Thursday, July 24, 2014

Post Wizard World Report

NOTE: If you haven't already please see the Wizard World report. 

After Wizard World me andhead on out to NYC. We had two spots we wanted to try for, one for Daniel Radcliffe and the other for Kenneth Branagh. Sadly, cause we spent more time than expected at Wizard World, we arrived too late for either one of these spots. 

So we decide to try for Michelle Williams. I already got a perfect shot and some autos, so this would just be more autos for me. We arrive and she hadn't come out yet. A good start. When she did come out she sadly refused to sign any merch that wasn't event programs So a bad start to the evening. We then went to another spot in the hopes of seeing Dave Chappelle. I don't really care for him so it was more for Joresky. We arrive there and we meet up with member heelorton. As nice as it was to meet heelorton and his buddy, this spot is sadly a dud celeb wise. So we all go to another spot but again we see nothing. The evening is a bust and we decide to sleep in the hopes of a better day ahead of us.  

Now here is where I needed to make a decision. I had a spot outside of NYC for James Earl Jones, one of the last photo ops I don't have from the main cast of the original Star Wars trilogy. But Joresky had potential info for Ben Savage. It was 50/50 at best if the Ben info would pan out, but 100% we'd get the combo if we did see him. On the other hand James Earl Jones is always iffy if you see him. So at best I had a 50% shot if I saw him. After some thought I decided to stay in NYC with Joresky and hope for Ben Savage. 

First spot we try is an attempt at Kenneth Branagh. Unfortunately the venue is every combo hunter's nightmare with 5 ways to go in and out of the building. So me and Joresky stand where we can see 3 of the doors. Unfortunately we see no signs of Kenneth. 

The day would become worse. Joresky's info for Ben Savage collapsed under its own weight so that was completely done. 

At this point, we were in drunk and salvage mode. I pick up some $1 pizza slices then head to a spot for Daniel Radcliffe and secure our spots on the railing. At least this is something we know is gettable. Since I have a good photo op this would be an autograph only mission. Time passes and the witching hour arrives. I had 3 main items I needed done. Two 8x10s and a figure. Seems he was ignoring my photos as he passed by them by 2-3 times. Then I yelled for the figure and he did that and then said I just had the photos and he did both 

Sadly, even this sweeping victory would end up being a punch in the face since we found out later people did end up getting Kenneth Branagh at the venue and this was his last night. Hindsight is 20/20 we should have gone for Kenneth, but we chose to go for the known vs the unknown. Wow, the day just keeps getting worse.

On to another spot for possible celebs, but it looks dead. No celebrities, no paps, no other combo hunters, nothing.  

Now Joresky got a tip from  for William Defoe. I already had him so that did nothing for me, BUT a couple of hours after Defoe was a spot for Michael Shannon. And this spot was almost across the street from the Defoe spot. I already had Michael Shannon but had an item for him to sign and wanted to improve my photo op. So while this wouldn't redeem the bad times post Wizard World, it would at least be a decent cushion of fall back upon. 

We arrive at the Defoe spot, figuring I'd get another photo op plus get a photo op with Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov. 

Things became worse from here. The Defoe event was running late and would conflict with the Shannon event. Well, I need Shannon more than Defoe, so I went to wait there and figured Joresky could call me. While waiting he called me and by the time I got there I sadly missed my chance for a first time photo op in Baryshnikov. I go back to the Shannon spot then get a another call from Joresky. Apparently actor Steve Buscemi, someone who I failed to get on a couple of occasions, just came out the spot  With this info I rush like a rocket. While running I was losing breath but not stopping. I get there and I ask for a photo op and HE DOES IT! This is an upper tier celeb that normally always says no to photo ops. And I just got it. With that, my reaction was this face because right there and then this meant that all the botches and all the pain and agony throughout the past couple of days was no longer in vain. Back to the Shannon spot and sadly I not only did not see him but I also missed Defoe (though again didn't really need Defoe). 

Though the last stage for the evening was filled with botches and misses, I got a name better than any name I was expecting to get. A damn good name in Steve Buscemi. I thank the combo Gods for this victory! When driving back a Master combo hunter even told us via text that he normally doesn't do photo ops. I guess indirectly I actually have none other than my nemesis  to thank for this cause had he not told Joresky about Defoe I would not have been there to begin with. While it's true we had the Shannon info I would not have stayed so late  just for that. Talk about the Butterfly effect working in full here. Wow just wow. 

After this I drop Joresky home and get some much needed rest. Then I woke up and left Joresky's place. As I was driving back home I talk to a pap who told me earlier he was going to try to stake out Katy Perry. I call him up he said he failed to see any signs of her. Then he told me that James Earl Jones was still at his hotel. I've failed multiple times to get a JEJ photo op. In fact, I've seen him like 5 times and only got one single autograph to show for it. But I figured a shot at JEJ was worth the 30 minute detour. So I arrive at the spot and park illegally. I scout out the cars and see one that could be his. Not 5 minutes after I arrive the car pulls up and I cross the street. I see a dark skinned old man walk with a cane. Sure enough I'm not that lucky and see the celeb after only 5 minutes of waiting? Dazed and confused I quickly look up his photo on my phone to make sure I'm not insane and YES it's him. I approach with no merch in hand and ask for the photo op and he agrees to it  when I get ready to selfie it he goes "oh one of those pictures" and BAM I SCORED THE PHOTO OP! 

After this I rush to my car and grab a Darth Vader photo already signed by David Prowse and go up to his car, but from then on he ignored my request! That's fine with me cause I got the main thing here. 

I honestly did not believe that this photo op just happened! Defeat after defeat and out of the blue within a 12 hour period I score not one but TWO upper tier celebs that are difficult to impossible to obtain photo op wise! I guess the combo Gods must have really pitied me! Those two names trumped any other names I was hoping to get! 

And I must say, success after 5 minutes was sure a nice change of pace from the relatively routine failure after 4-8 hours. Completing my combo with the voice of THE most iconic villain in cinematic history who uttered the iconic "I am your father" phrase was surreal to say the least. 

With this score, out of all the major names from the original Star Wars trilogy that are still alive, I am now missing a photo op from only one name: Frank Oz who voiced Yoda.

Additionally, I now have a photo op with every single person who portrayed Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader

David Prowse

James Earl Jones
Jake Lloyd
Hayden Christensen 

Now to showcase the scores:

Steve Buscemi (Armageddon, 28 Days, Con Air, Monsters Inc, among many others)

I AM YOUR FATHER! James Earl Jones (he voiced Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy and also at the end of Revenge of the Sith)

Daniel Radcliffe autographs

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Philadelphia report: Wizard World and more

My intention was to be in and out of Wizard World Saturday as quickly as possible. But I would arrive the night before in Philly. To make the most out of my stay in Philly I would try for the band Black Star Riders. The main reason I went for them was for Scott Gorham, guitarist of Thin Lizzy. They are best known for this song

The venue had a front door and a back door, and we weren't sure which door was the one. But the other band members were coming out the front door so we took our chances there. Many of the other band members came out and were happy to do combos with everyone who wanted. But I only had photos for Scott to sign so the others were photo op only for me. I guess I can see one reason why goes for so many lower tier music names. At least they are happy to pose for photo ops. One good score for me was Jimmy DeGrasso who played with Megadeth in the album Risk, which featured the song Crush Em. This song would be used for Bill Goldberg's theme song and he would perform that song on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro. 

Finally, the tour bus parks on the front door and we're finally sure where we will see Scott Gorham. My reaction was this face  

When he finally comes out a bunch of fans show up out of nowhere which made me go  I'm used to seeing that from some Master combo hunters who show up at the right time out of the blue, but average regular joe fans? Really? 

Thankfully Scott was nice as can be. Got a photo op and my two 8x10s signed. 

After this total success, we head to the convention center and find a nice free parking spot that's a 5-10 minute walk to Wizard World. 

Wake up in the morning and I mooch some good breakfast. I then head to the con. There was a long line to get in but I manage to mooch about 75% of the line. I get in and meet up with Joresky. We were both splitting Karen Gillian and had nothing to do till then. So we went looking for He-Man/She-Ra animator Tom Cook. 

While looking we see James O’Barr, creator of The Crow. I get a photo op with him. We finally find Tom Cook and he is nice as can be. I got him to sign the DVD inserts of my He-Man and She-Ra DVDs, 8 total! And I got the photo op. Wow here you are at somebody's table at a major con and you are getting a combo and 7 extras for free! What a nice feeling that was. 

On the way back to the photo op area I see Brian Tochi who voiced Leonoardo in the first 3 TMNT movies. I got a combo from him. Next to him was voice actor Rob Paulsen who I got for free at NYCC but I got an upgraded photo op with him for free 

I also stand in line for John Carpenter to get Max's They Live poster and laserdisc signed. I tried to get an upgraded photo op for free but they weren't allowing that. 

At the photo op area me and Joresky get our Karen Gillian photo op. Then I go wait for my Daniel Cudmore photo op but they say it was bushed back to 5pm. I manage to go to his booth and get a photo op with him by saying that I bought the ticket but it was pushed back and I can't stay that long. Cudmore was nice about it and did the photo op with me. One less pro to worry about! 

Joresky went for poster artist Boris Vallejo. I was just there for the ride and got a photo op. Didn't realize his wife got into the photo op until after I saw it on my camera. Then me and Joresky both got the Evan Peters photo op. 

I am waiting in line for my final pro op, and that's Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie dual shot. I chose to get the dual shot cause it was cheaper than the two singles. And I figure I could crop the other one out and have two singles. While waiting I see  and . CMshowstopper actually asked me if I had the VIP for them and I replied that he should know me better cause I would never pay these VIP prices. 

When I got up to them they both shook my hand but they kinda unintentionally screwed me over. Both put their arm around me, so if I crop Sebastian it shows a Black hand in the picture, if I crap Anthony it shows a White hand thankfully with some Photoshop I manage to rectify that. 

While waiting in line I also found the booth location of Bob Camp via twitter. He played a major role in the development/creation of Ren and Stimpy. So after this dual photo op I went to the booth and got a free photo op and him and his wife even went "happy happy joy joy" which I marked out for. 

Via the Wizard World thread on I got the booth number of Science Channel’s Oddities which Joresky was obsessed with getting. Again I was there for the ride and got a photo op. 

With Wizard World coming to an end, I decided to pick up a Michael Rooker photo op. While waiting for him to return I got the Guardians of the Galaxy photo op via green screen, which came with a free poster. So that was a nice bonus. Michael Rooker finally arrives and I get my final photo op. 

With all the cluster fuck regarding prints taking long to come out, they announced all Saturday jpegs were free so I got my money back there which was such a wonderful feeling. 

After Wizard World it was off to NYC. It was a nice feeling to be out of there. 

Full list of band member photo ops

Scott Gorham photo op

Full list of Wizard World photo ops

Karen Gillian (Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy)

Evan Peters (Quicksilver in X-Men: Days of Future Past)

Sebastian Stan (James Barnes/Winter Soldier in Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Anthony Mackie (Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

The Guardians of the Galaxy

Photos I got signed in Philly (two Scott Gorham and a TMNT shot signed by Brian Tochi)

He-Man and She-Ran DVD inserts signed by Tom Cook

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Crack that Whip *insert whip crack sound*

The band Devo, best known of their hit "Whip It" were on tour. So I decided I wanted to meet them. Of the 5 original band members, 2 of them are dead. And the 3 living ones are in the current line up along with current drummer Josh Freese.

As the combo Gods would have it, all four were coming in one flight, and I had the info! Joresky decided that the info conflicts with his jobs and insisted that he would simply try at the venue after watching the concert. 

So I arrive at the airport, several graphers including Philly graphers. The same ones I encountered with Bill Ward. Got into a spat with one of them before the plane landed. 

The witching hour arrives and they walk to baggage claim. We then follow. They essentially racked for everybody, I could not believe it 

First person I got was bassist Gerald Casale. After he signed my 3 albums and 2 photos I got a photo op which he was happy to do. One woman who saw us get our albums signed asks "how did you guys know which plane they were coming in". One guy says "well there's only so many" and one philly guy says "we have friends that told us they boarded the plane". LOL!

Next up I got to Guitarist Bob Mothersbaugh. He says he doesn't sign photos only albums. Before signing he asks "what's my name" and I say "Bob" and he goes "oh lucky guess". He signs my 3 albums and is happy to take a photo op.   

Finally I approach lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and get my 3 albums and 2 photos done! I ask for a photo op and he was happy to do it. He looked away in the first one but happily posed a second time. As they were leaving Mark had a sliver and was signing someone's record and I had him sign one for me as well. 

Finally I try to get a photo op with Josh Freese but he says he doesn't do photo ops though he signed for everyone. I had nothing for him so I didn't get him. For me Josh Freese would have been nothing but a bonus photo op. So after getting multi combos with the three members that matter, I left the airport victorious 

Sadly, Joresky was not so lucky. After the concert he was one of seven people waiting, and they all did nothing for no one. Joresky of course regrets not coming to the airport. Quite amazing that he paid for the concert and got nothing, I just paid for parking and I racked. 

Gerald Casale (bass player of Devo)

Bob Mothersbaugh (lead guitarist of Devo)

Mark Mothersbaugh (lead singer of Devo)

Three record albums signed by all 3, plus a record signed by Mark

Photos signed by Gerald and Mark

The "Shout" album is a funny homage to 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Post bookcon meets

After bookcon I would venture for street meets. We will divide it in days. Note if you haven't already please see my previous entry for my bookcon 2014 report. 

Day 1

This is the same day as bookcon. After me and Joresky left bookcon we tried a couple of spots but saw nothing. Then we went for Jim Dale who I know best from Pete's Dragon. When I told him what I knew him from he seemed very happy. He was also happy to pose for photo ops. Meets like this are so refreshing. 

We then tried for Daniel Radcliffe but because we went for Jim Dale we didn't get good railing spots. So I couldn't get anything here. Wish I tried for something else. 

On to another spot, we see Chris Kattan and Busy Phillips. Already had Busy but got a Chris Kattan photo op, which was a nice score for me. This ended the evening, and Joreskly would leave town the next day. 

Jim Dale

Chris Kattan

Day 2

After a nap I head to a spot to scout it out, and I see three female combo hunters waiting. So I wait it out. I debate if I should stay in this spot or the spot where I got Kattan the night before. I talk to Vanessa the Jersey Shore stalker on the phone and she recommends I stake out the Kattan spot. Her advice combined with the fact that the spot gave me some good scores in the past, I decide to leave this spot and head to the other. I later found out that Nicki Minaj was at the spot I just left, so it was probably her those three females were waiting for. 

When I arrive at the spot I see two combo hunting Queens and their respective minions waiting. So right there and then I am 110% sure this is where I should be. A good start to the day. 

At this spot I would also have a shot at one of my objectives: upgrade my Shailene Woodley photo op and get some autographs. Cause Shailene was staying here. 

So I play the waiting game. Here is where I felt I was crippled without Joresky's spotting abilities. Cause people were walking in and out that could have been somebody, and even the females didn't care cause they had one objective (Shailene). Even paps that were there did not have Joresky's spotting ability.  

One of the two Queens present was someone I had feuded with in the past. To my shock out of the blue she extended the olive branch of peace Since I figured it would be pretty low blow of me to refuse that peace offering, I accepted it. This marks the second feud I ended in 2014. The peace offering was initiated in the form of a selfie. Wish I had that picture because my reaction in that photo op is this face 

First photo op I obtain at that spot was singer Karen Elson, a total  name for me. Coming inside she did nothing but as she left I managed to get a photo op.

As we wait we see a woman with her husband and kids go in, and of course without Joresky AFTER she is inside we figure out it's actress Jamie King. 

Thankfully she ended up coming back out with all her family, all dressed up nice, and I got a photo op. I also saw Chris Kattan but didn't bother him this time. 

Playing the waiting game still no signs of Shailene. As I wait some more to our surprise we see actress Marion Cotillard from Dark Knight Rises. She is a big want of mine and someone I missed in the past, so that is a huge score for me. Unfortunately the photo was a little blurry, but another combo hunter wanted the photo op. We both followed her down the street, I let him get the photo op and I got another one which she did no problem! My reaction to this victory was this face cause now my day was officially worthwhile. 

Back to the spot to wait for Shailene. Time passes still no signs of her. And I had another event I wanted to try that would potentially have more names. So I left the spot. 

At the event I don't see many of the people I had hoped. But I do get a bunch of photo ops. Sadly no one that good. Best name was David Byrne from the talking heads. Other people I either had or were total  names. Not 30 minutes after I left Shailene arrived at the spot I left and did combos.  

This ended my night. 

Full list of Day 2 photo ops part 1

Full list of Day 2 photo ops part 2

Jaime King (Sin City, Hart of Dixie, among others)

Marion Cotillard (Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises, Big Fish, among others)

Day 3

The day started on a sour note. I had a spot for Shailene but it's tough to get celebrities on that spot due to the fact that there's a garage. I pulled a  and snoozed a little. I then walk to the spot and as I arrive I find out Shailene actually did stuff not TWO MINUTES before I go there  wow what a punch in the face. Rapper 50 cent was also coming out next, so I figured I'd stay since I'm here. But sure enough the garage came into play and he did nothing for no one. Goes to show you how you snooze you loose in combo hunting. 

Back to the spot from yesterday where I attempt for Shailene yet again. While waiting I get singer Matt Goss who is as nice as can be and model Shanina Shaik. Both names for me. Marion Cotillard does nothing for no one today, so thank God I got her the day before. She would do nothing anymore. So I REALLY caught her on a good day. Jamie King comes out to meet friends and I get her on blank photo paper. After waiting Shailene finally shows up, but does nothing for no one. 

I could have waited for her to leave but figured she'd be in a hurry and do nothing leaving (as I later found out she indeed did nothing leaving). So I leave this spot and on to the next spot where I hope to see William Defoe, Shailene, and others. I had another hotel I could have checked out, but that hotel would not have either Defoe or Shailene. So I chose to wait here. 

This spot was total misery and total disaster. Tons of screaming girls, and celebs would barely do anything. I got a photo op with someone who I believe is a race car driver, but that's about it. Hindsight is 20/20 I wish I went to that hotel at least I would have scored some people. 

Thankfully all was not lost as the event would end in a couple of hours. Now the dilemma, do I try the front or back? While waiting in the back I see Radioman. I tell him hello and he curses me out. But eventually I see Radioman waiting in the front, so I take my spot in the front. 

A rather humorous interaction went on. A Master combo hunter who is gay and who never really speaks to me was standing next to Radioman. He would give me hand and facial gestures telling me that Radioman stinks to high heaven. 

Anyhow, we wait and wait Shailene just rushes to the car. Sadly, this would be my last shot at her. I guess the combo Gods simply didn't want me to get her. Either I missed her when she did stuff, or she did nothing for no one when I was there 

Laura Dern who I needed on my Jurassic Park laserdisc did nothing. And Ansel Elgort did nothing. Had I been at the hotel I mentioned earlier I probably would have had them. Damn what a screw up. Thankfully this spot ended being salvageable, as I got one of the top names I wanted, William Dafoe AKA The Green Goblin. I essentially begged and screamed for him to come over and he did! Got him on two 8x10s to boot! And I also got photo ops with Mike Birbiglia and Sam Trammell. 

This spot was done and it was off to another spot/event. As I arrived I find out that Heidi Klum and Jennifer Hudson walked out and left. Klum isn't a want of mine and already have Hudson. So this didn't bother me too much. What did bother me though was actress Blake Lively who did no photo ops with anyone no matter how much I begged and pleaded. She would have been a good score. She signed but I had nothing for her. I also saw Bernadette Peters. Didn't get her but didn't try too hard as I got her befoer. I did get actor James Marsden for a second time though. This time I completed my combo by getting two items signed, an 8x10 and a DVD. When he saw the DVD he goes "where do you guys get this stuff". I then got a photo op just because. What a nice guy he is. 

The other names here were pretty much all names for me. Off to the next spot where I hoped to see more people from this event. But absent from the spot was a certain Master combo hunter. Right there I knew this would be a bust and I was right. I got a total of 3 names. Busy Phillips was the best of those three and that was just an upgrade. 

Then I get a text message from NYC's top ebayer who offers me a deal. He tells me the restaurant where Rihanna was eating on condition I give him the autograph I obtain. Sounds like a fair deal to me. A shot at a Rihanna photo op was surely better than anything that was going to happen here. So I head over there and play the waiting game with others. 

Finally the witching hour comes, we were two rows, she did one of the rows and it was the row I wasn't in 

This ended my trek. While I did fail in one of my primary objectives I did get something better than that (Marion). So three solid first time meets (Dafoe, Marion, Jamie) combined with completing my combo with Marsden plus other bonus photo ops, I would say I was overall successful! 

Full list of Day 3 photo ops part 1

Full list of Day 3 photo ops part 2

Willem Dafoe (Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin in Sam Raimi's Spiderman)

Not getting Rihanna

William Dafoe and James Marsden autographs

Jamie King autograph

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Bookcon 2014 report

On the eve of the month of June, me and Joresky decided to be guinea pigs for the first ever book con. 

By the time we got to the con, almost all autograph tickets had been clean swept. I wanted an RL Stein ticket to to improve my photo op and get more autographs, and I wanted a ticket for Holly Black/Cassandra Clare. I wanted Holly Black because she is the author of the Spiderwick Chronicles. Even though they said ticket distribution would start at 9AM and we were there with over an hour to spare, they said tickets went out at 5AM!! 

As the con opens, I mooch my way in rather than wait in line, but Joresky was unsuccessful and had to wait in line. While there I discover that Cary Elwes is doing an organized signing promoting his new book! This wasn't on the web site when I checked it two days before the con. 

We reserved our spots in the Elwes line and went to a panel for John Grisham! There was a bag of free books. A Time to Kill paperback by Grisham, Sycamore Road (Hardcover) by Grisham, and one more paperback book by the other author at the panel. I also grabbed a second bag that was unclaimed. So I had double. When this finished they were rushing him as I attempted to get a self blast. Despite being yelled at and even physically accosted, I manage to get a photo op that is valid 

Back to Cary Elwes and they already distributed tickets. But thankfully a girl in line got a ticket for me. As a thank you I gave her a couple of books I got from the panel. The rest I sold on amazon and made a bit of change. When the witching hour comes Elwes was not even greeting fans just signing the stupid promo book and fans were handed a book from the stack pile. WTF  If you're going to do that why even appear? Just give out pre signed books. Thankfully it wasn't a big deal as I already had him from a past monstermania. 

Additionally, some people in line had the actual book that they bought from a bookstore (which of course they probably didn't get signed). But here you have a show called BOOKcon, and the author is appearing to promote a BOOK, wouldn't it make perfect sense to actually sell the full BOOK on site rather than give away a stupid promo of the book? I guess some things just make too much sense. 

That aside, the way this went down was not a good omen for the Danielle Fishel (Topanga) signing, as that was supposed to be in the same place. 

After this we scope out the signings area to try and get RL Stine. The combo Gods gave me a gift from the skies here, and I magically found an autograph ticket for him! I couldn't believe it! Since we had one ticket Joresky has to be on the outside of the ropes. Plus they said no other items and no photo ops only the book they were giving out. I got up and manage to score the following: Photo op for Joresky, photo op for me, autographed promo book they were giving out, AND one of my books signed 

Next up we were trying for the Holly Black/Cassandra Clare signing. The combo Gods did not generate a ticket for that one, but they started letting people without a ticket into the signing. Unfortunately it was also no photo ops no alternate items as well. Only the promo book. Despite this I fight my way for a self blast with Holly Black whilst being yelled at. I manage to get the photo op. Cassandra tried to get him and I even unintentionally get most of her face in it. No extras in this one though. But I got the photo op so I can't really complain. The book that was given out I manage to sell on ebay for like $60. 

All we had to fight to get what we want, there were donation boxes suggesting a $1 donation for each book we got signed. To that jar, my reaction was this face 

On the way to the Daniel Fishel line I get a photo op Jeff Kinney the author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Joresky bought the book but I did not. 

Back to the Daniel Fishel line. The witching hour arrives and she is doing photo ops with everyone. My reaction to that is this face 

For autographs they are giving out stupid photos promoting the book. When I get to her I get the photo op, the autograph and try to get my 8x10 signed but to no avail. After the signing I try to chase her on her way to her panel for the autograph but get denied again. That's 0 and 2 autograph wise. 

After this I try to get into the Holly Black/Cassandra Clare panel in an attempt to get Holly to sign my Spiderwick Chronicles book. They weren't letting people in but I manage to mooch my way in. One guy yells out "sneaky sneaky". Sadly by the time I got there they had gone, but they were giving out a bag of free books. It wasn't a total waste as I sold these books on ebay and amazon for some money. My mooching here would end up biting me in the ass later on. More on that later. 

I then go to another panel with Rick Riordan (author of Percy Jackson and the Olympians), Lemony Snicket, and two others. After the panel only Lemony stopped the others walked away. I wanted that Riordan combo. I already had a Lemony photo op and had nothing for him to get signed so that was a bust 

Then I get a text from Joresky that Danny McNulty from Boy Meets World is at the Fishel panel. That photo op plus another shot at the Danielle autograph meant that was a "must attend" panel. 

I manage to get in the panel. After it ends I get a Danny McNulty photo op, he was nice as can be. After fighting the crowd I manage to get my 8x10 in front of Danielle, she begrudgingly signs it! More proof that persistence DOES pay off! 

There were two more panels me and Joresky wanted to hit up. One was actor Jason Segel, and the other Veronica Roth (author of the Divergent books). Both were in the same room and the lines were completely shut down for both panels. To boot, due to my previous mooching, they beefed up security big time 

Not going into that room meant losing out on potential combos. So I had to REALLY beef up my stealth. After exploiting some cracks in the system and saying a few prayers to the mooching Gods, 10 minutes later, BAM me and Joresky are in the room with Jason Segel! 

After the panel he rushed out and does nothing for no one and I miss out my chance at a combo with him  A big fat woman also blocked my way to prevent me from scoring this. I guess you can't win them all 

We sit through the next panel with Roth and 3 other authors. After the panel she says she can't do anything and rushed out! Yet another failure. Well Veronica, back to the shelves of Walmart your books are returned to. The other 3 authors were of course more than happy to do combos with everyone that asked. Though neither me nor Joresky even made the effort. 

This ended our time at book con. Bookcon is definitely a "buyer beware" type show. While my haul is far from a failure, PLUS I made some money with the free books I attained, I truly had to luck out and fight tooth and nail for what I got. 

After book con I would venture for NYC meets. Stay tuned. 

Full list of bookcon photo ops (notice the hand trying to stop me from taking a John Grisham shot)

John Grisham photo op

Danielle Fishel photo op

Autographs from bookcon (less the Cassandra/Holly one that I sold)

Monday, July 7, 2014

A few scattered meets throughout May

Thought I'd make a consolidated report for a few scattered meets throughout the month of may. Then I can finally venture into June reports. 

First off in early May I set out to meet a rock legend. Namely Bill Ward, the original drummer of Black Sabbath. 

Arrived at the airport and there were both NYC and Philly folks. Bill Ward arrives and we follow to baggage claim and he starts racking. One Philly guy even tries to physically pull away my stuff and I curse him out. After more spats with Philly folks I finally get a photo op and get my vinyl and CDs signed by him! Getting that nice rare score felt good. Plus this is my first ever member of Black Sabbath. 

Bill Ward photo op

Autographs part 1

Autographs part 2

Ten days later I go for actor TJ Miller after his comedy show. Real nice guy, happy to do a photo op. 

TJ Miller photo op

The next day was an event in mid may where I was commissioned to get some drum heads signed by Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. I also wanted to improve my photo op with him and get his autograph on my "One Hot Minute" CD already signed by Dave Navarro. 

I get to the spot and when it lets out Chad is nice as can be. He signs drum heads for another grapher. While doing so I get a photo op with baseball player Bernie Williams though I had him already. Then I get my combo with Chad Smith plus the drum heads. 

Photo ops

Signed CD

The day after that I was commissionied to get autographs from musician Ritchie Blackmore. He is an original member of Deep Purple. I heard so many conflicting stories about him, and how he sometimes signs and sometimes does not. After the show he got in his car then stopped it and signed and shockingly I even got a photo op

Ritchie Blackmore photo op

Fast forward another day I set out to improve my photo op with legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus and get a couple of items signed. When I got up to him one guy was saying he doesn't have time but I waited anyway. He took photo ops and signed my photos! 

The same place was another event which featured Chad Smith and Bernie Williams. This time I tried for a Bernie Williams autograph but he said he couldn't sign due to being under contract with Steiner Sports. He said he'd take a photo op with me but I told him I got one two days earlier. Then I see Chad Smith without shades, I try to get a photo op. He agrees but puts his shades back on 

At the event I also noticed actor Doc Shaw who was more than happy to take a photo op with me. 

Full list of photo ops from that day

Jack Nicklaus photo op

Jack Nicklaus autographs

Five days later actor Gerald McRaney was in town for an event. He co starred in the TV show Simon and Simon and was also the villain in the 2010 A Team movie. So I deemed him worthy of adding to my collection. 

I arrive at the event hotel and park right across the street. Now this was the sign that was displayed: 

Now I've done the necessary research on this type of sign long ago. What this means in English is this: in the date range listed above, you are not allowed to park there in the time frame specified.

I parked my car at 10:52pm. Right there and then people from the event said I had to move and that I would be towed. I pointed to the sign and said that in 8 minutes I'd be completely legal. A woman said that it didn't matter what the sign said the tow truck will come and tow. I said I'd stay in the car till 11 and I can't legally be towed while in the car. She said that the tow truck would come after 11. Another guy also gave me a warning and I said that if I'm towed I'd take it all the way to court. He said "if that's what you want to do" and "if you want to risk the car not being there go ahead". 

At one point the woman literally went on the walkie talkie and gave somebody my vehicle make, model, color, and license plate and to bring the towing truck to tow it. 

Now any average person would be afraid of such tactics. Case in point other people tried to park in the spots and they said "the sign is going to change, you have to move it" and indeed they moved. But I've clashed with actual police and secret service, so some event staff member bluff isn't going to scare me. The sign is law, and they of all people are not above the law. They just wanted the spot for their cars. And in any case, I figured I'd be right across the street anyway. So if all hell freezes over and I see a tow truck after 11pm, I simply run to the car and go inside it.  

Time passed, and I finally see Gerald McRaney and no tow truck ever came. Gerald was ultra friendly and was happy to pose for a shot! When signing he gave a nice autograph and I was pulling away the photo but turns out he wasn't done! Wow I'm so used to the garbage I get by celebrities that when he gave me half his autograph I thought it was full! I apologized and he finished the autograph and singed a second item no problem. You forget sometimes that some people are actually nice, especially when you combo hunt.

Gerald McRaney photo op


A couple of days later I go for billionaire and WWE Hall of Famer, Donald Trump! We wait and he comes out of his limo with his daughter and is mobbed. 

I manage to get him on a book he wrote and on the Wrestlemania 23 entry of the WWE_E. As he was going inside I quickly plead for a photo op which he poses for! Interestingly enough he is a known germaphobe yet he put his hand on my shoulder. HCIT. 

Donald Trump photo op


Thursday, July 3, 2014

And another four days of non stop meets!

I know I've been behind reports, but I hope to play catch up. 

Not even 2 weeks since my last endeavor, I set out for a whole host of meets with Joresky Again, we shall divide in days. 

Day 1

The first day starts of early at a spot. Got a bunch of names most notably Josh Lucas, a want of mine. Here's a good idea of how inconsiderate people can be. I was taking my photo op and some bitch jumps in and takes a selfie with her self phone ruining my shot  Luckilly he came back out and did another photo op with me 

Another notable was Katherine Heigl but I already had her so that wasn't a score. 

We saw Tony Bennett randomly as he lives not too far from the spot. He didn't too much in terms of photo ops. I didn't mind cause I had him but Joresky was devastated as he staid "no pictures" cause he doesn't have him. I got him to sign photo paper though.  

Then it was off to the next spot where the year prior I scored big. I was hoping to replicate my success. And replicate I did!

Tons of names were racked, including actors from the Gotham TV Show including Jada Pinkett Smith. Improved my photo op with Nicole Baharie. Upgraded my photo with David Boreanaz by getting him without shades! Had to yell and scream to get him to pose with me. But him leaving prevented me from getting Ben McKenzie who stars as Commissioner Gordon in Gotham! His go cart blocked Ben from coming to where I was  And Zooey Deschanel did autographs no photo ops! I've lost count at how many times I failed to get that photo op! Zooey went to another part of the building, so now I had to catch Zooey in the back and Ben in the front. Luckily I could see from a distance that Ben was still busy. I try to approach Zooey but security says to stay back. Not wanting trouble just yet I comply. In moving around I see Jane Lynch and try to upgrade my photo op but she declines. I also invite Joresky to come try and meet Zooey with me but he declines saying she won't do photo ops. Then Zooey comes up! I ask for a photo op she says to get in line. I get in the back of a line of about 7-8 girls and she FINALLY takes the shot with me! I could not believe it! I finally broke the Zooey curse. Of course Joresky's reaction was this face when he saw the photo op. I arrive just in time to get Ben McKenzie and YES I get the photo op!

After the sweeping success at this spot, it was off to the next spot where a bunch of names were expected. Jim Parsons, Mark Ruffalo, Taylor Kitsch, Matt Bomer and Julia Roberts. Upon arriving at the spot I found out Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were there. Also turns out Julia Roberts actually did 2 or 3 photo ops going inside! Although they were all females. 

The spot had two exits, I try to get Brad and Angelina but failed. And I was on the front side when Julia Roberts actually came out the back and signed a few autographs Wanted to upgrade my Taylor Kitsch photo op but again was on the wrong side. Needed a Ruffalo autograph but he did nothing for no one. 

Went on to the next spot where the crowd was a lot better, but sadly everyone is inside when I get there. 

Jim Parsons comes out and does nothing for no one. We see Lea Michele and Liv Tyler they do some photo ops sadly none with me. Mark Ruffalo comes out and I wasn't able to score him but thankfully I got a photo op with him already but I needed an auto. Matt Bomer comes out but didn't need him. I get Dylan McDermott, upgrades with Taylor Kitsch and director Peter Berg, among other things. Last photo op for the evening was Anthony Edwards but sadly photo came out blurry. Tried begging for a retake but to no avail. We never saw Brad or Angelina come out as they left through the side. Julia Roberts came out but nothing for no one. 

Lots of ups and down for the day, and as we were heading back to the car we spot bags and bags of sealed candy outside a CVS. We load up a garbage bag Santa Clause style, and take our new found treats (garbage bags had nothing but sealed unexpired candy in it). 

Full list of Day 1 photo ops part 1

Full list of Day 1 photo ops part 2

Full list of Day 1 photo ops part 3

Full list of Day 1 photo ops part 4

Sampling of photo ops:

David Boreanaz AKA Angel

Josh Lucas (Hulk, Poseidon, among others)

Ben McKenzie (Jim Gordon in the Gotham TV show)

David Mazouz (Bruce Wayne/future Batman in the Gotham TV Show)

Robin Taylor (Oswald Cobblepot/future Penguin in the Gotham TV show)

Zooey Deschanel (Elf, Yes Man, among others)

Taylor Kitsch (Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine)

Photos of the bags of candy: 1 2 3

Day 2

This day starts off at a spot were Will Smith did combos the day before. I was hoping to see him but sadly did not. I did see Camren Bicondova who plays Selina Kyle/Future Catwoman in the Gotham TV show. At the spot where I scored the others the day before she did nothing for no one. Her mother and grandmother were happy with the fame and asked me to tag her in the photo op. I also saw markedout's Woodmo and got other photo ops. After this went by one stop and got a Jason Beghe photo op, then off to another spot where I see Hayley Atwell from the Captain America movie but she does nothing. Then I score Juliette Lewis as she is walking. On to another spot and I score a couple more names, and I stand at spot for Lady Gaga! 

The crowd was ginormous but I manage to scream for her and she actually posed with me!!  I even made TMZ on this one. Particularly proud of this score cause it was a tough one to get. Granted she was nice but not everyone got the shot. 

Then I go on a separate endeavor. First spot I score a Marisa Tomei combo on a program (though I had a photo op from before so this isn't new), I score a Toni Colette photo op, and a photo op and two autographs with Michael C Hall AKA Dexter. Off to the next spot where I hope to upgrade my Michelle Williams shades photo op and also complete my combo with both her and Alan Cummings. Alan comes out and signs my magazine and program. And I got Michelle Williams to sign the program, an 8x10 of her, and an Oz the Great and Powerful 8x10 already signed by James Franco!  Additionally, I got the last of the perfects shots with her, no shades AND no hat.  

Back to the previous spot where I score Kyra Sedgwick and a couple of others. I stepped away for a second and Steve Carell did photo ops! I went to get one but by then he stopped doing them and rejected me. I have a photo op with him from before but this would have been a nice upgrade to what I have. Not a huge deal but still a stupid miss. 

The evening ended on a sour note. We went to yet another spot to see John Cho and Karen Gillian from Guardians of the Galaxy. It was late, we were tiered, and it was cold, we left and 3 minutes later they did photo ops with everyone 

Though for me this epic miss would end up helping me in the long run, more on that later. 

Full list of Day 2 photo ops part 1

Full list of Day 2 photo ops part 2

Sampling of photo ops:

Lady Gaga

Camren Bicondova (Selina Kyle/future Catwoman in the Gotham TV show)

Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers)

Michael C Hall AKA Dexter

Michelle Williams (Oz the Great and Powerful)

Day 3

This day starts off on a stupid blunder. I thought it was Adam Sandler at an early morning spot, when I arrived I find out it was Jim Parsons rookie mistake not double checking the info. This cost us some precious sleep. But I made the best of it and got a photo op. 

Next spot where we hope to make up Karen Gillian and John Cho. We see Hayley Atwell going for a jog but declines photo ops saying on the way back. I get another Juliette Lewis photo op it's clearer than my shot from the day before but she has shades on. We finally see John Cho but he has a hat and shades. Me and Joresky got photo ops while two girls there did not. Wow it's a rarity that a couple of guys score a photo op while girls do not. Brad Paisley shows up but I have so many photo ops with him I simply shook his hand and told him so. He's like "good seeing you again". Then his wife Kimberly Williams shows up! Since I missed her a couple of weeks ago, this was AWESOME for me! Had I not missed John Cho and Karen Gillian the day before I would not have been waiting here. We never did see Karen but we knew we would have another chance at her because she would be at Wizard World Philadelphia

Off to the next spot where I get Cee Lo Green, Rhona Mitra, among others I tried again for Lady Gaga to get her without a hat, but this time instead of posing for me she waves at me and goes away. I wonder if she remembered me from the day before. 

We go off to the next spot, but sadly we arrive late and we do not have the prime spots at the railing. Halle Berry signs a few autographs on both sides and does a couple of photo ops on the side opposite where I was. Morgan Freeman does nothing for no one. I had to very aggressively fight for the photo ops I did get. Will Arnett, Sharon Osbourne, and Chris O Donnel are some of my scores. Another notable miss of mine was Robert Patrick AKA T-1000. 

Sadly, we make a fatal mistake after entries are done. Rather than wait for exits we rush to the next spot. Had we stayed we probably could have scored some people on exits 

While all these people were at the next spot we get a tip that Adam Sandler just went out with friends and should be due back at his hotel! We decide to invest our time and effort to Adam Sandler. 

We wait and we find out that many of the people did combos, INCLUDING MORGAN FREEMAN WHO NEVER DOES STUFF 

I guess hindsight is 20/20 we should have stayed there. But we didn't want to miss Adam Sandler who is normally nice. 

While waiting for Adam we finally get Hayley Atwell and we also see Martin Short (though I had him). Finally Adam Sandler arrives and I ask for a photo op and he says "go" and poses with us and I get two autographs! YES! 

We quickly hear to the last spot for the evening where I see Stephen Amell but sadly he does nothing for no one. The evening ends with a Daniel Gillies photo op. 

Full list of Day 3 photo ops part 1

Full list of Day 3 photo ops part 2

Sampling of photo ops:

Day 4

This was my final planned day before calling it quits. And while Joresky chose to sleep and rest up his body, I decided to be up early. When heading to the spot I debated if I should just walk or pay for a train, I paid the $2.50. This was a fantastic decision because 2 minutes after I arrived I scored a combo with Grant Gustin AKA The Flash! The day was off to a good start right there. Sacrificed sleep and sacrificed $2.50, but Grant would do nothing else for no one for the rest of the day. So it was worth it.

Katie Cassidy and Stephen Amell would do nothing for no one throughout, but I got some decent scores in Colton Haynes, Joseph Morgan, Misha Collins, Paul Blackthorne, John Barrowman, among others. This spot would also be the first time I see  since forging a truce with him and the first time I see my old friend Dave since he got cured of cancer a second time.

After this spot winds down we find out that Hayden Christensen AKA Anakin Skywalker is here

Despite this, I choose to head over to another spot to try for more names. The setup seemed bad cause we were across the street but a lot of celebrities came over. One notable name I'm happy I got was William Mosley from Chronicles of Narnia. I had just gotten Will Poulter a couple of weeks ago, and I got Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley a while back. Only missing Anna Popplewel. Piper Perabo came over but since I had her I didn't bother to fight the crowd. After a few more photo ops I stop somewhere to charge my phone and camera. Then I head back to the spot for Hayden Christenson. As I rush there Joresky decides to go for $1 pizza and BAM I score Hayden! Almost didn't get it. As I arrived he was signing then was about to go till I pleaded for the photo op! Joresky did get him the next day but he was wearing a cap. 

I also got Josh Helman (Young Striker in X Men Days of Future Past), among others. 

My time was coming to an end, I tried a couple of more spots but to no avail. I could have waited for Amell to come back, but I correctly guessed he wouldn't stop. Since there was nothing else left for me to get that was still in the city, I decided to leave. 

Sampling of photo ops: