We succeeded in all three.
When it comes to the comics, I found some deals on Skottie Young variant covers! I didn't think I'd be able to afford the Young variant for Doctor Strange, but it was only $3.33! I also got Charles Soule to sign the She-Hulk variant, which was an awesome run and ended too soon. And when I handed Louise Simonson the cover with Apocalypse on it, she exclaimed, "Now THAT's Apocalypse!" probably in reference in Fox's poor choices in limiting Oscar Isaac's potentially amazing movie performance this past summer. (Louise Simonson created Apocalypse in X-Factor #5 in 1986, which is a feat unto itself because for a woman to be in comics and to create an iconic comic villain back then was unprecedented.)
The Supergirl art is by Mike Maihack, who is awesome.
While I also found some great deals on comics and graphic novels (I jumped into the Valiant universe this weekend, buying some graphic novels from the Valiant booth which had some excellent salespeople to get me started), I also added some value to a comic I owned: Getting the first printing, first appearance of Spider-Gwen certified and quality rated by the Certified Guaranty Company. The 9.2 is Near Mint, and this particular issue will fetch me over $100 when/if I put it on eBay. I'm quite pleased with myself.
Finally, I got to meet Stuart Sayger and visit with Pop Mhan again (met him last year). Sayger was awesome to chat with, and 55555 and I spent almost an hour interviewing him for BZPower (news story coming soon) and chatting about Bionicle and artwork. He's so cool, and really passionate not just about making comics but about being a part of Bionicle history! He and Mhan signed some comics for me, which may or may not be made available to members to obtain in the future. He was also selling prints, so I bought a few favorite comic characters drawn in his unique style.
When I pulled out Bionicle V2 #5 and opened it up to the first page, where my Piraka Fusion creation was, I asked, "What can you tell me about this?"
He said a kid built that, won a contest, and mailed it in to him to draw to appear as part of the story. I was that kid, I told him. And he flipped out!
He was ecstatic to meet me, who built the model that appeared in the comic for a page. He started asking me about my building style and what I remember from the contest (this coming after questions about his art style and his memories from the Bionicle art job). And before we left, he said he wanted to get a picture of me with the comic! That pretty much made my weekend.
Unfortunately I did not get to all the authors I wanted to visit to get comics signed. Which is ok, because the panels I attended instead were the real value of the convention experience. Deals and lines for autographs are other perks of the entrance fee. What is really important is to not set high expectations to get everything signed, but take the opportunities if presented. Right now my first thought is "don't bring anything to get signed next year" (which my back will appreciate), but I'm sure I'll have second opinions on that by then.
Until then, I'll have to figure out how to show some of these off in my room!