Wednesday, August 30, 2017


I tagged along with a couple of other hunters and decided to try for both Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter from Family Ties (both of which I never met). This was the opening night of their show. Later that evening in PA were singing duo Donnie and Marie Osmond. I had met Donnie before but needed Marie. When I tried the hotel that day I saw him who was nice as can be but never saw her. So due to this it made even more sense to go that day.

First stop is the Gross/Baxter event. Arrive there an hour early and scope the place out. One combo hunter noticed the director was actress Judith Ivey. Since it was opening night this likely meant she would be there. To me that's a better name than who I set out for because I value movie names over TV names. We all looked up how she looks like. 

We wait and the place has multiple entry points. We managed to find out that they were using the back door but stationed one guy in the front just in case. Not a minute later we see Judith, nice as can be. Even she informed us the others would come out of the same door (basically same info we got earlier). 

Michael Gross comes out, nice as can be does combos. Shortly after that get Meredith Baxter combo. Nice as can be.

I could not believe how easy this was. However, after this every other story I heard was a horror story with staff being nasty and actors sneaking out. Some people managed to get autos via send ins but that's about it. I guess we chose the only perfect day to do this. I wonder what could have happened. My only gripe is the fact that Gross was clean shaven as he has facial hair on the show. So if I ever does Chiller again and he has a beard I'd probably upgrade. 

With this clean sweep I have almost every main cast member of Family Ties. Looking at the wikipedia entry they list 

  • Meredith Baxter-Birney as Elyse Keaton
  • Michael Gross as Steven Keaton
  • Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton
  • Justine Bateman as Mallory Keaton
  • Tina Yothers as Jennifer Keaton
  • Brian Bonsall as Andrew "Andy" Keaton (seasons 5–7)

Justine is the only one I am now missing. 

Michael Gross 

Meredith Baxter

Judith Ivey


Next up drive to the Donny and Marie venue. Unfortunately it's a big ass venue, but we spot where we believe they will drive out of. To kill time till exits we go to a nearby Chinese buffet which was quite the feast. It was a rare Chinese buffet where even the meat they served was delicious. It was slightly more expensive than most as it amounted to about $15 per person. 

Here is the kicker. Right after the show let's out it is POUNDING rain! To be honest, I don't remember the last time I ever witnessed rain that bad in person. Fortunately we were able to catch a glimpse of the cars. We saw one of the cars leave (which looked like a regular car) and went to a nearby hotel. Naturally we went there but we didn't know who (if anyone) was in that car. Turns out it is Donny who does combos no problem! While upgrading my Donny photo op and getting some autos was nice, I didn't get my main price of the day, Marie. 

We go back to the venue at this point we don't know if Marie's car left the venue or is still in. Someone tells us she is in and has to come out but we're not sure if he's lying. 

We wait some more, even check out the bars. Nothing. Eventually the second car we see arrives from out of nowhere and stops at the same place Donny stopped. Turns out it is Marie (I guess as we got Donny she went somewhere else). As we ask she refuses photo ops citing her red hair. She said she would sign but in the excitement stupid me forget my items in the car. Sadly as she is signing for someone else I rush to the car and back but she is in the elevator. 

While the day was overall pretty successful, it did sting to miss my main target. I then go home and the next morning early to try for actor John Corbett (my shot with him is technically valid but so blurry I don't even count it). Since this was a last minute tip I had nothing to get signed. I had him ONE ON ONE and he sadly declined a photo op saying he doesn't do them. Another fail! 

Couple of days pass and I'm sitting at home late in the evening and get a Masterful phone call. Apparently the private plane of Donnie and Marie is landing 30 minutes from my house and arriving soon! Holy crap! They had no show here, so was the plane coming with nobody on it? Are both Donnie and Marie on it? Is it just Donnie? Is it just Marie? That was a mystery. Only way to know is to go there and find out. 

I rush there with my items. And it's deja vu as it's pounding rain. Go to the spot where I believe the plane is landing, but I see no cars waiting and lots of rain. Did I arrive too late? On a whim I rush to a second spot 5 minutes away and a regular car is waiting. Almost instantly after I arrive Marie exits the building going into the car! I couldn't believe it. Rain subsided thankfully and I get my vinyls from the car. There she is, no red hair! I ask for a photo op and she does it no issue! Now I have 4 vinyls signed by Donnie from way back. Turns out she is only valid in one of the four and signs it. I rush to my car to get the photos (again, deja vu) she says she has to go. But as she is in the car I plead for one photo to get signed which she does. 

Marie Osmond would be the final photo op I score in the lifetime of 

Donny Osmond

Marie Osmond


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pre and Post Monstermania meets

This year SummerSlam and Monstermania Cherry Hill fell on the same weekend. I had some wants for SS, but did not feel like dedicating the time needed and clashing with NYC crowds and hotel employees (had my fill of all that at last year's SS). 

But since I had info on an NXT flight arriving that Friday afternoon, I figured that was a good way to clean sweep a bunch of wants while dedicating a minimal amount of time (and being away from most of the NYC crowd and all of the hotel employees in the process).

Additionally, Asuka, who I still needed, was coming in by herself earlier that day. Plus being NYC other stuff could always pop up. So I decided to dedicate Friday during the day to NYC, go to MM and knock out a few photo ops during the show, mooch what I can after the show, then pay for whatever is left on Saturday. With the scheduled arrivals of the flights, this plan worked perfectly. 

In hindsight, I am glad I decided to dedicate minimal time to this, because I would later lose my dog so I got to spend more time with him in what would be his final days. 

Let us begin with the report. Since I had to be there early Friday for Asuka, I arrived Thursday evening in NYC and parked for free. I make a stop at a spot for actresses Lili Taylor and Janeane Garofalo. Sadly this venue has a front and back. So I rolled the dice in the back. I wait with a couple of other fans and grab photo ops with some barely valids. 

At one point security took down the railings and said no one is coming out anymore. Everyone scattered away but I stood my ground (as did security). Not 5 minutes later I see Lili Taylor going into her car. I ask for a picture and she says "quickly" and poses with me. I wait some more then finally give up as I sadly had to assume Janeane left out the front. About a week later I see another report confirming my conclusion. 

Drive to the WWE hotel where I meet up with Vanessa the Jersey Shore Stalker and friends. Didn't spend much time there. Vanessa recommended I enter the hotel but as I told her, I had no interest in fighting with the staff as I had my fill of that last year. 

Head to the airport, park in the cheapest parking lot, and the three of us sleep. Wake up in the morning and on to the first flight, Asuka. I also see former board member Lucas and board member Rich (DrSatan). Asuka comes out and is nice as can be, doing photo ops and signing. I got her on my WWE_E V3. 

Shockingly, this Asuka combo was actually a milestone for me on a few levels

  • It is my first time setting foot in this particular NYC airport for a meet
  • It is my first ever successful NYC airport score
  • It is my second ever NYC area airport success

Next up Vanessa told me there is a "big" wrestling flight but wouldn't tell me who. NXT flight got delayed so there was no conflict. We wait and turns out we are waiting for the Undertaker and it is just the 3 of us. Undertaker comes out with Michelle McCool and denies us. Says he can't stop us from taking pictures but he's not stopping. I get McCool on my WWE_E V2 but didn't fight for photo ops as I have them both (plus Undertaker had shades anyway). I did attempt to get shots for the other two, I ended up with valid photo ops for Vanessa (one just Undertaker and one couples shot). 

NXT flight delayed further, which sadly meant I had to cancel my MM plans. No problem I can still get there in time to mooch after the show. We then go to a Drew McIntyre flight. I got him many moons ago but there was nothing else that I knew was going on at that point. So it was something to do. A crowd gathers including former board member Chris Collector! While we wait some valids come through, one rapper that didn't do anything and one female VH1 host that stopped but I didn't feel like chasing after. 

Finally Drew shows up with a black guy. Upon inspection turns out that black guy is Percy Watson. I had him as well. I got updated photo ops with both and got both their autos on the WWE_E V2 and WWE_E V3. In the case of Drew he has more of a beard than my previous shots which I guess is good cause he currently has a beard on TV.

NXT flight delayed yet again! WTF? That pretty much eliminated MM plans for Friday. NXT was the main reason I came here so I had to stick it out. It wasn't a total loss though as Vanessa had a Richie Sambora flight (lead guitarist of Bon Jovi). At least that's something you can't get at MM. We wait there and see a driver waiting for Thomas Kail, director of The Hamilton. Pure pokemon name but I'll take anything I can that's there. There were two places that flight could let out, me and Vanessa waited in the upstairs area. Get a call that Thomas was at baggage so rush down there, get a photo op. Go back up and I see Vanessa getting Richie. I get a photo op and he was nice as can be. I also got a shot with Orianthi (really a downgrade as she has a hat). 

With this success it was back to waiting for the NXT flight. Sadly it is now due to arrive at 4AM. Wow just wow. I couldn't believe my bad luck! We waited for the next couple of flights hoping for a miracle but no dice. With that turn of events I had to quit because 1) I had to go to MM and 2) At that point they spent like 18 hours at the airport being pushed around, so that combined with arriving at 4AM meant they would likely be in a bad mood anyway. 

Dropped Vanessa home, drove out of the city, slept for a bit, then finished my drive to MM. Despite the big blow on the NXT flight (which was nothing I could control), getting photo ops with Asuka, Richie Sambora, Lili Taylor, plus other bonus photo ops and autographs, my prelude to MM was not a waste. 


Richie Sambora

Full list of NYC photo ops

Valid Undertaker shot I got Vanessa

Valid Undertaker/McCool couples shot I got Vanessa

WWE_E V2 autos:

Michelle McCool
Drew McIntyre
Percy Watson

WWE_E V3 autos:

Drew McIntyre
Percy Watson

I could have gone back to NYC after MM but decided to go home (in hindsight I'm glad I did due to Fluffy). But I did have a flight on actress Anne Archer. Again, you appreciate not being in NYC. In NYC Asuka and Drew McIntyre flights get crowds. Here you have a movie actress and we are just three people! She does the combo with me no issue. 

Anne Archer

Anne Archer autographs

Monday, August 21, 2017

Monstermania Cherry Hill August Report

After a day in NYC (report coming soon), I arrive at Monstermania on Saturday. This would mark my first Monstermania since Martin's death. Monstermania was one of his favorite cons so he was always a staple there. It was tough being there without seeing Martin's updates on facebook or running into him. 

My two top wants at MM were technically repeat names. My Kate Backinsale shot has shades, a security guard photo bomb, and a bad pose. Perhaps 1 out of these 3 would have been tolerable, but all 3? Definitely a worthy upgrade. And second Val Kilmer I got 10 years ago at Chiller but he was fat and had shades on. His one man shows don't allow flash and recently have been cell phone pics only, no camera. Given the shot I had, zero chance I would have gone and spent money to any of them with restrictions like that. But at con pro ops he was using flash and I had other reasons besides him to be at this con. This coupled with him being on the brink of death, it was now or never if I wanted a slimmer no shades Val shot. 

I had other wants as well but luckily I managed to split stuff to make it affordable. 

First photo op of Monstermania was Tom Morga who played both Jason and Mike Myers. Then Alison Lohman, Ethan Embry, and Jonathan Ke Quan. Got an upgrade in Burt Young. Free shot with Jeffrey Combs. Another top want of mine at this show was Daphne Zuniga from Spaceballs. Then split a combo price with child actor Noah Schnapp. 

Went for Stephen McHattie from 300 and The Watchmen. His combo price was $5 more than the photo op. So I got the full combo. Got a free shot with Robert Brian Wilson. Then got Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante. 

Hung out with a few people while in line for Kate Beckinsale. Got that pro op. Then went down for artist Mark Texeira who was super late to this con. Throughout the day I was actually going to the table and checking for him. He did art for Marvel and also some of the early original Masters of the Universe mini comics. I had 3 of them, he said he does full front/back sketch on them for $5 or simple sign and sketch on front for $1. I had him do the full thing on one of them while doing the basic one on the other two. Got a photo op as well. The final photo op at Monstermania would be the Val Kilmer pro op, which to my delight featured the most wonderful flash I ever saw. 

I was beat so I went home after the con. When I downloaded my jpegs I noticed they were less than 50% the quality of the John Cusack jpegs form Wolf Studios earlier in the year. But luckily I emailed Wolf about this and they promptly sent me my full resolution jpegs which I very much appreciate. They also told me they were trying a new system and they are reverting back to the old one, which is a good thing.  

Kate Beckinsale

Val Kilmer

Daphne Zuniga

Noah Schnapp

Stephen McHattie

Full list of Monstermania photo ops


Back mini comic sketch

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Music meets: 3 states in 1 day that ended with IMMORTALITY

Let me tell you about a day when I hunted down music names in three different states. My initial plan was to go to nova con but since I didn't need much there I left to another state to try for bigger music names (and figured the nova con folks will likely do other cons anyway). 

I drive up to state #1 and arrive at a spot where a Master there shared with me some of his Masterful info on condition that I share it with no one else. 

First up comes Martha Davis but since I had a photo op with her I didn't bother. I did however get a photo with Marty Jourard who is an original member of The Motels and was in their studio albums. 

Go check out another spot then come back to this one. Upon arriving see Billy Ocean who is nice as can be. 

Back to another spot where I hope to see Jefferson Starship lead vocalist, Mickey Thomas. Then I go to the venue spot cause I hear Pete Byrn of the Naked Eyes (Always Something There to Remind Me) is about to arrive. Sure he enough he shows up but I get PUNCHED as I'm told Mickey showed up at the previous spot and did photo ops. Wow that hurt a lot.

Head back to the previous spot to get Mickey as he is leaving, then at the venue I hear they get Taylor Dayne (Tell It To My Heart). Another PUNCH. 

So Right now I figure no way I could miss Mickey Thomas as he has to go to the venue. Then I get a call and I'm told that he did in fact show up at the venue and did photo ops PUNCH! He must have used the back to leave the spot I was waiting at. Wow what a slew of bad decisions and circumstances that cost me not one but two wants (Mickey and Taylor). 

With these punches I bailed on this state and move on to the next state. Upon arriving to the venue I get a photo op with Dave Wekeling of English Beat (who is super duper duper nice). 

Then came Modern English. Already have them but got updated with 3 of 4 original members that came over (all but the lead singer who again I have). Then I score one of my major wants from this spot, Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow (I want Candy). She is nice as can be, signed and took photos. My next big want, Katrina of Katrina and the Waves (Walking on Sunshine) does combos with all and I get her as well. 

Now here is where I had a huge decision to make. I had info on where and when Queen would arrive in town. And I've heard that they got soured up as of late.

Do I stay where I'm at and get an upgrade shot with Ivan Doroschuk of Met Without Hats (Safety Dance) and get Howard Jones to sign my albums? I would gain no fresh photo ops but would have a good chance at getting something over nothing. Or do I go the high risk high return route? 

I asked a few people and no one else at that spot wanted to come with me for Queen and instead opted to simply stay put at this venue and get what they could.  I on the other hand decided to take the huge plunge into oblivion in the hopes that I would land on glory (that glory being Brian May of Queen as I actually do have Roger Taylor). So I run into my car and rush down to state #3. 

While driving there I did some magical research. Upon this research I find out that the drivers of Queen have to actually pull up to a ramp and go right by the planes, making access to them pretty much non existent. So I went to a spot where I thought they would stay at (which is a 45 min drive from where they were landing, so I had some time to get there) and basically began a prayer to the combo Gods that they would actually arrive there. 

Upon waiting I get a phone call from a Master. He tells me that they could be going where I'm waiting but suggested another spot where they could be going to. The Master recommended I drive somewhere where I can see the cars drive through, and from there see where the cars are going. This seemed way too cumbersome for me, so I decided to check out the other spot the Master suggested (which was like 5 minutes from where I was waiting to begin with). 

Upon arriving I see two greeters actually waiting outside, as if to receive VIP guests! Jackpot, or so I hoped. Wait about 10 minute and sure enough bunch of black vans and SUVs arrive. My reaction was this face 

Another instance where you truly appreciate not being in NYC. We are but TWO people, myself included. We get lip from the employees working there not to come on the property. Since I heard they soured up, we decided to go with ZERO merch and shoot for just photo ops. First up is Roger Taylor, we ask for a photo and he calls us over. I get an upgrade with him. 

Next up, Adam Lambert. We call him over but he is foul as he ignores us and just enters. Finally Brian May arrives and we get more lip from the employees. We plead him for photo ops and sure enough he walks over, is as nice as can be, takes pictures, shakes our hands, wow I couldn't believe how nice and friendly he was. He was honestly so nice he probably would have signed, but then again maybe he was that nice because we made our intentions (ie photo ops and no autographs) very clear. 

I honestly couldn't believe this victory, goes to show you that sometimes in combo hunting you need to take risk. Without risk you're guaranteed to have no shot at glory. Now I could have gone back to the initial state to try again for Micky Thomas in the morning but I decided to go call it and drive to state #4 and simply go to my house to greet my dog. As I was driving home I called back the Master and told him what happened and thanked him. 

Sucks I missed both nova con and a couple of music wants earlier in the day, but I would say by evening's end I made up for it a million fold  

I think it's safe to say Brian May is my best music name that is not a lead vocalist.

Brian May

Roger Taylor

Billy Ocean

Pete Byrne

Annabella Lwin

Katrina Leskanich

Full list of tri state photo ops

Billy Ocean and Pete Bryne autographs

Annabella and Katrina autographs

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Cooter's Last Stand

There were a few names I wanted at the Dukes of Hazzard event and since these are all up there in age I decided to give this event priority. Luckily I did not need any of the bigger names and I heard lines at this event can be quite ginormous. I figured I would be ok with the lower names I wanted. Wow I could not have been more mistaken. The crowd was like nothing I've ever seen. Wizard World Philly has NOTHING on this event. Apparently over 15,000 people attended, and lines for even the lower names were never ending. Perhaps even worse than the long line, the life stories everyone told that kept the lines stagnant. IMO people telling life stories is super selfish especially here. Perhaps when paying $50 at Wizard World it's more justifiable. But pretty much everything here was $10 an item and the line was eternal. You are ruining other people's chances to meet the celeb. 

I arrive and close to the event traffic is backed up. Took about an hour till I finally parked (on a grass field) and walked over to the event. Admission was $35 but I managed to mooch that.

Meet up with my buddy Pornstash Dave who drove to the event. They were in line for Rick Hurst (Deputy Cletus Hogg). We agreed that while they held that line I would go in line for Don Pedro Colley (Sheriff Little), who was also in movies such as Beneath the Planet of the Apes and THX-1138. 

As I waited in that line, eventually they got close to Rick. So I dashed over there, we got photos. I complained that he pulled a Nakamura winked in my photo op so he said to take off flash. I said it won't look good without flash, he said we can go outside the tent so no need for flash. As we went outside, I kept flash on anyway and got another shot. 

We notice that Ben Jones is on stage so dash there. We also see Sonny Burgess' band the merch table (Sonny played with Elvis for like 5 years). But wait Ben is about to leave the stage. So rush to where he will exit and I call him over for a photo op which he does! Victory as that was one of my wants at this show (he had no signing tent like the others). Back to the merch area and go to Sonny's band. We see three old men and wonder which one is Sonny. Turns out none of them are Sonny as he had to have surgery and did not show up. 

Back to the Don Pedro line where I had my spot. We were close to the front. We miss country singer Marty Haggard (son of Merle) as he is done performing but no biggie as he is get if there. While they are in line I scout out to look for stuntman Corey Eubanks but couldn't find him. I did run into a police sutied comedian who was doing free combos. Not sure what I was getting but I got it anyway. Back to my spot in line, finally go up to Don Pedro and get a photo op. At this point we were there 4-5 hours and only managed to go through TWO lines of lower names! And that's with spot holding. Someone had claimed to be 8-9 hours in the John Schneider line and had still not gone through any other line! 

Back to the merch area we get photo ops with Sonny's band, but sadly I don't think any of them are even valid. Dorothy Best (wife of James Best) has a very short line so we just stand there. She is barely valid which explains why her line was so short. Got free photo ops. 

By then all celebs were on stage so we all browsed around and took pictures with General Lees, confederate flags, and other cars. I tried to go into Tom Wopat's line (which had been cut) but sadly got caught. So I had to live to fight another day. 

Celebrities came back and I figured I'd try for Tom Wopat again. After all when is the photo op going to be only $10? Since I failed to mooch to the back of line, I thought I'd try something different. I mooched to the FRONT of the line. Dave gave me 8x10s to get signed, apparently for markedout member Jason1980s. Despite causing a bit of a stir I managed to go through, get Jason's items done, and get my photo op. 

As I was leaving Dave called me over. Apparently we are waiting for Ben Jones. I figured might as well get an auto. They took us around back by his RV, lined us up, and Ben did combos. Such a nice guy. This ended my time at Cooter's Last Stand. 

Ben Jones

Rick Hurst

Don Pedro Colley

Tom Wopat

Full list of photo ops