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?

 

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?

Vacation Countdown: Geeking out with Hubby

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Mine and Mr. C’s wedding anniversary is just around the corner. It will be year one of survival. 😉

Just kidding! While he gets under my skin sometimes (and I know I bug him from time to time), he is my partner in crime and lucky for me he is a big geek too. We had a big geeky wedding, and now we are planning our nerdy honeymoon/anniversary.

Because my job is very busy during the summer months, I almost always wait until September or October to take a few vacation days.

In just under five weeks, we will be headed to Halifax and attending Hal-con for most of our days there! If you live in the Maritimes and have never been, I highly suggest checking it out this comic con. I have been there several times. There is something for every nerd. They have some actors, famous cosplayers, gaming, authors, comic artists, etc…If you want to see more about what Hal-con is all about, check em out over here. I wasn’t able to go the year Hodor was DJ at the dance. 😦 I heard it was epic.

While we are in Halifax, we will check out the city and hit the comic book stores. I am really excited. I am well overdue for a vacation and I need to be where my people are. 😉

Have you been to a comic con this year? Or are you planning to go to one?

Fan Mail!

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This week I was happy to find an autograph success in my mail box. I was thrilled when I opened it to see what/who I got.

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Kiefer Sutherland as David in The Lost Boys.

I am a big fan of Kiefer Sutherland. I honestly could never get into watching ’24’, but I love so much of his other work. And he does an amazing job of playing the bad guy.

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Kiefer in Stand By Me.

‘The Lost Boys’ and ‘Stand By Me’ are two of my all time favorite movies. So I decided to send him pics from these two movies. I am thrilled that he signed them for me.

Between sending this out and coming back, it took just over 40 days, so not too bad at all!!!

Newest Autographs

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I’d just like to start off by saying Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canucks. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with family and get properly stuffed like our turkeys. 🙂

We’ve been having a relaxed day. Mister C isn’t feeling the best. I went on a beautiful fall walk and stopped off at Tim’s for a pumpkin spiced donut. Yum!!!

So since he is sleeping off his cold this evening, I thought I’d pop on here.

I had two great successes this week.

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Clark Gregg, aka Phil Coulson.

If you are a big fan of S.H.I.E.L.D, then you know who this guy is. Agent Phil Coulson is my favorite character on that show and I am stoked that he signed the photo I sent. (Mister is jealous since he’s yet to get his back).

I also got this one, on Friday.

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Micheal Emerson as Harold Finch on Person of Interest.

Mister and I have been a huge fan of this show since day one. So I was pretty happy to get this autograph.

I best go check on the future hubby, and maybe watch a scary movie! 🙂

Fan Mail: Recent Successes!!!

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With everything that has been going on lately, I have totally forgotten about my fan mail.

Back in July, Mister and I decided that we would make August our best writing month yet. Last year in July, we wrote 67 letters in one month. I said we needed to beat that! (Chalk that ambition up to the sun finally emerging and me getting an overdose of vitamin D, lol.)

So, in August we ended up writing 69 letters between us. I think he wrote more then me BUT I wrote a huge chunk. I would come home from work after a busy day, tired, and he would ask “So, who are you writing tonight?” My reply was zombie-like with an “uuughhhgg”.

However, the work paid off! We have already gotten successes from our August writing, and others from older letters. i have been pretty pumped with my new autographs!

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Grant from ‘The Flash’.

I also wrote to another cast member from ‘The Flash’. Robbie Amell was awesome enough to sign my pic!

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“FireStorm”

I have gotten hooked on ‘Once Upon A Time’. I did watch season one and then for some reason wasn’t able to watch much of season two and nothing from then on. However I am quickly catching up and writing to some of the cast!

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Josh Dallas plays David/Prince Charming.

I sent two pics to him and he signed both! 🙂

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I was stoked to get this cast member the other day!!!

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I loved her on ‘House’ and now I love her as ‘Emma Swan’.

I also wrote to a couple of classy ladies. Women I have watched in re-runs when I was a kid. I loved them then and I love them now.

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Carol Burnett.

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Carol in one of her famous skits.

And the other classy and sassy lady is….

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Betty White!!!

I still love her as Rose on ‘The Golden Girls’.

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Golden Girl re-runs are the best 😀

I just had to write to these guys.

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Aaron Eckhart. I have loved him in so many roles over the years.

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Tim Allen!!!

And not to mention this awesome guy…

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John Travolta!!!

When you write to John Travolta, he will send you an extra autographed pic! Here it is:

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The extra pic he sent. So cool!

I also wrote to some kick ass ladies. This autograph had me “squeeeeeeeeing” all the way out of the post office. One of my all time fave actresses!

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Melissa McCarthy in ‘The Heat’ (which was frickin hilarious!)

My fave female vampire…

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Kristen Bauer Van Straten as ‘Pam’ in True Blood’.

And last but not least, a fab actress who I loved in ‘Chuck’ as well as Dexter.

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Yvonne Strahovski.

Wow! I didn’t realize how many I had come in since the last autographs I posted.

I love writing fan mail. And I love the thrill when I get an autograph in the mail. There are the odd ‘return to sender’ for various reasons, such as an outdated address, but that kind of things is rare in our mailbox (luckily!).

Until next time, happy writing! 🙂 (Or whatever makes your geek heart happy!)

Happy Mail! New Autograph!

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So this morning I went to my post office and checked my little mailbox. It was empty. So I went inside the office with my three letters to mail off to some kick ass Canadian ladies when one of the workers said “Oh there’s an envelope for you out back.”

I didn’t get too excited right away. This is often said to me when Mr.C has something as well. But when I seen her coming out with a big envelope with my name on it, I inwardly squeeeed.

After mailing off my letters, I took my envelope and on my way to the car I opened it. And that’s when I squeeed out loud.

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I’m going to have to hide this from my friends. 😉

I was very stoked to find this autograph from Channing Tatum, who I wrote to almost a year ago I do believe. So worth the wait! 😉

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!

Walkers And Autographs

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*********SPOILER ALERT*********

How AWESOME was ‘The Walking Dead’ last night!? I’m sorry (well, not really) but I have to take a moment to squeeeee about last nights episode. It was the best opening episode EVER! OMG! What I love about this show is that horror isn’t always the gore or the rotting zombies. When Rick and the guys were kneeling down and watching the other men have their throats slit one by one, my hands started to sweat and I felt weak. I felt their fear. As soon as I heard the explosion I just knew who it was. (The fiance didn’t agree with me…loved how he was proved wrong! 😛 ) If you are a Walking Dead fan you have watched Carol change and develop so much since season one. She went from an abused woman, too afraid to stand up for herself to this awesome fighting machine. I am so back on the Team Carol bandwagon. I wasn’t really a fan of her back in the prison, but now…I want that chick on my side during the end of the world!!! It was awesome how everything came together. How she covered herself in walker guts to blend in, rigged that explosion and went after her friends. The show started with a bang (literally!) and ended perfectly. When they were all reunited, the best parts were Rick seeing his daughter, and the way Daryl ran to Carol. (I so hope they finally hook up this season…I’m not much for shipping but those two NEED to be together! Am I right???)

One of my geeky collections is autographs. I have been pretty lucky and have gotten to meet seven of the actors (at conventions. And all worth the money I paid.) I have a couple of photos but autographs from all of them. Collecting autographs is a hobby both me and my fiance have. He has way more, and it is a more recent thing for me. There’s two ways we get them.

The first: At conventions. If I have the chance to meet a celeb but can only do an auto OR a photo op, I almost always go for the autograph. You have time for a quick chat, unlike during the photo sessions. From ‘The Walking Dead’ I have met Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohen, Steven Yeun, Danai Gurira, Laurie Holden, David Morrisey and Micheal Rooker. (To all the fans of Daryl Dixon, Norman is a pretty sweet and cool guys and gives pretty great hugs 😛 )

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The second: Through the mail. Years ago I wrote to celebs with little luck. Mr.C on the other hand had lots of luck. This year we both decided to start writing again, just for the hell of it. He has had many successes, but he has also written to a lot more people then me so far. There’s a few websites you can hit up. Some are free, while others have a small fee, like startiger.com (which is what we now use). The best way to get a result is to send a self addressed stamp envelope with a photo you want signed. Sometimes an actor may return your item unsigned but will enclose a pre-print photo. Sometimes you will have no luck at all. And when you do get lucky, you have your photo sent back signed, and the odd time a small note. Greyston Holt from ‘Bitten’ wrote “thanks for the lovely letter” on the back of my photo. Mr. C recently got something from a hockey player, with a short letter inside. Here are a few that I have gotten in the mail.

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As some of you may know, I love getting Happy Mail. And these always make my day! Do you collect autographs? How many are in your collection? 🙂