Autograph Signing- Deadly Class at SDCC

At large pop culture conventions, it’s a given that you’re gonna spend a bit of time waiting in line. As a result, having something to read can be a godsend.

Last year at the start of San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), SYFY announced their convention plans included hosting an autograph signing and panel for their live-action adaptation of the comic book, Deadly Class.

I love seeing comic books adapted into other media (especially live-action tv or movies). It’s fun and interesting to compare the page to the screen.
…So when I noticed Deadly Class Vol. 1: Reagan Youth available on ComiXology Unlimited, I decided it would be a good book to help pass my “SDCC line-time”.

Signed copy of Deadly Class issue #1, provided to attendees of the SDCC Autograph Signing.

Needless to say, by the end of the first day of SDCC, I’d become a huge fan of Deadly Class, and couldn’t wait for the panel and signing! But as is often the case at SDCC, a schedule conflict got in-the-way, and prevented me from attending the panel. However, I WAS fortunate to obtain a wristband to attend the signing!

At the Image Comics booth, wristband holders were provided a nice, live-action cover variant of Deadly Class issue 1 as an item to be signed. The comic book is a nice change from the typical poster that is usually given at cast signings. And from a marketing perspective, its a great promotional tool to entice those who are interested in the tv show to “delve-deeper” into the source material.

Cast members and creatives on-hand for the event included:

Rick Remender- creator /writer
Wes Craig-creator/artist
Miles Orion Feldsott- showrunner
Mick Betancourt- showrunner
Benjamin Wadsworth- Marcus
Benedict Wong- Master Lin
Lana Condor- Saya Kuroki
María Gabriela De Faría- Maria Salazar
Luke Tennie- Willie Lewis

Writer Rick Remender and Artist Wes Craig couldn’t have seemed more proud, as they signed alongside the actors cast to bring their creations to life!

Benedict Wong and Benjamin Wadsworth signing at the SDCC Image Comics Booth.

Thanks to Dr Strange and Infinity War, Actor Benedict Wong was the most well-known talent at the autograph table. Wong was very nice and gracious when signing, but his lesser-known, young costars seemed downright ecstatic and very happy to be at SDCC as part of the Deadly Class cast!

Lana Condor and María Gabriela De Faría signing at the SDCC Image Comics Booth.

Actors Lana Condor & Luke Tennie were especially engaging and helped make for a fun signing event.

The first episode of Deadly Class dropped on YouTube in late December. Those who have already caught the episode know SYFY appears to have a hit on their hands!

The show can now be seen on the SYFY website, and begins its run on the cable network on January 16.
If subsequent episodes are as good as the first episode, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t give the show a try!

*Heads-up… Deadly Class Vol. 1: Reagan Youth is still currently available as part of the ComiXology Unlimited subscription service!

Autograph Signing- Aquaman at SDCC

Not since Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy have I left the theater so satisfied after watching a DCUniverse motion picture!
Aquaman is a fun, visual spectacle that delivered exactly what’s promised!
And after seeing the King of Atlantis defeat the weekend box office, I couldn’t help but reminisce about one of my favorite San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) SWAG events of 2018.

Every year at SDCC there’s a signing that’s considered the “Holy Grail” of all signings.

In 2018, there were two such signing events.

With creative talent full of big name stars, and high anticipation for the upcoming movies, Aquaman and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald were fighting for first place in the hearts of autograph seekers.

SWAGCollector family member with Eddie Redmayne of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The SWAGCollector family had a nice close-encounter with the Fantastic Beast cast but unfortunately didn’t get to attend the autograph signing.

However, we were lucky to be able to attend the amazing Aquaman autograph signing at the DC booth!

Aquaman, SDCC Autographed Poster

Included in the signing was:

Director James Wan
Jason Momoa- Aquaman
Nicole Kidman- Atlanna
Amber Heard- Mera
Patrick Wilson- Ocean Master
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II- Black Manta

The talent assembled were all gracious, but Nicole Kidman and James Wan were standouts for being especially friendly…

When I mentioned to Nicole that my son was a huge fan (after falling for Satine from Moulin Rouge), but couldn’t get into the signing, she asked,
“Where is he?”
I pointed to my son standing in the crowd behind her.
The wonderful Nicole Kidman then abruptly stood, turned, and vigorously waived and blew a kiss directly to him!

…Such a sweetheart!

Director James Wan at the SDCC ScareDiego panel

James Wan was also fun to talk to, as we had a brief exchange about the “Scare Diego” panel/offsite held during preview night of SDCC.

The autographed poster that resulted from the signing is an amazing piece of SWAG! …And if that wasn’t enough, DC also provided autograph wristband holders with a second poster and a SDCC Exclusive t-shirt!

Aquaman t-shirt, Front
Aquaman t-shirt, Back

After such an amazing autograph signing experience, it’s great to hear all the positive word-of-mouth Aquaman, the movie, is getting from fans and press. The SWAGCollector family had been eagerly awaiting the December 21 release of Aquaman. And fortunately, the movie was well worth the wait!

If you haven’t seen Aquaman yet… What are you waiting for?!?!

…Hurry and get to the theater before the holidays are over!

Once Upon A Deadpool- FINE! Take My Money!

Really…

Once Upon A Deadpool”???

What the heck is this all about?!?!

I mean, COME ON! The movie has already gone to home video…
And I’ve got the SWAG to prove it!

20th Century Fox, booth animatronics entertain on the SDCC exhibit floor to promote the home video release of Deadpool 2 (image courtesy @MarvelMorris.

At San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), 20th Century Fox set-up shop to promote the home video release of Deadpool 2, and had one of the more popular booths on the showroom floor. The booth’s Chuck-E.-Cheese-like, life-size, singing, animatronic band was an attention grabber, but the booth’s main draw was its daily t-shirt SWAG giveaway!

DeadPool 2 t-shirt SWAG: #ALittlePeterinAllofUs

On Thursday and Friday, attendees who made it to the booth within the first hour of the convention had no problem snagging a t-shirt, but by Saturday, it seemed more people became aware of the shirt giveaway, causing the SWAG lines for Saturday and Sunday to reach capacity almost immediately upon the opening of the convention doors!

Deadpool 2 t-shirt SWAG: #DeadPoolsFamily

As a result, much to my dismay, I wasn’t able to get a complete set of all four Deadpool 2 SWAG t-shirts*. But getting two-of-four t-shits allowed me to walk away from SDCC feeling good about Deadpool 2, and agreeable to spending a few more bucks on the home video version…

…hence completing the gentleman’s agreement between Deadpool and I.
Or so I thought.

But now… this “Once Upon A Deadpool” nonsense comes along, trying to nab MORE moola from my wallet!

And oooohhhh, how “convenient” that the re-release takes place the week before another blockbuster superhero film will be begging for my attention!

I’m not in the habit of going to the theater to see a movie more than once… But word on the street (Twitter) is that there’s enough new material in “Once Upon A Deadpool” that it’s essentially a different movie than Deadpool 2.
And considering the fact that Deadpool 2 was one of the best movies of the year… DANG IT! How can I resist?!?!?!

FINE Deadpool! Take my money!

*SIDE NOTE: Because the SWAGCollector usually travels in packs, sometimes I happen upon extra SWAG.
I have an extra of both the Thurs & Fri Deadpool 2 SDCC SWAG t-shirts. If anyone has the Sat or Sun shirts & are interested in trading, PLEASE contact me!!!

NYCC Attendees Channel Their Inner Thanos For Sideshow SWAG

Companies don’t always announce ahead of time what SWAG they intend to bring to a convention. However, this year Sideshow Collectibles gave both San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) and New York Comic Con (NYCC) attendees an advanced heads-up of their SWAG intentions.

Both NYCC and SDCC attendees received exclusive, branded Infinity Gauntlet lapel pins!

For both shows, Sideshow gave-out bright, shinny, highly-desirable, gem-encrusted, Infinity Gauntlet lapel pins! And best of all, the pins were branded with the SDCC or NYCC initials.

The announcement of the giveaway included instruction on how to obtain a pin. And the pin’s limited quantities made the Sideshow Booth a popular first-stop for quite a few attendees.

At SDCC attendees just had to be among the first 500 visitors to the Sideshow booth to get a pin.

At NYCC, a bit more work was required to get the Gauntlet…

Sideshow Stamp-card

Seekers didn’t have to comb the universe like Thanos, but a pin could only be had through exchanging a card stamped with marks collected by visiting three of seven different booths on the convention floor.

The scavenger-hunt for the correct booths was actually a fun, additional component that made the NYCC Infinity Gauntlet SWAG-hunt that much more fun. Hopefully the booths involved with the hunt saw some additional sales and activity as a result of their involvement!

These pins are way too cool not to wear or display in some manner. I’d put them on my gym bag, but the way I throw that thing around, they’d surely fall off and get lost.

How/where do you display your SWAG pins? What’s some cool places to wear nerd SWAG and get appreciation? Do you have any suggestions? Let me know in the comments…

Ready Player One: A Masterclass on Marketing with SWAG!

The term SWAG has evolved over the years, but in the purest definition, SWAG is a promotional giveaway used to create awareness and/or encourage a purchase…
It feels like you’ve hit the jackpot when you get SWAG related to something you enjoy or are anticipating.
And it can be even more exciting when you happen upon SWAG relating to something you’re totally unfamiliar with, yet intrigues you to explore further.

Some SWAG is better than others, but honestly, I don’t think there’s such a thing as “bad” SWAG!
And as a marketing device, SWAG works!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, published 2011

My experience with Ready Player One (RPO) is a great example of the power of SWAG…

Ready Player One hits theaters March 29.
The movie is an adaption of Author Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name. Though the book was an immediate hit upon publication in 2011, RPO didn’t get on my radar until 2015.

That year, I stumbled upon a line while walking the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) exhibit hall, and I was fortunate enough to get ensnared by publisher, Penguin Random House’s RPO promotional signing, with Cline.
The line for the signing stretched sooo far past the Penguin Random House booth, that its origin and reason for formation, was totally unclear. But with so many eager faces in line, my FOMO demanded I step to the back, and find out who/what waited at the other end!

As Penguin Random House employees walked the line, handing-out softcover copies of RPO, I struck-up a few conversations.
I asked what RPO was about, and found myself becoming more and more excited as I was told of the book’s dystopian future, the ‘80s nostalgia, the virtual world landscape, and the little guy vs evil corporation plot devices.

Ready Player One signed by Cline at San Diego Comic Con, 2015

When I got to the front and handed-off my book to be signed by Mr. Cline, he was gracious, friendly, and a great ambassador for RPO.
I left the signing feeling extremely enthusiastic, and when I got home, I started reading immediately…

Not surprisingly, I loved the book, and couldn’t resist being vocal about it.
I told everyone I know IRL…
I told everyone on my Twitter feed…
I recommended it at every opportunity…
And though I stopped short of giving away my signed copy, I’m absolutely positive I am responsible for getting AT LEAST three people to read RPO.

With a crowd pleasing property such as RPO, I’m sure my experience isn’t unique. And it’s easy to envision the publisher’s exponential positive return-on-investment from bringing Cline to SDCC, and giving away signed copies of his book, as SWAG.

In 2017, this strategy was mimicked on a larger scale when Warner Brothers Pictures brought their RPO movie promotional campaign to SDCC. The campaign included a panel/autograph signing with Cline and several of the talent associated with the movie, including Director Steven Spielberg!

This time around, I was a 2-year-veteran, Ready Player One fan, and the signing was a highly anticipated, can’t-miss event for me!
However, this second RPO SWAG opportunity was a far-cry from the easily-attended event that was the 2015 book signing.

Movie and television autograph signings are notoriously difficult to attend at SDCC.
Getting these autographs require double-digit HOURS waiting in line, overnight, for a CHANCE at an early morning drawing, that’s riddled with line-cutters and a suspiciously large number of ADA badge holders (who receive preferential line access)!

Though this scenario deters most attendees from autograph seeking, there still are quite a few (hundreds) people vying to pull a wining ticket, from a blind-bag drawing.
And in 2017, I was among those who were willing to take the chance that luck would be on my side.
I mean… it was for Ready Player One- my favorite novel of the past two years!!!
And it was for Steven Spielberg- one of my favorite directors of all time!!!

For me, the hardship endured was worth the risk of possibly walking away empty-handed.

WB Lenticular wristband cut from the wrist at signing…

Fortunately, luck was on my side…
And after sticking my hand in the bag and drawing a ticket, I walked away with one of the coveted wristband that entitled me to join the winning group at the Warner Brothers exhibit booth later that day, for a signing with Cline, Spielberg, and several others.

At the signing event, I had a great time briefly exchanging pleasantries with Cline and the creatives behind the RPO movie!
I couldn’t help but gush over Director Spielberg and tell him how much my kids (who were with me!!!) and I love his work!

Signed Ready Player One promotional poster…

The autographed poster SWAG I walked away with has become an ABSOLUTE cherished part of my SWAG collection!
When I’m asked about SDCC 2017, the RPO signing is always touted as my fondest experience! And to this day, I continue to be the vocal, enthusiastic, Ready Player One fan that the Penguin Random House and Warner Brothers marketing teams hoped to create when their autographed RPO SWAG was bestowed upon me!

RPO premiered to rave reviews at the South by SouthWest (SXSW) festival in Austin, TX.
And on MARCH 24- less than a week from wide release- RPO is making it’s final, big, pre-release, convention promotional push, with a panel/signing at WonderCon in Anaheim, CA!

Though sadly, WonderCon’s recent move to online lotteries for signings makes it unlikely I’ll walk away from the convention having added another autographed poster to my RPO SWAG collection, I’ve got my fingers crossed that the panel, featuring Cline and the “High Five” cast, will also include the “Extra Life” coin (seen at SXSW) as a surprise SWAG giveaway to panel attendees!

…A SWAGCollector can dream, can’t he?