Posted in Autographs, Doctor Who, Odds & ends

Allons-y

Doctor Who is my favorite show currently airing on television.

Former showrunner Steven Moffat said it best:

Heroes are important. Heroes tell us who we want to be but when they made this particular hero they didn’t give him a gun, they gave him a screwdriver to fix things. They didn’t give him a tank or a warship or an X-Wing, they gave him a call box from which you can call for help and they didn’t give him a superpower or a heat-ray, they gave him an extra heart. And that’s extraordinary. There will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like the Doctor.

Matt Smith was my first Doctor – 2010’s “A Christmas Carol” was my introduction to the series. Christopher Eccleston taught me who the Doctor was and who he wanted to be when I started watching the 21st century incarnation of the series. Peter Capaldi may have been the best at capturing the Doctor’s alieness.

But David Tennant was my Doctor… the one who made me love the show. And I’m so excited to have the chance to see him in person this fall, even if it means spending more than I should for a few seconds of his time to sign an autograph.

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Posted in Autographs, Star Trek, Star Wars

Florida Supercon autographs

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Florida Supercon was earlier this month and my friends made sure I got autographs from the Star Trek and Star Wars guests who were attending even though I couldn’t be there myself.

William Shatner gets me a little bit closer to the Classic Trek collection I will never complete. Of those who are still with us, I just need George Takei… but I don’t have DeForest Kelley or Leonard Nimoy.

Gates McFadden leaves me with just three to go to complete the Next Generation bridge crew… I just need Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes and Wil Wheaton to finish that set. (We’re going to ignore season two, unless I have a chance to see Diana Muldaur somewhere.)

Nana Visitor gets me about halfway there with the Deep Space Nine cast, something I’m a little bit sad about since that’s my favorite Star Trek incarnation. I have Avery Brooks, Visitor, Michael Dorn, Terry Farrell and Armin Shimerman. I’m missing Rene Auberjonois, Colm Meaney, Alexander Siddig, Cirroc Lofton, Aron Eisenberg and Nicole de Boer.

Hugh Spight is not a famous face, but he played a role in my favorite Star Wars film, portraying one of the Gammorean guards in service of Jabba the Hutt. This is an unusual photo I hadn’t seen before.

We’ll have to see if I can return the favor when New York Comic Con comes around.

Do you collect autographs? Are you working on any particular collection themes?

Posted in Autographs, comic books, Lego, Odds & ends

Borough Con 2018

Yesterday I went to Borough Con, a second-year comic and anime convention being held at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint. After a successful first year at St. John’s University, the show organizers hoped to transition to the new space and unfortunately, the crowds did not exactly follow.

There were a couple of dozen people waiting to get in when the doors opened a little bit before 10 a.m., and it took just a few moments to wander the show floor since the majority of the vendors and artists were still setting up. So, panel time… I went to “You are not the father,” a Maury-style examination of familial relationships in Dragon Ball, Naruto and Yugi-Oh… which ended up being a fun way to start the day.

I got to listen to Jim Starlin, Ron Marz and Fabian Nicieza talk about creating some of comics’ best villains Thanos, Parallax and Deadpool (yes, Deadpool started out as a villain until he got crazy popular.) That was fascinating, but it pivoted onto a topic that is sadly always relevant – what happens when you change a character in a way that pisses off some fans. At least when Hal Jordan became Parallax, it was before social media was around to amplify negative reactions to the degree it does today.

Then it was time for the one panel that I’d been planning to attend — Whoprov NYC: The New Adventures. Whoprov NYC is exactly what it sounds like – a Doctor Who-inspired impov group based in New York. And despite the group members outnumbering the audience, they put on an amazing show with two original “episodes.”  One was built around bubble tea, garlic and linoleum. The other featured Weeping Angels and alien chickens. Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall might not have much to worry about, but they were good fun in the spirit the sillier classic Doctor Who serials.

I went to one more panel before lunch, “Life as a Professional Cosplayer,” just because I was curious about how people managed to turn their hobby into a profession. This was the only panel that pretty much filled the room, which seemed like it could accommodate around 20 or 30 people comfortably.

The panel turnouts should have been a clue, but I was surprised how empty the show floor still was after I’d had lunch. I bought art prints from Jim Starlin and Mark McKenna, found a polybag to add to my Star Wars Lego collection, and looked at what everyone else had to offer.

By looking through the tables I discovered just how far out of the anime scene I’ve gotten… I think KonoSuba was the newest show I’d watched, and that’s from almost two years ago at this point.

I hung around for the media guests’ panel in the afternoon, which again was lightly attended. According to the BoroughCon program, the lineup was originally planned to feature Hale Appleman (Elliot on The Magicians), Isaiah Mustafa (Luke Garroway on the recently-cancelled Shadowhunters), and Jamie Chung (Blink on The Gifted.) As it turned out, only Chung made it to the convention. She was joined by Daniel Newman (Daniel in The Walking Dead.)

The panel was planned as a Q&A, but Chung and Newman ended up having a conversation with each other for most of it. And they were awesome. Chung told us about buying comics when she was a kid. She picked based on the cover, then put them away in plastic unread because she didn’t want to mess them up. Since this was the Death of Superman overproduction era, it’s probably pretty safe to open them up to read now.

Chung saw my Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 t-shirt with Groot on it and told us about going for the part of Mantis in the movie. She didn’t get it, but she said she’s ok with that because she’s friends with Pom (Klementieff). I ended up with a unique inscription on my Blink photo when I got Chung’s autograph after the panel.

It ended up being a fun day… I got to see panels I wouldn’t have been able to go to at a larger convention and talk to guests in a way I wouldn’t have if there’d been a bigger crowd. It was a very nice change of pace from New York Comic Con, but I’d have to guess it will be tough to get vendors, artists and guests to come back next year based on the small crowd numbers.

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Posted in Autographs, Star Trek, Star Wars

A few new autographs…

I’m loving the New York Mets’ start this season (9-1 is the best in franchise history), but I haven’t been having a ton of luck with baseball autographs lately. I went 0-for-5 with the requests I mailed out to spring training camps and just got a return to sender from Dusty Baker last week.

I started working on my non-baseball autograph collections more this year, and I’ve gotten four new photos to add to my albums this week.

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First up is a signed photo of two of the members of the cantina band from the original Star Wars film. Speedy Turtle Autograph Service ran private signings with Kim Falkinburg and Jibralta Merrill, two ILM staff members who were drafted to play band members and my dual-signed photo arrived on Monday. Continue reading “A few new autographs…”

Posted in Autographs, Star Wars

A new addition to my Star Wars autograph collection & some thoughts on collecting

Earlier this week, I received a signed photo from actor Marton Csokas who’s in a Broadway play with Uma Thurman that ends in early March. Csokas is probably best known to genre fans for playing Celeborn in two of the Lord of the Rings movies and Trevor Goodchild in Aeon Flux.

In an uncredited role, Csokas provided the voice for Geonosian leader Poggle the Lesser in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. And that’s why I wrote to him to ask for an autograph. He responded in less than a week, and I have my first new Star Wars autograph of 2018. Pretty cool

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Lucasfilm released some footage of Solo: A Star Wars Story this week. Full disclosure: I did not want a “young Han Solo” movie, and I still do not think Alden Ehrenreich looks enough like Harrison Ford circa 1976. And it didn’t really help when the movie’s original directors were fired late in filming over “creative differences.”

But you know what? I’m coming around to the idea that a Star Wars caper movie could be really fun. And in the little bit we see of Ehrenreich in these clips, he seems like he’s got Han Solo’s mannerisms down.

So yeah, I’m looking forward to watching Solo on Memorial Day weekend… though I’m not sure how well it’s going to fare among all the summer blockbusters. (Avengers: Infinity War comes out May 4, Deadpool 2 is coming on May 18 and Ocean’s 8 will be out June 8.) But hey, that’s Disney’s problem.

New Star Wars Media

In other news this week, Disney announced that Game of Thrones show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will write and produce an entire series of new Star Wars films. This comes after the November announcement that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will helm a new trilogy of films to be released at some point after the as yet untitled Episode IX comes out next year. And Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors “We are developing not just one, but a few Star Wars series specifically for the Disney direct-to-consumer app.”

Am I alone in thinking that’s a lot of Star Wars?

Now I’m totally going to be there to watch all of it as long as it is entertaining. But as far as collecting goes? I think it’s time to re-evaluate.

I have literally hundreds of Star Wars action figures, and in a couple of months it will be time to buy new ones for Solo: A Star Wars Story. Except maybe I won’t.

I will get whatever comes out for Episode IX to finish the sequel trilogy… and then I’m definitely out. I can’t display everything I have now… and it’s becoming increasingly clear that Star Wars will probably still be going long after I’m gone. (Although, based on Hasbro’s fourth quarter earnings report, I’m less confident about the long-term future of Star Wars action figures.)

I’m not sure where I am with autograph collecting, either.

I have a nice original trilogy collection (no Alec Guinness, Peter Cushing, Harrison Ford, Frank Oz or Ian McDiarmid, but I do have all of the other main characters and a lot of minor ones.) I have an interesting prequel trilogy collection (Jake Lloyd, Ahmed Best and Temuera Morrison are the only main characters, but I have a lot of the minor Jedi and other colorful characters.)

I have no one from the sequel trilogy. Spencer Wilding is the only one I have from Rogue One. The principal characters either aren’t available or aren’t affordable. (Sorry, Felicity Jones, you were great as Jyn Erso but I couldn’t swing the $200 you were charging at New York Comic Con last year.)

So is it really worth pursuing autographs from the casts of these new films? Or am I better off trying to add more from the original and prequel trilogies? I haven’t really decided yet.

Posted in Autographs, Baseball, New York Mets

Some recent additions to my Mets autograph collection

Last weekend, I went to MAB Celebrity Service’s Pinstripe Parade autograph show with my friend Bart. It was kind of overwhelming, really.

People bought around 300 tickets at $60 a piece for New York Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres’ autograph. Alex Rodriguez, in his first area autograph signing in more than a decade, might have been even more popular even though his autograph tickets started at $149 and went up depending on what you were getting signed. New Hall of Fame member Chipper Jones was doing his first signing since the election announcement, and he was also very in demand.

It didn’t feel like there was enough space for all of the people who were waiting for autographs, and I was thankful that I wasn’t getting any so I could steer clear of the densest crowds.

But I did come home with a selection of 15 bargain-priced signed Mets photos for a total cost of around what my friend spent to get one baseball card signed by Gleyber Torres.

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1517509133305-dcb1b45d-115d-4afc-93a2-7516ed80b0b8.jpgYesterday, I got a signed baseball card back in the mail from Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo, from a request I mailed to Mets spring training camp last February. Unlike the photo he signed for me at the Queens Baseball Convention last month, Nimmo personalized the card for me. Very cool.

Other odds & ends

Posted in Autographs, Star Trek

Paradise City Comic Con autographs

1516724506558-05e5577a-84b3-44b4-aebe-eb86e854b4d2_.jpgEarlier this month, a friend offered to get autographs for me at Paradise City Comic Con if there was anyone I needed among their guest list.

Since I had some Christmas money and there were a couple of Star Trek actors on the list, I happily said thank you & yes.

Marina Sirtis played Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and it seemed like she always had to fight for good storylines. One of my favorite Troi episodes came in season six, “Face of the Enemy” when the counselor was captured and surgically altered to appear as a Romulan Talshiar officer to assist in the defection of a high-level Romulan government official.

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Terry Farrell played science officer Jadzia Dax for six seasons on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It’s been almost 20 years since the show went off the air, and it remains one of my favorite television series. Once of the most memorable episodes is “Trials and Tribble-ations,” an homage to the Original Series classic “The Trouble with Tribbles.” It’s a time travel story that made use of special effects to insert the DS9 characters into scenes with Captain Kirk and his crew. Coincidentally, my friend reports that it is Farrell’s favorite episode of the series.

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