle Gallner (Nightmare on Elm Street remake), Christina Jackson, Gillian Alexy, David Morse, Peter Tolan, and Peter Mattei. On to the next panel where I was hoping get actor Christopher Meloni but sadly he cancelled. Got other cast members and Akiva Goldsman (Batman Forever & Batman and Robin writer). 

My next panel featured 95 year old Mad Magazine veteran, Al Jaffee. He was a want of mine and being as old as he is this would likely be my last chance for him. I missed him at Baltimore Comic Con due to being in NYC for Star Trek con so this second chance was a blessing.I wait for the panel to end, and then just waltz behind the table. I ask Al for a photo op and he does it no issue. Wow easiest panel get ever. No security no nothing! No one bothered me in any shape or form. I was also the ONLY one to ask for photo ops. 

Unfortunately it would be accompanied by a PUNCH in the face. Someone asked him for an autograph and he gave a nice autograph and sketch. I asked for the autograph next and he said he would stamp and that a stamp is "just as good". Wow that was crushing! He's 95 so I couldn't say anything about it but it was a damn painful punch getting a stamp while someone else got the full auto/sketch just before me

Behind the scenes: Al Jaffee stamps my magazine

I also got photo ops with the others in the panel who were more than happy to pose. In fact they reacted like I was the first person ever to ask them for a photo op (Denis Kitchen and Arnold Roth upon research both seem valid).

I then rush to Hammerstein to join Joresky. I get Son of Zorn director Eric Appel and actor Johnny Pemberton (who purposely poses looking away from all cameras). 

Next up is a panel with

Jonathan Nolan
Thandie Newton
Jeffrey Wright
Jimmi Simpson
Ben Barnes

Out of those, the first 3 are wants of mine, the other 2 are "get if there" names. 

As we wait a bunch of kids start hanging about. Then they extended the railing. So far so good. The first two in are Jimmi and Ben. They do photos with everyone no problem. Upon inspecting the photos I notice two of the kids photobombed me

Photo op #1

Photo op #2

I fucking went off on the kids! Keep in mind that 3 more people were coming in so I could not have them photobomb me again. I cursed them out and told them to not do this again. 

Next person in was Jeffrey. At one point the black kid tells him something and he doesn't do a photo op with me. I tell the boy "did you just tell him not to take a picture with me" and the black kid says in a laughing manner "that's my dad" I go "yea right". As it turned out he was telling the truth and at one point all the kids went inside the stage door. 

At that point the week hadn't gone to well and I was in drunk and salvage mode after so many punches and THIS happens? I bust my ass off for photo ops and a bunch of kids PUNCH me in the face and take one away from me! 

After Jeffrey the kids were gone and I was able to get Thandie Newton going in. Nolan did nothing for no one but said he would take care of people on the way out. This meant we were were staying for exits. This also meant we had to sacrifice the Lucha Underground panel. But thankfully I already got a mask photo op with Rey Mysterio so it wasn't a huge deal to me. Though there were a couple of lower names in the panel I wanted. 

On exits I upgrade both my Jimmi and Ben no meddling kids in the background. So at least that was fixed. Thandie does nothing for no one so thank God I got a good shot going in. Attempted to disguise myself and get Jeffrey but sadly no dice there. Nolan came out and true to his word took care of everyone. 

This ended NYCC week. Sadly, despite a lot of decent and half decent gets and then some I consider NYCC week sub par at best. No fresh names that were big and a LOT of misses and/or PUNCHES in the face. Overall I give myself a C at best. 

Mick and Noelle Foley

Al Jaffee

Johnathan Nolan

Thandie Newton

Full list of Sunday photo ops part 1

Full list of Sunday photo ops part 2

Al Jaffee stamps

Signed Beyond the Mat poster

I have Mick Foley (signed twice as Mankind and Cactus Jack), Noelle Foley, Terry Funk, Dennis Stamp, New Jack, and Droz. The other people I'd want to add are director Barry Blaustein (the cousin of ), Foley's wife and son, The Rock, and Jake Roberts. Jake won't sign it unless you pay him 3 figures.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

New York Comic Con Week 2016 part 1

This is one of the weeks of the year I dread most, but it has become a yearly tradition for me and to embark on New York Comic Con week as there's so much going on that week. It is the week where you will get a lot, and you will miss a lot. Unfortunately the week would be plagued by misses and by PUNCHES in the face. As always I will split it into days, with the first day being the day prior to NYCC.


This day would start at a spot where I hoped to get a Penelope Ann Miller combo as my top prize, Army Hammer autographs, among other things. Unfortunately, both those would garage and do nothing for no one. I did get Tim Matheson and other names that were all get if there. 

The first PUNCH in the face is we hear Jennifer Lopez would do photo ops on her set while we failed to get Penelope. And the second PUNCH would come the next evening when I looked at the Facebook of a Master combo hunter and he would showcase perfect photo ops with both Penelope and Army taken at another spot which took place after we failed. 

With the news of J-Lo we drive by the set, but sadly could not find an ideal spot to stand. So we rushed to the Jeff Bridges set and we do in fact find the perfect spot to stand. I already have Jeff Bridges but he has a beard in my shot so this would be a major upgrade as he is clean shaven. 

We see him and he says he's late and he'll stop when he returns. True to his word he returns (albeit with a plate of food) and does combos with us. I get a vinyl signed and a Last Unicorn blu ray cover. 

We then go to the next spot where we hope to see Kristen Stewart. While doing so we see randoms. Got BJ Novak and Sean William Scott but had them already. I did however get a decent fresh score in Stephen Dorff from Blade. Then Kristen Stewart rushes in and does nothing for no one. At this point we decide we will no longer try for Kristen Stewart for the rest of the week. 

Go to the final spot for the evening, saw Manu Bennett and get an update. A little of a PUNCH here as I paid for him at NYCC in the past. Then got Skylar Astin. 

After this we commandeered a free parking spot and went to sleep. 

Jeff Bridges

Stephen Dorff

Full list of Wednesday photo ops


Before heading to NYCC we stop by a spot just to see who we see, I get an update with Batman producer Michael Uslan. We then head to the Javits center. Upon arrival Joresky finds out from a buddy of his that Fifth Element director Luc Besson is doing a signing! WTF! This is a great name, what a gift! 

Unfortunately the line is capped however he has another signing. But then they ask us if we'd like to go and of course we say yes. Wow things are actually going our way, VICTORY! We saw him do photo ops with a child and a woman, so we were hopeful. Sadly when it came to our turn he ordered us to position ourselves in a bad spot for the photo op, next to cinematographer Jean-Claude Mezieres. Wow what a PUNCH in the face that was! I felt almost as shitty as I did when we randomly ran into Mike Myers and he covered half his face with his arm. Not as bad as that as Mike Myers is a bigger name and you can see Luc's full face here, but still it's similar because here you were given a gift and it was followed by a punch. It's still valid as they both work together in the same stuff (including Fifth Element), I'm still grateful to have it, but it's far from ideal. It's essentially like a Black Sabbath photo op but you're standing next to Geezer Butler.

We did wait for him to leave to try for a proper shot but sadly he went out another way. . Next we went to the Captain Planet and the Planeteers panel. Got David Coburn (voice of Captain Planet), Joey Dedio (Wheeler), Nicholas Boxer, Oren Lyons, and Barbara Y.E. Pyle. Ed Asner was there but I had no reason to worry about another shot as I have a couple already. 

Next up is a free signing for the show Carmilla. Not sure what that is but free is free and you never know who will become someone in the future. We get a signed tampon box and photo ops. Back to the next Luc signing to attempt for proper photo ops. But before doing so I rush to where Rob Liefeld (co creator of Deadpool) is and manage to mooch to the front of the line for a photo op. Success! I then go to Nichelle Nichols and get a table op. Then when Luc's signing is done we follow him outside the venue and I try asking him in French for the photo op. But he leaves whilst waving goodbye to me. 

Next up to Hammerstein Ballrooom. The two panels that they were having at Hammerstein were Nickelodeon's Legends of the Hidden Temple and The Exorcist TV series. My main goal was Geena Davis. I know she's nasty but I thought if there's one place she might stop it would be here. The Legends of the Hidden Temple cast arrived and I get photo ops with all including two child actors. When Geena Davis leaves I beg and she goes "sorry". This spot ended with photo ops with actress Brianne Howey and producer Jeremy Slater. 

We then rush to the J-Lo spot and find the perfect place to stand, but sadly miss her by 30 minutes. Another PUNCH in the face. Next I hit up the "easy" spots and get Simon McBurney. Then to a spot for randoms where I get a bunch of people but sadly the ones I would really care about I already had. 

Jean-Claude Mezieres and Luc Besson

David Coburn

Joey Dedio

Rob Liefeld

Nichelle Nichols

Full list of Thursday photo ops part 1

Full list of Thursday photo ops part 2


I start the day by attempting for J-Lo yet again. However the setup this time is bad that the only viable shot is when she is done. Essentially I would have to miss all of NYCC on Friday for a chance at J-Lo. The way I thought of it, even if I did get her I'd consider it a bust. So I bailed and went back to NYCC. Right here Joresky went for paid guaranteed pro ops and spent more than an after tax weekly paycheck of flipping burgers. I chose to try the free route at MSG, with my top want being Andy Serkis (Gollum, Caesar). 

As I arrive the Dr. Who people leaving but sadly I only manage to get writer/producer Steven Moffat. The PUNCH here would be they all went to Javits and did photo ops there. 

As I wait for more to leave I fail to get Theo James but get Kate Beckinsale though not without another PUNCH. The photo op is sub par and I plan to upgrade at RICC. Three strikes against the photo op. She has shades, the pose is bad, and a security guard can't be removed from the shot. If ONE of these strikes existed I may have chosen to be happy with my free shot. But with three sadly I'm going to upgrade. 

While waiting for more exits I score director Anna Foerster. Then shortly after Andy enters but says she's late and that he'd do it on the way out. That was a major PUNCH in the face right there. On exits I get actors Eoin Macken and William Levy, director Paul W. S. Anderson, and Milla Jovovich (though the photo op is a downgrade). I saw Ali Larter but had her twice so could worry about things I didn't have. 

I had a ticket for yet another Luc Besson signing taking place but because Andy denied me going in I had to wait for him leaving and had to sacrifice my shot for a better photo op. Wow what a PUNCH here. This would be an even bigger PUNCH because time passed and I never saw him, leading me to believe he left through the other door. I was literally the ONLY combo hunter waiting for Andy. Had Joresky been with me and not busy with his pro ops, we could have watched both doors. But because I was the only one I could only watch one door and I chose the door that every single celebrity was leaving from. There would be yet another Andy related PUNCH as he did everything for everyone at the Javits center. Wow just wow. I consider Andy my biggest miss of NYCC. 

I then go to the Javits center to get Ryan Hurst. I figure might as well pick up a guarantee. But he was $50 for a photo op so I passed. As I walked I saw Woodmo's buddy Tony and we agreed to split the photo op. Me and Joresky then head to a Rick Astley CD signing. He played a mini concert before the show but worthless to me as I could only see it on screen and wasn't in the room. Finally get up to him and despite them saying only the CD I got extras done. The CD that you bought had a booklet separate from the CD cover. It got to a point where they said one or the other. But I ignored the demand and I got the CD cover, CD booklet, and two other items not bought from Barnes and Noble. He was standing for every single photo op and would bend down a sign. Wow why can't everyone be that kind 

Go to the car and drop Joresky to a screening of his. I then decide on a whim to check a spot for randoms that was a 2 minute drive from where I dropped Joresky. As soon as I arrive I see a combo hunter getting people. I illegally park and rush to get a photo op. Norman Reedus was there and the guy I was getting a photo op with wanted to wait for Norman to pose with us but I told him I needed him not Norman as I got Norman before. Got the shot and didn't know who it was at the time but when Joresky finally arrived I showed him the shot and turns out it was Jeffrey Dean Morgan AKA the Comedian from Watchmen and also in Walking Dead, a name that I had every intention for paying for at Rhode Island Comic Con. Money saved right there! Got more names Walking Dead and otherwise, ending the evening with an upgrade with Aaron Paul and a fresh meet with a decent name in Jason Mantzoukas.

On a side note Radioman was also at that last spot. He was talking to other combo hunters. Then I was just pacing randomly and he proceeds to charge at me and attacks me yelling at me to stay away from him and hang "over there" I then push away his hand and say "don't fucking touch me". 

Kate Beckinsale

Rick Astley

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Full list of Friday photo ops

Now to showcase some autographs

Signed Valerian poster and tampon box

Signed CDs, Vinyl, and blu ray

Friday, October 14, 2016

Couple of NYC endeavors, pre NYCC

Before I put up my NYCC report, here are a couple of NYC endeavors that did not involve NYCC. 

First off I was in NYC for a non-combo related endeavor. But I did make some time for hunting. Called up Vanessa the Jersey Shore Stalker and she advised me of a spot where anyone could show up. Ok, sounds good. 

I went to said spot. Upon my arrival a hunter there tells me he got a photo op with Summer Rae. Didn't matter to me as I have her. 

I got a bunch of photos there, most of which people I don't know or don't care about. But there was one Asian girl I got a photo op with. Had no idea who she was at the time but then minutes later sometime mentioned it was Jamie Chung. With that this endeavor was officially not a waste of time. as I got at least one good score. She was in Hangover 2-3, Sin City, Sucker Punch, Big Hero 6, and Gotham. 

Kylie Jenner showed up but she was so mobbed by paps it was impossible to get her. 

Jamie Chung

Full list of photo ops part 1

Full list of photo ops part 2

Next up I went with with one main goal, Margot Robbie AKA Harley Quinn. We start at a spot for Jack Gleeson from Game of Thrones. While waiting Joresky spots Jim Dale from Pete's Dragon. I got an upgrade. Finally Jack comes down, sees us waiting, and comes right to us, nice as can be. We also get Aaron Heffernan. On to the next spot for Tim Kang from the most recent Rambo movie. He is nice as can be. Also pick up actors Joseph Steven Yang and Stephen Park. 

Now there was a spot for Tom Holland AKA Spiderman, but based on the info we were given he was due to leave the spot soon. I told Joresky that we should have skipped this to make that spot and that now it's too late. But that was a big error because he left an hour later than we thought I should have trusted my gut and just gone for Holland from the start. Stupid stupid me. 

On to the next spot where randoms can show up. Some known names were Lin-Manuel Miranda and Iggy Pop. Michelle Williams was supposed to show up but never did. However that didn't matter to me as I got a great shot already. 

Lin Manuel was surrounded by security and did nothing. Though he would have been an upgrade for me as I have a shades shot. Iggy Pop did autographs only going in and leaving though he did some photo ops inside the venue. 

In terms of randoms, I got Renee Elise Goldsberry, Anna Baryshnikov, Pedro Almodovar, and Kenneth Lonnergan. Never heard of them but Pedro does have an impressive resume. 

In terms of randoms that were wants, saw Edward Norton but sadly ignored me. Then I saw Casey Affleck but all my shots were either invalid or blurry. First 3 shots invalid, and last shot valid but blurry. So this spot was essentially a huge bust for me.

Now it was off to the final spot for the evening. That's where we hoped to get Margot Robbie plus randoms. The first random is Casey Affleck! YES I got another shot at him. First shot sadly in valid yet again! Finally I get one more shot and it is valid! My reaction was this face 

Unfortunately it would be downhill from here. The spot has 3 places to enter and exit. Through the back I see the weeknd and Lorde. The former did nothing, the latter did one photo op and left. Then Margot snuck out the side and left. I consider this day a bust, as all I really ended up getting that had any level of decency was a bearded Casey Affleck (and I almost didn't even get that). 

Casey Affleck

Full list of non-Cesey Affleck photo ops

All the Casey Affleck photos

Friday, September 30, 2016

Mace Windu, Deadshot, a Genie in a Bottle, and more

On a day there was an event with a lot of uncertainty. In fact I only acquired the full list of names the evening before. 

I would start the day with something really ambitious. Namely a Samuel L Jackson flight. He is someone who has blown me off a couple of times before and not known to be the nicest. We are about 6 people. He comes in and while walking he signs. I barely manage to get one. Despite my intense begging and pleading for a photo op, right up to his car, and getting yelled at by security (who I ignored), I was unsuccessful to get a hat and shades photo op with him. I even tried to tell him he was in the movie "A Shock to the System" (he basically had a very small role in that movie it was before he was famous) to prove to him that I know his credits and he goes "no I wasn't". I go "yes you were you were a nobody back then". After the fact I verified and indeed I was right. 

At least I had another chance at him two days later for his outgoing. Devastated, it was on to the next spot. Me and one other grapher are at this spot and it is not looking like there is a place for graphers to stand. One grapher manages to sneak in a Common autograph, but not much else. We have a flight for Chuck D from Public Enemy. I don't care for this but I figured this was at least a guarantee to get something over nothing. So we both go there and get him. I got him to sign two cards. 

Back to the main spot where me and the grapher notice Chris Tucker leaving it. So we go to where he's staying in the hopes to get him there. A Chris Tucker photo op would redeem my day! Sadly he is nasty and gives horrid one per autographs! 

Back again to the main spot where we finally figure out the rope line they made for combo hunters. My reaction was this face to add insult to injury turns out Chris Tucker actually did photo ops there and both David Grohl and Oprah Winfrey racked it out! It was actually not far from the state door and no way we would have imagined they would have been that accommodating to combo hunters. 

So far a very very miserable day. Common is leaving the spot and I manage to get him on two posters. He goes "I'll only do one not signing a stack" I tell him "I only got two" and the one grapher says I was having a bad day and I was crying and Common goes "ohh well don't cry" and he signs my two. 

We get Doug E Fresh but for the time being the spot is winding down. Go to the airport for Flavor Flav (again, something to get over nothing) but turns out he delayed his flight. That was a wasted effort. Back to the main spot where we brace for the next wave of celebs. Get a photo op with Ne-Yo and combo with Dave Chappelle (but had him). Tom Hanks comes in completely ignores everyone, Oprah and Gorhl come in and say they're in a hurry. Will and Jada Smith come and Will signs a few (I get one). Christina Aguilera doesn't look at anyone. At this point many of the graphers give up. I of course stay all miserable along with a few others. Autograph wise this day pretty good. Will Smith, Sam Jackson, Chris Tucker. But photo op wise I'm doing miserable. Everyone I got I either have or don't care for. So this is how I measure my day. 

Time passes and who do we see? Samuel L Jackson. Two daughters of a grapher attract him over to us. He tests the little girls and says "do you know who I am" and they go "you're Samuel Jackson" he goes "ok I believe you" and take a picture with them. I then plead for a picture and asks "if I take it you will leave me alone" and I say I will. He agrees to the shot,  and to my disbelief I SCORE! Not only that but he takes photos with everyone there and signs. I ask for another autograph and tell him "just this and I will never bother you again" and he tells me "I know". 

This was the turning point from a complete bust of a day to a totally extravagant day! From this point I was officially in bonus mode. I was in such a state of euphoria after getting this shot that many of the personnel on site where looking at me and couldn't believe what they were seeing. I was also high fiving every grapher there! This also meant I did not have to bother with the airport two days later. 

It is truly amazing, sometimes when hunting you wonder why do this. You wonder why you waste precious moments of your life scouring the streets in the hopes to score. It seems more often than not you do so much to score so little that you want to quit doing this for good. But then you get a score like a combo with Mace Windu and you suddenly remember why you in put up with all the pain, suffering, and misery that always goes hand in hand with this hobby/jobby. 

My next big score is a combo with none other than Christina Aguilera. She was actually nice for a change! I guess it helped that the crowd wasn't too bad. Will and Jada come out and I get a combo with Will and an autograph with Jada. Would have liked a Jada upgrade but failed at that. Get a photo op with Fantasia. Dave Grohl comes out and I concentrate on autographs. Get him on a Nevermind vinyl record and a Nirvana Unplugged CD cover. 

Oprah comes over I get three autographs plus an updated photo op. Angela Bassett is another good score I needed but sadly my shot came out blurry and I failed to get her to do a retake with me. At least it's valid and passable but I hope to upgrade it someday. I also upgraded my Gladys Knight photo op (got her last April shot was sub par). 

Other photo ops I got included Robert Glasper, youtube sisters ChloĆ© Bailey and Halle Bailey, and gospel duo Mary Mary. Usher did nothing for no one. Nor did Rashida Jones who I needed a photo op with. Quincy Jones also didn't come over but he was in a wheel chair. That didn't bother me as I have a photo op with him. Tom Hanks sadly ignored everybody which sucks cause I need him to complete an Apollo 13 laserdisc. 

I then rounded up the evening with a Flavor Flav flight. Figured I was already around why not cap the evening with a photo op, especially since I got Chuck D earlier. He was nice as can be. Sadly forgot my Public Enemy cards in the car. 

Samuel L Jackson

Christina Aguilera

Angela Bassett

Gladys Knight

Full list of photo ops

Now to showcase some autographs




CD cover and cards

Nevermind Vinyl

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Holy Grail music meets: Black Sabbath and AC/DC

When it comes to top 5 bands I want to meet, Black Sabbath and AC/DC are two bands that will make that top 5. And between both those bands, I only had the original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward. 

During Summer Slam weekend I was scheduled for a Black Sabbath m&g. This included a photo op with Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler. Since this was the last ever tour and none of them are getting any younger (and Tony in particular fighting cancer), I figure this was now or never to get a photo op with them.

Soundcheck was part of the VIP experience, and I got to watch the band play Iron Man. Aside from the photo op, this was the best part of the VIP experience. Wow it was incredible watching them play in a fairly intimate setting. 

It came time for the photo op. My main concern was the fact that they used no flash outside. And sadly my concern was a valid one. The photo ops did not come out very good. It's not overly horrid but for that fuck money it should have been MUCH better. To boot, Joresky who went just after me got a better shot than me. Joresky's shot is still not as good as it should have or could have been, but it's better than mine. This is truly disappointing. To use the "baby" analogy, I hired the best doctors to make sure I get a healthy birth, turns out the doctors don't even have a medical degree and the babies were born with disabilities 

I will present the photos in full rez: 

Take 1

Take 2

Take 2 after some adjustments in photoshop 

For comparison, Joresky's shot in full rez

Despite this upsetting result, I am glad I finally got a shot with them. Since I got Bill Ward before this means I now have all original members of Sabbath. The only other former member of Sabbath I would have liked to meet is sadly dead (Ronnie James Dio). To make matters worse he was apparently a Chiller guarantee if you saw him. 

However, I have now sworn off all concert meet and greets due to the upsetting results in terms of photo quality. And as we saw with Joresky's ZZ Top m&g (horrid no flash quality and missing Frank Beard) my concerns are fully justified. In paid settings one should not be taking a gamble. That should only be reserved for street meets. 

Fast forward to September and I was done with Intervention 7 after getting Jon St John. 

I go to the spot where AC/DC are staying. Sadly no indication that Axl Rose is around.

Couple of hours pass the cars go in the garage and as expected all the cars leave the garage.

So I come back after the concert ends. This time the crowd is sadly bigger due to a twitter leak. In terms of combo hunters we are only about 7 but there are a ton of "normal" fans. Unfortunately Cliff Williams comes in and those idiotic fans didn't call him over. However by all reports he doesn't stop so it may not have mattered. 

Finally Angus Young arrives and a guy comes over and says he's going to do everybody but we have to be orderly or he will stop. And only one item per person. Holy crap! So everyone lines up. If you were in that line a combo with Angus Young magically became a Chiller guarantee. I got to Angus and got my combo. I couldn't believe it. After the fact I was on my knees holding my camera to the sky and looking up to the heavens thanking the lord as I saw my perfectly crisp and valid photo op! It was a moment I never thought would happen yet here it was! 

By all indications Axl wasn't staying here. But one combo hunter decided to stick it out and because of that I did as well. The reason being if I left and heard he got it I would be beside myself. But time passes and he finally gives up (as do I). Evidence suggested that Axl drove directly from the venue to Philly. 

Photo op


Lining up for Angus Young combos