The great convention debate.

One of the great things about going to various fan conventions, be they comic cons, horror cons, sci-fi cons, etc, is the opportunity to see and interact with various celebrities. Having just survived completed this year’s Salt Lake Comic Con, and getting prepared for Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo in a few weeks, it brought to mind an old question.

That question, of course, is how to do so. Do you get something autographed, either a personal item of memorabilia or one of the stock photos that they bring with them, or do you get a photo op with them?

Everyone has their own answer, of course. Some people want to have that autographed item up on display somewhere, the centerpiece of a collection, perhaps.

Others might want the photo as a visual reminder of that interaction. It can be a conversation starter, along the lines of, “you met Celebrity X?”

Each choice has its charms. If you choose to get an autograph, you normally get to talk to the celebrity in question for a half-minute or so, as they comment on your item, or respond to a comment you make as you take your place in front of them. This can be great for seeing the celebrity as a “real person,” especially if they’ve had a long day of signing and talking. (The best at this so far, for me, is Adam Baldwin. For a guy who’s line is normally pretty long, he takes his time with the fans, while also remembering that he’s got another million people behind them. But it never feels rushed.)

A photo, on the other hand, involves posing, taking a good picture (I’ll admit: not my strongest area.), etc. But you get to stand next to that person, maybe hug/shake hands, or, if you have a really open celebrity, you get a pose unlike anyone else’s, either at your request or because they like to change it up. (The best at this so far, for me, is Bruce Campbell. He was grabbing the people coming in and setting them up in different ways, probably to keep the whole thing interesting for himself, too, but it’s nice to think that you’re not just going in, standing next to a bland celebrity, and then walking away with very little interaction. Like posing with a wooden indian.)

Of course, you could go on eBay and buy an autographed item and pass it off as your own. Who would know?

But you can’t go on eBay and buy a picture of yourself with a celebrity (photoshop notwithstanding).

Some celebrities are worth getting both, of course.

Which do you prefer, and why?

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