-- Reggie Brown sent this along: Ryan, just wanted to give you a few quick details on CM Punk's appearance at the Philadelphia Comic Con this past weekend, in regards to the autograph session and photo shoot, as I saw you already got a report on the Q&A.
Firstly, the event itself was grossly disorganized, you'd think for an event the size of Comic Con, they would have a bit more of a grasp on the crowds, but when 90% of your on site staff are volunteers, I guess you have these issues. After the CM Punk photo session for example, there was an incident where someone stole 100 photos, and most people couldn't pick up their photos until the next morning, and if they were not attending on Sunday, they could have their photos mailed to them, or pay $15 additional to get a .jpg file emailed to them in 7 days.
The autograph signing was absolutely packed. I was talking to a security guard who said that this was by far the biggest turnout for anyone at a Comic Con in the years it had been in Philly. He said that he was initially told that CM Punk was second in sales to Stan Lee, but after seeing the crowd, there was "no way in hell that number is accurate." I got to my place in line around 11:40, and there were already several hundred people ahead of me in line, they had to use Chris Hemsworth's line adjacent to Punk's area to keep the crowd lined up, and even that was big enough as the line went around the back of Hemsworth's booth as well. I was right by the autograph ticket sales table, and heard numerous people walk up asking to buy Punk autograph tickets only to be told they were sold out. Keeping in mind that Punk was supposed to sign for the $150 VIP ticket holders only from 1-2 and for general admission ticket holders from 2-4, this means that they sold enough VIP packages to cover 3 full hours of Punk signing. Punk arrived promptly at 1:00, while we were waiting in line, we were told that they would be filming footage for CM Punk's DVD to be release later this year, and to really add to the mania of the occasion, they blared "Cult of Personality" over the convention center speakers when he arrived to a huge ovation. He began signing immediately and took time to share a few words with each person as he signed. The line move faster than I expected and I would up getting his autograph at around 1:45, as soon as I got it, I was pulled to the side by a guy from the camera crew and interviewed for the DVD, which was pretty cool. They asked me questions about why I liked CM Punk and what made him "the best in the world," then some generic questions like what was my favorite Punk match and how long I'd been a fan. As I was leaving the area, I noticed a general admission line starting to form which already had about 100 people in it who did not have VIP passes. I asked a lady in line if they were told how long they would have to wait and she said they weren't being guaranteed anything but Punk was trying to go as quickly as possible to accommodate everyone. These were people they prepaid for autographs, but didn't buy the VIP package, I'm not sure if they ever go through the line, though as quickly as I got to Punk, I think they should have been ok, but anyone who didn't buy ahead of time was completely out of luck.
The true cluster-f*ck of the day belonged to the photo session, the sessions they do at these events are really cool, you basically get a professional shot taken and an 8x10 copy of the photo, if you want additional copies or a digital file of it, you had to pay anywhere from $15 to $30 extra. They run through these things quick, upon entering the photo area you basically screamed at by the attendant to hurry up and get the...