Friday, September 26, 2014

Monstermania, Brady Bunch Con, CT ComicCONN, More

In mid August, I along withand one other friend decided to tackle 3 cons plus NYC street meets. Initially Monstermania had Robert Patrick (T-1000) and Brady Bunch Con had Maureen McCormick (Marcia Brady). Sadly both cancelled and this was a huge punch in the face for me. Despite that, I still stuck with my plans. And despite Monstermania sporting one of their worst line ups ever, it still had a couple of names I wanted. 

We will divide this report in days. And after each trek I will showcase autographs and photo ops. 


Arrive at MM on Friday. Max gave me a They Live poster and laserdisc to get signed for him. First person I go for is Meg Foster. I already got her but got two autographs for Max. And I got a free updated photo op. She is sweet, talkative and friendly as always. 

Next up is Keith David who is a first time meet for me. I of course know him best from They Live. Got him on Max's items, my They Live DVD (the only autograph I obtained for myself at Monstermania), and of course for a photo op. Katharine Isabelle is the next photo op I get, adding to my ever growing Freddy vs Jason cast. Honestly the only major person I'm not missing from that cast is Jason himself. 

Then I hold a spot for the Mads Mikkelsen line and I am joined by Joresky. While waiting I rush to the Roddy Piper line where someone else held me a spot, and I get Max's items signed. Piper was nice, friendly, and talkative like he usually is. I then RUN to the Mads Mikkelsen where I split a photo op with Joresky. 

Ended Monstermania with a Michael Berryman photo op, who I know best from The Hills Have Eyes. 

In the lobby I saw a Freddy suited man who was wearing the full correct outfit. I find him rather humorous and strange that Robert Englund who went through all the effort to put in the Freddy make up made up excuses on why he couldn't wear the proper attire. Yet here was a Freddy suited fan who had the full accurate outfit. Made for a good photo op, and it was FREE.

Monstermania photo ops from Friday

They Live DVD (signed by Carpenter, Piper, David, Foster)

Freddy photo op

It was then off to NYC for some meets. Sadly we arrived later than expected so we missed some stuff. We started with Anna Gunn from Breaking Bad. I parked illegally and we waited for her. When she came out I scored a combo plus one extra. 

Moved on to the next spot where my main goal was Annette Bening. We arrive and see John Lithgow with a huge beard. He did nothing for no one but no big loss as I have him and the beard wouldn't have made the photo op an upgrade anyway. 

We see actor Jay O Sanders come out then shortly Annette Bening who was mobbed. We had to do begging and pleading but I managed to get a combo. Then I had to run after her so my friend could get a photo op. I used the handicap card and got him the photo op. He also helped me with another autograph. 

Rush back quickly and thankfully Jay O Sanders was still there. He came to us and did combos no problem. 

We then rush to the next spot for Todd Barry from the movie The Wrestler. We feared we missed him but he was just hanging around and chilling. He did combos with us. We then went to another spot in the hopes of seeing celebrities but it was dead. 

It was then off to Brady Bunch Con where I parked my car and went to sleep. 

Overall a very good and fruitful day. 

Annette Bening

NYC Friday photo ops

NYC Friday autographs 


The day begins with Brady Bunch Con. The prices were insane as they had a price for photo ops and a price for autographs, making the cheapest combo $50. Luckily we decided to work the system. Admission was partially mooched, and we went upstairs to investigate what was going on. It seems that aside from the bigger guests (ie the Brady Bunch kids, none of which I needed) the rules were not enforced 

First I got free photo ops with Henriette Mantel, the oh so cute Olivia Hack, and Paul Sutera. Then I see that Christopher Daniel Barnes had a Little Mermaid photo on his table. Turns out he voiced Prince Eric! I got him to sign the photo and got a photo op. The photo is the original artwork which features the penis like image on the castle. This can be found on the VHS release, but later changed for the laserdisc release. ref: the artwork in question

Then I went to one of my wants from this con, Robbie Rist. Partially mooched the autograph and got a free photo op. I got him to sign my laserdisc of the first TMNT movie where he voiced Michelangelo. Unfortunately he wrote a lot and in big writing taking up HALF the laserdisc. No offence Robbie but I hope to add others to this. Thankfully I managed to remove most of his writing, keeping his autograph and character inscription. I then got free photo ops with Hope Schwartz Juber and producer Lloyd Schwartz. 

During the con I was interviewed by someone for a radio show of sorts. He asked me all sorts of questions, why I'm here, about my signed merch, and if I jerk off to Marcia Brady, among other things. 

Sadly I don't see them having another Brady Bunch Con as this was a Saturday and traffic was almost none existent. 

Brady Bunch Con photo ops

Brady Bunch Con autographs

TMNT movie LD before I cleaned it up

Next up to NYC to try for actress Ally Sheedy from Short Circuit and Breakfast club. Parked illegally again and we waited. She arrived and was as nice as can be. I got the photo op and my three photos signed. Sadly, JUST AS I was getting the combo I got a parking ticket, my first one ever in NYC thankfully the blow was reduced when it was a 3 way split. 

Ally Sheedy photo op

Ally Sheedy autographs 

After this, we drive to Connecticut for Connecticut ComicCONN. We arrive at 3pm and quickly park and rush to the venue. I was trying to asses a way to mooch, but sadly could not find one. And besides we had to go in quickly cause we were there late and didn't want to miss anyone. So I didn't have time to think 

As we're inside we quickly look for the area where celebrities are. First thing I get an upgraded photo op with Ray Park AKA Darth Maul. I then get FREE photo ops with two Thundercats voice actors, Peter Newman (Tygra) and Lynne Lipton (Cheetara). We then stand in line for actor Maximiliano Hernandez who played Agent Sitwell in TVs Agents of SHIELD, Avengers, and Thor. I wasn't planning on getting him but as soon as I saw the sign "free autographs and photo ops" I quickly jumped in line. He was about to leave and we were the last to get him. Then I scored FREE photo ops with Scott Schiaffo (Clerks) and Steve Savino and Jordan Hembrough from Toy Hunters. 

Honestly, as much as it sucked to pay admission, these free photo ops made the blow less painful. 

Since we had time to kill, we decided to do something we never have time to do at other cons. Rack on some decent comic book names. It felt so good that the stress for the celebs was off. I also bought some comics for 25 cents to get signed! 

Sadly, one of my top comic book wants Klaus Jansen (artist of Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns) was gone. Another good name Denny O’Neil was gone but we ended up seeing him walking around (thanks to looking at his photo via smart phone). 

This is what I got in terms of photo ops:

David Finch (Batman)
Jerry Ordway (Superman)
Keith Giffen (Guardians of the Galaxy, co-creator of Rock Raccoon, Lobo)
Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (various DC comics) 
Steve Montano (Guardians of the Galaxy, WCW comics)
George Perez (Teen Titans, Superman)
Frank McLaughlin (Justice League)
Bob Wiacek (Star Wars, Uncanny X-Men)
Rick Buckler (Fantastic Four)
Bob Layton (Iron Man)
Joe Rubinstein (Superman, Wolverine)
Denny O’Neil (Batman)

Out of those got autographs from Jerry Ordway, Joe Rubinstein, and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. All were free except Joe who charged $1 per comic. Also got Denny O’Neil on the show program. 

Additionally I got a free photo op with actor William Katt (Greatest American Hero, Carrie) who was in the artist's alley. 

Three cons in two days, a new record for me!

Of course, there was a moment at the con that crushed me, even though it didn't affect me. David Finch was charging 3 figured numbers for sketches and he CUT the line saying to come back tomorrow. Wow really? You're rejecting money to simply sit down and draw? I'd stay up all night to draw if someone paid me that kind of money. 

CT photo ops part 1

CT photo ops part 2

CT Autographs

Off to NYC for more celebs. We try for a spot with actresses Cate Blanchett and Elizabeth Debicki. We play the waiting game for the spot to let out. 

Director Martin Scorsese comes and is rushed in the car. Luckily I already have him. Then I get a combo and extra from up and coming actress Elizabeth Debicki. She's already been in quite a bit and may be tough to get in the future. French actress Isabelle Huppert is rushed out but I manage to get a photo op. Finally Cate Blanchett is mobbed and signs. She does a couple of photo ops but I don't manage to get one. I only get an autograph. I try following her in another building very discretely but she and her handler outright refuse me. I then quickly exit so as not to stir things with the employees. 

We then see that she is entering a spot nearby. There were about 5 of us and she does ONE photo op and is rushed. So we wait more. Anne Hathaway is rushed to her car and did nothing for no one. A very drunk Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber come out and do nothing. Luckilly I have them all.

Then finally Cate Blanchett comes out and refuses us. Not detterred I enter the building and the security guard of the party she left follows. He begins to assault me and we spat words. Since the security of the current building was going to come out, I exited so as not to leave an impression. 

Back to the original spot I went off on the security guards and cursed them out. They tried to say I was trespassing and I said they could call the cops if they thought I was trespassing. I even offered them to use my phone. The guy called me a loser for combo hunting and that I should find a new hobby, I told him that I don't say he is a loser for working a minimum wage security job nor do I tell him to look for another job so he has no right to call me a loser and tell me what to do. They were threatening to forcibly remove me and I said that if anyone touched me I would press charges. Some time passed and I walked away. We then scouted another spot but saw nothing. 

We then drove to Cherry Hill, parked the car by Monstermania, and slept. 

Elizabeth Debicki

Isabelle Huppert

NYC Saturday Autographs


Sunday was quick and easy at Monstermania. Adam West and Burt Ward were doing photo ops at the table. I found someone to split a Burt Ward photo op with me, and I split an Adam West photo op with member Greg2600. I already had them both but it was with my old camera and the photos weren't the greatest. I figured it was no or never to upgrade, since I will never get the chance to get those photo ops for lower tier 2 figured numbers. I also split a photo op with actress Torrey DeVitto. 

Monstermania photo ops from Sunday

Friday, September 5, 2014

Some scattered meets throughout August

First off in early August I attended the Shoreleave convention in Hunt Valley. My plan is simple, to split a Richard Dean Anderson photo op with since I loved MacGyver back in the day. 

Thankfully I manage to mooch admission, which cost a pretty penny. The photo op session started late which was in our favor cause we were running late. Then we got the photo op. 

Joresky said that a vendor was giving out FREE posters including a Night Before Our Stars signed poster. Well, free is free. So I go to the table and feast on free posters. You were only allowed one Night Before Our Stars poster but me being me I managed to sneak an extra one. 

Sadly upon looking at both my posters, I noticed they were nothing but pre prints. Shame on them for giving them out saying they were real 

Richard Dean Anderson photo op

The "signed" posters Notice how the autographs are exactly the same.

A couple of days later I set out to meet Bono. We get to the spot and unfortunately find out that Bono is not even in town. A wasted evening. But attending the function was rapper Akon. I got a photo op. 

Akon photo op

About a week later Kenny G had a show. He is an iconic instrumentalist probably best known for this tune

I try to mooch my way in after the show as I always do and find out that he's doing a signing! YES! But I got caught with someone asking what I'm doing here. With my quick thinking I say I want to buy a CD, to which the guy replies "go ahead". Sadly I had to pay money but at least that was my ticket to stay. A guarantee is a guarantee. 

I go in line and sadly he is not doing photo ops He signs my CD and one 8x10 but refuses to sign more. I wait till the end of the signing and Kenny G says he'll do photo ops and to have cameras ready. My reaction is this face 

I get the photo op then I see him signing more I quickly whip out another 8x10 and give a friend an 8x10 to get signed for me. He signs both and tells me "enough for you". Good enough for me as I only had one last 8x10 left. A relatively easy hunt right there. 

Photo op


Fast forward about 10 days and I get a tip for a Charles Barkley flight! That's a good iconic sports name. I quickly get some 8x10s and head to the airport. Charles is nice as can be and did a combo no problem. He didn't sign more than one but I had someone help me out with another. 

Photo op


And at the end of August I got a tip for an Iggy Azalea flight! My first encouter with Iggy included a scuffle with her security and involving the police. If you need a refresher check this report and go towards the end of Day 2. 

I arrive at the airport JUST in the nick of time cause she is already signing for other graphers I quickly approach and manage to get my photos signed. I ask for a photo op and she says sure! This time I manage to get a photo op. I was inches from failure, but thankfully it was a sweeping success.  

It should be noted that the security guard that was there last time I tried for her was not there this time. It was a much nicer one. Who knows if his behavior towards me that evening  (and me calling the cops on him) had anything to do with him getting replaced. It's unlikely that he worked for the venue because he was Australian like her. So odds are he did in fact work for her. 

Photo op


And the last day of August, Joresky came back from Dragon Con to try for Jeff Bridges. I already have a photo op with him but I wanted to get his autograph cause he's an awesome name. We all arrive at the venue and mooch inside after the show. There was a signing table but sadly Jeff wasn't there. It was his daughter Jessie. Turns out Jeff isn't doing a signing . After he leaves we go to the next spot where he decided to go sight seeing. But when they see us approach they rush him back to his vehicle. They even video tape us rushing towards him. After this he sadly left town. A bust and a wasted evening (unless of course Jessie Bridges ever becomes big). 

Jessie Bridges

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Presidents of the USA, Pittsburgh Steel City Con

One weekend I set out for Pittsburgh Steel City Con. There were a couple of reasons I wanted to go. First off two of the guests I wanted are old, plus they also had Mindy Sterling from the Austin Powers movies, a want of mine. This would mark my second time ever in Pittsburgh, and my Steel City Con debut. And normally if I get 1 or 2 autographs at a con that is a lot for me, here I got FIVE  I cannot remember the last time I got this many autographs at a con (besides of course NYCC where they are all free). Though there was actually some rationale behind each of them. 

But before the con I wanted to meet the band Presidents of the USA, 

best known for their 90s hits "Peaches" and "Lump". The latter was even parodied by Weird Al. Sadly the guitarist isn't original. The lead singer and the drummer are original. 

So I mooched my way into the venue since told me that he once got them at a meet and greet after the show. I caught the tail end of the show but sadly they did no meet and greet. A wasted effort mooching. 

So I waited in a position where I could watch both doors. There were a few other fans waiting. I waited by the vehicle that I suspected belonged to them. And I was right.

First to walk out was the lead singer Chris Ballew. He was moving to his vehicle but would stopp if you asked for an autograph for photo op. I had 3 CDs which I got signed and of course got the photo op. 

Next up was drummer Jason Finn. Again, nice as can be. Signed my CDs and took a photo op. 

Then I spot current guitarist Andrew McKeag. Happily did a photo op. He wasn't in any of the CDs I had so didn't get him to sign anything. 

Chris Ballew (lead singer)

Jason Finn (drummer)

Andrew McKeag (current guitarist) 

I then went to pick up a friend, and it was off to Steel City Con at 2AM. I had to stop and sleep halfway, but we made it. And I managed to mooch admission. 

At Steel City Con, Froggys were not forced! I do believe that for Billy Dee Williams and LeVar Burton they were forced, but for the rest they weren't. And as a result the lines for most Froggys photo ops were but a handful. 

First one I went for was Mindy Sterling. She was friendly and even marked out for my item. An Austin Powers 2 snapper DVD signed by Rob Lowe, Seth Green, Jay Roach, and Verne Troyer. For this item I had to get a full combo. 

Next up was what is now a rare treat for me. A wrestling meet that I don't have, namely former WCW announcer Mark Madden. He marked out for my WCW book and went to his page and signed it for FREE and also took a FREE photo op for me! Wow I got a combo at a con for free. So double rare treat here. He was super duper nice. He was selling WCW promos for $10 but I didn't get one. 

Then I go for Pat Priest, someone who has alluded me for a long time. I had a Munsters photo signed by Butch Patrick years ago. And she was just $20 free photo op. Wow how refreshing. So I get her to sign my photo and got a photo op. One guy who was there seemed like he was harassing me asking me if I took a photo op with her. I thought he was going to charge me extra, but when I said yes he said he just wanted to make sure I got what was included in the $20. 

I rarely if ever go for repeats but I went for this one. I had a CS Jimmy Hart signed but the autograph was very sloppy and the marker which was used wasn't good. So it was also faded. I may have mooched it at a convention years ago, but I don't remember. I decided to remove the graph and get him again, and it was so much better. A million fold upgrade. Nice writing and the HOF and Mouth of the South inscriptions. 

Next up Penny Marshall from Laverne & Shirley and directors of several movies such as Big. The combo price was not much more than the table photo op price. So I elected to go for the full combo. The handler told me how much the pro op was and how much the table op was. Guess which one I chose. 

With my wants at this show done, I was able to just walk around, relax, look at the vendors, and take some photo ops with costumed folks. A nice change from the stress that normally consumes me when I'm at cons. 

Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers trilogy)

Pat Priest (Marilyn Munster in the Munsters) 

Penny Marshall (Laverne in Laverne & Shirley, director of Big, among other things)

Mark Madden (former WCW announcer)

Austin Powers 2 DVD inside the snapper signed by Mindy Sterling on the left  

After we left I got treated to some nice and tasty Golden Corral. Then we head back I wanted to try for Jerry Seinfeld. I get to the spot with some time to spare. Jerry bolts out. I try to take a shot but it comes out ultra blurry and he's not even posing. This was after he did pose for an old lady grapher. Then I plead more he agrees to do it, but my camera decided to fail on me and he bolted in the car  yet ANOTHER failed attempt at Jerry Seinfeld.