I had a huge list of celebs that I wanted to meet this year, some who were making very rare convention appearances, so I wanted to get them as soon as possible. One of those was Tobin Bell, a.k.a. a guy from ONE OF MY FAVORITE HORROR MOVIES EVER. He was definitely on my list. TFW had been warning us for weeks that Tobin was probably going to be ridiculously busy all weekend (even had to pre-order an autograph ticket for him) - and they were right! I thought I had a fairly good spot in line, but still ended up waiting almost four hours before I finally met him.
Part of that had to do with the fact that his flight was delayed and that he had to leave to do a photo op at 9 p.m., and part of it had to do with the fact that Tobin was just being an awesome guy and actually taking the time to talk to everybody that came through his line. He asked me about my Fright Night t-shirt, and commented on how amazing the dedication of horror fans is when I told him I came from Missouri. I told him that I love the movie Malice (seriously, it's a good movie) and he told me about how Bill Pullman almost broke his nose in their fighting scene. It was so worth the wait to meet this incredibly kind and appreciative man. Love him even more now!
(I'd also like to give a shout-out to my Tobin Bell line buddy Ryan for being a great conversationalist and for providing me with two of his Kit Kat bars to stave off hunger while we waited. Great meeting you!)
It was about 10 p.m. by this time and the convention was almost done for the night, so I skedaddled down the hall to hook up with my next celeb. And this one was a biggie. Huge. I'll give you some hints:
Yes! It was The Godfather himself, GEORGE A. ROMERO. As you can see, there was a ton of stuff laid out on his table to pick from for him to autograph, but I had purchased a Dawn of the Dead poster just for this event. I guess I could have gushed over him a lot more but I held back and just thanked him for being there and asked him to sign right on the zombie head of the DotD poster. Man, such a freaking surreal moment to be RIGHT THERE with the man who created such iconic movies, characters, and creatures that we are still emulating to this day. Once in a lifetime opportunity and I will always treasure it!
Just across from George were two of the other people I wanted to meet that night (so I wouldn't have to carry around that poster all day Saturday). I jumped up to the table of the great David Emge, who played Flyboy in Dawn of the Dead. I was totally being serious when I told him that he gave the best zombie performance ever in that movie. I mean, that walk? Oh, it's just perfect. Very cool to actually meet him! And so I added another signature to my poster!
Right next to David was his co-star Scott Reiniger, a.k.a. one half of the great bromance that is Roger and Peter from Dawn of the Dead. Wonderfully nice guy, actually asked me if I wanted his signature personalized - of course, dude! My poster wouldn't officially be complete until Sunday when I added Tom Savini's autograph, but it was such a score to get all these guys in one go - a Dawn of the Dead marathon signing, if you will. I can't wait to get this bad boy framed and hung up on my wall!
I stopped with the autographs for the night and took the opportunity to do a quick walk-through of the room. I came upon the Atomic Cotton vendor table, one that I was really looking forward to visiting again. I found some great shirts there last year and became internet friends with one of the people who runs it, so we talked for a bit and she gave me free stickers and I scored this great Texas Chainsaw Massacre t-shirt.
All in all, a pretty fucking awesome night, but it was really just the tip of the iceberg. Still a lot more amazing experiences to come! Stay tuned for my Day 2 and Day 3 recaps!