It’s convention season 2024. There is a reason I don’t do them anymore, greed. After over 30 years of being a fixture at certain cons, I bailed out in 2019. Cons have become the domain of the rich, I mean who else could piss away $150 for William Shatner’s autograph? No one I know, yet these “marks” just line up and drop trou for Captain Kirk. 

It wasn’t like that, but all the old school guys are gone. HG Lewis never charged his fans, he made the promoter pay for his time. Same with Dave Friedman. Zacherly never went over $10. $10 for an 8×10 that cost 25 cents to print is more than fair. But to others, I want $20, then $25, now $60 to $150 is the norm, which is bullshit.

The fans also enabled this because of Ebay. When there wasn’t a con every weekend like there is today, fans would bring arm loads of stuff to be signed, then jack the price and sell it on Ebay. Once the guests started learning about this, they either raised their prices, or insisted on personalizing the photo so it could be resold. I sat with Jeffrey Combs when he did this. He wouldn’t just sign his name, he made it out to you. 

And if you think there is a huge resale value on signatures, think again. That $150 Robert Englund signature has been on Ebay for $30. I had autographs from George Kennedy, Peter Graves, and others that I couldn’t get $5 for. It’s a joke, but the bigger joke is these fans just come back for more. Just the admission to these events is around $50. Steel City Comic Con is next week. $55 just to get in. “Bundle” packages for celebs are in the $500 range. Again, why? 

Maybe I’m old, but I never had to fork over $150 for a photo op with a celeb to make my life complete. Back then, they were happy to have a pic taken with you, they appreciated their fans, they didn’t look at them as funding their retirement. Now your dealing with guests that don’t even make eye contact with you. And charge you for taking a pic with your own camera. What disrespectful bullshit. 

Bottom line is that if we didn’t go to your movies or buy your tie in merchandise, where would you be? But you know what, I’ll go the $150 for a photo op with Captain Kirk. But as soon as the camera flashes, I’ll drop trou and whip out my ding dong, now just for the look on Shatner’s face, that would be money well spent. 

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