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Fan Interviews from Long Beach Comic Con: How Much is an Autograph Worth?

Kerin Amit and Jennifer Salas, two fans who haven't had to pay for an autograph yet.
Kerin Amit and Jennifer Salas, two fans who haven't had to pay for an autograph yet.
Shannon Cottrell

For fans, part of the allure of heading down to a convention is having the chance to meet your favorite stars and perhaps snag a photo or have them sign a comic book or DVD for you. However, this privilege often comes with a price tag on top of the entrance fee. At Long Beach Comic Con last weekend, we scoured the celebrity lane to get an idea of what the famed figures of the fandom were charging. Twenty dollars seemed to be the going rate for autographs and photo ops, though some of the bigger stars, like Lou Ferrigno, charged $30 for a chance to snap a picture. Stan Lee, we were told, offered signatures for about $45. As steep as that may seem, these price tags are about average.

While not everyone who appears at a convention will charge for an autograph or photo, it is considered an accepted practice at many of these events (although, from our experience, at anime conventions, people tend to sign for free). Convention Fans, the blog that has become our required reading for keeping up on national con news, has some great posts about the skyrocketing price of spending a few seconds with sci-fi icons.

Is it reasonable to charge for a signing or is it asking too much from people who have already supported your comic books, films and TV shows?

Fan Interviews from Long Beach Comic Con: How Much is an Autograph Worth?
Shannon Cottrell

Ian "Black Bolt" Frazier, 26

What's the most you've paid for an autograph?

Funny story, $45 to get Stan Lee's autograph and he left fifteen minutes before I got to him because I was putting on the costume to get the first appearance of Black Bolt from 1967 signed by him. I did not get to meet Stan Lee and I had to give the comic to them to ship back to me with the signature. Tragedy...He was supposed to be there until one, but he left at twelve-thirty. Nothing against you, Stan, I'm just a little bummed. I was going to meet my creator.

Fan Interviews from Long Beach Comic Con: How Much is an Autograph Worth?
Shannon Cottrell

Zac Freundt, 21

What's the best autograph you got at a convention?

David Hayter, he's a screenwriter for The Watchmen movies and he plays the voice of Solid Snake in some video games.

Did you have to pay for it?

No, but I had to wait eight hours for it. It was at Anime Expo, '08.

Fan Interviews from Long Beach Comic Con: How Much is an Autograph Worth?
Shannon Cottrell

Scott Kiss, 37

Whose autograph do you want?

Lurch from The Addams Family.

Would you pay for it?

Yeah, it's 20 bucks.

Melanie Vega, 29

What's the most you've paid for an autograph?

$65.

Whose was it?

James Marsters, Spike from Buffy.

Whose autograph do you want?

I want Seth Green's autograph and I probably should have gotten it, but I got nervous.

Fan Interviews from Long Beach Comic Con: How Much is an Autograph Worth?
Shannon Cottrell

Erica Espejo, 25

What's the most you've paid for an autograph?

Usually, for autographs, because I do a lot of anime conventions, I get those for free. For Broadway stars, they usually sign for free. I've never really paid for an autograph.

Jared Griego, 26

What's the most you've paid for an autograph?

I think I got Burt Ward's for $10. I needed to get Burt Ward. It's Robin! It was back in the '90s, maybe prices have inflated since then.

Whose autograph do you want?

Adam West.

Stan Oh, 25

Whose autograph do you want?

Chuck Norris.

What would you pay for it?

I'll even take a roundoff kick from him.

 

Fan Interviews from Long Beach Comic Con: How Much is an Autograph Worth?
Shannon Cottrell

Jonathan Vo, 19

What's the most you've paid for an autograph?

I got it for free actually. I think it's kind of outrageous how much celebrities are charging for a picture with them.

Whose autographs have you gotten?

Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi.

Fan Interviews from Long Beach Comic Con: How Much is an Autograph Worth?
Shannon Cottrell

Daniel the Turtle (Steve Sievers), 30

What's the most you paid for an autograph?

I paid about $60, mostly I'll pay $20.

Whose was it?

Someone from Star Wars. I can't remember who. Maybe it was Chewbacca.

Whose autograph do you want?

Stan Lee.

Did you make it to his signing today?

I didn't. I'm pretty slow because I'm a turtle.

Captain Zack Stevers (Dahveed Kolodny-nagy), 34

What's the most you've paid for an autograph?

I paid $60, I didn't know how much it was until after they signed it. Then I was like, oops.

Whose was it?

It was someone from Star Wars. It wasn't Mark Hamill because he was charging $100. There was a guy next to him. I thought, this guy is going to be cheap and then I waited for it, got it and it was $60. I probably should have paid the extra $40 for Mark Hamill.

Fan Interviews from Long Beach Comic Con: How Much is an Autograph Worth?
Shannon Cottrell

Anonymous 1

What's the most you've paid for an autograph?

$20.

Whose was it?

Anthony Michael Hall, yesterday.

Whose autograph do you want?

Stan Lee, but I'm not going to pay fifty bucks for it.

Anonymous 2

Whose autograph would you want?

I'm not too big on autographs. It would be cool to get Stan Lee's autograph simply because I could sell it on eBay.

Fan Interviews from Long Beach Comic Con: How Much is an Autograph Worth?
Shannon Cottrell

Joe Kerr, 29

What's the most you've paid for an autograph?

Zero, I've never paid for one.

What's your favorite autograph?

MC Chris [Aqua Teen Hunger Force] at the MC Chris show in Orlando, Florida.

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