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Author Topic: Musing About Signed Comics  (Read 1527 times)

Tjm86

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Musing About Signed Comics
« on: 28 February, 2019, 12:25:44 pm »
Read this recently over on Multiversity.     It got me thinking about some of the changes I've noticed in the last few years when it comes to Tooth.  Perhaps it is just where my prog / meg collection is complete, there is little on the American front that I find particularly appealing and I'm happy to just pick at GN's depending on what is about.  So Eamonn's charity auctions over the last few years have opened this up as a new avenue which may mean that I'm now paying a bit more attention.

What I'm noticing then is that there seems a bit of a peculiarly evolving market here.  As Eamonn's auctions have become more popular (at least so it seems), so too others have begun moving in.  The difference though seems to be in terms of what is being charged from the off.  One vendor that has been pushing quite a bit of stuff from the Enniskellin marts tends to put quite a premium on their offerings.  It is quite common to see theirs starting at the £50 mark (but not often shifting).  Several signed annuals have been initially listed in excess of £100 before that was slowly whittled down by disinterest.  One vendor who tried to flip a couple of d'Israeli / Edington signed progs from Eamonn seems to have finally given it up as a lost cause.  That said, quite a few FCBD progs have been doing the rounds for a while.  So it seems that there is growing awareness of the financial potential even if it isn't quite fully materialising as yet.

It is probably going to be quite a while before back progs see a significant premium being added due to creator signatures.  Mind you, I'm wondering about my run of Judge Death lives with covers signed by Bolland, Dillon, Gibbons and McMahon.  Gibbons has signed my first Robo Hunter and Halo Jones and a couple of Ezquerra covers have his and Wagner's signatures on them.  Quite a few of these are courtesy of Eamonn but Lawgiver last year provided a welcome opportunity to personally meet with a number of these luminaries.  My wife keeps telling me that I need to leave details of value in case anything happens to me since she wouldn't have the first clue.  Not sure how that might work though.

Eamonn Clarke

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #1 on: 28 February, 2019, 01:04:30 pm »
It's an interesting subject. When I first started going to conventions I wasn't really thinking about getting stuff signed but soon learned that that was the way to get a few moments of chat with a beloved creator and the opportunity to tell them how much I love their work.

I don't like the idea of flipping books with signatures, and I often wonder if the creators think that might be what I'm doing. At last year's FCBD signing there must have been a guy near me in the queue who had his signed copy up on ebay for £50 while the rest of us were still in the pub with southern contingent.

Sometimes the queuing can be a chore but generally I have a good time chatting to the people next to me, I've met a few people who have since become guests on the podcast, and generally just enjoyed the chatter with creators and fellow fans.

Every year after the Christmas raffle I tell my wife I'm going to scale down the pursuit of signed items to auction or raffle. And every year she reminds me that I always say that!

I've had a couple of nice emails from people who for a variety of reasons cannot attend signings or conventions, and have thanked me for getting signed items up at reasonable prices, and all for a good cause. I've also had some fans ask me if they can borrow the idea to raise money for their own charity and the answer is you don't have to ask, guys, just go for it. But that is just another example of how friendly, polite, and good-natured 2000AD fandom can be.

I think that flipping 2000AD books appeals to a fairly limited market, hopefully I'm not causing inflation in a fairly limited market. I think the examples Tim mentions show that fans generally won't pay exorbitant amounts for flipped books unless the money is going to a good cause.

CalHab

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #2 on: 28 February, 2019, 01:20:07 pm »
This is something that I struggle to understand. For me, the value in a signed comic or book is in the memory I have of meeting the creator. In the way that Eamonn describes so well above. So I'm not really willing to pay much, if any, more for a signed book.

That said, I have bought signed books from Eamonn in the past because it's a good cause and they were books I would have bought anyway.

Tjm86

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #3 on: 28 February, 2019, 01:31:33 pm »
I know what you mean.  I did have to resist the urge not to bow down in front of McMahon and Gibson chanting "I'm not worthy!"  That said, it's not often creators get out west which does make it difficult to get to events.

Dandontdare

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #4 on: 28 February, 2019, 01:55:50 pm »
I like the way that many creators now refuse to sign without dedicating it to a named person, to avoid those "fans" who are simply acquiring stock for their ebay store.

sheridan

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #5 on: 28 February, 2019, 02:10:55 pm »
I don't like the idea of flipping books with signatures, and I often wonder if the creators think that might be what I'm doing. At last year's FCBD signing there must have been a guy near me in the queue who had his signed copy up on ebay for £50 while the rest of us were still in the pub with southern contingent.

I've had a few things signed to give to you to later auction, and I've always made it clear when it's not for me (largely because I'll have something I want signed for myself and it'll look a bit dodgy if I get two copies of the same thing signed) and that it will be put on eBay pretty soon for charity.

I don't think I'd ever buy a signed copy of a comic*, unless it was for charity, for the reasons stated by CalHab.

* though I've bought a few comics and books in the past which I've found out where signed, but that wasn't the reason I bought them in the first place.

Magnetica

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #6 on: 28 February, 2019, 02:29:24 pm »
I for one wouldn’t pay to get something signed. With reference to the article Tjm linked to, some of the prices being charged seem really high to me. As others have said, it’s as much about having a chat with the creator as getting the signature. So giving the book to someone else to get it signed and get a certificate of authenticity- sorry not interested. I’m never going to sell any of my stuff- I’m not collecting anything with a view to a future profit.

I did pay for a sketch by Ben Wilsher at the 40th and had a really long chat with him. A tenner for 20 mins* of his time didn’t seem too bad to me.

It might not have been 20 mins - can’t remember.

Fungus

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #7 on: 28 February, 2019, 02:57:40 pm »
Don't think I'd pay a penny more for anything, just because it was signed. Don't see the point. When it's personal - eg. John Wagner signing my Judge Dredd [1] Titan book, having a brief chat - that's something I remember fondly and value highly.

Don't some creators charge for signatures? *Shudder* Could this market for signed books justify charging? It's a shame.

Eamonn Clarke

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #8 on: 28 February, 2019, 03:37:28 pm »
Sheridan's post reminds me that I have also been touched by the kindness of fellow fans, too numerous to mention, who have donated items for me to auction for cancer research. You're all lovely people.

Trooper McFad

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #9 on: 28 February, 2019, 03:45:48 pm »
I agree that the signature doesn’t add value for me it’s more of a tag to remind you of the day you met and thanked/chatted to your fav droid. This is especially true when I’m doing re reads of my collection. I’ll probably continue to meet and ask for a few signatures or sketches which I’m willing to pay for as watching the art droids at work is a wonderful thing.
As long as I don’t hit hard times I’ll never sell these items, there my treasure 😀. However Tjm86 does raise the point regarding what our loved ones do with our “shite” once we’re departed. Is there much value to the bits of paper filling our shelves and cupboards?
Speaking to my mate about his football program collection (where he’s spent a small fortune and hoping to supplement his pension by selling it off eventually) he realises that there is only a limited fan base for certain collections and collecting fashions can go up or down so for him what was a hobby has now become a share portfolio. How large and diverse in age is the 2000ad fandom?
Back to my question what value will our collections be worth in 20-30 years - will they be classed as heirlooms for our kids or just more stuff for the skip 😔.
Citizens are Perps who haven’t been caught ... yet!

Tjm86

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #10 on: 28 February, 2019, 05:50:52 pm »
It's an interesting subject. When I first started going to conventions I wasn't really thinking about getting stuff signed but soon learned that that was the way to get a few moments of chat with a beloved creator and the opportunity to tell them how much I love their work.

Aye, talking to Mike Collins while he was singing one of his Slaine Covers made for an interesting few minutes.  He leafed through the prog and reminisced fondly about his experience on the strip at the time.  I know I'm in the minority on this but I actually preferred his work at the time to that of Fabry and Bisley and I mentioned my preference to his surprise.

The guy in front of me for John Higgins was having a Rorschach sketch done.  That was a conversation worth the price of admission to Lawgiver alone along with watching the piece come to life at the same time.  Like McFad says, it is something amazing to see.

JamesC

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #11 on: 05 March, 2019, 08:56:02 am »
In the late 90s I went to a signing event in a very small comic shop in St Albans. The line up was Dave Gibbons, John McCrea, Steve Dillon, Glenn Fabry and John Higgins (Garth Ennis was supposed to be there but was ill or something). It was lovely - a small crowd of regulars chatting, getting sketches and a few items signed. Everyone was really respectful or the artists' time and no one was charged for sketches or signatures.

That's the best signing I've ever been to - since then it seems to have been monetised too much and frankly I always feel like I'm being a pain in the arse if I want a chat.

People who get things signed to then sell on for profit share my contempt along with 'slabbers'.

Mattofthespurs

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #12 on: 05 March, 2019, 11:42:35 am »
This is something that I struggle to understand. For me, the value in a signed comic or book is in the memory I have of meeting the creator.

Agree completely. I have a few annuals signed during the sessions at Forbidden Planet in the early 80's and they mean a lot to me. Not because of the ink on the page but because of the memories I have of being an overawed 11/12 year old queuing up for an hour or so and meeting this creative geniuses without really knowing too much about them. I only knew that these were the people that gave me untold amounts of pleasure every single week.

Trout

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #13 on: 06 March, 2019, 01:19:42 am »
I am the proud owner of the only unsigned copy of the comic Turning Tiger that is known to exist. I treasure it.

matty_ae

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Re: Musing About Signed Comics
« Reply #14 on: 11 March, 2019, 04:53:37 pm »
Brett Ewins was half-way through signing 26 comics for "Rupert" in Orbital

I asked, as I only had one book, if I could cut in. Rupert agreed.

And Brett signed it accordingly.
"To Rupert"

If anyone knows a Judge Anderson fan called Rupert...