Anyway......as I write this, I am approaching 45 years old and I have been a horror/sci-fi fan since I was a kid. As I got older, this stuck with me, but I had never heard of a horror "convention". Comic Con wasn't even a thing yet. As time went by, there would be fan gatherings in comic book shops and such, but nothing like what we see today. Going into the 1990's, I attended a few "real" conventions here or there, but again, they were small affairs with a few guests sitting in a room seemingly not really knowing what to make of it.
My first "big time" convention as a serious attendee was at the Chiller Theatre convention in October of 2003. This was the first time that I really got any autographs or photos taken with celebrities. Looking back, I am now such an avid convention/festival attendee, and I have come to know so many people, and they to know me, it seems like I have been going to these for a lot longer.
Over the years I have seen everything and anything at these shows. I have seen fans behave like jerks, and I have seen celebrity guests act like complete jerks. I have seen people get thrown out, and I have seen guests who have been asked to leave as well. Basically, I have seen it all.
One troubling trend I have noticed is the constantly rising costs associated with going to some of these shows. Overall the ticket prices have stayed fairly reasonable, but the prices of the autographs for the celebrities has continued to skyrocket, as they have awakened to the amount of money they can make. At my first Chiller convention in 2013, the average autograph price was $10 with a few celebs charging $15 or $20, and some signed for free. Now, $30 is a common price for a signature, with $40 becoming more and more common, and the good-old $20 autograph seems to have fallen by the wayside.
What's worse, far worse to this Horror Nerd is the fact that so many guests are now charging an additional fee to have your picture taken with them, with YOUR camera, at their table. I'm sorry, but this I have an issue with. I agree 100% that they have a right to profit from their signature and likeness, but am I really going to be able to turn around and sell a picture of me standing with some film star with a dopey grin on my face? Come on! This is really making me nuts. Yes, there are times when I pay it, but there are plenty of times when I say "Sorry, too much, and walk away."
Oh, OH! And what's worse is the latest trend which is having a professional photographer on-site for special "photo ops" where they will take a professional photo of you with a celebrity. For the time being, this is a special service, and you can still usually get a photo at the guest's table, but how long do you think it will be before these professional photo ops will be the ONLY way for you to take a picture with your favorite stars? Trust me, it's coming.
Then again, a BIG, BIG part of the convention experience for me is getting together with fellow fans, and having a great time and, for that, the price of a $25 admission ticket is worth every single penny.
See you out there in 2013 fellow fans!!
The Horror Nerd