Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Monstermania Hunt Valley, TF Con, and CSA Show

On a weekend was both Monstermania in Hunt Valley and Transformers Con. I went to Monstermania the evening before and hung out with and others in the lobby.

First score is cenobite Nicholas Vince, a want of mine. I'm already on the board. Then get Simon Bamford who I have then Andrew Divoff AKA The Wishmaster, another want of mine. Photo op wise the evening ended with the Soska Sisters who even groped and hugged me when doing the dual op. Cenobite Barbie Wilde declined a photo op that evening 

Slept in the car and woke up the next day as I await so we can drive to Transformers Con after Monstermania. Stood in the line for Michael Biehn as I needed an upgrade from him. Next up went downstairs to finish up. Got Ricou Browning then wanted to upgrade my Ashley Laurence shot. Since she doesn't do flash shots I got a photo op with her using my phone at Chiller a while back. But camera phones have evolved since I purchased my current phone. So I found a random person with an iphone 7 and asked to use that for the photo op. Got a much better quality shot than what I had. Ended my time at Monstermania with a free Barbie Wilde shot and it was off to Transformers Con.

Michael Biehn

Full list of photo ops

Arrive at TF con, the two main wants of mine were at a panel. First get a free photo op with writer Aaron Archer. The main wants then return from the panel. I elected for the full combo from Jack Angel, got a free photo op with comic book writer James Roberts, then my other big want here, Neil Ross from GI Joe and Transformers, then finally free photo op with voice actor David Kaye who was in the more modern stuff. What baffled most is how James Roberts had a bigger line than any of the voice actors. 

Everyone lines up for James Roberts

Browsed a bit then finally dropped Greg at the train station so he can head home. 

Full list of photo ops


In mid October it was time for the CSA sports Show. First I go there Saturday. I get the kids from The Sandlot and a group shot with the Mighty Ducks kids. Since I got Brandon Adams at NJ Horror I chose to stand in between the two I didn't have. Now there was Joe Montana, a football name so huge that even I know who he is. I even remember he had video games for SNES and Sega Genesis. Without going into details I had an opportunity to get the shot for 1/3 of the cost. Since I do like to have a well rounded collection combined with the fact that I had a chance to get it at a relatively low price, I chose to make an exception to my "never pay for sports names unless they were in movies, TV, or wrestling" rule. So I got the shot with Joe Montana.

Now on to a football name that actually is a want of mine, namely Dick Butkus who was in My Two Dads, a show I used to watch and already have photos with cast members. I go to the airport for him and I'm the only one there. Sadly I never see him. He must have gone out one door while I was watching another (the drawbacks of being the only one there). So I go to the hotel and I actually see him but by the time I realize it was him he jumped in the car and went out to dinner. I then waited for him to return. 

While waiting one guy recognized me from the MJ Fox incident last year. He said he wanted my perspective on how I allegedly pushed his wife. I once again had to explain that no one was pushed and it didn't even involve his wife. So I explained the full story on how it happened. Some people were even saying they saw video footage of it, but I said there was never video footage. Multiple people insisted video existed, and I said it was false memories. I then said I would give 1K to anyone who would pull up the video but if the video can't be pulled up I get paid $1. Long story short I was $1 richer. 

Dick Butkus finally returns and I ask for a selfie but he shrugs me off. However, my time here was not a waste because I met somebody who had two mags for Dick to sign the next day. He agreed to my offer to get one of his items done so I could get the table op.

Go there on Sunday. What sucks about this show is pro ops are always before table ops, so you essentially take a risk although most people do table ops. It is time for the Butkus autograph line and I don't see photo ops for a while, but shockingly no one was asking. I guess in sports most don't care about photo ops. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw him do a table op. The person in front of me got a table op then I got one next. He seemed slightly annoyed to do two photos in a row but did it no issue. I gave the guy $20 for allowing me to get his item done. Pretty good deal considering his pro op was $100 (as was his auto).

Joe Montana

Dick Butkus

Full list of photo ops

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

September Cons: Mid Atlantic, NJ Horror, and Baltimore Comic Con

Mid September was Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Con. Sadly as I was on the way I found out my main want there, Maud Adams, had cancelled. I arrive, pick up a program. I must say the program is probably the most impressive of all shows, especially for such a small con. Of all cons I attended, only NYCC has a better produced program. It also featured a memorial for the late Martin Aaron Totten. Nothing major in terms of guests. They were either real cheap or free. Tammy Locke complemented my looks, how cool is that? 

Full list of photo ops

Tommy Cook autograph and Martin Totten memorial

Towards the end of September I go to New Jersey Horror Con. I had two main goals from that con. One was Kerri Green from the Goonies and the other Crispin Glover AKA George McFly from Back to the Future. I already got Crispin in the past but sadly he had a horrible beard so he didn't look like him. 

I arrive the night before and mooch a couple of photo ops. Next day I do a lot of splitting with  including the pro op only Kerri Green. One notable interaction was Daeg Faerch. I was trying to negotiate a photo op only price but he said he can't do it at the table unless I buy an auto. Then he actually invited me to mooch him in the lobby. Eventually I did just that. There was also a Pretty Fine Things signing and the main person I wanted from there was Camila Perez who was in a couple of Gotham episodes. Sadly she didn't show up but since I learnt from past mistakes with Kate Upton and Felicity Jones I made sure to grab free photo ops with two barely valid actresses that did show. 

After hitting up the Chinese buffet with  it was time to wait for Glover. I didn't care to pay to sit through his ordeal. I talked to two other convention goers who seemed oblivious of his antics and told them his routine. Even mentioned how much time he spends answering each question. One guy asks me if they are in fact obliged to "endure" hours of his movie and q&a just to get the combo. I said that this was an understatement but basically yes. While waiting for George to let out I got a tip for a private flight for some Van Halen band members, but rather than go to Philly and possibly struggle at the spot (there was a chance they would drive out) I decided to stay put and get my upgrade as planned. 

Finally the thing let out and I take my spot in line to get the photo op. One guy I talked to earlier told me he thought I was exaggerating about the ordeal but turns out I was being lenient. The other guy said how he wanted to shoot each person that asked a question (he apparently took 30 minutes to answer each question). Of course this did not end as life stories were exchanged during the m&g. And a lot of people just bailed the line as they didn't want to dedicate more time waiting. Finally I got up to him, and this upgrade is not only night and day compared to my previous shot, but he has short hair so he looks just like George McFly! The whole thing must have taken about 6h total. After this I headed out as the next day I planned to attend Baltimore Comic Con. 

Keri Green

Crispin Glover

Full list of photo ops part 1

Full list of photo ops part 2

Next up, Baltimore Comic Con. I needed one acting name there, namely Finn Jones. Sadly he wasn't doing table ops and I didn't feel like paying an arm and a leg for the pro op (with no one to split with). I tried to plead for a table op but was denied. So I decided to wait and see if I could score a table op after the pro op.

Meanwhile I look for 90 year old comic book illustrator Ramona Fradon (best known for her work on the old Aquaman comics). She also co created Metamorpho. I must say that woman looks incredible for 90. She was sitting on a regular chair signing and sketching stuff. Wow, may we all be this fortunate. I asked her for a photo op and she seemed shocked I wanted one. One thing about comic books guests they are not used to doing photo ops so are happy to do them without any charge. While I went around the table to get the op one guy actually dropped his comics to get signed. How fucking rude! But I got the op eventually. I also looked for some of her old comics to get signed by the only ones I could find were in the triple digits. Too rich for my blood. Since it was Sunday I'm guessing all the cheap ones were bought and signed over the weekend. I just went back and got an index card signed. Told her why I was getting the index card signed and she described paying so much money for old comics as "robbery".

I notice Stan Sakai at a table. He apparently created Usagi Yojimbo. I know that character from the TMNT lore. Also noticed Don Rosa who is a Disney comic book name that is HUGE in Europe but not so much in the US. He even joked how Europeans actually travel to the US for his appearances because his line is so much shorter in the US than in Europe. Got a photo op. 

I passed by the MCW booth and saw Joey Mercury and Melina. I needed a photo op with Mercury with a bald head (because that's how he looked for J&J Security) and Melina was looking different. So I chose the dual op as it wasn't much more than the Mercury only op. I asked Mercury if he could remove his cap for the op and he tried to say it was an extra $20. 

Saw a huge line for comic book names Walt Simonson and his wife Louise Simonson. I looked them up and saw that they worked on quite a few things I enjoyed in the past. Most notably Walt worked on the Robocop vs Terminator comic books. So I got photo ops with them and they were happy to do it. I also noticed Val Staples was there and he worked on a lot of the 200X Masters of the Universe properties. After he signed a stack of MOTU comics for someone I asked him for a photo op and he was dazed and confused at my request. He then joked that he's ugly but would do it. When we took the shot he commented that I look better than him in the photo. 

Now back to Finn Jones. I go up and say I missed the pro op and if I could get a table op. The handler denies but Finn says that it's "ok" and comes around and I get a FREE table op! SCORE!

Since I didn't pay anything for the Finn photo op ended my time in Baltimore Comic Con by finally caving in to a Neal Adams photo op. On my way out I mooched an upgrade with Darryl DMC McDaniels

Joey Mercury and Melina

Finn Jones

Full list of photo ops

Ramona autograph

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Some scattered meets in August and September

In August I tried to go for Roger Waters. I waited at the venue sadly he drove in and did nothing for no one. So I went to another venue to Michelle Branch. Not really a huge want of mine but I do know one song. She was doing a fuck money m&g despite that was nice as can be outside and I got a shades shot. Patrick Carney was also there and I upgraded the shot I got in NYC in the past. 

Roger Waters let out and I waited at a spot I thought he would arrive at, but sadly never saw him. So I rush back to the Michelle Branch spot to try and upgrade my shot to no shades. Again she is nice as can be. Also grabbed some barely valid opening band members. It was a nice feeling to get it free when so many paid money for it. 

Full list of photo ops

Early September I wanted singer and actor Dwight Yoakam. Go to the venue wait for him to leave. We see him WALK to his bus he says he won't do photo ops but will take items in the bus. I get my 3 items done and we try to plead for photo ops with the tour manager. He tells us to get the m&g and we told him truthfully that it was sold out. We said we were ready to pay money right now for photo ops, sadly he refused our money. Wow just wow. 

With that failure I had to go for names I didn't particularly care for but needed my evening to be worthwhile. Go to the next venue 5 minutes away. The main attractions are Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and Faith No More lead singer Mike Patton. Not really a fan but I do know who they are. 

John Waters was attending the show and I get another photo op with him. Dave Lombardo is mobbed but I get a combo. Mike Patton leaves out a different door but we rush and we get him. Also picked up some barely valids while waiting for them. 

Full list of photo ops


A few days later I had the Pat Benetar m&g. I had someone interested in the merch so since I could split it I decided that was the best chance I would ever get for a photo op with her. They wanted to personalize the poster but I ignored the emails asking. I also had train information for Lin-Manuel Miranda. So it made sense to try for him first. I go there and he signs then shuts down autographs. When outside I got another photo op with him though he has hat and shades, a downgrade from my previous shades only shot. 

On to the Pat Benetar m&g, I get my poster non personalized. They wanted to take my name to get them to write it on there but I stated "it's fine the way it is". First Neil Giraldo does the photo ops then Pat Benetar. For whatever reason there was no flash for Neil but flash for Pat. When fixing my hair before the Pat shot she said I looked great. How cool is that!

Lin-Manuel Miranda


Neil Giraldo

Pat Benetar

Signed poster

Days after that when driving down from NYC I decided to stop by for a Randy Newman flight. He was cool about combos, but when I got him on a blank his wife wanted it back. WTF! 

Randy Newman


Next day I do a flight for someone I failed to get a good photo op with in the past, Joe Walsh. First time I got a garbage shot, second time a blurry shot. So I set out to break that curse. I go away from the rest of the graphers, I see him, ask him for the photo op, and he happily agrees! YES curse broken! Then immediately someone runs up to ask for an auto but he denies. He exits and more graphers are waiting. One guy manages to get him to stop with his air force uniform and I get my album signed. I will never go for Joe Walsh again for the rest of my life.

Joe Walsh


Next a day where I have 3 flights. First up actor John Carroll Lynch who has been in movies such as Face/Off, Gran Torino, Shutter Island, Ted 2, among others. Sadly I found that flight late so didn't have time to print. But he was nice as can be. 

Later in the day I went for director/producer Reginald Hudlin. I saw him, and he is shocked someone is stopping him at an airport. Told him "I bet you don't get harassed at an airport too often" he said he didn't and said that this is so amazing. Signed and took photos no problem.

Then it was off to the main event of the day, Marvel actor Chadwick Boseman. He signed for us but sadly ignored requests for a photo op. I tried pleading to no avail he goes "I don't take pictures at the airport. Even waited till he left the building to ask but no dice. 

Not deterred I went to the event the next evening. I missed entries by 5 minutes but he signed and ignored photo ops. Waited for exits where he again ignored my pleas for a photo op. But I got more autos from Reginald Hudlin. I also saw a woman take photo ops. Had no idea who it was at the time but got the shot. Turns out it's singer Andra Day.

John Carroll Lynch

Reginald Hudlin

Andra Day


Another evening I go for singer John Waite. I was on the fence at first but decided to do it. When he exits he is nice as can be. 

John Waite


End of September I went for Chris Hillman of The Byrds. He came out and was nice as can be. Also got the barely valids. 

Photo ops


To round up September I embarked to get Harrison Ford yet again. The day starts when I pick up a NYC Master and friend from the train station. We head to his hotel where lots of combo hunters are waiting (many who just got him in NYC). 

The hotel has a driveway and when everyone stood there the employees were chasing people out. Harrison Ford does nothing. 

Rush to the venue where people line up. Ford starts signing. I manage to get two Star Wars laserdiscs signed by George Lucas. He does one single photo op with an old lady and most everyone gets at least one auto.

We wait for exits but sadly he sneaks out. 


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Heroes and Villians, The Scorpions, and other NYC meets

Couple of days after my huge Angelina defeat, I arrive in NJ for Heroes and Villains. Despite the huge guest list I am fortunate enough to have no interest in paying for repeat meets when I already have a perfect photo op. So my list was down to four people. I got Rick Gonzalez (Wild Dog), Robbie Amell (Firestorm), Maggie Geha (Ivy in Gotham), and Josh Segarra (Adrian Chase). Some lines were long but teaming with NYC combo hunter Wong we were able to hold one another's spots and do some splits. 

After this I rush to NYC as I wanted to get Scorpion band members (Rock you like a Hurricane). Out of the 5 you have 3 valid members (the lead singer and two guitarists) and 2 scrubs. Arrive and the German channel DW is filming. Scorpions come out and do combos. I get photos with all albeit hat/shades ops. 

Next up I go to a spot to wait for Judi Dench but sadly never see her. I then go to spots where I'm at least guaranteed to see people. First I meet up with friends Jimmy, James, and Suzanne, then head to a spot for randoms. Apparently the Red Hot Chilli Peppers were coming here but I have the drummer and the others aren't nice. We leave that spot for the more guaranteed show spots (sure enough the drummer is the only one that stops). 

First stop is actress Melissa Gilbert. Her husband Timothy Busfield from Revenge of the Nerds was watching her show so I got a photo op. Also got an upgrade with Dylan Baker who was also watching the show. Then a couple of barely valids (a little girl and a black guy) and finally Melissa herself. 

After this sweeping success on to another spot where I wanted Stephen McKinley Henderson who I know best from Tower Heist. He is nice as can be and I also get an upgrade with actress Julie White plus a couple of barely valids.

Try for another show for Elizabeth McGovern and Anna Camp but apparently it was cancelled for the day. Then I head back to the Scorpions spot in the hopes to score upgrades, and upgrades I score as I get the 3 main members again, this time much better shots! Go out to a bar with Vanessa the Jersey Shore stalker where I drank a few bears. Sobered up a bit, had some pizza, dropped her home, then left the city. 

Sadly I left prematurely as I found out after the fact about a Judi Dench event the next day. Had I known about it I would have stayed.

Robbie Amell

Maggie Geha

Josh Segarra

Matthias Jabs

Klaus Meine

Rudolf Schenker

Full list of NJ/NYC photo ops part 1

Full list of NJ/NYC photo ops part 2

Scorpions news report from DW featuring yours truly getting a selfie

Selena Gomez signing and NYC meets in mid September

When making decisions in combo hunting, sometimes you make good ones, sometimes you make bad ones. Here we will showcase an illustration of both. 

In mid September Selena Gomez was doing a promotional appearance in NYC. Since I've failed on her in the past, I decided to go to NYC to try for her and other stuff. Most people would probably wonder why I care for such a name and try to accuse me of pokemoning but that is not the case. While it is true I could care less about the stuff she is most famous for, the main reason I wanted her is because of her voice acting role in Hotel Transylvania, which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Arrive in NYC the evening before, try some random spots, but see nothing sadly. I drive past the Selena Gomez event at about 2am and already a line has formed. At this point I decide even a guaranteed Selena is not worth losing sleep and dedicating 12h for. So I secure my free parking spot, take a nap, and wake up in the morning to try for Julianne Moore. 

Arrive at the spot and I receive word that I can in fact still make the Selena line. But since Julianne said she would stop leaving and is a much bigger want than Selena I decided to stay here for now. Sure enough when she leaves she does combos for all. I get a combo and extra. Made a good decision! At this point I rush to the Selena line and get a wristband. Now I had a choice between a guaranteed Selena and a shot at Kirsten Dunst, a much bigger want. I decided to stay for the guarantee. This was a good decision cause Dunst did nothing for no one. Something humorous, when I was close to meeting Selena there was a woman carrying a box of tissues. I asked her if this was for crying fans and she confirmed that it was. And something baffling is the plethora of NYC combo hunters that have multiple photos with Selena standing in this line. It was miserable enough for me I cannot imagine why anyone would put themselves through such pain and suffering when you already have a perfect shot. If let's say this was (say) Miley Cyrus I would not have been caught dead in this line.

I go up to Selena and she hugged me and told me hello. We took the photo op. While they gave you a jpeg it is sadly and crushingly a low rez jpeg. When I got home I called and emailed the photo company who was hired for this and they said they were not at "liberty" to release the high rez shots and even tried to tell me that the shots they released were high rezSadly this means I now have to stalk her again down the road. Wow look at this I try to do things the "proper" way and go to her public appearance and I get spat upon. All it would have taken was an email with the high rez jpeg and I would never ever try for Selena Gomez again. Truly a sad state of affairs.

I wanted to head to another spot where actors were appearing but rain kicked in so I went to a random spot with an awning. Sadly all I got were pokemon music names, namely band members of Rage Against the Machine and Cypress Hill. 

My next stop is Angelina Jolie. Go inside and get up to her, ask her for a photo op, she declines saying she has to go in the room. And despite that 10 minutes pass and she is still standing there. More NYC combo hunters arrive, many of which have multiple shots with her. They manage to succeed in scoring shots and when I ask I of course get denied (along with others). She would eventually sneak out and do no photo ops outside (but she signed a few). While all this was happening I could have gotten Kristen Dunst who did photo ops at another spot. It was a double PUNCH PUNCH as I not only saw people who had multiple Angelina shots get it right in front of me, but I missed a possible once in a lifetime shot at Dunst (who is not known to be friendly). BAD decision. 

Feeling demoralized at this point I left the city, which was in itself a probably bad decision because the next day Angelina did photo ops at a spot (though not everyone got it, most did).

Julianne Moore

Selena Gomez

Full list of NYC photo ops

Julianne Moore autographs