I took my daughters to Kansas City Planet Comicon '09 to meet Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca of Star Wars fame) and Tom Kane (voice of Yoda of Clone Wars Cartoon fame). We had a blast walking the floor of the convention meeting costumed fans and perusing old toys and comics. As we went through the whole convention process, there were a few things I learned that I felt I should share with you...it's never wise to upset a wookie.
- Don't assume a picture taken with a film star is free. Found that out when I ended up having to pay an extra $5 after I snapped a pic of my girls with Peter Mayhew. I think it's worth the cash. Shoulda charged Peter...they make him look good. :)
- Don't assume any autograph is free. If they are sitting behind a table as a guest, this is their livelihood.
- Don't be aggressive with the stars. I noticed some people were just a little gruff/pushy with the stars as if they haven't been sitting there for hours already signing autographs.
- Autographs are pricey. Seriously. $20 for a signed pic. I suppose it depends on your perspective. If it's a star you really want, it's worth it. I had three girls who wanted their own Peter Mayhew autograph. Wasn't going to happen. I was able to get them to accept the fact that we were going to get one autographed pic and it was going in my collection as "ours". They know where it's at and they can show their friends anytime they want. There were a wide array of nice glossy pics to choose from...which was very cool...just made it very difficult to choose. All in all...Peter Mayhew will be leaving KC with $27 from the Abu Saada family. We got a $5 picture (as seen above), a nice $20 glossy from OfficialPix signed by Mr Mayhew and a $2 plastic cover for the glossy. Oh...and the memory of meeting someone we've been watching for years and years to come. I think my daughters will remember our time together fondly.
- Pricing is on the tables. Make sure you look around on the tables to see how much the artist is charging for an autograph. I think it makes them uncomfortable to have to ask for the money.
- Costumed fans are great. We took several pics with fans dressed as Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Superheroes and an R2D2. Each person was extremely friendly. You could tell this was their time to shine. You don't have to be afraid to ask for a pic...they'll do it and will be very happy to.
- Avoid the "Adult Star" table. I asked someone tending a booth if I could see a layout of the convention floor. Identifying where the adult models were signing autographs as priority for me. Not to visit them...but to steer clear. We came close at one point and I happily noticed nobody was in line to meet them. I wish they'd just cancel this section of Planet ComicCon.
- Bartering. I had a person tell me that their stuff is open to "negotiation" on price. Didn't know that...now I know. It's really like a giant garage sale.
- Tom Kane is extremely pleasant. The man who does the voiceover work for Yoda (among other characters) in the Clone Wars cartoon was so nice to the kids. We walked up to him and said hi. We told him how much we enjoyed watching the show every week and he replied to the girls in his Yoda voice "The show you watch weekly Hmmm?" AMAZING! To see the grin on the faces of all my daughters at that moment was fantastic! Side note...he actually lives here in Overland Park, KS. He does much of his work from his studio in his house. Each of my girls got an individually signed card from him...they love it!
If you get a chance to go, check it out. Planet Comicon is Saturday, March 28 thru Sunday, March 29.