Mike Shepherd's Blog (40)

Behind-the-Scenes Autograph Collecting

I finally had an opportunity to watch the Light & Magic documentary about Industrial Light & Magic on Disney+ on Saturday.  I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the history of film.

While watching the documentary, I began to reflect on the many amazing people who are involved in the art of filmmaking.  Many of those people are famous.  Many are not.  How common is it for autograph collectors to not only collect the autographs of their favorite actors and…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on September 19, 2022 at 9:00am — 15 Comments

Pedigree Autograph Collections

Last month, I shared a story about the first autograph that I ever collected.  That got me thinking about all of the many people who have devoted decades to the hobby of autograph collecting.

Is there such a thing as a pedigree collection in the world of autograph collecting?  So many autograph collectors rely on third-party autograph authentication for peace of mind.  Would they feel even more secure about their autograph purchases if they knew that the autographs originated from…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on August 29, 2022 at 11:00am — 8 Comments

Who Was Your First?

It was the summer of 1981.  My family and I were vacationing in Wildwood, New Jersey.  We were staying at the El Coronado Resort.  I noticed that there was a film crew in the pool area.  Phil Esposito and Sugar Ray Leonard were being interviewed.

I immediately ran to the lobby to ask for a piece of paper and a pen.  The woman behind the desk supplied me with my necessary autograph materials.  She knew exactly what this 11-year-old kid was up to.  She smiled as she handed them to me.…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on July 25, 2022 at 10:30am — 14 Comments

A Thank You to Neal Adams

I had the pleasure of meeting comic artist and legend Neal Adams at New York Comic Con on October 6, 2016.  At the time, I had no idea what he charged for a commission.  I only knew how much I enjoyed his artwork on the covers of The House of Secrets.  I also told him that I would love for him to draw a picture of Swamp Thing for me.  Neal never illustrated the character of Swamp Thing, and I wanted to see his interpretation.

Neal seemed interested, particularly when I asked…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on June 1, 2022 at 8:00am — 6 Comments

Setting Priorities

Another Star Wars Celebration just came to an end.  This time I only planned to get one autograph each day.  Four autographs total.  Katee Sackhoff would sign an action figure.  Carl Weathers would sign a photo.  Carey Jones would sign a comic.  Kelly Marie Tran would sign a photo.  Only planning to get one autograph each day would allow me to do many other things during the four days of Star Wars Celebration.

Everything was running smoothly until the fourth day.  I…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on May 30, 2022 at 8:24am — No Comments

Premium Pricing

Remember the days when an autograph collector could attend a comic convention or a sports collectors convention, and pay one price for an autograph that could be placed on anything collectible?  Premium pricing did not exist.  Whether Mark Hamill autographed an 8x10 photo or a lightsaber, or whether Don Mattingly autographed a baseball card or a baseball bat, the cost was the same.  There was no charge for inscriptions.  Entertainers and athletes were happy to oblige.  What has happened to…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on April 27, 2022 at 8:30am — 18 Comments

Cardograph Collecting

Have you ever considered collecting autograph trading cards?  Perhaps you already do collect them.  Whether you are interested in entertainment or sports, or interested in both, there are many options available to autograph collectors in the realm of autograph trading cards.

The interesting thing about collecting autograph trading cards is that the value of the autograph is not always what determines their actual value.  The value is more often determined by the rarity of the trading…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on March 27, 2022 at 11:00am — 4 Comments

VH-1984

Ten years ago, Van Halen released A Different Kind of Truth, their first studio album with lead singer David Lee Roth since 1984.  That year, I befriended a coworker who was as much a fan of the band as I was.  His name was Nick, and he had been touring with the band for many years.  Prior to his trip to Louisville, Kentucky, for the first concert of the tour, I asked him if he would be willing to have Eddie Van Halen autograph a photo for me.  Nick was an autograph…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on February 28, 2022 at 10:00am — 9 Comments

Playing Favorites

Whenever I am asked to name my favorite autograph in my autograph collection, I always answer that it is my Alfred Hitchcock autograph.  That has been my standard answer for many years.  There are, however, autographs in my autograph collection that I consider to be personal favorites, even though many autograph collectors may consider them to be unremarkable.  Regardless, I would never want to be without them.

The best example of an autograph in my autograph collection that is a…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on January 17, 2022 at 7:30am — 17 Comments

Stuck on Autographs

Two years ago, I met Dominic Chianese at Westchester County Center in White Plains, New York.  My wife and I gave him a box of Italian pastries from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. He was very appreciative and kind.  While he was enjoying his sfogliatella, I noticed some of the items that he was autographing.  Photographs of Johnny Ola and Uncle Junior.  He was also autographing sheets of small stickers.  I realized that the autographed stickers would one day appear on trading…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on December 1, 2021 at 3:30pm — 9 Comments

Blank Slates

Many years ago, autograph collectors were content to carry an autograph book to events with the hope that they would encounter their favorite celebrities.  Many of those autograph books were filled with some of Hollywood’s greatest personalities.  They have since been torn apart and sold as individual items.

Years later, autograph books were replaced with index cards.  Autograph collectors would carry a certain quantity of index cards with the same hope.  That they would encounter…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on November 29, 2021 at 8:30am — No Comments

Goals Not Met

Many years ago, I considered collecting the autographs of who I consider to be Gentlemen of Horror.  Many autograph collectors work on autograph projects that satisfy their interests.  Baseball fans collect the autographs of Hall of Famers.  Those who appreciate history collect the autographs of Presidents of the United States.  Fans of Hollywood collect the autographs of Oscar winners.  My list would not be as lengthy.  It would include only six names.

My plan was to begin with the…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on October 26, 2021 at 10:00am — 11 Comments

Baseball Signings

Last month, I asked autograph collectors to consider some of the more obscure items that we request to have signed.  That got me thinking about baseballs.  It is becoming more common for autograph collectors to ask someone who is not a professional baseball player to autograph a baseball.  I have no idea why, but I am guilty of making more than one such purchase myself.

The first time that I noticed this practice was on a Bruce Springsteen autographed baseball.  I thought that it was…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on September 26, 2021 at 7:30am — 2 Comments

You Want Me to Sign That?

I was attending ComiCONN at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut back in 2017 when I met Ron Perlman, one of Hollywood’s most famous tough guys.  Hellboy himself was appearing in person.  The line was long, and it was loaded with testosterone.  After a long wait, it was finally my turn to approach him.

Ron seemed like a decent man.  We exchanged pleasantries, and I immediately realized that my first impression of him was accurate.  I handed him my item, and I asked him to…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on August 29, 2021 at 7:30am — 12 Comments

The New Normal

We hear a lot of discussion about the “new normal” these days.  For many of us, things will never be the same again.  We are constantly being reminded of how societal norms may never return to what they once were prior to the pandemic.  This may also be true for autograph collectors.

What will comic conventions look like in the near future?  Will celebrities only be willing to use their own markers, never allowing a fan to present to them the one that they prefer to be used on their…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on July 30, 2021 at 10:00am — 15 Comments

Closet Collectors

I recently created a discussion about framed autographs.  The purpose of creating the discussion was to encourage members to share autographs that they proudly display.  Some of us have our autographs custom framed by professionals, and some of us frame our autographs ourselves.

Autographs Behind the Glass

Collectors spend a lot of time adding to their…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on June 26, 2021 at 4:30am — 13 Comments

Inscriptions or Less?

There was once a time when celebrities would be happy to add an inscription to an autograph.  Many times, I have asked for a famous quotation or statistic to be added, and many times the celebrity would be pleased to do so.  They are typically very excited to meet a collector who is familiar with their accomplishments and work.

Inscriptions have become more popular.  Unfortunately, they have also become more expensive.  The days of celebrities adding free inscriptions have become rare…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on May 27, 2021 at 9:00am — 16 Comments

Autograph or Art? (Part 2)

Last month, I wrote about my autograph collection being recently expanded to include original comic and sports art.  The hobby seems to be growing in popularity.  There is a growing interest in not only commissioning artists to produce original works, but to also have the original works autographed by celebrities and athletes.  I am currently undecided about having original comic and sports art autographed.  I am considering it for a few of my pieces.

I also mentioned that I am very…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on April 29, 2021 at 3:00pm — 10 Comments

Autograph or Art?

I have recently expanded my autograph collection to include original comic and sports art.  I created a discussion about it two years ago.  The hobby seems to be growing in popularity.  There is a growing interest in not only commissioning artists to produce original works, but to also have the original works autographed by celebrities and athletes.  I am currently undecided about having original comic and sports art autographed.  I am considering it for a few of my pieces.…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on March 31, 2021 at 7:00am — 15 Comments

Who’s To Blame?

Many years ago, I payed a deposit for a Christian Bale autograph.  You can imagine my excitement at the prospect of purchasing an authentic autograph from Christian Bale as Batman.  I selected the image, as well as the inscription.  “To Michael, Best wishes.”  The autograph company that was hosting the private signing was highly reputable.  As a matter of fact, they continue to be highly reputable today.  I have purchased quite a few autographs from them.  I have even watched them affix a…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on February 20, 2021 at 4:30pm — 14 Comments

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