Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Friday, December 2, 2016

David Tennant – I don’t want to go… ACCC 2016

I traveled to San Antonio just for David Tennant.  The other guests i acquired were gravy.  I have really enjoyed the relaunch of Dr Who. By far, David Tennant is my favorite Doctor (Tom Baker is in a whole other category so I’m omitting him for this conversation.).

I had never been to an Alamo City ComicCon before and I heard they over sell their VIPs badges.  The overselling means the general admission fan (steerage) might not get a chance to get an autograph. I accept that. I know that risk going into the process. I try to mitigate by arriving early and investing more time standing in line and skipping sleep.

Once the doors opened at Alamo City, I got in the non-VIP line for David.  I was about 50 people back in that line. The VIP line was long. After 30 minutes, and seeing the VIP line continue to grow, the convention people warned us we might not get autographs.  They explained the schedule for David.  He had 2 hours of signing. Then photo ops. Then I think a panel. More photos ops. Then done for the day.  David was only scheduled to appear on Saturday.

Considering I didn’t have much sleep and didn’t eat very well, I had some heart burn. I waited. I watched the VIP line continue to grow.

David arrived about 15 minutes early. Yeah!  The line started to move.  Well, the VIP line.  An hour passed and a lot of people were pushed through the lines.  Then the common unwashed line moved to the end of the VIP line.  There were still lots of people in front of me.

Once I got to the point where I could clearly see David smile and hand back photos, I thought I was safe. There was about 20 minutes before he needed to leave and about 50 people in front of me. That is when more VIPS started showing up. Either they were coming back for a second helping or they were busy somewhere else.

This is always confusing for the fans and staff. The situation is always tense. Often heated words are exchanged. As the ‘new’ VIP line grew, they were lead in front of us. My progress stalled but the clock continued to tick.  Once the new batch of VIPs were processed, the commoners inched closer as the countdown clock inched down to zero.

Finally I got to the table.  I was asked if I wanted my photo personalized. I said no but wanted a quote added. The first handler was confused and passed me forward.  The next handler said they could add the quote (which I had printed out) but he didn’t take the quote when I gave him my photo. Rushed, David looked up and smiled.  We exchanged about 6 words. He signed my photo and handed it back to me.  The handler remembering I wanted the quote told David he forgot to add it.  David smiled and said okay. We know David didn’t’ forget, he didn't know about it.  He just went with the flow. I handed over the quote.  David read it. Looked at the photo again and added the quote.  David mentioned ‘It fits’.

As I left, with a few minutes before zero on the countdown clock, I noticed 100’s of people still in line. My heartburn eased.

As the day progressed, David did make a second signing appearance.  A roar rocked the convention center as he sat at the signing table.  Hopefully he was able to see most of those people.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Stranger Things – classy kids ACCC 2016

The Netflix hit of the year was Stranger Things.   The stars of the show are kids. It does feels a little weird for a 50 plus year old guy to ask kids that are just barely teenagers for their autographs. As I mentioned before, collecting autographs is an addiction.

I added three of the kids from the show to my collection. And all three were very classy.

Gaten Matarazzo – a fellow Jersey-ian.  He spent a lot of time in front of his table as he posed for photos and chatted with other fans that were kids. He took time asking that the photo looked good.  He constantly had a smile on his face and seemed open to answer any question.

Noah Schapp – when I walked through the empty corral, the handler rushed up to me to turn me away.  I was told Noah was leaving for lunch. Ok, no problem.  A kid needs his 3 square a day. Then the dad asked what I had.  Without saying a word, I showed my photos. Dad waved me in and Noah perked up ready to receive me.

Of course the handler didn’t see this as his back was turned.  He looked at me menacingly. Okay not menacingly.  He was barely in his 20’s, less than half my weight, and about a foot shorter. But he did look at me.  With intensity he asked if I ‘needed something’ with the not so hidden meaning of ‘what’s the problem dude’.  I smiled.  I had to give the handler credit. It was brave.  Now Noah is waving me in.  I leaned forward and asked the handler if he could turn and look at the table.   I mentioned they are waving me in. I also said I wasn’t planning of pushing past him but I have conflicting messages that I hoped could be fixed.  He turned and saw the others motioning me forward. He moved out of my way.

Noah was friendly and thanked me for coming stopping by.  Dad apologized for the confusion.   I thought nothing of it but in a positive way.  They stayed a little long so I didn’t have to come back in an hour.  I thanked both of them for that. Neither of them thought staying a little longer was an issue.

Caleb McLaughlin – with any show, there are times when the lines ebb.  One of these times, a small child started walking through the corral toward Caleb.  The corrals turn back and forth to stack a larger group of people neatly into a smaller space. This child was about 3 foot tall.  His back was twisted. His hips were wide and the gait was painful to watch. One arm was in a large cast and some metal rods were sticking out of it.  The hand at the end of that cast was malformed. The child’s dad was a few feet behind him as they slowly navigated the lanes.  It seems they waited for a time to avoid the crowds.

Caleb looked up. He hopped off his chair and met the child about half way up the line. He instantly knelled on one knee and started chatting with the child.  A moment later, Caleb’s father realized what his son did and went to greet the father.  Then the 4 of them slowly made their way to the table and chatted.  I lost track of all of them as my line moved but it was heartwarming.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Shannon Elizabeth ACCC 2016

Ahhhh, Shannon Elizabeth…heavy sigh…

(Smack to the back of the head by my lovely wife.  I turn and see her eying me.  The crossed arms pose tells me to keep it ‘just the facts’.)

Shannon Elizabeth…(I pause from my typing as from the corner of my eye I can see the wife’s weight shift forward) looks just as beautiful now as 10 years ago.

She had a very nice selection of photos and magazines to choose from. The one I chose was less risqué than others. (The wife’s weights shift away from me…)

Since she is an accomplished poker player I tried to impress her with poker talk. I assumed everyone else would chat about animals or her looks.  She mentioned she rarely had time to play poker when traveling.  I have a feeling she thought I was inviting her to a home game.  So I left with my photo and a failed smile on my face.

(The wife nods satisfactorily and then leave  the room.)


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tim Rose Holding Court at ACCC 2016

Tim ‘It’s a Trap’ Rose was also at ACCC and held court.  He was basically giving a panel at his table.  It was a short line but a long wait as he did give a lot of details about what he did and was doing. He is definitely a treat for the uber fan.

While ‘It’s a trap’ is cliché, it is part of the culture and even non-Star Wars fan have been exposed to the meme.  So like every other fanboy, I have that quote on my photo.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Charlie Cox Holding Court at ACCC 2016

No surprise that Charlie Cox had a nice long line. I told he was very classy and very friendly.  That was the truth.  He did not rush his fans and he was relaxed as he chatted with everyone.

The group of three in front of me wanted nothing more than to say hi and possibly shake his hand.  The handlers had no problem with that. Obviously it is a common occurrence and they know that Charlie allows that.

While actors enjoy meeting their fans, they are there to make money. Hanging out with the crowd is fun but it doesn’t pay the bills or build a nest egg for after the TV show is long gone.  I have seen the ‘I just want to say hi’ crowd turned away.  I have seen them allowed but only given a brief moment and then rushed off.

Charlie didn’t seem to care who was in front of him.  The 3 people in front of me stepped to the table and he leaned forward and they shook hands and chatted and then after a moment they started talking about baseball.  Charlie didn’t impatiently look for something they brought to sign. He didn’t abruptly dismiss them. It was very nice to see.  Those three people left with HUGE smiles on their faces.