5 Ways to Comic Con: Part Four
By George Rose
September 6, 2017
For the next hour I was depressed. I couldn’t stop looking at the picture Heather took of me and the Hulk. He looked so angry. I had wasted $80 on a toxic memory, a signed Funko Pop that would be a torturous reminder for years to come and a picture that featured the incredibly disappointed and angry face of the Hulk. What is wrong with me?!?! Can’t I ever just do the right thing? It’s not like I’m so poor I can’t afford $40 extra dollars. $40 wasn’t worth making the Hulk angry. Who does that?! Nobody makes the Hulk angry and lives to tell the tale. Except… me. I made the Hulk angry and survived. Wait a second, I MADE THE HULK ANGRY!!! The idea that I had angered the original mother F-ing Hulk was a revelation that would change the rest of the day. The worst memory ever was now the best. Who else can say they made the Hulk angry?!?! Suddenly, I knew this was just the first of many epic celebrity sightings to come.
Celebrity #2 & #3: Yondu (aka Michael Rooker) & Kraglin / On-Set Rocket (Sean Gunn)
It wasn’t until I got to the convention that day that I knew what time my Yondu/Kraglin double photo-op was taking place. I purchased my ticket early and went about my shopping business. 2:45pm wasn’t far off but it is incredibly easy to lose track of time at a Con. I told Travis and Heather I’d meet them shortly after my picture and headed off alone. I was sad I didn’t have two signed Funko Pops to display beside the corresponding celeb but I already bought the picture ticket. En route to the photo ops (all of a hundred yards from where we were shopping), I crossed paths with the tail ends of both Yondu’s and Kraglin’s autographing lines! I had no idea when or where they would be taking place but there they were, both waiting for me prior to our picture. It’s like they knew I was coming and stayed open just long enough to see me!
First up, Yondo. Why is that? If you haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, skip to the next paragraph. SPOILER ALERT! Yondo dies in the movie sooooo this could be his last Comic Con for a while. That means if there is only time for one autograph, his would be the more valuable to collect. There was only one person in Yondu’s line, most likely because he was preparing to go take the Yondo/Kraglin double picture. I got in line, watched the person in front of me get an autograph and waited for my turn. There should be just enough time to get Yondu’s signature, then run over to Kraglin (although, he had no line which meant there was a chance he would shut down and head to the pictures), then run over to my photo op. The man in front of me started to walk away and I stepped forward, ready to have a proper celeb sighting.
“Hold on a second,” said Yondu’s assistant. OH NO!!! Was Yondu closing down to head over to take pictures and I’d miss my chance to have my Funko signed before the photo?! I turned around to leave but realised he wasn’t closing; the assistant was letting a small boy in a motorized wheelchair skip ahead in line. Ahead of a ONE PERSON LINE. Ahead of ME. Listen, I’m all for handicap people skipping ahead of a two hour line at an amusement park. Hell, even a small line at Comic Con. But skipping ahead of ONE PERSON?!?! I accepted this as cruel punishment from God for my Hulk fiasco and kindly allowed this boy to disrespect me.
Though I was displeased that this child was most likely a con artist (Con artist?) and was faking his illness so he could get special treatment, it was endearing to see Yondo greet the boy with energy, humor and a free autograph. While the fake Stephen Hawking went about his business, I took the time to ask the assistant some questions. I wondered if it was ok to ask Yondu if when we took the double photo-op if he was likely to agree to pretend proposing to me using his signed Funko as the engagement ring. I knew it was an odd request but I had just gotten engaged a few months earlier and I wanted to make my fiance jealous by having two celebrities propose to me in my photo op. The assistant said he probably wouldn’t do it but I knew in my heart he would. I mean, how could you say yes to a fake paraplegic but no to honest homo?
It was now my turn and I immediately lost my composure. There is no Comic Con celeb quite like one that just died in their film. It was Yondu’s moment to shine and he was enjoying every second of these fifteen minutes of fame. I decided to roll the dice and ask him. “Hey, I’m a huge fan and my fiance loves you too! Any chance I can have you propose to me with your Funko when I take the double picture later?” I couldn’t tell what he was thinking because he wore the darkest sunglasses of all time. He started laughing in the most boisterous of ways, kindly said, “No, man, but thanks for coming to see me,” with the biggest smile on his face and sent me on my way. I was so blown away by how cool he came off that I didn’t care he said no.
To make matters even better Kraglin was still available for an autograph before I had to head over to the picture booths and there were no wheelchairs in sight! I could tell he was about to close up but I ran over just in time. Unlike Yondu, Kraglin would do anything for $20 so he was allowing both autographs and selfies at his booth. Not all celebs will take pictures during autographs with some only taking them by professional photographers (like Yondu and Phoenix). Kraglin, being the brother of the man who directed the Guardians films, was clearly just happy to be involved and even remotely recognized. He was so sweet and sexy, it made me nervous. He caught me staring into his piercing blue eyes and I couldn’t help but try flirting.