So, this has become an annual review much to even with my shock. Considering the little one is out and about. The in-laws were awesome enough to take her for two nights as we hit Wizard World Philly. Our line up is Stan the Man Lee, Chris Helmsorth, All 5 Trek captains (Six if you count Helmsworth), Darryl from Walking Dead, Bruce Campbell, Lita, DDP, Tara and the Master from Buffy, Fett, Chewbacca and some indy wrestler named CM Punk with a toy belt.
Ok, first thing out of the way, this was an organizational disaster. I suspect the Titanic going down was better organized since they at least got some of the women and children out. We waited an hour in line to get our advance tickets to stand in line just to get in. If you did not get advance tickets and just showed up, you got in faster. That is how bad, it was. I have the Punk Autograph, wife has Stan and Thor photo op and my friends are doing Stan's autograph. So, you have to go to another line to get all that done. First thing we do is get the guys into Stan's line while we hit the Buffy and Walking Dead people. Amber Benson was great as we talked about her twitter feed and her really deep love of cats. Mark Metcalf was cool and talked some Animal House. Then its off to meet Darryl at Walking Dead.
In line, a girl drew a picture of him that was scary good. So, good Norman Reedus' handler gave her a card. Might see her work in Walking Dead soon. He was good enough to do free photos. Wife got Boondock Saints signed with Jason Patrick. Would have had Walking Dead Season one signed, but someone is not returning my calls. That was an hour wait where we almost go thrown out of, because we were at the end of the line even though there were people behind us. That was the start of the problems.
After that, hit Hero Initiative to get Frank Miller, Claremont and Starlin signed comics. Great Price, Great Cause. We decide its time for CM Punk. There is a small line, but nothing huge. We are then told all VIPs go first and there is no line for just regular folks til later. I am cool with it, we go meet Boba Fett and some wrestlers. DDP signed two items for me at no extra charge and we talked NWO. Lita and I talked about her dark match I saw, at the same night the Radicals debuted. Grab 1st Red suit Daredevil comics, silver age Two Face and Dazzler for a good price.
At this point, its about 12:30pm then out of nowhere, Cult of Personality goes through the PA system. Well, its time to see this Punk guy. Get in line as Punk walks out this where the chaos starts. I get into the line where Wizard World told us to go. I am lucky to be the second non-VIP in line. 20 minutes into the line, we get a bunch of volunteers telling us, we are in the wrong line. To which, we say no, this where we told to go. We are about 50 to 75 people deep at this point. Eventually, its sorted out, we were right. After that, they move us and keep selling VIP tickets. They sold 300 VIP tickets for Punk. And the VIP people keep showing up after 1 pm which was their start time and jumping in line and its ok. At 2:25pm, well past the time for the regular folk are supposed to go in. The Wizard World people are talking refunds. There are still VIPs coming through. Eventually, they let us in. Punk is great with everyone. I thank him for keeping the company a float, he shakes my hand and smiles and signs my MITB DVD cover. Punk was going to sign til 4 pm and there must have been 100 plus people behind me to the point they cut off the line. So, people who pre-paid like me are probably out of luck.
At this point wife is in line for her photo of Stan and Chris Helmsworth. She surprises me with a Raiders Poster signed by Karen Allen as my 1st Father's Day president. Nice. I do more shopping Silver Age Joker and Riddler comics with the giant Thanos figure are mine. Wife comes back at 3:45 and we go to dinner. Terrible dinner and we decide to go back to get her photo and hopefully make the 5:20pm train. We go there and no photo, but we are told they would mail them out, just go to the photo stand. We go there and here is the final bullshit thing. Wife is told, they will not mail it out and its an extra $15 to get a digital copy. This has never happened before, but this is a new company who doesn't seem to give a fuck about customer service. I ask what they are going to do with the photo? They say keep it. She pays for the digital while I try to hunt for it with no luck. Pissed off, we barely make the train and head home.
The five Trek captains was apparently worse according to people. They were making people jump lines and photo ops that it got screwed up at times. Did I mention they changed the photo times, this week? Well, there were good to great Wizard World volunteers there, most of them were clueless and borderline confrontational. They need to stop this free volunteer shit and get people organized with the celebrities staff. There was too many blank stares and misinformation. Granted, with the kid this was going to be our last Wizard World for awhile, but the photo shit and the Punk nonsense was enough for me. While, it wasn't cramped last year, it needs to be run better. If we are lucky, our one friend might pick up the photo tomorrow. As a side note, I just found out someone stole 100 photos. This company needs to be removed from the Wizard World circuit. It was still a great time with the celebrities and I got good stuff at good prices.
(edited by lotjx on 2.6.12 2120) The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
Wow, I was there too and not gonna give my rundown of the entire day, mainly the CM Punk stuff:
I opted to just buy the Punk photo, so I got in the non-VIP line after 3:30p... Punk was supposed to stop signing at 4 and start taking pix, but he didn't switch to the pictures until almost 4:30 and there were a zillion VIPs to go in first. I finally got in after waiting almost 2 hours, in+out in less than a minute, long enough to complement his awesome CJ Wilson t-shirt (that according to Punk's Twitter, isn't for sale for the public). I don't have my picture yet, because you didn't get them until 2 hours later and there was a huge cluster-f if you went back to get 'em after 7, so I have to pick it up when I go back in the afternoon.
However, Punk's Q&A was supposed to run from 5:30-6...but he was still taking pix! Punk arrived downstairs at around 10 of 6... and stayed for 90 minutes! He answered a bunch of pre-sent questions online, then took ?'s from the audience forever and was great and funny and brutally honest...he knows that there's a low ratio of good stuff-to-crap on RAW and is especially trying to make sure they don't screw up the next generation being introduced: Dean Ambrose, Tyler Black, Sandow, et al, as well as help folks like Ziggler. He talked about his early days with Colt, how much he prefers being a heel, Batman, G.I. Joe, how he & Kofi get pulled over a lot because the cops think they look like a pair of drug dealers, the Pipe Bomb promo and much more. He's also trying to get a new title belt...he says they've designed a new one, it's only a little better than the current design but almost 20 lbs heavier! It was amazing, especially since he gave 3X his original alloted time to us.
Then I hit the Chikara iPPV down the street at the Trocadero and it was a blast! Such a fun, fan-friendly promotion, outstanding well-rounded wrestling. Chatted with a bunch of the wrestlers in the lobby, most notably Colt Cabana and Sara Del Rey. You can read the Torch's recap of the show here: http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/otherppvs/article_62037.shtml
Update on the picture, my friend did get the picture even though they told him to go to two different places. So, it worked out, sort of. I love that Punk went out of his way to make the people there, they earned it. Expect the VIP people, they can go to hell.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
With all of the killer upgrades to the soundtrack so far this year, did anybody else say "OK, that's enough" at the James Bond riffs? That bordered on really corny by the end. Jack Bauer got himself a six-star wanted level.