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Thread: Helping Out: RHODE ISLAND COMIC CON 2017!

  1. #211
    Quote Originally Posted by Ace77 View Post
    Wow, he must have changed his policy of the course of the weekend. I was in with the VIP's on Friday, and he wasn't even scheduled to be there Friday. From the looks of it, I think I was the very first person to get his autograph at this show. I brought my own photo with me and was just charged his regular price. Perhaps he realized that most people coming to him were bringing their own items, as I saw several people with Creed and Drago action figures and such. He must've realized he could capitalize on that and changed his pricing. That's really too bad though. The only person I encountered that charged more for bringing my own item was Chris Sarandon. He was $40 and $50 for my own item, which also just happened to be a photo, though he did comment he'd never seen the photo I brought before, so that was kind of cool.

    I flew in from Michigan for this show, and this was the 5th state I have attended a show in. In my opinion, this was EASILY the least organized, and for lack of a better term, just a chaotic *****show that I have ever attended. I was able to get autographs of everyone I had items for, but it was extremely grueling doing so. I spoke to several others in lines who attend shows across the country and they were just as frustrated and unimpressed as I was. The guest list was incredible, even with all of the cancellations, but that doesn't mean much when the show is so poorly executed. I told myself to not even look at the guest list next year so that I wouldn't be tempted to go back. Nearly all of the guests I visited with the exception of 1 or 2 were beyond friendly and I had incredible experiences with. But beyond that combined 20 minutes or so, I had a miserable time the two full days I was there.

    I'd be curious to hear your opinion of the show.
    Hi!

    I just wanted to acknowledge that I read your post and that I'm not ignoring you.
    I'll give a proper reply soon!

    Sorry you didn't have a good time. I know many did not.

    Cheers!

  2. #212
    hey Obi!! I looked for you bud, but man it was so tight in there like sardines it was impossible. we were there from Sunday open till bout 2:30. I must say, it was better for us, and seemed better overall than last year, but the worst of it's kind still. The signers were well positioned, grouped together, but again the constant clashing of signings and photo ops just grinds all lines to a halt, still no logic there & a majority of the staff was so frikken dumb, it's just sad. It had to be oversold, everywhere was shoulder to shoulder and bottlenecked. having vendors in halls and armpits where you need to walk to critical areas made constant congestion, and that's just idiotic. The new photo op company was stellar in comparison to last year. Ultimately we expected a disaster so we went in just smiling, but we got what we desired and felt somewhat stress free. Still a terribly run gig, and never again will we get buy tix early, w/ 40 cancellations it seemed too shady, & it's gonna take a helluva signer(s) to get us back there. And people, please for sanity's sake, leave the toddlers at home or with their grandparents, relatives, whatever-you're just a moron to walk around w/ a toddler by the hand in there, and less strollers would be just awesome, you're not humoring us or increasing anyone's good time or improving these kid's lives by draggin 'em around all day, just stop. No one cares about YOUR kid in a costume, sorry... use your brain
    Last edited by jpolli666; 11-14-2017 at 07:40 AM.

  3. #213
    Quote Originally Posted by jpolli666 View Post
    hey Obi!! I looked for you bud, but man it was so tight in there like sardines it was impossible. we were there from Sunday open till bout 2:30. I must say, it was better for us, and seemed better overall than last year, but the worst of it's kind still. The signers were well positioned, grouped together, but again the constant clashing of signings and photo ops just grinds all lines to a halt, still no logic there & a majority of the staff was so frikken dumb, it's just sad. It had to be oversold, everywhere was shoulder to shoulder and bottlenecked. having vendors in halls and armpits where you need to walk to critical areas made constant congestion, and that's just idiotic. The new photo op company was stellar in comparison to last year. Ultimately we expected a disaster so we went in just smiling, but we got what we desired and felt somewhat stress free. Still a terribly run gig, and never again will we get buy tix early, w/ 40 cancellations it seemed too shady, & it's gonna take a helluva singer(s) to get us back there. And people, please for sanity's sake, leave the toddlers at home or with their grandparents, relatives, whatever-you're just a moron to walk around w/ a toddler by the hand in there, and less strollers would be just awesome, you're not humoring us or increasing anyone's good time or improving these kid's lives by draggin 'em around all day, just stop. No one cares about YOUR kid in a costume, sorry... use your brain
    Hi!

    I'm sorry I missed you! It was quite hectic all three days. I saw forum members Yipster and Teddy waiting for Paul Reubens; but I couldn't get close to them to say hello. I would have called or texted them, but they looked to have their hands full and I didn't want to bother them.

    I hope to catch you at another convention, though!
    Last edited by Obi1Kenobi; 11-13-2017 at 10:02 PM.

  4. #214
    It took all day, but the photos are now posted here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/The-Auto...61821733865927
    Again, you do not have to have a Facebook account to view the photos (I don't even have a personal page). So, please check them out and let me know what everyone thinks!

    For those waiting, I'll get my 'After-Show Report' posted after everything is shipped (that should be by Wednesday).
    Last edited by Obi1Kenobi; 11-13-2017 at 10:06 PM.

  5. #215
    Obi, My Elijah Wood autograph looks great! Can't thank you enough!

  6. #216
    Hey just wanted to let you know that I sent you a couple of emails. One was for the fragile signs and paper stating fragile all over my 2 packages.
    Oh maaaan that was my dinner.
    No,No,No this suckers electrical.

  7. #217
    Quote Originally Posted by DarthRavenger View Post
    Hey just wanted to let you know that I sent you a couple of emails. One was for the fragile signs and paper stating fragile all over my 2 packages.
    No worries, I do have brown paper. I also replied to your email.

  8. #218
    I've been getting 'Database Errors' lately when trying to sign in and when trying to reply to messages.
    I seem to be able to post on the forums just fine and I can read my messages, it's just when I try submitting my reply or signing in.

    If you message me here, please try sending via email if I don't get back to you within an hour or two. My email address is the same as the PayPal address I sent you all.

    The errors have been becoming less frequent, though.

  9. #219
    Most everyone's items have gone out today!
    The others (those that are paid for) will go out first thing tomorrow morning.

    If you'd like your tracking number, just message me and I'll send it along to you.

    Thanks again everyone!

  10. #220
    I have finished typing my 'After-Show Report' from my notebook!

    RICC is always a mess. I can see that they tried to improve over last year, but it certainly wasn’t 100% successful. I arrived fairly early and went immediately to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center where the autograph redemption was. The line was already 45 minutes long while those paying in cash (and thus avoiding the GrowTix fees) where done in moments… That set the tone for the weekend to me.

    I finally got the tickets and joined Andy Serkis’ line. We stood there for a while before he came out, but the wait wasn’t horrible. Especially not compared to Jeffrey Dean Morgan last year. I got up to him and Celebrity Authentics started placing the stickers wherever they wanted to. Luckily, I was able to point out that some of the items had sticky notes requesting placement. The woman there told me that, “All items have to have stickers on the front, by CONTRACT.”. She was quite rude about it, too. I told her that I didn’t sign any contract and that if they demanded to brand other people’s property, they should at the very least listen to where to put them.

    She did comply with the vintage fabric request of putting the sticker with the other, despite them being on the back of the fabric, after I argued it. She also listened to me about putting their sticker on the side of the POP! figures. Mr. Serkis himself was nice. He seemed like he was having a good time already. I mentioned that the items were sticky-noted and asked if he would mind doing inscriptions. He told me he didn’t mind at all and started fulfilling them. Then the sticker lady told him to stop doing them or he’d never get through everyone. He apologized to me and said, “Sorry, I’ve got to listen to my bosses now.”. I told him I understood and asked if he intended to make any more appearances and he said, “I’ll go wherever they’ll have me.”. He finished signing and shook my hand.

    Elijah Wood’s line was already pretty long, so I decided to get him a bit later. Carl Weathers was unexpectedly signing, but I hadn’t planned on getting him until Saturday anyway, so I made my way to the Convention Center and got “the lay-of-the-land”. Jason Isaacs had a reasonable line waiting for him, so I joined it. While waiting, I took a picture from the hip while he was talking to a couple of people in front of me. Mr. Isaacs agent asked if I took a picture and I told her that I did. She politely asked me not to do it without asking him anymore. I apologized and told her I’d ask him. The other handler asked for the personalization request and I told her the name. I started spelling it and she kept interrupting me trying to predict the spelling. She got it wrong twice and finally stopped trying to guess it, but still wrote it wrong. I told her I’ll just use my own.

    I only waited maybe 10 minutes for Issacs and had him sign a ‘Star Trek’ photo for a forum member. I asked him if he would mind if I take a picture of him signing and he said, “Yes. Yes, I mind very much. I’m a professional who gets my photograph taken all the time. One day, you’ll understand that you’ll reach a certain age and you will need proper lighting and a professional photographer.”. He wasn’t really mean when he said it, but I got the feeling that my very question offended him.

    Next was Michael Dorn since he was right across from Mr. Isaacs. I asked him if I could take a picture while he was signing and the volunteer at his table said no photos were allowed. “It’s convention policy that we charge for ANY photo taken in convention center.”, is what she told me. Mr. Dorn would have said yes, had the volunteer not jumped in. We still had a nice conversation about our friend JG Hertzler, though.

    I ventured over to Joonas Suotamo who was doing steady business. I was surprised at how nice he was. I guess I just associated his being Chewbacca with Peter Mayhew’s occasional (usual) grumpiness. I asked him if I could take a picture while he signed and he told me that it wasn’t allowed, but that he’s not enforcing it and to take it from the side. I thanked him and told him that I was looking forward to ‘The Last Jedi’ and he reminded me that ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is coming soon. I realized a bit after I walked away that he still had the blue sharpie sent in for his signature. I went back to ask for it, but he had left. The person watching the table looked for it, but couldn't find one, so I had to call it a loss.

    I couldn’t get back to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center without going all the way around again, so I held off on Wood until the next morning.

    Saturday came I was once again headed right to the DDC. I joined Sebastian Stan’s line first, since I know he typically shows up early and because I’ve seen his massive lines at Wizard World Philadelphia. I was the only person in the General Admission line and they let me go among the first group of five, so that was pretty cool. All the volunteers and staff were yelling that no photos were allowed and not to ask. People were even thrown out of the line for taking pictures of Stan, Paul Bettany, and Paul Reubens… I got up to the table and the agents/handlers told me the line is too long for inscriptions or personalizations. I did get him to switch to a blue marker for the requested order, though. Mr. Stan really didn’t say much and seemed to be already focused on the next person when I said that I saw him in Philadelphia. He lit up and said, “That’s my favorite show! Are you going next year?”. I told him I was and that if he’ll be there I’ll likely stop by. Then he told me that he’s not booked yet, but wants to do it if he can. I asked for my blue marker back and he held it up to me. I was about to take it when the handler with him said, “That’s yours.”. I told her that it wasn’t, but I was ignored and they were on to the next person. Then I got to thinking about why he had time to reminisce about Philly with me, but not write “Bucky” or “Winter Soldier” after his signatures. I came to the conclusion that he (or his handlers) just didn’t want him to.

    I jumped over to Elijah Wood and was told to get in the VIP line. I happily did so and was in front of him within 30 minutes. Mr. Wood was incredibly nice! It still makes me smile to think about how happy he makes his fans. I saw so many men, women, and children leave laughing, with tears of joy, and star-struck. It was a really heartwarming thing to see the way he treated everyone; as though they were the center of his world. In the moment you had in front of him, you really were all that he cared about... I’m not really an 'LOTR' fan (I don’t hate the movies, they’re just not in my regular rotation), but Elijah Wood is someone everyone should aspire to be like and I am an Elijah Wood fan now. He and the older lady with him were very impressed that both send-ins had Dominick Monaghan’s signature. They also, both, told me that Mr. Monaghan won’t sign anymore as a personal policy. Then they said he’s only done two or three conventions and likely won’t do many, if any, more of them. Mr. Wood was happy to sign where asked and added character names without a problem. The volunteer there told me the same thing as Michael Dorn’s regarding taking photographs, though.

    As I joined Paul Bettany’s line next, the loud speaker kept announcing that all transactions are cash only and absolutely no photography was allowed in the DDC. Mr. Bettany’s line moved pretty quickly too. The people putting the CA stickers on the photos were insistent that no inscriptions were allowed. I got directly in front of Mr. Bettany and asked that he write “Vision”. He said he would be happy to and did so. The CA person told him not too, but he ignored them. He shook my hand and thanked me for coming to see him.

    Paul Reubens had a shorter line, but he was certainly taking his time with everyone. Based on the amount of people waiting, he should have been done in 5 minutes. I was in front of him after 35 minutes. The line behind me kept growing, too. He stared at me and stood up from behind his table and looked me over from head to toe. Then he said that I was very subdued and professional in my apparel. I said that I had a ‘Batman’ T-Shirt under my dress shirt and he asked to see it. So, I started taking my shirt off for Pee-Wee Herman... He asked if I was a Pee-Wee fan and I told him that I was more familiar with his work in ‘Mystery Men’ and ‘The Blacklist’. He was surprised to be recognized for ‘Blacklist’ and said, “I was really hoping to do more of that show. I thought they’d bring me back, but then he [James Spader’s character] just shot me without words. It was all very unceremonious. But, what can you do?”

    He signed the photo as “Pee-Wee Herman” and I asked if he could also sign it “Paul Reubens”. He smiled and said, “Anything for you, Batman.”. I laughed and he shook my hand.

    I reorganized and went for Gene Simmons next. I only had four LPs that were sent to me and I had them all ready to go when I started to get heckled from the General Admission line for "being a dealer". I ignored them and got my moment with Mr. Simmons pretty fast. Mr. Simmons asked if I wanted him to sign it in the silver requested or in his own marker. I didn’t see his own marker, so I decided to go with the silver. He said, “Silver Sharpies are S**t.”, while he tested it on his table. I agreed that his was, then he picked up his own silver and laughed while saying, “Next time just go with what I tell you.”. I told him that I would and that he was the professional. He laughed and said, “You know it, friend.”.

    I got to the front of Carl Weather’s line and asked what he was charging as there were no signs. The lady at the table told me that they’re $60 for table photos and $100 if I brought my own item. I told them that the item I had was an 8x10, but the lady said that it’s $100. I politely declined as I couldn’t cover double what I was expecting him to charge. I made my way back to the Convention Center and got Sadie Sink as she was coming back from a break. I was told no photos when I asked the guy behind her table, but Ms. Sink said that she really didn’t mind and the guy shrugged and told me to go for it. She was very nice and told me that she was signing her favorite photo from ‘Stranger Things’.

    Next up was David Mazouz. His line was rather slow, but that’s because he was very enthusiastically talking to everyone. He was very nice and I asked him if it was okay to take a picture while he signed and he said, “Of course! Whatever you want to do! …Well, not anything… Anything within reason would be okay, though.” I asked him to draw the Bat-symbol on the photo as the forum member requested and he said, “Of course! Whatever you want to do! …Well-wait, we just did this, didn’t we?”. He laughed and shook my hand and thanked me for stopping by his table. I recommend anyone who is a fan of ‘Gotham’ to meet Mr. Mazouz if they get the opportunity. He was very fan friendly and clearly had a great time being there. I haven’t seen ‘Gotham’ since the first season, but I might check it out again because I just want to support people, like Mr. Mazouz, who enjoy the company of fans.

    I jumped in Rey Mysterio’s substantial line, but it was moving pretty fast. I paid for the signatures ordered from me and interpreted for the guy behind me who was very nervously stuttering while asking if he had to pay to say hello. He was very happy when the lady said that Rey would be happy to talk to him for free. Mr. Mysterio was very polite and accommodating. He didn’t have a blue marker, so he used black, though. I asked him if it was okay to take pictures while he was signing and he said, “Take as many as you want!”. I thanked him and went to go see Mike Colter.

    Colter’s line was even worse than Mysterio’s, so I went to William Shatner instead. His line was just as long as Colter’s, but having met him numerous times before, he’s a machine when he signs and I’d be done it minutes. I got to Mr. Shatner and he asked me my name and how I was. He referred to me by name the rest of the conversation and was really engaging. We talked about ‘Star Trek’ and how excited he is to be in Ticonderoga next may. I told him that it was exciting to have the captain on the bridge, once more. He smiled very wide and said, “I just signed up for that! I’m really looking forward to it. The special [VIP] tickets are expensive, though.” I agreed that they were, but mentioned that they sold out already, too. Mr. Shatner’s eyes widened, “They have? Wow! That’s amazing. Will you be there?”. I affirmed that I wouldn’t miss it and that the owner has become a friend of the family. Then he asked what color he should sign the photo in. I requested silver and he started signing, but the marker skipped, so he went over it again. I asked if I could take a photo while he did and he said, “That’d be fine; I can’t look at it, though.” I took the picture and he gave me a fist bump and said, “I’ll see you next May.”, as I left.

    By that time, Mike Colter’s line was capped and the convention was ending, so I had to hold off until Sunday. I was allowed to look at the photo selection after he left, though. I decided none of his photos were very good poses and that I’d get the forum member who ordered him a photo from the vendor’s room instead. I felt bad about the Celebrity Authentics photos not being 8x10 and the vendor only wanted $6, so I picked it up for him.

    Sunday came and I once more went right to the DDC. I jumped in Dave Bautista’s line and was surprised to see that the VIPs had already been capped and overflow VIP ticketholders were moved to the bleachers. I was around the eleventh person in the GA line and after Mr. Bautista showed up, I was at his table within the third round of attendees called. The agent capped GA line right after me so that the VIPs could be done in time for Bautista’s photo op slot. I selected the photo pick-up and asked if Mr. Bautista was doing inscriptions and the volunteer who was taking the money and tickets behind the table said no. She didn’t even think about it, it was just an immediate "no". I noticed that Bautista was writing more than just his signature, so I asked the agent sitting directly beside Mr. Bautista about personalization and the agent said, “He’ll personalize it if you ask. Just make any requests you want him to write, to him. No photos, though”. Bautista himself is a friendly giant. He shook my hand as soon as I stood in front of him and I made the request that he write “Drax”. He was happy to do it, too. He asked me if I had any questions for him, so I asked if he was still filming for the next ‘Avengers’ film. He laughed and told me not to repeat what he said while he whispered to me. I promised him that I wouldn’t, so I won’t write his actual reply here...

    I stopped by Carl Weathers’ table again on my way out of Bautista’s line and asked how much he was charging again, since the person helping him at the table was different from Saturday. The guy told me he didn’t know and to check back later. Then, I joined Camren Bicondova’s line and she was an hour and a half late to her signing. She was also scheduled for a photo op soon after she arrived. I was taken up to her pretty quickly and asked her if I could take a picture while she signed and she said, ¬“They told me it’s not allowed, but go ahead and take some. They won’t even notice.”. She shook my hand and said that it was nice to meet me. I told her it was nice to meet her and thanked her (quietly) for letting me take a picture. She nodded her head in acknowledgement and said, “No problem!”.

    As it had been about two hours since I asked about Carl Weathers, I went back and was told the prices were the same as Saturday, $60 for table photos and $100 for anything brought. I reluctantly left empty-handed and made my way back to the Convention Center. It took me almost an hour to get upstairs and through the concourse, then to the connecting bridge. It was another 15 minutes to actually cross the bridge, too.

    I jumped in line for Mike Colter as soon as I got into the Convention Center. He was, again, one of the most popular guests at the show. His line was capped after a while and people were told to come back later, when the line died down. They were yelling, “No Photos!” at anyone who even had phones around them. It really annoyed me that they had this policy and it seemed clear to me that it wasn’t by the guests’ request, either. So, I got to Mr. Colter and asked him if it was okay to take a photo and he said, “They’re telling everyone, “no” for some reason. But, you better take it fast and keep it low.” I thanked him for being a cool guy and told him that it was nice to meet him. He said the same thing to me and told me to enjoy the rest of the show.

    I saw that William Shatner was due back at any moment and his line hadn’t really formed yet, so I decided to get a poster that I brought signed. He surprisingly had a blue marker, which was pretty cool since Sebastian Stan stole mine. I’ve rarely seen Mr. Shatner use blue on the convention floor. Most times you see a blue ink Shatner signature, it was signed privately. He even inscribed my poster with a quote, personalized it, and added “Capt. Kirk”. He’s done this for me before, but it surprises me each time and it always makes me excited to see him again. When he came out from behind the curtain to sit down, he was very energized (pun partially intended). He remembered my name and we continued our conversation about Ticonderoga and also discussed ‘Better Late Than Never’. He even told me the premiere is going to be mid-December, something that’s not officially revealed yet. Granted it may change, but it’s still cool he shared that with me.

    I stopped by Charles Fleischer to ask about his future appearances and he told me his next one will be January (12-14th,) 2018 for Albuquerque Comic Con in New Mexico. He was pretty quiet, but seemed to enjoy talking to everyone. Also, for anyone who is curious, he charges $40 per signature and I was told inscriptions are $10 each.

    The show was going to close within the next half hour, so I stopped by Robert Hays to talk about ‘Iron Man’. He signed my photo with, “His own special pen.” It just happened to be the black sharpie he put in his pocket… He told me how much fun he had recording for the show and that he missed it. He even did a couple lines for me in character. Then he said that once he was cast, he was called to Stan Lee’s office where he had a private meeting to discuss the character and the show. Mr. Hays told me that Mr. Lee gave him a large film cell that they used for the show and that he signed it for Mr. Hays, too. He said he still has it and treasures it. I had already met him at another show, so didn’t need a photo op with him; but he said they were included in his autograph price, so we posed together before I thanked him for meeting his fans.

    Overall, this is still the worst organized convention I attend. The crowds were just as insane and oversold and I especially hated having to stand in line for the “privilege” of paying extra (in service fees), in advance of the show (for the autograph tickets). Next year, everyone will know better... Even though I wasn’t a VIP, I think I was treated far superior to those with a VIP badge since there were just so many of them... So, on a letter grade, I would give RICC a 'D-' for organization (although that is an improvement from last year), an ‘F’ on volunteer and staff professionalism (and for being so ill-informed), an ‘F’ for the guests who cancelled (I suspect, as many others do, that cancellation announcements were held off on), but I give an A+ for the guests who did show up. Everyone I met (except Jason Issacs) was pretty nice. The guest highlights for me were David Mazouz, William Shatner, and Elijah Wood for MVP. Special mentions for Mike Colter, Camren Bicondova (even though she was late), Rey Mysterio and Robert Hays.

    Andy Serkis and Paul Bettany were nice, but the experience of meeting them was soured by Celebrity Authentics’ staff members. I’m not sure if I’ll go back next year, though. My immediate feelings on it are absolutely not. After a week or two of unwinding, I may give it some more thought. Plus, I said last year that I wasn’t going back, but- well, you just read this post…
    Last edited by Obi1Kenobi; 11-15-2017 at 01:01 PM.

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