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 Chloé 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

Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Show and Intervention 7

In mid September I decided to attend two cons. The first one was the Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Show. I would arrive and later be joined by 

My first get would be Keir Dullea from 2001: A Space Odyssey. He was there with Gary Lockwood. I got a dual shot with them at Chiller in the past, but he had a full beard at Chiller. So this was a huge upgrade shot. Then I picked up a $5 Kathy Garver photo op. I also said hello to Geri Reischl AKA Fake Jan (she recognizes me cause we follow one another on twitter, HCIT). 

Now the main reason I was there was the two Roberts, namely Robert Fuller and Robert Conrad. Both had HUGE lines. But then another grapher who was there said Robert Conrad was at the bar. We went up and I also spot Robert Fuller sitting at a table. Getting the photo ops at the bar meant we would not have to wait in the long ass lines. 

First was Robert Fuller and he was nice as can be and did photo ops. Next up was Robert Conrad who also happily stopped despite being held up so he can stand/walk (he had a stroke so he couldn't move half his body). 

I should add that technically these are NOT mooched photo ops. Because they were both doing free photo ops at the table. 

One has to commend Robert Conrad though. So many young actors give horrid autographs even in paid settings, yet here he is, 81, had a stroke, struggling to even hold a pen, and gives every letter to his paying customers. 

Joresky then informs me about getting a free Russ McCubbin photo op. I quickly grab one. Although upon googling he is barely valid. 

Robert Fuller

Robert Conrad

Full list of photo ops 

Next up we go to Intervention 7. My main want there is Juliet Landau AKA Dru from Buffy and Angel. My second main want is Jon St John who voiced the iconic Duke Nukem video game character. 

We arrive and seems all the people we want are not at their table. Additionally, director Rachel Talalay did not even have a table setup. 

Eventually Star Trek writer and author David Gerrold returns to his table and I get a free photo op. Then Joresky points out the guy he previously got from the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Star Wars skit (The Jedi who fights Blackwolf the Dragonmaster). His wife and her friend were both giggling when I was getting photo ops with him. 

We go to the Juliet Landau panel and at the end Joresky asks if she's coming to her table. She says she's doing pro ops and wasn't planing to go to her table but will do so for a few minutes. 

We wait and she finally makes her table. We get photo ops there. Joresky asks if she could remove her shades but she says she has an eye infection. None of the other people we wanted came to their tables. 

We find out Rachel Talalay will be at a panel in a very small room. We then go there and try to get her before the panel she says not right now. We wait till after and she doesn't want to pose for photos covering her face. Damn really? This is someone who can walk Times Square and no one will raise an eye brow, yet she comes to a con and does not want to do photo ops?

It's like, is this a convention or are we doing street meets? We got blown off by Talalay, we had to pull strings to get Juliet at her table and get a shades shot, and to boot other people we wanted never showed up? Really? We go to cons for guarantees and now even cons aren't a guarantee? 

This sadly meant I had to come back the next day for Jon St John. But I wasn't 110% sure if I had Dwight Schultz of the A Team so I could check on that plus I could get René Auberjonois who was sat/sun only. 

Next day I get to the con and still no Jon St John at this table. But as I found out I don't have Dwight so I get that photo op. 

Next I wait in line for René Auberjonois (Star Trek, Disney's The Little Mermaid). The guy behind me was struggling to cope with the fact that the photo op cost $20 at the table. Then I discuss splitting the photo op and he agrees. But wait he has no cash. I suggest he paypal me the $10. He tries to put his debit card on his paypal but is struggling. I then take his phone and his debit card and try to input it myself. While this is happening the girl in front of us tells the handler "these guys want to split the photo op so it's $10 each". The handler goes "that's fine but they both get one photo" My reaction is a mixture of this face  and this face

I ask that girl why she is involving herself in my business. She seemed shocked at this and said she was doing it cause I would want to make sure this is allowed before I do it. I tell her that I've done this a 1000 times and I'm an adult that doesn't need her guidance. If I wanted to ask the handler a question I can do it myself. I then continue to setup the man's debit card, put in my email and $10 (he ends up paying $10.57 cause his bank account isn't setup). I get $10 in my paypal account fine. 

Rene was taking his time talking to people and I tell that guy to please wait till we get our photo op before talking to him so I can go away then he can take all the time he wants. He goes "wow you don't want to talk to him?" I said I had no interest in doing that. He goes "really? WHY?"

When we approach the table the guy tells the handler about the split and again my reaction is this face thankfully we split the photo op no issue. After the shot is taken I walk away and the guy utters to Rene "oh he just wants the photo but I want to talk more" and again my reaction is this face 

Alex Kingston was a name I would have liked to get but she was pro op only and the ONLY guest at this con that was pro op only. To boot the pro ops had horrid fake backgrounds. So this left one last guest I needed, namely Jon St. John.

To guarantee that I'd see him I decide to go to his panel. I ask him if he's going to his autograph table he said about 30 minutes after the panel. After the panel I ask him for a selfie and he is happy to oblige. I then go to his table and see one couple waiting but they eventually give up (during that time he was dining at the restaurant of the hotel). 

Finally he comes to his table and I approach. His girl points me out to him. I greet him and get a $10 8x10 from him that he signed. Of course at this table I find out he would have signed any items I had for FREE and I had nothing. DAMMIT! Had I known I would have bought stuff before hand. How cool would it have been to get the Duke Nukem 3D MS DOS game signed? He then asked if I was happy with my photo op at the panel. I said yes but we could take another. His girlfriend then takes a photo. Seemed really happy to do a combo. 

Juliet Landau

Jon St. John

Dwight Schultz

Full list of Intervention photo ops


Monday, September 19, 2016

Tennis legend and a few actors

After a much needed nap in my car following my Rusev success, it was time for the next spot with adelta. 

First target is tennis legend Martina Navratilova. This was a tip from a Master so I had to get autographs for him. Sadly she said she doesn't sign at airports (a lie according to said Master) but via begging I manage to get the photo op by promising not to post it online (she said she doesn't like the way she looks right now and doesn't want the photo online). Sucks I couldn't help the Master out though. 

Next up is a flight for both Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo. My prediction was that Lupita would have hat and shades, be escorted by security, and do no autos and no photo ops. 

I was mostly right. Everything I said came true except she did photo ops! I couldn't believe it. So I got a photo op. It's an improvement compared to my shot in NYC but not by much as she has hat and shades in both shots. I did see a photo op a Master got where it looked like he had her one on one at night and she had shades no hat. So this airport photo op I got is likely as good as one will ever get unless she does an organized signing of some kind. I attempted autographs but she wouldn't sign. 

David was nice as can be but sadly he had hat and shades. I will have a chance in NYC to upgrade this one. 

On to the next spot for Jeffrey Tambor (Hangover movies among others), and other actors from Transparent. As we arrive we found out we missed him because we were looking for parking. But fear not we still have exits. 

We wait and we see actresses Trace Lysette and Kathryn Hahn and get photo ops. Turns out Kathryn is a great score because she was in Anchorman, We're the Millers, Step Brothers, Tomorrowland, and many others.

Time passes and I have to move the car. I run back and see Jeffrey Tambor walking with his entire family. He was nice as can be Unfortunately during that time we may have missed actress Amy Landecker walking by. 

Sadly my Jeffrey score was somewhat negated because I found out I did in fact get him in NYC. But I like this shot better because in my NYC shot he has spectacles, I look more stressed due to the NYC crowd, and said crowd can be seen in the background of the photo op. 

We had info for WWE in Philly, but me and adelta decide we were just too damn beat after all that combo hunting. So we decided to call it a day. 

Jeffrey Tambor

Kathryn Hahn

Full list of photo ops

The next day I have a flight Chadwick Boseman AKA The Black Panther. Before paps got to him I had him one on one and he would do nothing saying "c'mon man what are you doing here". I followed him to the car and got threatened by his driver. I then got in a spat with the driver telling him that I will stay here and I also recorded him. He said the police was coming but then simply drove off. I then walked away. 

After this bust, I went to a signing with Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde. The photo op was a guarantee but they said he would only sign the provided 8x10. A long time grapher arrives and he is upset because of the no extras rule. 

Zakk arrives and takes a group shot with everyone in line. Then everyone lines up for photo ops and goes back in line for autographs. The grapher asked Zakk if he could get the album done instead of the 8x19 and Zakk told him to bring him both he'll sign them. 

So we go in line and the grapher gives me one of his items to get signed. They are of course being so strict on extras making sure no one takes anything with them when they go get the auto. So the grapher hides his vinyl in the back of him. He goes up to Zakk and pulls it out and gets in a huge spat with the security guard. Right there I had no plans to get the item signed. Not that I'm above being yelled at but not doing it for someone else. To the grapher's credit he was successful, so I can't knock his methods. He got a total of 3 items done including the provided 8x10. I then go to Zack and get my 8x10 done. 

After this I go to the airport and meet up with adelta plus one other buddy for Steve-O from Jackass. Unfortunately adelta didn't do his homework and failed to check if the reservation was still valid (turned out he changed to the next day). After that I called it a day. 

I consider this day a bust. I got just one combo 

Photo op


Behind the scenes

Chadwick Boseman being a dick

Grapher hides a vinyl

Grapher gets in a spat with security

Sunday, September 18, 2016

WWE September airport report

It's been so so long since I did WWE at the airport. And now the time has come to do it again. Luckily there were lots of flights including a mother load flight. I also wanted to get my wants out of the way so I wouldn't have to come back two days later. 

So I arrive with adelta plus another buddy. First flight is Darren Young. I was just along for the ride and got a photo op. Needed a good picture with his new look and this one is better than the NYC one because the cap he has here shows more of his face. He was nice as can be. 

Next up was an Enzo and Cass flight. I got Enzo in NYC and had Cass since 2012 but this was the dual op! First was Enzo and he did muti combos. Then Cass comes along he sees that and is like "ohhh shit" but then he is pounded and does multi combos. 

While they're leaving we manage to score the group shot! YES my first real success of the evening. 

After that was the mother load flight. In this flight would be two fresh photo ops for me, namely Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman.

First person we see is Seth Rollins, I ask him for one and he goes "you will get one but that's all you get" I tell him that's fine. He signs and I told him I got a photo with him before so I don't need to bother him with that. 

Roman Reigns is next and I get a photo op as the last photo op I got with him he was still with the Shield. Then a want of mine in Kevin Owens comes along, I get the photo op! YES! I also get him to sign a photo. Then Braun Strowman who says he will take photos after he finishes texting. When he was done we approached him and he does it! Second fresh meet! 

I get the New Day to sign an 8x10 and get Charlotte to sign an 8x10. Sasha Banks denied to do anything for anyone, so my 8x10 remained unsigned. There were lots I didn't have to bother. John Laurinaitis, Luke Gallows, hooded Karl Anderson, among others. Sami Zyan who was a complete dick in NYC was as nice as can be here but I didn't need him. I guess the unruly NYC crowd can truly affect the nicest of the nice. 

Apparently while I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, Seth Rollins was fascinated with me and kept looking at me whilst shaking his head in amusement and bafflement. 

Now the next challenge was getting a New Day group shot. We failed in our first attempt as Big E kept walking, but outside we managed to talk them into getting together for a group shot. YES! This group shot eluded me for so long. We again tried Sasha Banks but to no avail. 

After this sweeping victory it was a rush to get Nia Jax. While waiting we see Jack Swagger. It's been so long since I got a picture with him I don't have a "we the people" pose. So I got that. Then Jinder Mahal who is happy to stop. I got him on his WWE_E V2 entry and he goes "if only I still looked that good". 

Finally we spot Nia Jax and I get he photo op. I also get her on the inside cover of the WWE_E V2. Andrea D'Marco is with her and I get another fresh shot! 

I had honestly forgotten how good an easy mass WWE haul actually felt. It was really what got me started in combo hunting, and it had been so long. So this truly felt special! 

There were a couple of more flights coming in (Alicia Fox, Bayley) but I had them already so I was happy to go home. 

With the epic haul, I had zero intention to return to the airport two days later. But wait, Monday Night RAW Rusev and Lana make a surprise appearance! WTF? With that news, to my dismay this now meant I was due for the airport run part II 

Rusev and Lana were two people I have been cursed with for the past couple of years. I would either miss them or they would deny the photo op. In NYC I managed to get Lana with sun hat and shades but never saw Rusev. Last time I tried for both of them at this spot I never even saw them. So this time I needed a fail safe. I pulled some strings and put myself in a position where I was guaranteed to at least see them. 

I arrive and off the bat I see Enzo, Bo Dallas, and Dana Brooke. But I had no reason to ask them. Enzo was getting a drink and I pass by him and go "how you doin Enzo" and he smiles in happiness. It wasn't even the miserable and fake "hey wassup" he seemed genuinely happy. 

adelta tells me he got Sheamus with no cap. The first time I saw him with his new look was NYC and got a cap photo op. A cap shot here is particularly bad because his hair is part of that new look. So I went and saw him ordering some food. When he was done I asked and he was happy to pose, even shook my hand. Glad to see that Shemus is still a nice guy. In a crowd he's not as overly nice as he used to be many moons ago, but he still hasn't soured up like many. 

At this point it's mainly adelta getting people on his programs. When he went to Bo Dallas I got an update. I also got Bayley again. One humorous interaction was adelta and Bob Backlund. Backlund said he doesn't do photos at the airport and gave him a card to order signed posters. After much conversing Backlund accepted adelta's offer for a $20 photo op. 

Wait more and more for Rusev and Lana to show up. Finally they show up! I ask for a group shot Lana goes "no thank you" but Rusev agrees to the shot and FINALLY I broke my Rusev curse. As we were leaving we see Sasha Banks. I try for an auto but again she denies. 

After his success I go take a nap to prepare for other combo related endeavors. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Baltimore Comic Con plus Dick Dale

Get up in the early morning and head withfor Baltimore Comic Con. The first goal was to park. I almost immediately found free parking. I knew there was plenty of parking there on a Sunday, but I never expected to find it that quickly. 

Go in the con and we run into andwhen we go to Michael Rowe (Deadshot in Arrow). Thankfully all celebs are doing table ops. This means I will be getting photo ops. Get Rowe, then Candace Patton from The Flash, and Kristian Nairn from Game of Thrones.

Now I go to my top want a Baltimore Comic Con, Dan Jurgens. He is the co creator of Doomsday and played a huge role in the Death of Superman storyline from the early 90s. Sadly his line was apparently capped! WTF? But they say he's going to come back later.

So I go look for Fabian Nacieza who co created Deadpool. His prices depended on what comic you get signed. Certain ones like X-Men and Deadpool cost some money, while others are free. I did not feel like looking for comics that he would sign for free. So I decided to simply be happy with the free photo op. 

I then hover around the vicinity of Dan Jurgens and manage to mooch my way in the line. He had a donation box so I put in some cash and got comics signed including some I had Jerry Ordway and others sign at Connecticut Comic Con a couple of years back. I also get a great photo op. 

Now I had to get Joe Rubinstein to sign some of the comics I got Dan on. I go to him and he's charging $2 per comic. I got three done. I had a great photo op from Connecticut Comic Con so I didn't bother. I then rejoined Joresky for another round of Dan Jurgens and got more comics signed. This meant I now had more items for Joe but decided against spending more money. I did however get José García-López to sign one comic (again passed on the photo op as I had it from Connecticut Comic Con)

I ended my trek at Baltimore Comic Con with with a couple of comic book writers. Mike Curtis even had a free Dick Tracy comics which him and his crew signed. 

After Baltimore comic con I went to try for musician Dick Dale. I would be joined by a music grapher. This place sadly has the front and back which people can go in and out from. So we had to watch both ends. The show was supposed to start 7:30, he arrived at 7:55! Sadly he did nothing for no one. 

The show ends and we are 5 people waiting in the back. I had the good sense to wait in the front while still keeping everyone else in view in case he comes out the back. Sure enough, he came out the front and asks me "what do you want" I said I wanted a photo op but he denied citing that his roadies won't allow it. As he signed for everyone else (who rushed over thanks to me) I kept on pleading for the photo op but to no avail. I consider Dick Dale a bust and waste of time. 

Candace Patton

Dan Jurgens

Fabian Nacieza

Full list of Baltimore Comic Con photo ops

Signed Comics Part 1

Signed Comics Part 2

Dick Dale

Star Trek Con weekend in NYC

This would start as me andhead for a movie shoot for Jennifer Lopez, someone I have been cursed with for a long time. We arrive there and turns out she is gone from the spot. To add salt to the wound, turns out she did photo ops with no shades before she left. I guess the J-Lo curse lives on. 

Next up I go to a spot for James Franco as I wanted to upgrade my photo op. Sadly he was not there but we did see Maggie Gyllenhaal. This would have been a good score but sadly she blew us off. 

Next up I want to try for Priyanka Chopra to upgrade my photo but sadly she left the spot earlier than expected, so that was a no go. I guess in hindsight we should have gone to her directly and skipped all the other attempts. 

We have a motto that if all else fails, go to the "easy" spots. And all else had definitely failed. So we go to a show and wait for lower names that will never say no. Plus they would be good "in case" names. One great random came out of the spot, namely Carla Gugino from Watchmen, Sin City, among others. But sadly I got her before. 

Full list of Friday night photo ops

After I slept like a baby, it was then time to get up for Star Trek con. My main reason for attending this was Peter Weller AKA Robocop in the first and second Robocop movie (the only two Robocop movies that matter). Robocop is an iconic character and with all the celebrity deaths I better grab this one while I have the chance as he's not getting any younger. 

The day is off to a bad start because I found out I missed a free signing for John de Lancie where he did one combo per person. But he would have another session later. 

First get of the day is Adam Nimoy who we saw walking around. Joresky wanted to dedicate time and effort to get him at his panel which I had no intention to do, but for popping up right there and then, sure I'll take it. 

Sadly, practically everyone at this con was pro op only. This means I had to cut down on people. It was heart breaking but with all these pro ops and no one to split with, the cost of this con would have been astronomical. I would end up splitting 3 pro ops with Greg. 

First pro op was Armin Shimerman who was also the principle in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I also managed to score a table op in Robert Duncan McNeill who was also in the Masters of the Universe movie. I sadly had to skip the autograph to cut down on costs. Could have used him on my MOTU DVD signed by Frank Langella and Courtney Cox. 

Got a pro op with Bruce Greenwood, my #2 reason for attending the con. Grabbed a free table op with Kitty Swink. I then went to a booth where Denise Crosby was doing free combos for everyone, so YES I stood in that line. I then reserved my spot in the line for the John de Lancie signing. Sadly this time they were doing autos only due to a bigger crowd. So I had to fight for my photo op, and fight I did. I said I didn't want the auto I only wanted the photo. He agreed then the handlers went "if we do it for you we have to do it for everybody". After much back and forth he goes "just take it" and I got the selfie! It was a hard earned photo op. Thankfully it ended in success.

Now I had two other endeavors left at Star Trek con. Director Nicholas Meyer who was doing a panel and my main reason for attending, Peter Weller. Sadly the times conflicted. But Weller was the paid guarantee and my main reason for coming therefore the obvious priority. This went smoothly and he thankfully took off his glasses for the photo op. I had a Robocop 2 laserdisc to get signed but decided to cut costs on that front. 

Now I had to join Joresky at the Mayer panel. Sadly they were not letting people in and the line formed for the next panel. Using a lie that may land me in hell when I face my final judgement in the after life, I managed to talk my way into the room! 

We wait for the panel to end and I manage to get a combo with Nicholas! Got him to sign my Star Trek 6 laserdisc. A girl who talked to him said she was an actress and she also got a photo with him. She was using a crappy cell phone so I offered to take a photo for her with my camera. She agreed. Now I still remember my Kate Upton blunder. In fact, it will forever and ever be cemented in me until the day I retire from hunting or until the day I die (whichever is first). So I asked her for a photo op and she was happy to oblige. We exchanged numbers and she texted me her email so I can send her the photos. Upon further research turns out she even has an entry on IMDB. Also got a Kirsten Beyer photo op who was part of the panel. 

Next up was a reading with a whole bunch of actors, most notably actress Mary Stuart Masterson. So now I had to sit through a horrid and boring reading that I had less than zero interest is. Wow that was pain defined. It ends and I grab the attention of Mary. She was about to come over then a security guard stops me and she turns away! MOTHER FUCKER HE KILLED MY BABY  I was so pissed off! We did get actor Brian Haley in the panel and had to scour to find the rest. As we found out they simply left out the front door! Who'd have thought. We got a bunch of them but sadly never saw Mary Stuart Masterson. 

After Star Trek con I needed Sean Hayes to complete a Three Stooges photo. Thankfully I had a photo op with him cause he was barely posing for photo ops. I got my photo and a program signed. We were about to leave the city and saw another show letting out. This meant I could get more lower tier actors. Again, I remember Kate Upton. So decided to wait 20 more minutes and got more photo ops. Then it was off to Joresky's place to prepare for Baltimore Comic Con.

Robert Duncan McNeill

Bruce Greenwood

Peter Weller

Armin Shimerman

Nicholas Meyer

Full list of Saturday photo ops part 1

Full list of Saturday photo ops part 2

Full list of Saturday photo ops part 3

Autographs obtained

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Summer Slam Week Report Part 2

The next two days I would spend at the WWE hotel. I stayed there all day and night and day 3 and till early afternoon on day 4, after which I called it quits and left the city. 

On day 3 I would be joined by and at the start of it before they had to go to their Axxess signings. 

Early on it was decent but unfortunately the spot was so chaotic to a point where it almost seemed worthless. When it was someone I had a photo op with I didn't even lift a finger as it was not worth fighting for. Eventually they FINALLY setup barricades and things became more orderly. Throughout the day even lower NXT names were doing nothing for no one or you had to fight for it. 

One black mark throughout was never getting Kevin Owens. Each time he'd say he was with his son. I chose not to pay for him at Axxess first because I hate the way the photo ops are taken (front of table ops) and second I'd miss other photo ops. It was truly the type of setup where you had to dedicate the most time to get the most people because you never knew who would stop when. And third I figure if he stays with WWE more chances will come and if he's released RF will bring him to every con. 

Some highlights: 

First get of the day is The Big Show. I got him before so I made a fun pose. I also got autographs. 

I got an upgrade with Finn Balor cause the last time I got him was when he did Legends of the Ring. 

I knew when Bayley was flying in so I scored that photo op! YES! 

Updated my Big Cass photo op (last time I got him was 2012 when the training grounds was still FCW). 

Got a Kane combo as he was going to the gym. He blew people off the night before but did it for everyone in the morning. Gotta respect Kane. So many of today's wrestlers will never be as awesome and legendary as Kane, yet they are dicks. Kane on the other hand always wants to make people happy even if it makes him miserable. 

Woodmo notices Conner's family walking around, so I chase them down and Ira takes me photo ops with them. I also noticed an older lady do photo ops and didn't recognize her at first. Turns out it's Dana Warrior. I asked if there was any way I could do a family shot with her daughters but she said she wants them out of the limelight. 

I knew the incoming of Nakamura but he didn't stop when he arrived. I did get him hat and shades later on then hat no shades. Had to chase him down for the latter shot. He had one eye closed but that's how he poses. 

I got a club dual shot. Luke was especially annoyed with so many hounding them then Karl goes "you know how this goes by now"

I had info for a Jennifer Lopez film set. But after much soul searching decided to stay at the WWE spot. The reason being was I could take a chance at JLo who has blown me off multiple times in the past OR I could wait for multiple wrestlers and definitely get some of them. Especially the NXT folks who were due to arrive. Turns out JLo did photo ops but with shades. Shades or not it did sting but I hope to make that up in the next month or two.  

Samoa Joe wouldn't take a picture with me for some reason. It's ok I have shots with him. Rosita came for tryouts and she had sex with Austin Aries in his room. 

Sasha Banks did VERY few photo ops and I was lucky to get one. Happy with that upgrade cause when I first got her it was before she was called up. Here she has both the colored hair and title belt! Sure beats paying for it at Wizard World. 

Got bearded Sheamus for the first time. 

Get Alexa Bliss correcting my miss from the prior day. Also upgraded my Carmella shot to no shades. Got a good amount of NXT. Sadly Askuka would not stop. 

Becky Lynch was coming in late, so I figured it would be smart to wait for that before ending the evening. She arrives and I was one of the first to yell for her. I scored that first time photo op! Many were shut out. 

At one point I saw none other than Terence and James of Legends of the Ring come out of the hotel. I yelled at them for photo ops and Terence did a pose. They were getting autographs in private signings. Also saw Bill Paley from Wrestling Ink. 

WWE_E V2 autographs for the day include 

Karl Anderson - inside cover
Big Show - entry
Funaki - entry
Oscar - MOM entry
Brian Kendrick - solo and tag team entry

Conner's family take 1

Conner's family take 2

Dana Warrior

Big Cass

The Big Show

Finn Balor

The Club

Becky Lynch

Sasha Banks

Shinsuke Nakamura

Full list of Day 3 photo ops part 1

Full list of Day 3 photo ops part 2

Full list of Day 3 photo ops part 3

Day 4 was a relatively short day. Got Kane combo again but the photo op is invalid. Still failed to get Asuka, sadly. At one point I tried going to the venue to see if Shane McMahon would show up but sadly no dice. One of the last things I got before leaving was a Dean Ambrose autograph with assist by Vanessa since at that point I no longer had a front spot.

Only WWE_V2 autograph I got was Albert on his entry.

I left early afternoon and this ended my Summer Slam week. 

Full list of Day 4 photo ops

non-WWE_E autographs for the past two days

Kane and Big Show Magazines

Dean Ambrose photo

Summer Slam Week Report Part 1

Wrestling is something I have not done in ages, therefore I needed a lot of people. So Summer Slam week in NYC was pretty enticing for me. Then when I found the flight of Frank Oz, one of the last living original Star Wars trilogy names I still need and the best living Muppets name you can get, that sealed the deal for me. Additionally, I found a very reasonably priced Three Dog Night meet and greet (two figures!). 

So I had my guarantee (3 dog), I had what was the closest you can get to a guarantee without it being a guarantee, at least photo op wise (Oz), and I had lots and lots of wrestlers I needed, plus whatever else may pop us. For all these reasons Summer Slam week became a no brainier for me. 

So I arrive the evening before Oz's flight out. I crash with 

We leave the next day to catch Oz before he leaves at 11 AM. We go to short term parking. As soon as we park I notice the first hiccup of the day, his flight is delayed till 2 PM! We quickly leave short term to find better parking. As we're doing so his flight is immediately back to leaving at its original time! Back to short term parking, we go inside and begin our wait. This mishap causes Capman to go back to work. 

11 AM is approaching and no sight of Oz. I was panicking! But when it seems like he should be in the plane I find out he changed his entire reservation he was now due to leave at 6 PM! WTF? With that news Capman was officially out. 

With that change came some good news and bad news. 

Bad news: 

First, we were now stuck there all day. We could have in theory gone back to Greg's place, but we were already committed to short term parking (which would be more money if we left and came back), we would have had to pull some strings to get back to our current post, and by the time all that is done we'd have to come back couple of hours later. So it wasn't worth it. It was much easier and more practical to simply stay. 

Second, I wanted to hit up other celebrity spots including a Jennifer Lopez movie shoots. Those plans were sadly no more. 

Good news: 

The fact that he did change the reservation meant he had every single intention to travel. So short of him dying between now and 6 PM, there would be zero chance he would not show up. 

So we just had to kill time. And sadly that also meant grabbing some overpriced food. A tiny sandwich was $10! But I could not get myself to flush money down the toilet like that. So I had to settle for a quadruple Twix bar. Cost like $1.25 at walmart but here it was under $5But I couldn't stay the whole time without eating anything. So hopefully this would tide me over. Here's an example of how pricey this place was. 

So the waiting game continues. I turn my phone off to save power then back again. When I turn it back I had a tip from Vanessa! Apparently there's a wrestling flight coming in! Shit, hope we didn't miss it. Seemed like I did. But when we went to check turns out we didn't. Sadly I had all the wrestlers there (Miz, Maryse, Naomi, Tyler Breeze). Greg got a Miz shot. We both got Tyler Breeze with hat and shades. Only reason I got him was because I didn't recognize him and was afraid it was someone I didn't have. I attempted a Miz/Maryse dual shot but was denied. I didn't fight hard for it since I have multiple individual shots with each. 

We wait more and the new witching hour is upon us. Finally we see Oz in a wheel chair (he had a broken foot) with an airport worker wheeling him and another woman who was likely his wife. He sits on a chair, the worker and wife leave. We wait a few minutes and approach him. We start a conversation. 

At first he was ignoring us, but then looks at us with a mixture of these faces as if to imply "what? me?". We played it out like it was completely random. When he asked us where we were flying out to we said we were going to Wizard World Chicago (which was that weekend). We brought up cons he said he doesn't like to do them but said he did a "Star Wars Celebration" but we corrected him telling him that was Star Wars Weekend by Disney and NOT Star Wars Celebration. Finally we asked for a photo op and he goes "Ohhh, suuuuree" and we pose. Then I ask for "one more thing" and he goes "what?" I told him we had Star Wars items to get signed at Wizard World and wondered if he would sign. He goes "what do you have" and I showed him my laserdisc. He goes "well I don't sign anymore but I'll do it for you guys just don't tell anyone". He signed one each. I got him on an Empire Strikes Back laserdisc (first ever appearance of Yoda).

When this happened his wife came back as if worried but then he told her "oh these guys are cool". We then thanked him and were on our way. We exited the airport victorious! 

Despite mishaps, this was honestly the most perfectly executed meet ever. Concrete info, we were in a PERFECT postilion to make it look random, talked our way through just the two of us no crowd, AND we got a full combo from someone who stopped signing. 

However, it goes to show you there's no such thing as a free meet. At minimum wage the time we spent there was easily about $50 after tax, plus the price paid for parking and overpriced food. Not to mention the stress of him possibly denying us after all that time and effort was put into it. 

Another thing of note, despite us getting a combo from him NO ONE else sitting around cared. After he signed it should have been obvious he was valid, but still no one cared. While I'm grateful most people don't care, it does shock me how indifferent people are to someone like Frank Oz while I essentially moved mountains to score that photo op. 
With that victory I thought maybe I could catch Robert Smigel AKA Triumph the insult Comic Dog in NYC in order to virgilize him, but with traffic I decided I likely wouldn't make it in time. I decided to go to subway, get a meal, then chill a little at Greg's place and charge my phone. In hindsight that was a good move because apparently Smigel wasn't even at the spot. 

I then go to NYC and my next stop was the WWE hotel. Wow that spot was blown. It was chaos. But I manage to get photo ops, both new and upgrades. My best wrestling score for the evening was a first time Enzo Amore! He said "of course I'll take pictures but make it quick cause I'm tiered". This was the only time I saw a friendly Enzo for the rest of the week. Also got a first time announcer photo op in Greg Hamilton, and the rest were updates or upgrades. 

I then find my free parking spot in Brooklyn and prepare for the next day. 

Frank Oz

Enzo Amore

Full list of Day 1 photo ops

Day 2 is upon us. I start at the ever so crowded and chaotic WWE hotel. I knew when Bayley was flying out for Chicago so I waited for her. She then denied me but did it at the airport! WTF! I then take a train to check out a filming spot for Jennifer Lopez but I see NO signs of activity. I quickly leave to go back to the WWE hotel. When I got back I found out I missed a bunch of photo ops but only one I didn't have (Alexa Bliss). And I'm then told the filming crew arrived at the spot shortly after I left. WTF? 

Now back to wrestlers. I knew when Rusev and Lana were coming in, but apparently Lana came in without Rusev and when she arrived at the hotel I managed to get a hat and shades photo op. Then I got another major first time meet, Karl Anderson! Also got first time Carmella shot (cap and shades) and another Charlotte shot. Sin Cara arrives with a mask on and does combos for all! I have the original Sin Cara so Hunico headed/faced Sin Cara was a cool score. Auto wise I got Carmella on the inside cover of the WWE_E V2 and Sin Cara on the Sin Cara entry of the same book. I tried getting him on the Hunico entry but he said he doesn't sign those. 

I leave the WWE hotel to go for actir Michael Cera. I arrive at the spot and it seems he's inside. But he's about to exit soon. I wait and I am joined by a Master! We chat a bit and he tells me about a spot Sharlto Copley and others. YES he is a want of mine. I offer the Master a ride. Having a Master in my car can only help me. But before that we still wait for Michael. He comes out and says he is not good with photo ops but will sign! I get an index card signed and fail on the photo despite more pleading. Damn, this is a crushing bust. So me and the Master drive to a spot, but we're not sure if the celebs stayed at that spot so we go to the next spot where they are practically guaranteed to arrive. I also had my Three Dog Night m&g at about 10 PM (after the show). According to the Master arrivals should be done about 9:30 giving me plenty of time to get to my m&g. 

So we wait and it doesn't feel like a NYC spot because it's only the two of us and one pap. Must be a very low key spot, especially since these are nice celebrities. And sure enough before 9:30 the celebrities arrive. And they are SUPER nice which is oh so refreshing. I get photo ops with John Krasinski, Sharlto Copley, and Margo Martindale. Sharlto is a huge want of mine especially since he is the main character in District 9. I told him I loved him in that movie and he thanked me. Emily Blunt was with him but I didn't notice her since I was focused on scoring Sharlto. This would have upset me IF I didn't already have the shot with Emily. 

After this sweeping victory I thanked the Master for this info and headed on to my Three Dog Night m&g. This Master also helped me out in the past, so I really hope I can properly repay him one day. 

I arrive at the City Winery for Three Dog Night. Sadly out of the six band members, four of them are barely valid. The only ones left to get are one of the three original lead singers and one guitarist. But besides that this m&g is probably the most perfect m&g I ever attended. First off, it wasn't even priced in the 3 figure range. It was 2 figures! Second, you did NOT need to buy the concert ticket to attend the m&g. This works great for me since I have less than zero interest in the concert. 

Now I arrive and give them my name. He takes me downstairs to the m&g area and I wait. The concert finishes a few minutes later. Apparently only like 7 people bought the m&g. So no being rushed! I was the only one with no wristband since I didn't attend the concert. And you could even use your own camera! Wow what a luxury! 

I give my camera to the tour manager, ask him to take it from closer, and I stand between the two valid members and get my photo op. Then I ask if I can get my albums signed and I wasn't treated like I had a bomb strapped to my waist. Instead the tour manager goes "SURE!". For one album the front is in rough shape so I got the inside signed (it was $1). And I get the second album signed. The manager handed the album to one of the barely valids but thankfully I manged to stop him from signing it as that would not be correct for him to do so. But here is where I got a punch in the face and the ONLY snag of this awesomely run m&g. One of the barely valids (who was white) pointed to the black guy on the front of one of my albums and said "this is my daddy" and the guitarist wrote "papa *insert name*". WTF? I was livid! Though I managed to rub off most of it off when I got home. 

I then rushed to the Jennifer Lopez spot i went to earlier but I got there and like earlier in the day NO activity. Supposedly she was there at some point but I would think that I would have seen some kind of indication. There were no people removing equipment, nothing. 

Back to the WWE hotel, but nothing much there except a HUGE crowd. I just get another shot with Byron Saxton. Then it was time to sleep. 

Sin Cara

Michael Allsup and Danny Hutton of Three Dog Night
Sharlto Copley

Full list of Day 2 photo ops

Now to showcase some autographs

First off here is the album with defacement

And here are all the non-wrestling autos obtained the past two days

The blemish could be further masked one day. I need to find Chuck Negron and have him sign the album and inscribe "Jeremiah was a bullfrog" over the blemish (preferably this would be at a con). Or perhaps have the black guy sign over the blemish in really thick marker.