Autograph’d Comics

Jondee here at the comic con,

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One of the interesting parts of comic book collecting is getting an autograph from a creator. This could be at a convention or store signing. It is fun to go through your collection and select some memorable or key issues. I usually keep it at three issues, but there are exceptions, hopefully not a suitcase of comics. Then, bringing it to a creator and being able to tell him or her how much you liked the issue. First thing to consider, even if a creator attends a signing or convention, some collectors don’t consider that the creators are human. They have days where they show up even sick, had a bad day or working late at night, or even a bad experience with other collectors. Which means they will need some time to get settled, rest or lunch break, or chat with fellow creators. At conventions, check the time for signings, ask if a creator has time to sign, and give them time to collect belongings or check for panel times. Second thing, value, if you are looking for authenticity I would see the CGC Signature Series as verifying authentic autographs for resale. Still, the problem I have with CGC is that it makes comic books a mercantile, a commodity more than a collectible. I cracked open two of my CGC comics because I think comic books are to be read, not displayed. Lastly, I think autographs are personal, their value is to you. My autographed Jack Kirby New Gods #1, Alan Moore signed Light of Thy Countenance graphic novel, and Joe Kubert signed Tarzan #207 are priceless to me.

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What to get signed? This can range to many things. Sometimes signings will have a comic book or mini-poster to get an autograph. Some signings will have a limit on items. Always check. There are books like Brian Michael Bendis’ Words for Pictures, there is Bryan Hitch’s Ultimate Comics Studio, and of course, Stan Lee’s Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir. There are trade paperback collections of storylines. Other interesting items are the sketchbooks produced by artists usually made for conventions. They range in comic book, pamphlet, and notebook sizes. Also nice is the sketch covers, I’ve seen many impressive cover artworks, but remember there may be a waiting list and significant cost for a sketch cover. For comic books, there are some decisions to be made. I have the one or three issues ready and also comics in reserve just in case a creator is at a con. I use post-its to label the creator, table or booth, and also to keep the comics together. Remember to keep some pens handy, just in case, a creator can run out or they may not have a gold or silver pen that would look great for your comic. Personalizing an autograph, sometimes I don’t mind them, for others I may get a copy signed for a friend. Then, on the cover or inside on the credits page. You should have your comic out of the bag and board. Binders may crush the comic. Sometimes, the Sharpies dry slowly so be careful of smearing so don’t be too quick to bag them, the drying technique works. Be careful in storing your comic in a backpack or luggage before you can get them to a box. A top loader can protect your comic. So now, you may be ready to get a few signed items at a con. Good luck!

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