So, you’re interested in getting your favorite comic book signed? Before you make this big decision, there may be a few things worth considering. For instance, who is it that you’re planning on getting to sign your comic book? Will the signature increase the value of your book? Should you get a book signed if there is no blank space on the cover? Well, you’re in the right place. Here are a few helpful Dos & Don’ts before moving forward.
DO: Make sure to choose carefully whose signature you are getting.
A very common mistake people make when getting a signature on a comic book is not being picky enough about whose signature they’re getting to begin with. For instance, don’t be like Dale Doback in “Step Brothers” and get Randy Jackson’s autograph on a samurai sword (or comic book in this case) just because you had the sword (comic book) on you when you bumped into him and he’s “kind of famous.”
If you have a comic book written by Donny Cates and the art is done by Tony Moore, you might want one or both of them to autograph it, but it usually doesn’t make sense to get another writer or artist to sign someone else’s book. Basically, make sure the person signing your book has something to do with said book. Of course, there are always exceptions, but it’s a good general rule to follow.
DON’T: Assume a signature will add value to your comic book.
It is a common misconception to assume that a signature will always add value to your book. Though in most cases this holds true, there are actual instances of signed copies being worth less than non-signed copies. This can happen if the market gets flooded with too many signed copies of a specific book. In these cases, there may be lower supply, and therefore higher demand for the unsigned version.
DON’T: Get the cover signed if there is no empty space.
If you truly value this comic book, do not have anyone sign over top of the artwork on the comic book cover. The good news is that most anyone you would get to sign your comic is going to know better, especially if they are the artist. Still, don’t insist on ruining your comic book cover. You can instead have them sign the inside of the book.
DO: use painter’s tape to frame where you want the signature.
If there is a specific part of the cover you want signed, you can cut a window in the bag that holds your book and then tape a frame around it with blue painter’s tape where you want the artist to sign. This is a great way to eliminate any confusion as to where you’d like the signature.
DO: Make sure to get the signature authenticated.
You can do this a few ways. If you can at the time of signing, get it CGC graded. If you’re at a comic expo, usually you can get a CGC Signature Series witness while you get your signature. They even grade your comic book. This is the only way your autographed book will be 100% authenticated. Otherwise, you may not get the CGC Signature Series yellow label.
You can also have your comic authenticated after the signing by way of sending it to CBCS, which has a Verified Signature Program. This is the way to go if you do not have an official witness for the signing as the CBCS has autograph experts who can verify the signature.
One final thing to consider when going through the authentication process is whether or not you want to get your comic slabbed. Slabbing is the process where, after the comic is signed, it is encapsulated in an air-tight plastic container. This is great for protecting your investment of course, but sometimes the cost of going through all the trouble outweighs the value of the comic itself.
DON’T: Bring a large number of comic books to be signed at a convention.
Please don’t bring every comic you own to be signed by one person. It’s bad etiquette. Instead, bring no more than 2 or 3 books. Not only are you taking up that person’s time, but you’re probably holding up a bunch of other fans who came to get something signed. Please always be cognizant of other people.
Do: Let the person signing your comic know you appreciate their work.
You’ve come this far to have your comic book signed. You clearly enjoy this person’s work. Let them know it! Of course, don’t take up a bunch of their time, but don’t be afraid to let them know what their work means to you in a brief conversation.
After initiating a short conversation, you can also ask the artist if they’ll do a ‘remark’ on your cover, which is a small sketch that can add some personality to the signature. Many artists are glad to do it. Everyone likes to be appreciated, and they appreciate you spending your time and money on their work!
Don’t: Smudge the signature or remark!
Lastly, and this is important: always make sure to handle your book carefully after getting it signed. Even the smallest of smudges can ruin a perfectly good signature if you’re careless. This can potentially lower the grade of your comic book.