Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Monday, March 13, 2017

TV and movies Golden Age for Nerds

This is the Golden Age for Sci Fi, Horror, and Fantasy.  Think about that for a moment.  Take your hands off the mouse; take a deep breath; and close your eyes. Think about what you are watching. Think about the popularity of some shows.

That’s right, I’m asking you to stop and smell the roses.

This is the most prolific time these genres have ever seen. It is a time of sensory overload. Your DVR is overflowing with options.  You actually need to pick and choose what you will and won’t watch.  You can’t watch it all.

There has never been a time with so many movies and TV shows and conventions than now.  Viewers can build cliques and fan groups instantly and constantly stay in touch. They can delve into the minutiae of a show with a few clicks of a mouse.  Fans have access to the celebrities through conventions and social media.

Stars Wars has ramped up and is releasing a movie a year for the next 3 years.  Star Trek is returning to TV after a long hiatus. Marvel had released multiple movies a year (an amazing 14 movies so far and 9 more scheduled) and is all over Netflix. DC is still trying to make a decent movie but owns the CW on TV. My God, even MTV has 2 shows.

Over the last decade, some of the top TV shows have been True Blood, Walking Dead, and The Game of Thrones. Everyone is watching them and they have crossed over to the main stream population. The largest grossing movies in the last 10 years were Star Wars, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Avengers.

To top it all off, we are being given quality. Don’t confuse the ‘cost to make’ with value or worth.  It’s very possible to make an obscenely expensive ‘B’ movie. Today, the genres have some real craftmasters and it is showing.

While you smell those roses, don’t become complacent or spoiled. The young ones don’t even know the dark ages.  While the 70’s produced Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, it also produced Laserblast and Saturn 3.  Other than Kolchak: The Night Stalker, was there any good sci fi on TV doing the 70’s?  I remember Logan’s Run, Holmes and Yo-Yo, Quark, UFO, and Space 1999. I watched them all as I had no choice.

The 80’s relaunched Star Trek.  The quality was very uneven but again, we were desperate and we ardently watched. If those shows aired today, would they last a season? The shining light in the darkness of V, Alf, Knight Rider, and Mork and Mindy was Quantum Leap, Alien Nation, and War of the Worlds.

X-Files created a sensation in the 90’s which caused the rival networks to scramble to catch up.  Those attempts had a lot of misses like Babylon 5, Total Recall 2070, and Sea Quest DSV.  Yet Stargate SG-1, and Farscape carved niches and hung on.

Enjoy the now.  Whether it lasts a decade or only a few years, enjoy it. Just know it won’t last. Remember, people thought Oaters would be around forever. Soon, we could be forced to watch remakes of My Favorite Martian and Lost in Space as nothing else is on. Oh, the pain…the pain…


Thursday, March 9, 2017

President Bush – Sharpie Handshake

On March 2nd I got a book signed by President George W Bush.  Pretty simple.  Nothing to see here.  We can move along.

However, on Feb 18th or so, the buzz started. Barnes & Nobles was having President Bush for a book signing.  Odd, since I was just on the B&N site and there was no mention of that.  But the autograph community was talking.  I’m excited but wanted some verification.  Then someone posted a photo of the announcement from the bookstore.  Viola, verification.

As is the norm for large signings, you need to get a wristband and purchase your books in advance.  The nice thing about the wristbands, is while you are not 100% guaranteed of getting your book signed, you are 99% sure it will happen.  So, in theory, there is no need to show up early when the wristbands go on sale.

Well, autograph hounds have nothing better to do than stand in line.  Yes, the wristbands went on sale at 9AM on 2/25/17. I was in line with some of my fellow hound at 7:15 AM. It was a cold morning in Dallas. It was good to hang out with my fellow collectors.  Once the doors opened, I got 2 wristbands; one for me and one for the wife.  While she doesn’t care for collecting, there are certain people she is interested in seeing in person.

On the morning of the signing, the wife and I got in line at 7:20 AM. That was our queue time for the 9AM signing.  We stood outside for about 10 minutes and then the line slowly progressed into the B&N. We were wanded by Secret Service. They were sans ties; maybe because it was Saturday?  Because I wore a jacket with way too many zippers and metal buttons, I was patted down. Then we waited in another line.

The only excitement before 9AM was the wife watching me ‘front facing’ books on the shelves. It’s an old habit from my bookstore days.  Books that show their covers sell more than ones that show their spines.  You can often spend a little time puzzling out the books and get a few more covers shown.  The wife just shakes her head and in wonder and embarrassment.

Once the President arrived (admittedly much more exciting than watching me ‘front face’) we saw small groups of people ride up the escalator…where they got to stand in another line.  Upstairs was where the signing took place.  A lot more security was upstairs and massive stacks of the President’s new book, Portraits of Courage.

The President himself was behind a curtain.  As we made our way toward the front of the line, we saw him signing and greeting people. While I have gotten his autograph once before, I was still impressed with his ‘presence’.  Since I know how rushed these signings are, I wasn’t expecting a handshake. When I saw the Sharpie in his hand, I knew it would be too time consuming to drop the pen or transfer it to shake hands.  

He signed a few books. He gave us a genuine smile. He thanked us for coming out.  Then he reached out to me with Sharpie tucked in his palm and shook my hand. It was a smooth nature process for him. The shake was firm and I never noticed the pen in his hand.  As we moved one, he repeated the process for the new person. Strangely, that is what I focused on.  How odd.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Nick Stahl Dallas Comic Show 2017

Nick Stahl bust on the scene in A Man without a Face with Mel Gibson.  Then most Sci Fi geeks will remember from him Terminator 3. The wife and I remember him from Carnivale that aired on HBO in 2003.

As he signed my photo, I told how much I enjoyed the show.  Even with a large talented set of actors, he said that it just never found an audience.  I mentioned I think it was too soon.  It was the trailblazer.  It was a ‘weird’ show and people weren’t ready for that 14 years ago.  Now, after 7 seasons of True Blood and 7 seasons of Games of Thrones the audience would have been demanding more. 

But on the other hand, if Carnviale didn’t happen, maybe True Blood would have been cancelled because it was the trailblazer.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Supergirl Helen Slater Dallas Comic Show 2017

EVERYONE remembers Helen Slater from Supergirl. I remember her most from The Secret of my Succe$s. It’s a silly comedy that is always enjoyable to have on while vegging in front of the TV.

Helen was nice. While not as young looking as she was in Supergirl, she still is very attractive and remembered me of Erin Gray in her grace. 

I got to the event very very late in the day.  It’s always possible the celeb has called it a day. I was happy she stayed so late.  She signed and I thanked her and went on my way.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Tanked – Allen Home and Garden show 2017

Brett Raymer and Wayde King from Tanked appeared at the Allen Event Center. A fellow hound clued me into this event. This wasn’t a signing but an appearance.  They had set up some tables and were meeting fans, giving advice, and selling merchandise.  They also did an hour long panel where Brett did 90% of the talking and Wayde threw in some comedic zingers.  The panel was very funny and I didn’t mind listening.

After the panel the two greeted fans and made their way back to the table.  They had a line of happy fans buying shirts and caps.  I wandered around to let the crowd thin. After 20 minutes, I wandered back and saw Wayde.  I showed him my photo and asked if he’s signed.  He said, sure and I handed him my sharpie and photo.  Then he yelled at Brett to get on over and sign.  He was bossy but it was in character.

They were both very nice and fan friendly.