Have you ever wanted to approach a favorite celebrity to ask for an autograph? Good luck with that, and don’t forget to bring your wallet. Cartoonist Tom Richmond tells why in his report from the WonderCon fan convention in San Francisco.
Several pretty big names were present signing autographs, including Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher of Star Wars, Adam and a few others. It is unbelievable what these people charge for their scrawls. Mark Hamill was charging $100, but cut you a break for a second signature… that was a mere $90. They also sold pictures and stuff to get signed, which you have to buy as they will charge you more to sign your own item. Carrie Fisher charged only $35.00, but refused to sign anything but her provided pictures at about $50 a pop. Adam [West] was charging $50, but would sign anything for that, and if you wanted you could buy one of his pics but it wasn’t mandatory. In their defense I am sure that some of those items are going to end up on eBay, but still… Mark Hamill and Adam at least went out of their way (from what I saw) to make the purchaser feel like they were appreciated and gave a few moments of interaction with each. I heard Fisher, on the other hand, barely said hello to most and no pictures with her. I guess we all have to make a living, but that’s still a lot of money to charge for a barely legible scribble.
I actually have a lot of respect for Carrie Fisher as a writer; she’s very sharp and funny. But now I can’t help but wonder if she’s writing those books as a way to promote a lucrative autographing business.
Frankly, I am the most starstruck person I ever heard of. In theory, I understand the concept of having a normal brief interaction with a celebrity. In practice, I have been rendered speechless by the unexpected appearance of a random local radio personality. Sometimes it’s the radio people who get you the most, because often you don’t realize who you’re standing next to until they speak.
Even so, I rarely see the point in asking for an autograph. I only have a couple, and I didn’t ask for either one. I got a gift once of a book by a local author and it came already signed.
And I once sent a fan letter to Stephen King and got a typed reply with a signature. I prefer to believe that he typed it himself, and the signature matches the imprint on some of his books.
Yes, when it comes to well-known personalities I’m a total Kenneth the Page.