Pop-culture conventions - now generally falling under the umbrella label of a comic con - are a great place to get close to your favorite actor, celebrity and athlete.
Buying your admission ticket gets you in the door and lets you walk around the convention floor where you can peruse dealer tables filled with movie memorabilia, T-shirts, comic books and fun chotchkies; take part in cosplay and video contests; sit in on celebrity panels; and gaze from afar at your favorite star.
That autograph or photo you want? It will cost a bit extra - sometimes a lot extra - which you may not know if it's your first convention. The autograph and photo fees are a big part of how the celebrity is paid for the appearance.
For Nickel City Con, now taking place through Sunday at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, autographs start at about $20 and go up to $599 for special items signed by NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana. In fact, you can purchase nine different Montana autograph tickets ranging from $199 for an autographed mini-helmet or "flats" (photo, etc.) up to 16 by 20 inches; to $599 for autographed lithographs and limited-edition prints. Montana's packages all include free admission to the convention on Sunday, the only day he appears.
The $75 autograph fee for William Shatner, appearing Saturday only, is actually affordable by convention standards for a legendary actor of his stature.
At the Niagara Falls Comic Con - being held June 2-4 at ScotiaBank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, Ont. - autographs top out at $100 for WWE legend Sting and old Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund. Most of the autographs are generally $55 to $80.
With so many stars at conventions, it can make for fun photo opportunities. NFCC offers photo packages such as actress Lee Meriweather and the Batcopter ($80), with "Freddy vs. Jason" (Englund and Ken Kirzinger) and a "Mallrats" reunion photo with Jason Mewes, Jeremy London and Brian O'Halloran ($130).
Celebrity VIP Packages - also favored by many music acts at concerts - are a more affordable way of getting perks. The VIP packages at Nickel City Con include an autograph, photo op, early VIP entry, daily admission, an NCC exclusive Variant Comic and a swag bag.
Here's a look at other celebrity photo and VIP packages this weekend at Nickel City Con.
William Shatner: $75 autograph, $200 VIP package (appearing Saturday only).
Nichelle Nichols ("Star Trek"): $50 autograph, $150 VIP.
Billy Dee Williams ("Star Wars"): $50 autograph, $150 VIP.
Sam Jones ("Flash Gordon"): $40 autograph, $125 VIP.
Erin Gray: $40 autograph, $100 VIP.
Jim Craig: $20 inscription ticket, $69-$79 autographs, $199 VIP.
Jake the Snake Roberts: $40-$60 autographs, $135 VIP.
Noah Schnapp ("Stranger Things"): $40 autograph or tableside selfie, $60 autograph/selfie combo or "Stranger Things" autographed poster, $85 VIP.
Diamond Dallas Page: $40-$60 autograph, $69 yoga workshop, $135 VIP.
Erik Stolhanske (Broken Lizard, "Super Troopers"): $30 autograph, $100 VIP.
Kevin Grevioux ("Underworld" series): $20 autograph, $95 VIP.
Michael Copon: $20 autograph, $95 VIP.
Natalie Skyy ("Sons of Anarchy"): $20 autograph or selfie, $30 combo.
Martin Klebba ("Pirates of the Caribbean" movies): $30 autograph or selfie, $40 combo, $75 VIP.
Autograph tickets can be purchased online or at the door; photo tickets (not listed) can now only be purchased with cash at the door. For full information about Nickel City Con, click here.