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Mike Shepherd's Blog (24)

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 — 13 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

Is That Real?

Many years ago, a friend was visiting my home.  They asked a question that is understandable, and certainly not unusual, for any person who does not collect autographs.  “Is that real?”  My friend was referring to my framed Alfred Hitchcock autograph.  It was proudly displayed on my wall.

My framed, and proudly displayed, Alfred Hitchcock…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on January 23, 2021 at 4:30pm — 4 Comments

The Lost Year

I have never understood the attraction to celebrating on New Year’s Eve.  Even in high school, I found it strange that my friends and I would gather to celebrate....  What exactly did we celebrate?

As an adult, I relax at home with my wife, and watch The Twilight Zone marathon on SYFY.  I barely make it to midnight.

This year has been one like no other.  Our country has suffered tremendously.  Our hobby has also been affected.  Many major conventions have been…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on December 30, 2020 at 8:00am — 6 Comments

Short-Sighted Collecting Habits

We all have our regrets as autograph collectors.  We pass on many opportunities, only to regret our decisions in the future.  On many occasions, it is our personal feelings that cloud our judgement.

I have been collecting Star Wars autographs for many years.  Some of the autographs in my collection are of some very obscure character actors.  Have you ever heard of Simon Williamson?  Has anyone?

Although no Star Wars autograph…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on November 22, 2020 at 7:00am — 9 Comments

Autograph Subdivisions

Adding a Vincent Price autograph is essential to any collection of horror autographs.

Am I the only autograph collector who finds themself going through phases of interests in their collecting habits?  Although most of my autograph collection is related to Star Wars, I find myself occasionally focusing my collection on other areas of…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on October 30, 2020 at 8:30am — No Comments

All in the Family

Family dynamics have always made for interesting topics of conversation.  Like most families, mine is not absent from such topics.  One thing that I am very pleased about is my recent reconnection with my brother.  I have not seen him for many years.  The reasons are not important.  What is important is that we have seen each other more this summer than ever before.

My brother visited with his family for the first time in August.  Imagine my surprise when he told me that he is also an…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on September 1, 2020 at 11:00am — 7 Comments

Price Tag Values

As autograph collectors, we share many hobbies.  One particular hobby that I have noticed many autograph collectors share is collecting books.  As a matter of fact, collectors who attend autograph and book fairs often witness for themselves how the two hobbies coincide.

The New York International Antiquarian Book Fair offers many…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on August 25, 2020 at 10:30am — 8 Comments

Unhidden Treasures

We have all heard of hidden treasures.  Those autographs that are buried in the collection of someone who has lost interest, only to reappear years later in the hands of a very appreciative collector.  We are constantly on the lookout for them.  They are an essential part of the joy of collecting autographs.

There are also treasures that appear right before our eyes.  They have always been there, if we only took a moment to notice.  Companies routinely release autographed editions of…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on July 19, 2020 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Fourth-Party Authentication

Reliance on third-party authentication has taken on a new meaning in recent times.  Some collectors will simply not consider purchasing an autograph without proof that it has received a passing grade from one of the respectable services available.  There is also the great debate over stickers.  Do collectors prefer them?  Do collectors not prefer them?  Should they be affixed to the front or back of a photo?  Should they be affixed to the actual item, or to a Letter…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on June 16, 2020 at 12:30pm — 10 Comments

Who Do You Collect?

As autograph collectors, most of us remember our first purchase.  If we do not, we remember the first purchase of our favorite person’s autograph.  At the time of that purchase, we probably did not expect to add additional autographs of that same person to our collection.  Why would we?  The purchase of a single autograph was an accomplished mission.

In most hobbies, the question of what people collect is often asked.  The question asked of autograph collectors is often more…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on May 23, 2020 at 9:00am — 19 Comments

Crazy Train Derailed

I was visiting my son in Los Angeles in February.  We were driving through Burbank, when I heard a song on the radio that had a very familiar sound.  “Is this a new Ozzy song?” I thought to myself.  Then, as if he was reading my mind, my son said, “Dad, this is the new Ozzy song.”  I immediately reserved my vinyl copy of Ordinary Man at a local record store in Sherman Oaks, called Freakbeat Records.  The owner was a pleasure to deal with.  I could not wait to listen to the full…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on April 10, 2020 at 7:00am — 6 Comments

A Fate Worse Than Death

COVID-19 may change our hobby forever.

We all know how difficult it is to procure the autographs of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Jim Morrison.  The unfortunate reason for the difficulty is that their tragic deaths have prevented them from signing the number of autographs that they would have if they had lived for many years.

Consider our current situation.  Comic conventions and social distancing are mutually exclusive.  Anyone who has ever attended New York Comic Con can…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on March 29, 2020 at 5:00am — 9 Comments

Mean Streets of Autograph Collecting

Many of my friends are surprised to learn that my most memorable movie theater experience was not Star Wars in 1977 at the age of seven, but Scarface in 1983 at the age of 13.  It was on that day that I discovered Al Pacino.  He has been my favorite actor ever since.

The 92nd Academy Awards will present another opportunity for my favorite actor to win an Oscar for his performance in Martin Scorsese’s film, The Irishman.  It was also a pleasure to see him…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on February 9, 2020 at 1:00pm — 11 Comments

Collecting Fads.... What's Next?

Anyone who is over the age of forty remembers how popular collecting baseball cards was back in the late 1980s through the early 1990s.  For me, it was the 1988 Topps baseball set that piqued my interest in collecting baseball cards again.  Unfortunately, the popularity of collecting baseball cards then was brief.  Many of us spent a lot of our money on worthless rookie cards that ended up on the curb, along with the rest of our cardboard treasures from back then that amounted to…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on January 24, 2020 at 3:00pm — 19 Comments

Autograph Gift Magic

Autograph collectors are certainly not the easiest people to purchase a gift for.  That is what makes purchasing an autograph for someone who is not an autograph collector so much fun.  Imagine a family member who is a New York Yankees fan receiving an Aaron Judge autographed baseball.  Or a friend who is a Star Wars fan receiving a Daisy Ridley autographed photo.  That is the magic of autograph gifts.…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on December 23, 2019 at 1:50pm — 2 Comments

The Human Factor

I recently had the honor and pleasure of meeting David Proval.  The venue was SopranosCon in New Jersey.  I wanted to add his autograph to my Mean Streets photo.  The photo already had the autographs of Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese on it.

I made all of the necessary preparations.  I placed the photo into a protective folder, and then into a protective envelope.  I tested my blue Sharpie, so that his autograph would match Robert De Niro’s and Martin Scorsese’s…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on November 23, 2019 at 1:58pm — 6 Comments

Mr. (Grumpy?) October

On June 18, 1978, my father treated me to my first New York Yankees baseball game.  We sat in the upper deck.  It was Bat Day, and I could not wait to see Reggie Jackson play.  He put on an incredible show during batting practice, hitting one baseball out of Yankee Stadium and onto River Avenue in the Bronx.  At least that is how I remember it.  I was eight years old.  Unfortunately, his performance in the game was not as exciting.  He went 0-4, striking out four times.

Four years…

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Added by Mike Shepherd on October 26, 2019 at 2:12pm — 10 Comments

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