How To Have Fun at Comic Con When You’re Broke

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If it is one place geeks love to be at, it’s a comic con. It is one of the very places when I am surrounded by people who get my passion for Star Wars or collecting Pop figures.

I went to Toronto Comic Con last weekend with my hubby. He timed my visit so that we could hit the convention together. I was super excited to go. In the weeks leading up to it  I was planning my fun on a limited budget. A lot of people were asking me about conventions and the cost of them. While I have gone to them and spent a lot of money, you don’t need a ton of cash to go to one.

I won’t go into to much about travel and tickets, but I will say this: If you are heading out of town for a con, there are a few ways to save cash. If you are staying at a hotel, check to see which hotels have a deal running with the convention. Hal-con usually has one with Delta, so we stay there. Also, if you can’t afford a three day pass or VIP, so what? Pick a day best for you and get a day ticket. (I suggest Saturday. It’s the busiest day but will have the most going on).

Celebs: Meeting actors is one of my favorite things to do. In Toronto, I didn’t have much cash to work with. So, I made a list of who I wanted to meet. Manu Bennett was my main priority. My husband met a bunch, so I tagged along with him. If you want to meet a celeb but have no cash, wait til their line up is empty or close to it. You’re allowed to go say hello to them. Just check with the volunteer running the line.

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Me and Manu. He was super sweet. I hate how I look here but who cares, I’m with Manu! 😉 

Celebs: Part 2 During the weekend, there are Q&A’s happening with the actors and sometimes with authors. These are FREE! Check the schedule for when these are happening. They are super fun and you can get a chance to ask a question. The best q&a I ever went to was John Rhys Davies. He was entertaining the entire time and even went full Gimli when asked a Lord of the Rings question.

*Note: There are some big cons that charge for certain q&a’s, which in my opinion is stupid. This is rare though. The few I seen that you needed a ticket was a Doctor Who event as well as a duo q&a with William Shatner and Patrick Stewart.

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Me and Mr. C with ‘Hodor’! I tagged along with hubby to meet him. He was so cool and chatty! Loved him!

Authors: They don’t charge to meet them. So if you are a book nerd, go say hi, maybe buy a book and get some swag. Many have free bookmarks and such to give out.

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Author Sherry D. Ramsey at Caper Con a couple years ago. I am interviewing her soon!

Shopping: The downfall of  nerds. So much geekery, so little money! The bigger the con, the more vendors and artists there selling their wares. I *try* to roam around a bit first before I shopp. If I see something a vendor, artist or author is selling and I have no cash, I always ask for a business card. That way when I have money for fun stuff, I can order from them. I should add, that on the last day of a convention some sellers will have sales. So you might be able to score some good loot at a cheaper price.

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I love business cards. This is some of my geeky ones. 

Cosplay: While I don’t normally dress up, I love checking out costumes, taking photos and talking to cosplayers. It all adds to the fun when half the crowd is dressed up. Sometimes certain groups dress up, like the Steampunk Society and the 501st Legion. If you like a costume, ask the person for a pic or get one with them. Just remember to be respectful!

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Me hanging out with the dark side. 😉

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Kick ass white walker costume.

Panels: There are often various panels running during the weekend. I have gone to writing themed panels, author talks, debates, and other fun things. These are all FREE. If you go to a craft session, you might need to pay a small fee for materials. I went to a plushie making panel once. It was only $5 to go.

Con Food: I can’t stress this enough: TAKE WATER WITH YOU! At least one bottle. Not only is it cheaper, but lines can be long. And you will get thirsty. On day one of Toronto Comic con, I ignored my own advice. Tsk tsk. We ended up paying six bucks for two small waters. Also, carry a bag or backpack and take some snacks. Eating at a con can get pricey. We ate their once this time, and paid $20 for just two hot dogs and two cans of pop. Usually the best deal is a piece of pizza and pop.

The main thing is to have fun when you go. Sometimes you find something priceless, like a new best friend.

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Me and Laura. Met her in 2013 in line for Dean Cain. Instant friends. Love this lady ❤ I see her every time I am in Toronto for a con. 

I’m sure I missed a tidbit or two. How do you save money at comic con? What are your favorite things to do?

 

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Comic Con: Top 5 Actor Wishlist

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When I was younger, the idea of meeting a favorite actor or actress was nothing more then a dream. I didn’t think it was possible. I live in a small town, and far from any major filming action. (Aside from the rare occasion).

About ten years ago, I went to my first comic book convention. And I was hooked! I love cons for a million reasons, but one of my main reasons I love them is because I get to meet people I never thought I would.

When Mr. C and I have a few bucks to have fun with, we either add to our collection of geekery, or save for a con. And right now I am trying to save what I can for Toronto Comic Con, that is happening next month.

I have met many people over the years, including Stan Lee, Robert Englund, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Ron Perlman, Carrie Fisher, and many more.

With the con next month, I have been thinking of those actors I really want to meet, and hoping they are announced. (Manu Bennett is on that list, and he’s been announced!)

So, here are my top 5 celebs I hope to meet someday.

1-Cary Elwes

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I don’t care how old this man gets, he will always be my Westly and if I ever meet him I will probably cry like a baby. I have watched this movie hundreds of times in my life. (Including earlier today).

2-Charlie Hunnam

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The odds of meeting him are slim to none, but I also didn’t think I would ever meet Stan Lee or Patrick Stewart. I have been a fan long before he was on Sons of Anarchy, and his movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, is on my top of my all time fave movie list.

3-Milla Jovovich

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The Resident Evil movies are one of my favorite series, and Alice is one bad ass chick. Meeting Milla would be super cool.

4-Tommy Flanagan

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I love this Scotsman. He is an amazing actor and he played one of my favorite characters on SOA, Chibs Telford.

5-Emma Watson

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Who wouldn’t want to meet Hermione Granger? I think if I ever meet this awesome young lady, I would have to pick her mind about all things books.

So, that’s my wishlist. If given the chance, who would you meet? Who is on your top 5 list?

Broken Hearted. RIP Severus Snape

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Yesterday morning I arrived at work, got myself settled in and took out my phone to check Facebook while I ate my breakfast. Pretty quickly an article caught my eye. My best friend had posted something that made my jaw drop. When I seen the line ‘Alan Rickman passes at age 69’, I didn’t believe it. I had to check the link to prove that this was just another horrible celebrity death hoax.

But it wasn’t. I stared at the cold hard truth and my heart broke.

It is amazing how someone you have never met can have such an impact on you. Can make you feel so strongly. But I can say that while I never met the man (if only!), I have been totally heart broken about his passing.

I have been a huge fan of Alan Rickman since before his famous role as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter universe. From Die Hard to Sense and Sensibility, this man stole my heart. He captivated me, and many others, in his role on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves as the evil (and a little crazy) Sheriff of Nottingham. No matter the role he played, which was many and varied, he made us believe he really was that character.

My Facebook yesterday was full of statuses in regards to others being just as saddened and people saying what movies of his they would be watching that night or this weekend. I will be having my own Alan Rickman marathon come the weekend. There’s so many great ones, it is hard to choose.

What movies of his do you love the most? What would you watch?

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Fan Mail Friday

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Happy New Year everyone!!! I hope that you all had a great night and aren’t suffering too badly from hangovers- both from the liquid and food variety. 😉

One of the things that ended my year was a surprise in my mailbox!

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My newest to the collection.

I am a huge fan of ‘Once Upon A Time.’ And I love Ginnifer Goodwin. I thought she was awesome on ‘Big Love’ and I adore her as Snow White.

Recently another auto came my way.

Another OUAT cast member, but this time the pic is from another role.

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Rose McIver as Liv Moore.

If you haven’t checked out ‘iZombie’ yet, I highly suggest to give it a go! I love the characters, the story, and the fact Liv Moore is a zombie helping to solve crime. Thanks to one of her zombie side effects.

I haven’t been able to write letters in the last couple of months. During November, my words and energy was put into my novel. And with the holidays, not much extra was getting done. But now that all of that is behind me, it is time to get the pen and paper out and start writing some letters. To pen pals and celebs.

I hope you all are getting to relax today, and enjoy the first day of 2016!!! 🙂

Ending My Week On A Geeky Note

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Work has been crazy busy, which is great. But by Friday evening I was more then ready for the weekend.

When I got home, there was a large brown envelope waiting for me. I knew it was another autograph success!!!

And what a success it was! I squealed as I opened the envelope and pulled this out.

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Simon Pegg, in one of my fave movies, Hot Fuzz.

I got this one back fairly quick, which was awesome. He’s currently filming here in Canada and he was able to get to his fan mail right away it seems since it took less then two weeks for it to come back to me.

I am a HUGE fan of Simon Pegg. I love everything I have seen him in especially ‘Hot Fuzz’, ‘Paul’, and ‘Shaun of the Dead.’

I also spent last night laughing my ass off with four pretty awesome nerdy men. Mr. C and I invited a few of our friends over and one of them brought ‘Risk-Godstorm.’ I love Risk and different versions of it. The game was pretty good (a tad confusing), but it was a lot of fun and kept us going until the wee hours of the morning.

The geekiness doesn’t stop there. Tonight I am heading to a wedding reception. The theme? Batman! I am super stoked to celebrate with this awesome couple and to maybe borrow some ideas for my own nerdy wedding next year. 🙂

I hope you are all enjoying your summer and have a fantastic weekend!

Fan Mail Success!

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It wasn’t too long ago (just after the new year, I do believe), that I wrote to Alan Cumming, who has done various movies as well as voice work.

One of my favorite roles that he plays is ‘Nightcrawler’, in ‘X-Men 2’. So I was pretty pumped to get this in the mail today!

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Alan as Nightcrawler.

Mr. C wrote to him as well, and also got his in the mail as well.

This is currently in a safe place until I add more pages to my album. Then I will be adding this (and others) to it. 🙂

Fan Mail: How To Get Your Very Own Celeb (autograph!)

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In a recent post I mentioned autographs I got through the mail, which sparked some conversation in the comments as well as out and about in my real life with some friends.

It wasn’t until last year when I got into it seriously. (Although not as hardcore as Mr. C, who has had waaaaay more luck then I have. But that is because he has sent many more letters.)

When I was a teenager, I wrote to celebs. I got their addresses in the back of magazines like Teen Beat and Tiger Beat. I only ever had one success, and that was an autograph from Rider Strong. (Which was a pre-print postcard. More on pre-prints shortly.)

Mr. C wrote to many as well, getting addresses from the internet. He has quite the collection. (It makes me green with envy. Shhh, don’t tell him I said that. 😉 )

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Micheal Rosenbaum. One of my first successes last year.

There are three things I send each time I write to a celeb. The letter (duh!), a SASE, and a photo. Here’s a few tips to up your chances at success!

1- The Letter. Make sure it is neatly hand written. Or type it. I tend to type mine, as sometimes (depending on my mood) my writing/printing is a tad sloppy. Plus, it is quicker for me to type.

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Greyston Holt from ‘Bitten’. On the back he wrote “Thanks for the lovely letter.” It is an added thrill and a bonus when they take an extra moment to write a little something. It is rare, but it happens.

2-SASE. (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope). It is what it sounds like. Enclose the proper envelope with your address and postage. We always write “DO NOT BEND” on the back and front of the envelope. This makes things much more convenient and really helps your chances. Once your photo is signed, they can pop it in the envelope and put it in the outbox. Now, since I am Canadian, and IRC’s (International Reply Coupons) are expensive, I save those for international mail. (*Note. Some countries don’t use these anymore. We are still looking into it but I think England is one of them. Sometimes, however, a celeb will add the postage them self.) For American, we order the Forever stamps online on Ebay. (We use the large manila envelopes so two of those  do the trick.)

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Caity Lotz from “Arrow”. On one feed back website, one guy had sent her actual cash for postage, and she returned it to him. Nice, huh?

3-The Photo. We usually get 8×10’s, and the odd time 4×6’s. For our fave actors, we get the large ones. Mr. C has also made us custom cards. Pic of person on one side, logo or whatnot on the other.  We use Artscow.com for our photos. Cheap and most often great quality (The odd time an edge gets cut off.) You can also go to Walmart, Shoppers, or any other printing area, but Artscow has the best prices. ($1 for an 8×10, compared to $5 at Wal-Mart. And easier then us buying photo paper and loads of ink.) Of coarse, you can print off your own if that’s what you want. Some people send in DVD covers and the like.

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Jennifer Lawrence. I squeeeed the day this arrived!!!

4- The Celeb Address. So, there are a variety of websites you can use. Mr. C and I use Startiger.com. Now, there is a small monthly fee, but we find it worth it. (I THINK $5, but please don’t quote me. He is asleep and I dare not wake the sleeping bear to ask. But when we joined, I do remember him saying it was $4.99.) The site is worth it, though. There’s stats on your incoming/outgoing mail. And they keep as up-to-date as possible on addresses. You record your success (each day you can view the newest successes people have had.) You search a celeb and they show what address(es) are available, and what the stats are for them. (The more green you see, the better. Red is a failure and yellow means ‘pending’.) We upload a pic of our newest autograph and post it to the site. I know there are more benefits to this site, but he is our record keeper and I don’t go on there often. Another site we’ve used for addresses (which is FREE!) is Fanmail.biz. They also post successes, the dates of them, etc…

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Jason Momoa. “Game of Thrones”. (Pretty sure my drool didn’t hit the photo.)

5- The Autograph. There is the odd time a celeb sends out a pre-print. Which means he/she signed a photo, had it copied a bunch of times, and sends it out. (Especially if they are super busy and don’t have the time to personally sign photos. But hey, you still got an autograph.)  Sometimes, like with my Jason Momoa, he signed the pic BUT not the one I sent. (I am not complaining, though. 😉 )  And if you wonder if the signature is real or if the assistant did it, you can always compare to what other people got. (This is another feature we love about Startiger. We’ve-LUCKILY-had no issues like that so far).

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Oh Dexter, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Micheal C. Hall. Extra pumped to get this one!

6- Be Patient. Sometimes it can take a long time to get a response. We have gotten them as quickly as three weeks. And as long as five months. One person Mr. C talked to waited TWO YEARS before they got an autograph. But hey, least they got it! If you don’t join a site where you can keep track, write down your incoming/outgoing dates and info in a journal or on a device.

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Kurt Russell!

7-Have Fun. This is a hobby, one that you should relax and have fun with. Sitting down to write the letter is fun, but when you go to your mailbox to see an envelope with your writing on it: priceless! More then once I have called Mr. C from my car, giddy and screaming “Guess WHO I just got in the mail?!” We each have our own scrapbooks in which we keep our collection. And we enjoy hauling it out to show other geeks and fangirls and boys. It is a hobby that isn’t for everyone, but we sure love and enjoy it.

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Tim. Freaking. Burton. Need I say more?

So, if you decide to give fan mail a shot, let me know how it goes for you!!! I would love to hear about it! 🙂 Are you someone who already writes fan mail? What are your fave successes? And who would you like to write to??? If I missed anything, feel free to ask a question!