Mike Shepherd's Blog (28)

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 — 10 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 — 16 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 — 11 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 — 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

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