Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Dirk Nowitzki 2016

Out of the blue, a friend dropped off this 8 x10 for me. It was an unexpected surprise and a beautiful image.  Unfortunately, the scanner does not do the 3 D imagery any favors. 

The3 D print was a gift to Maverick season ticket holders. The image is Dirk Nowitzki scoring his 28,597 point which moved him past Shaq on the all time scoring list.

My buddy got his hands on a signed copy.  For some strange reason, he thought it would have a good home with me.  Well, Imagine that. Me, provide a good home to an autograph.

Yes, I am very capable of sheltering this poor homeless autograph and providing a nurturing environment. I will take that responsibility very seriously.



Monday, December 26, 2016

Eric Idle and John Cleese Majestic 2016

I enjoy Monty Python.  I must admit, I enjoy their movies much more than their TV Series. On the TV show, I just couldn’t understand ¼ of what they were saying because of the accents. Also there was very local references that meant nothing to a 13 year old kid living in Jersey that knew nothing of US politics yet alone British politics.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is by far my favorite. I also greatly enjoyed John Cleese in ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ and I was a fan of Eric Idle and the Rutles. The chance of getting their autographs when these two came to Dallas to perform their 2 man show was too great to miss.

As is often the case, I got there too late for a signing before the show.  So I waited.  I was later joined by fellow hounds that had gotten some autographs earlier.  They gave me the 411 about no selfies, only one autograph per person, and expect the photo to be personalized.

Once the show was over, the crowd swelled to 25 or 30 people waiting.  Eric Idle stepped out first.  He walked straight to me and signed.  John Cleese started signing a moment later but on the other side of the sidewalk.

As John finished signing for fans on the far side, he started to step into his car.  Fans from my side shouted for his attention.  He paused and slowly made his way over to us.  As he signed my photo, he did comment that he really liked it. Yeah me. 

Curiously, while they still didn’t do selfies, they were signing multiples for people and not personalizing. Again, this was a win for me.  I prefer not to have the name on the item. At some time, the wife will need sell off all of this stuff to pay for my wake. My name on the collection will not help her sell it.

As they both worked the crowd, a woman about 45 – 50 years old was crying.  She was trying to explain how much it meant seeing them both.  After moment, John just said, ‘quit your blubbering and out with it.  We aren’t that important’.  It was funny and very Monte Python. And I understood what he said.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Louise Jameson – Chicago Tardis 2016

One of my SDCC buddies made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.  He got Louise Jameson’s autograph at the most recent Dr Who convention in Chicago.   The character Leela is one of my favorite companions in Dr Who. She and K-9 were an interesting counterweight to Tom Baker’s portrayal of the Doctor.

While I prefer getting my signatures in person, I know the old school Dr Who actors don’t always make it down my way.  I also know the way ‘the fates’ work. Since I now have her autograph, ‘the fates’ will bring her down here for a show within the next year.  I say ‘fah’ to the fates. I accept that she will be here. I will dutifully get in line to have her sign something for me in person.

I also say ‘fah’ to the fates because I knew if I didn’t accept the kind offer from my friend, she would never come here. Then I wouldn’t have a single signature, let alone two.


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.