Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

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Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Realm » Mon May 25, 2009 2:16 am

If anyone here is a Transformers fan as well, Peter Cullen, the voice actor of Optimus Prime from the original Transformers series, the original and new K.A.R.R. from both Knight Rider series, will be appearing at Botcon '09 in Pasadena, CA this coming weekend. I'll be there to get my G1 Optimus Prime and both KITT cars (Trans Am and Shelby) signed by the legend himself!!

Anyone else going? Here's the info: http://www.botcon.com/BotCon09/guests09.cfm

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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Slade » Mon May 25, 2009 11:12 am

Huge Transformer fan here,but I cant make it,infact I had to cancel cuz a few of my freinds bailed on me :(

So you have fun tho :wink:
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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Victor Kros » Fri May 29, 2009 4:57 am

Daniel and I of Knights of the West Coast have decided will be attending Botcon on Saturday. It is our mission to find Peter Cullen and give him a personal invite to Knight Rider Festival II and a special care package.

Will we succeed? Time will tell. Daniel and I will be there with our Knights of the West Coast shirts so if you see us around Realm, feel free to say hi.

=VK=
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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Slade » Fri May 29, 2009 11:50 am

Aww I wish I could :(

Good luck with Peter Cullen,that would be sweet if he was at the next KR Festival :D
"See ladies,what happens in Vegas,stays in...KITT"
"Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing"

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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Victor Kros » Fri May 29, 2009 8:11 pm

Well the odds of meeting Peter Cullen may have just gone up for ol VK and crew thanks to some pull I have.

All we need now is a little energon and a lotta luck.

I'll keep you posted.

=VK=
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MISSION OBJECTIVE: CULLEN - ACTIVE!

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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by caljediknight » Fri May 29, 2009 11:57 pm

Can't wait!!!

I know this one will be fun!!!

Dan

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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Slade » Sat May 30, 2009 1:23 am

Victor Kros wrote:Well the odds of meeting Peter Cullen may have just gone up for ol VK and crew thanks to some pull I have.

All we need now is a little energon and a lotta luck.

I'll keep you posted.

=VK=
:karr:
MISSION OBJECTIVE: CULLEN - ACTIVE!


LMAO Transformers the Movie :D awesome stuff
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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Victor Kros » Sat May 30, 2009 10:46 pm

I'm too exhausted to write out a full report at the moment (perhaps after a good rest) on our experience at Botcon '09 so for the time being I'd just like to say...

MISSION OBJECTIVE: CULLEN - ACCOMPLISHED! :good:

Photos and details with Cullen (what limited amount we could get due to some real pushy convention security staff grrrr) posted soon.

Thanks for a great meet up Realm! It was a real pleasure to hang out with you guys - made waiting in line easier to cope with and we all made it to Peter despite the line limits (120 people per signing +1 item limits? I mean come on!) and other setbacks!

Good times.

=VK=
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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Slade » Sun May 31, 2009 2:54 am

Wow cant wait,Im glad you all had fun :wink:

Till all are one :good:
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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Realm » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:24 pm

Definitely a GREAT experience, hanging out w/ the Knights of the West Coast! For an event that reoccurs every year, it was absolutely unorganized. No one knew what they were doing as far as directing attendees. Rules were broken such as the 1 item per person rule, and I'm not hating, but if a guest is only seeing 120 people, it should be okay for more than one item to be signed. I had both the Mustang, Trans Am, USA reissue of G1 Optimus, and a Japan reissue of G1 Optimus ready, but only got the USA G1 signed. Staff/Security was BS, dudes were power tripping on everyone. After the last attendee got his stuff signed, one of the Staff/Security guys steps up to Peter Cullen and gets a few things signed! WTF is that?!?!

The photos will not do justice to what Peter Cullen was feeling when both Victor and Dan approached him and handed him his very own Knights of the West Coast t-shirt along w/ a signed copy of the Knight Rider companion book personalized to Peter. I would say that majority of the attendees did not know that Peter voiced K.A.R.R. from both incarnations of the Knight Rider series. Everyone was holding an Optimus Prime, whether it was a reissue, a Masterpiece, a Mighty Mugg, or even a photocopy of a cel.

All in all, it was a GREAT day just hanging out and trying to meet and greet one of the legends. Thanks again to the Knights of the West Coast for an interesting day in Pasadena!! Here's 2 many more adventures!!!

-Realm

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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by caljediknight » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:44 pm

Realm,

Truly a good day that was made better by you and your buddy. Thank for taking the pics of Nick and I...BTW, I will ask Nick to post pics.

I agree with all you have stated in regards to unorganized peoples and overall BS.

Peter was great!!! I'm sure he was exhausted by the end of the day.

I am sure we will have other great adventures in the near future....Otherwise see ya in Vegas!!!!

Dan

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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Victor Kros » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:12 am

(It's late, I'm tired, and there most likely will be typos.)

So there we were...

After debating whether or not to actually make the trek, Daniel and I from Knights of the West Coast decided to make it a mission to personally deliver a gift package to legendary voice actor Peter Cullen! Well things started off ok, waking up at the buttcrack of dawn and after downing one of those 5 hour energy drinks off we were!

Daniel and I were cruising down the highway to Pasadena when the first of many conflicts would rear its ugly head. A few concerned sounds and BOOM! we had engine problems...oh no would our journey be done before it even began? Would he have to turn back? No way! Botcon or bust baby!

After squeezing every bit of life out of Daniel's poor Isuzu Rodeo engine the blasted thing finally was pronounced dead about three feet from parking lot to Botcon! So here was the next challenge - to find a way to park it without being able to you know DRIVE the deceased vechicle.

Well after much thought and exhausting pushing, we decided to park Daniel's lost soul across the street next to a parking meter - but oh no, just when you thought that was a solution - NO change for the meter!

Keep in mind the time is now around 9:20 am with Botcon opening up to the public at 10:00am and we still didn't have our tickets yet! Well we decided with a little energon and a lotta luck...we might as well risk getting a parking ticket rather than fail our mission to meet Peter.

Ah yes and then there was...THE LINE!

A line that stretched around the Pasadena convention center all the way down a set of stairs and down a street - but in the darkest hour...we found allies! Yes my friends, good ol KRO member Realm and his cool comrade met us in line and helped us get just a bit further down it by offering a spot to hook up with them.

Realm is awesome, we saw him earlier but I couldn't quite place his face at first amidst the chaos of our engine problems. So after talking in line about Knight Rider and our combined wish to meet Peter Cullen, we allied together - banding to ford the wait and purchase our tickets. -- we had heard that you needed a special "autograph band" to get signatures but no one seemed to know where in the hell to get it?

When we FINALLY managed to get our tickets at about 11:15am - we dashed our way to the autograph line for Cullen's second signing which would be at 1:00pm. (we missed the 11:30 one) Well the so called "knowledgable" staff informed us that the line would not form until 11:30am - just 15 minutes away.

Oh we were in the right place for the signing but the actual line either eluded us - or had not formed yet.

Realm had the foresight to see that there was in fact another line creeping its way along the opposing glass wall and what's worse, Peter's signings were limited to a rediculous 120 people per signing and this was his LAST SIGNING of the day! Holy crap did we dash our butts over to that ever expanding line.

Would we be all clear? Well we THOUGHT SO but then there was the autograph bands we forget we still needed to get into Cullen's signing. Here we go, a female staff member (a nice for a change) coming down the line counting people...75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80? - and when she gets to me what do we hear?

"You need an autograph band to get into this signing! It's in the exhibit hall!"

GREAT STARSCREAM'S GHOST! Already 79 people counted off and we couldn't be counted until we had the damned band! Oh man talk about a frenzy - again we the steadfast trio of Knight Rider fandom sprinted our way back into the very exhibit hall we were just in to find these sacred autograph bands - these red rings of paper based salvation!

Oh good and then we met..."that guy".

You know the guy that has to take forever to place an order at McDonalds? Has to question everything on the menu? Well imagine "that guy" was two people and they wanted Transformers exclusives - time just ticking away taunting you while we imagine that coveted spot in Peter's line sprouting a pair of wings and just flying away.

Success slipping through our fingers.

Perserverance my friends...with some cheerful intiative we waved down a staff member and told them getting this autograph was essential and with great speed and a flash of cash - we were dashing back to the line! We didn't even wait to put on our bands - we just flew down the hall and back out the door.

As luck would have it...or maybe it was fate, no one stepped in our spot giving us the time to put on our brand new autograph insurance policies. The helpful staff member, the very same woman we had met before greeted us with an approving smile, proudly calling off 80, 81, 82, 83!

Yes! This was it my friends...we had managed to make it into Peter Cullen's very limited signing! Halfway to the main event! I mean only 120 people were going to be allowed to see him! That was it! Imagine our frustration however when the other staff called out, "One item per signing!" - Wow, all this trouble and effort and even with these strict limitations we would only be allowed one signature from the legend himself? Call me impatient or greedy but there were at least 1000 people at Botcon and to limit attendees to two signings of 120 people - 240 total people for the day was crazy!

But as time dragged on we had a good two hours before the signing would take place and we even spotted Weird Al cutting a promo in the lobby next to the Bumblee statue - and sadly too far away to snag an autograph with the glass window mocking us. Well we decided to sit in line and discuss things Knight Rider, Transformers, and how rediculous these limitations were. Despite our grievances - time went by pretty quick and Daniel and I worked on our strategy of what to do when we would finally get up to a man we both look up to - the man who gave KARR his original vocalized soul.

And so it began...

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It started with being counted off in groups of 10. Led through a set of glass doors flanked by security we saw the line but were unsure of where exactly Peter would be. In a back room perhaps? Signing with a group? Nope...Peter was sitting at a modest table (real small actually)isolated while the staff tried to march each eager fan single file into the autograph procession like some sort of damned assembly line - shouting, "HAVE YOUR ITEM OUT! - ONE SIGNATURE PER ITEM! - KEEP CHATTER TO A MINIMUM!"

Yeah they actually expected us to say "hello" put down a single item and then walk off - no chit chat. Well I'll be damned if I wasn't going to get my three minutes of airtime with Peter after going through all these hoops and paying 16.75 (they jacked up the admission by .75 without telling anyone) and then another 25.00 (jacked up by yep you guessed it another 5.00 unannounced) and two hours in line!

Oh man...time getting shorter, hearts racing. beating against the oppresession of the staff glaring at our giftbox - a nice white gift box which never hurt anyone housing our treasures within. Inside the box was a swell new Knights of the West Coast shirt (with our awesome new digital inks! Thanks Daniel!), a couple postcards, business cards, and a spare invite to Knight Rider Festival II.

How to start? How does one approach a legend like Peter Cullen and cover so much in such little time? The answer was like diving into a pool - you just have to dive in and do it and that is exactly what Daniel and I did.

First I walked up and shook Peter's hand introducing myself and expressing my gratitude for Peter's time. I also told him that my good friend Tom DeSanto said I should come down to Botcon and say hi. Peter responded with a smile and a nod. At this point while I tried to keep myself calm - I mean it's Peter freaking Cullen here! A legend of such importance to my childhood - the experience of meeting someone who has such a profound impact on 80's cartoons was just plain surreal. You're hearing him talk to you, it's Prime, it's KARR, it's even a little Eeyore.

But alas...

THE MISSION

The mission was simple - invite Peter Cullen to Knight Rider Festival II and give him our gifts. Daniel's giftbox was first up as he presented Peter's KOTWC shirt to him in full view of the staff which didn't know what the hell to do - they thought Daniel was asking Peter to sign a ton of items...but no this was no ordinary meet and greet much to their dismay.

Although I am extending this experience out for dramatic effect, this sequence of events took place in about three minutes.

With a watchful eye on the staff, Peter looked at Daniel's shirt and smiled.

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I then gave him the very object our mission - the specialized invite, vibrant colors jumping off a glossy photo print that was created and personalized (the night before) to invite Peter Cullen to Knight Rider Festival II.

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Now Peter was in "signing mode" - sharpie in hand and ready for action. He was so used to people placing things on the table, asking him to sign, then dashing off that if did not immediately register we were giving him these things to keep. As Daniel passed the torch and gestured towards me, I pulled out Peter's special copy of The Knight Rider Companion.

I really can't properly put into words the gravity of these next series of events but I tell you it is something Daniel and I will never forget - something you had to be there to fully grasp. Sadly due to the overly anxious staff I could not capture the moment in a photo (although Realm did his best to get us some awesome shots, even if they are mostly of our backs - thanks man!) but Peter really started to understand our intentions.

I set a copy of my book down in front of Peter and said, "I am here Peter because while most people know you from Transformers as Optimus Prime, I remember you as the voice of KARR. You are a part of Knight Rider history and we're here to thank you for everything that you've done for Knight Rider from the original series to the new.

Peter smiled wide that someone was actually recognizing him for something more than Transformers! He smiled broadly through his thick mustache and said, "Oh yeah KARR I remember that!...the old one."

He emphasized "the old one" in the KARR voice - very dark and ominous! Geek out moment!

Peter took out his sharpie and asked me where to sign the book - but I said to him, "No Peter, this book is for you - it is my gift and I have personalized it just for you."

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That second...that very moment as he was utterly speechless as he flipped through the pages. He took a moment to look at the front of the book where I signed, "To Peter - Thanks for giving us so many voices that inspire the world - you make a difference." on the first page for him and then at the box with the KOTWC shirt, slowly lifting his eyes to Daniel and myself with tears literally beginning to well within them.

Then he said the most impactful words of our journey...

"Oh you guys...are just...too much. Thank you."

I wish you could have really heard the emotion in his words. His voice reminded me of when Prime was passing away in the animated movie (Do not grieve) - very slow and meaningful but then it cracked as he literally choked back the sheer emotion, the delay in his words conveyed gratitude that was no act. It was from Peter's very soul - two fans had come to see him to GIVE HIM something instead of just asking for something from him.

We cared to recognize Peter as a person and not just for his voice work.

Peter wanted to say something else but he was very abruptly robbed of his moment and his train of thought by a staff member warning him that he had to wrap up his time with us (reminded me of The Hoff UK shoot). Daniel took the opportunity to put his items on the table (book, Charawheels KARR, Aoshima KARR, Animated Transformers dvd cover) and the same insensitive jerk barked to him, "You can only have one item!".

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Daniel replied back, "I'm putting my stuff on the table - he can decide what he wants to sign!" This finally backed the guy off. Peter signed SEVERAL ITEMS for Daniel including his copy of KRC he had signed at Knight Rider Festival, proudly adding "KARR" under his signature.

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I was not so lucky with my time - but it wasn't my intention to get a book signed or some photo of Optimus. Would it have been nice? Sure! I decided to use my last precious seconds to pull out my famous "KITT" photo which is already signed by Glen Larson, Stu Phillips, David Hasslehoff, William Daniels, Michael Scheffe, Catherine Hickland, Jack Gill, Don Peake, and so on and said to Peter, "This is a photo signed by all the legends of Knight Rider...it's missing one signature on it, yours."

Peter looked down at the photo and then my book giving a knowing nod, making sure to sign in such a way it didn't overlap or interfere with the other signatures on this historic piece of KR memorbillia.

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Peter's silver sharpie was bleeding out like a stuck pig but he did his best to be as neat as possible. Hey you know, I'd rather have a fat full sharpie signature than a crisp faded one (like David's) - so no complaints here!

When he was done I shook his hand again (a firm handshake this time), gestured to the KRFII invite with our contact information and said in the clearest words I could muster trying not to get emotionally overwhelmed myself, "We would be honored if you would join us at Knight Rider Festival - please keep in touch."

At this point our time was up as the staff had enough of our presence. We were rushed off in such an unprofessional manner we couldn't even pose for a photo with Peter and when we tried to wait around for him to finish his signing and perhaps pose for a photo then - we were still wrangled out like cattle.

Keep in mind all these events took place in about three minutes! We waited TWO HOURS! just to get this time! Two Hours for 3 minutes, 1 signature, and no photo ops...that is not how you treat fans, some of which paid several hundred dollars for VIP passes!

To make matters worse after we were rushed out and the remainder of the 120 people finished - the very same staff members who rushed us off screaming ONE SIGNATURE PER PERSON - they went up to Cullen with handfuls of stuff and asked him to sign it all. I mean geez...unbalanced much?

Now I don't have sour grapes here because I accomplished what I set out to do and Daniel got more than he expected and for someone like Daniel who sacraficed so much just to make this meeting possible - he deserves everything that he is given back. Daniel is a true credit to the Knight Rider fandom and a solid class act.

Realm and his buddy, same thing. Two guys who made our trip both fun and memorable - made those long lines seem less lengthy and above all else helped us capture the moments we ourselves couldn't accomplish.

Thanks so much Realm, you and your buddy made a difference.

Funny enough, the staff kept snooping inside Peter's box convinced it was something dangerous - but in the end you know what really made the difference? Peter Cullen went out of his way to make sure our package and my book was under his arm as he made his way across the street to a private conference building with his family.

The fact that unlike David who left our gifts in his car at the Gumball Rally speaks volumes I think about how much of an impact we made on Peter's day that day.

Now you know I admit there was a moment we could have ran up to him and asked for that one last photo op as he made his way out the door - but after seeing how tired Peter was and that he was walking with a painful limp - we decided to let him go. We were not fanboys, we were just happy we were able to meet him.

Daniel and I set out to accomplish our mission and for Peter Cullen

We made a difference...

Having accomplished our objective for the day - then and only then did we get to wander around the rest of the convention and check out the exhibit hall. Even though we didn't stay too long due to worrying about Daniel's DOA truck being towed or multi-ticketed - we did take enough time to check out the awesome and massive screen used Optimus Prime Semi on display from Transformers!

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It's amazing how little security there was around it. I mean kids were climbing all over the thing and ugly women who thought they were some sort of supermodels (trust me, they were not) wouldn't stop trying to pose with the truck to allow other people to get clear shots of it! Irritating to say the least!

But after waiting and waiting, moving around and dodging everyone I could - I managed to snap a few good shots of it and thus completed our business at Botcon.

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We made our way back to Daniel's truck and discussed how awesome it was to meet Peter while waiting for the tow truck to show up.

Well I hope you enjoyed my little report and all the photos. There are many more shots but given the difficulty of having to post so many pics by resizing. uploading, etc. I picked the best of the bunch.

You can view more of Daniel's shots here:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/album ... 1557113787

and my other shots here:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/album ... 0025775913

Enjoy!

=VK=
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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Victor Kros » Tue Jun 02, 2009 6:39 am

More of Daniel's Shots.

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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Slade » Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:52 pm

Wow that is amazing,I wish I could of gone.Love the pictures,nice to see other TF fans around here as well as KR fans,we share alot in common :good: So Peter Cullen will be at the festival next year? :D

Speaking of Transformers...I bought some ROTF figures the other day.Optimus,Bumblebee,Sideswipe and Sideways.
I will say the new Optimus is pain to transform back and and forth and he taunts you too by saying"I am Optimus Prime" in Peter Cullens voice :lol: I had to take Sideswipe and Sideways back tho,Sideswipe is broken and Sideways altho is altmode is cool is robot mode sucked.
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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by caljediknight » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:23 pm

Wow,

That's how it happened. Thanks Nick, Realm and friend.

Dan

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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by Realm » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:45 am

Wow Victor! That's a VERY DETAILED account of what EXACTLY happened!!! The photos came out GREAT! I took a few, nothing too great, but I will post some. It was definitely an adventure!!! Honestly, I haven't checked the forums here before I left for the event, I didn't know if anyone from the boards would come for Peter Cullen, but I noticed the infamous Knights of the West Coast uniforms both Dan and Victor were rocking, hahaha!!!

I honestly believe the promoters applied all the BS rules in regards to autographs. I've read other reports of the event that Weird Al's signing had no photo ops either, but people were taking photos anyway! This rule was for Peter Cullen and they changed the rule on the spot?!?!?! Unacceptable and unorganized is what that is!! BS!!! Seriously, if u plan to have special guests sign, why not let the guests DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES on what the terms are for signing?!?! We all bare witnessed Peter Cullen sign MULTIPLE items for his fans and of course to the douche bags called "security". WE PAID to meet and greet Peter Cullen and this douche bag is on the clock, getting multiple items signed?

Again, I'm not hating on those who got multiple items signed. I'm actually congratulating those who PAID to attend the event and did what they could to achieve that success. I've attended numerous signings for different celebrities and I feel it's the celebs' choice on how many they should sign, not the event promoters, not the celebs' reps/agents.

Ok, here's an example. San Diego Comic-Con is THE biggest trade show of any caliber. Most companies work w/ their guests as to how many items a guest is willing to sign. At one signing, they asked world famous artist, Jim Lee, on how many he will sign right in front of the fans, and he would say a random number like 5, which is more than enough, because we're talking about an artist here with over 20 years of experience, who's willing to accommodate his fans, who are armed w/ action figures, comic books, posters, statues, busts, etc. etc.

Botcon needs to take notes on how a REAL trade show works!!! I don't know how they are able to survive w/ no organization whatsoever.

Sorry for the continous rant, but the experience still bothers me. Overall, what made it worthwhile was being around fans who shared the same interest, especially the homies from the "Knights of the West Coast". I am certain we will all meet Peter Cullen again.

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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by taoworm2323 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:46 am

Very awesome VK!
This is one of your best posts! I really enjoyed the detail in the account. :good:
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Re: Peter Cullen appearing @ Botcon '09 - Pasadena

Post by nee716 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:31 am

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!! Great work guys! I hope Peter does come to the Festival next year.

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