Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Autograph City

I've been thinking about autographs, thanks to ongoing conversations with Natalie Whipple and Amy Spalding. So you can blame all this on them if you want. Note that I didn't TELL you to blame, but just...suggested. Gently.

Anyway. Autographs. I've always laughed at the concept of celebrity autographs, and on the rare occasion when I have met A Famous Person, I haven't bothered getting one. Except for when it comes to books. Try to borrow one of my signed copies, and I suddenly turn all neurotic: "You want to borrow that? Uh...okay. But you realize it has my name in it, right? Written by the author? He BREATHED on that book. So if you want to borrow it, you have to keep it coccooned in saran wrap at all times, and keep it in a safe when you're not reading, and...."

A little silly, huh?

And why do we covet a piece of paper with a name written on it anyway? Especially since 99% of them are completely illegible and could be written by a monkey just as prettily. Why don't we collect fingerprints? Or a strand of hair, which would provide the added benefit of making DNA cloning possible when such technology is developed? Although really famous people would then all be bald, so that probably isn't such a great idea.

So do you have any autographs you particularly cherish or one you'd kill to have? My first lit-autograph was Gwendolyn Brooks, and it still gives me warm fuzzies. And I'd kill for a Terry Pratchett. Not like he really needs a link, but I'm link-happy today.

20 comments:

Candyland said...

Hmm. I'm more of a picture with the celeb kind-of girl.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I think I go to SCBWI conferences just so I can collect signatures. ;)

My fav ones are Katherine Patterson (even if she looked at me like I was a complete dork), Ann Brashares (though she didn't personalize it because the book wasn't her fourth sisterhood one--that was at home), and Ellen Hopkins (who thought I was strange because I wanted her to autograph two for ME).

Can't wait to see whose autograph I'll get in LA this summer. :D

Kelly said...

I have the book THE DIRT by Motley Crue signed by all of them. :)
And I just had Carrie Ryan sign Dead Tossed Waves for me! That was awesome! I also have some CD's signed by the bands too. All fun stuff.
We just went to a store where a Chicago Bear was signing last night with the kids. THe line was seriously SO long. And we arrived just when the line was cut off due to time. It was a blessing in disguise!
But I agree with Candyland, I'd rather have a pic with an author or celeb. But an autographed book is pretty awesome!

Stephanie L. McGee said...

I have two from Jasper Fforde. Those are the only lit autographs I have any more. There was an author I met when I worked at B&N, but the book got sent to charity years later because I wasn't paying attention when my mom and I culled the unneeded (gasp!) books from our overflowing bookshelves in the old house.

I have three celebrity autographs. But I ain't saying whose.

Claire Dawn said...

Trying to imagine reading a book while wrapped in saran wrap...

I've got Eric Jerome Dickey and Maya Angelou. As soon as your book's out, I'll be mailing you one for signing. Hopefully I should be back in the West by then.

Natalie Whipple said...

I mostly just want your autograph. (Yes, I'm sucking up.)

Tabitha said...

I'm not an autograph fan, either. Though I'm the same way with books. I've got autographs from Audrey Niffeneger and Cynthia Leitich Smith, and I don't loan those copies out at all. :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I am in love with my autographed copies of The Maze Runner and Fablehaven. *sighs*

I would kill to have a signed set of the Inkheart trilogy. *drools*

exploringeliza said...

Had to chime in here: I just got my first pre-order book, went to my first author reading and got my second autographed book (the first was a Sweet Valley High mystery novel which I lost long, long ago) all for Dan Wells, author of I Am Not A Serial Killer. He got to the signing early, and I made something of a nervous fool of myself talking to him, but at least that makes me memorable, right? ...right?

Anyway, I'd love to get Neil Gaiman to sign something. Or Francesca Lia Block, as she influenced a lot of my teenage angst years.

Carolyn V. said...

I have a few signed books and I love them, but the best part was meeting the authors in person! So cool! =)

Elana Johnson said...

I don't get the allure of autographs either. I think it's the fact that you were in autographing vacinity that people like.

Mariah Irvin said...

I'd love to have author autographs... it's just a little something to remind me that I actually saw them and got them to touch my book!

Bish Denham said...

I have Jane Yolen's autograph in a copy of her book Take Joy. That's my most precious one. But I also have autographs of Leon Russell, Janis Ian, Shawn Phillips and a few others.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I have a whole shelf of autographed books, all from authors I have met. The coolest one was from A. Mannette Ansay a month before her book hit the Oprah circuit.

Keri Mikulski said...

I love my autographed books.. Other than that besides race driver autographs (my brother was a huge fan and my family drug me to a bunch of races and I asked for autographs to pass the time), I guess I would love Derek Jeter's permanently inked on me - just kidding. :)

CKHB said...

I have not just signatures but awesome personal notes/drawings from Joe Hill, Steve Almond, & Ron Currie Jr.

I want a Neil Gaiman and a Chuck Palanuik.

Most prized: we have a Hunter S. Thompson signature, but we're not 100% sure it's authentic. On the bright side, it's either real, or it was faked by a specific associate of his who he ended up hating. Good story either way!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Looking forward to having Bad Taste in Boys autographed by you :)

K.C. Shaw said...

I've got a Terry Pratchett signed book (Hat Full of Sky). I drove five hours to see him speak, and waited another four hours after his talk to get the autograph. Worth every second.

I've also got a book signed by Edward Gorey. A friend made it to one of his very rare signings and sent it to me. Best. Friend. Ever.

Amy said...

Snark.

HAAAAAA!

arlee bird said...

I've never really pursued autographs though I've had plenty of opportunities. I've done a few posts on this topic in fact.
An author autograph in a book I can understand.
Two autographs that I may still have somewhere are Jackie Coogan and Ted Cassidy (Uncle Festus and Lurch from the Addams Family TV show). I was a kid when I got them and they seemed kind of annoyed. I caught them in a stairwell in a coliseum where they were appearing at a circus and didn't seem too thrilled about it.

Lee
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