[This bloggy thing has been updated with additional information on getting items signed through the mail or at my garage sales.]
For a few months now, I’ve been considering making some changes to my autograph policy. In the past, I haven’t charged for autographs at any convention or event I have attended.
However, as I see actors from movies and TV shows receive all sorts of perks from conventions and also charge for autographs and photo opportunities...as I see more and more comics creators charging for their signatures...as I see fans requesting autographs also asking to take photos of me signing items or holding up what I’ve signed for them for authentication purposes...or even bringing a grading company representative with them to witness the signature...well, it’s time for me to make some changes.
There will always be conventions and events where I don’t charge for my signature. The two that leap to mind are the Akron Comicon and the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention.
There will be conventions and events where I receive an appearance fee and all my expenses. For the most part, I won’t charge for my signature at those conventions.
Here’s what I’ll be doing at other conventions and events.
If you buy an Isabella item at my table, then I will sign it free of charge.
If you haven’t bought an item from me, I will still sign one item for you for free. I will sign additional items, but my signature on those will cost $2 per item.
If you want to take one photo of me, either just me or me with you, I’ll do that for free.
If you want a photo of me signing an item, or holding up the item I have just signed, that will cost you $5 per photo. No exceptions even if I’m otherwise signing for free.
If you bring a representative from a grading company to witness my signing an item, that will cost you $5 per item. No exceptions even if I’m otherwise signing for free.
I know some people reading today’s bloggy thing will get all huffy and self-righteous, claiming they will never pay for the autograph of a lowly comics creator. Which is their choice and their absolute right. Of course, their indignation strikes me as a little shaky when I also hear them talking about how they just paid $20 or $30 or $40 or more for the autograph of an actor.
Making comic books, especially for freelance guys like me without guarantees of steady work or income, does not usually represent a path to great fame and fortune. We have the same day-to-day expenses that you do.
I appreciate you have been buying my work. In some case, you have been buying my work for years. God love you.
But I’m 66 years old in an industry that doesn’t always respect us older guys, even when we show we are just as good as we’ve ever been. Honestly, I think I’m better than I’ve ever been.
When I don’t have good paying work, which is my current situation, I still have all those day-to-day expenses. So I find other ways to make a few bucks and pay the bills. This autograph and photo policy is one of those other ways.
In the hopefully near future, I’ll be putting one of those “Donate via PayPal” buttons on my bloggy thing. I’ll also be setting up a Patreon account for those who want to donate that way. The funds I get from these will help finance my prose books like July 1963: A Pivotal Month in the Comic-Book Life of Tony Isabella and several others I have started work on.
In addition and likewise in the very near future, I will be holding my legendary Vast Accumulation of Stuff garage sales. These will be held every Friday and Saturday (and, occasionally, every Thursday and Sunday) when I’m not appearing at a convention or other event. More than ever, I want to decrease my VAOS to the point where Barb and I can consider moving to a smaller house in a much more progressive city than Medina. That would be a few years away, but I need to be making progress on that goal very soon.
Some additional policy comments.
If you want me to sign something for you via the mail, here’s the procedure for that.
My address is:
840 Damon Drive
Medina, OH 44256
Send the item in a package that includes a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return mailing. That way I can sign it and pop it back in the mail immediately.
Let me know how and where you want the item signed. Do you want it personalized? Do you want it signed on the cover or on the splash page inside the book?
As with other items, I’ll sign one item for free. Additional items will cost $2 each.
If you come to my garage sales, I’ll sign for free as long as you have made a purchase, whether it’s of an Isabella item or not. But the same rate of $5 per item will apply if you want to photograph me signing the item, want me to hold up the items I’ve just signed so you can photograph me, or, in the highly unlikely event that you have brought someone from a grading company to witness my signing the item.
That’s where things stand with me at the moment. I hope even those of you who are offended by the above will, at least, appreciate my honesty in explaining my choices to you.
Thanks for stopping by. I’ll have more for you soon.
© 2018 Tony Isabella