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 item to be signed?  Will the same be true for athletes at sports collectors conventions?  Will autograph guests even attend in person?  Many are opting for private signings these days.  Regarding photo ops, will they simply become a thing of the past?

In-person autograph dealers are also having less success.  Many celebrities may never approach a stranger holding a Sharpie on the street again.  It simply may not be worth the risk of exposing themselves to potential illness.

Mickey Mouse is currently suspending all autograph opportunities at Walt Disney World.

Even Walt Disney World has changed the way that character autographs are handled.  They have been suspended, and may return eventually, but with rules and regulations that will simply make things less fun for Mickey Mouse’s youngest fans.  The characters are currently standing away from crowds of families, and waving from a distance.

Let us hope that things return to the “old normal” very soon.  Stay well, everyone!

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Comment by Mike Shepherd on August 4, 2021 at 3:53am

That is very good news.  Thanks for the comment, Butters.

Comment by Steve Zarelli on August 4, 2021 at 6:15am

All things pass. I believe the new normal will eventually be the same as the old normal. Sure, there may be some long term holdouts, but by and large, life will go back to what it was before.

A year ago people were saying that "the handshake is forever dead." I shook hands with at least 10 people in the last week going back to the office or at meetings. This past weekend there was a large antique fair locally... same as it was before except some people are wearing masks. 

I am cautiously optimistic that some new access points will stay open as crazyrabbits noted above.

Comment by Steve Zarelli on August 4, 2021 at 6:17am

As a side note, I am not sure the various grading services will ever get back to normal. I want to submit a few comics for grading, but the wait times and increased costs are insane!

Comment by Joe Monk on August 4, 2021 at 9:57am

There was a record fan turnout at The National Sports Collectors Convention last week,  with lots of good autograph signers and fan photograph opportunities at the Tristar Autograph Pavilion.    

I didn't attend, so I don't know if the signers used their own markers, but the convention seemed like the old normal from the videos I saw on Youtube.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are being held this week,  75 veteran HOF'ers are expected to attend.  

Comment by Mike Shepherd on August 4, 2021 at 1:17pm

Steve, that is a great point about handshakes.  I have noticed the same thing.  Regarding the grading services, I have been wondering about that as well.  I was under the impression that the long delays may have been caused by a shortage of both personnel and supplies.  Thanks for the comments.

Comment by Mike Shepherd on August 4, 2021 at 1:18pm

Joe, that is great news about the National Sports Collectors Convention!  I will be attending New York Comic Con in October, so I hope that my experience is very similar.  Thanks for the update.


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