It is not unusual for comic book creators to charge for autographs these days, especially as a significant part of the autograph market is one that gets it slabbed slaps the resultant comic on eBay, or puts it on their comic store's wall (real or virtual) at a significant markup. People like Neal Adams talk about how it values the creator – and how creators who choose not to charge are undercutting that value.
Some have different levels of signature. For a while, Rob Liefeld did free signatures unless it was New Mutants #98, the first appearance of Deadpool. Now he charges for all signatures but Deadpool books get a premium price.
And now it seems, in the wake of the insane activity around Batman: Damned #1 and, well, the batawang, Brian Azzarello has joined the premium club for comic intended to be CGC graded and slabbed.
He will charge $5 for any signature, $15 for a CGC-slabbing signature, Batman Damned #1 for $10 and for a CGC-slabbing Batman Damned #1? That's a full $50. From the website…
Brian will sign any book with a fee of $5 per book. Unless the book is Batman Damned then its $10 .00 per book. Brian's fee for CGC books is $15 per book if you are in attendance at the show. Unless the book is Batman Damned if it is then the price is $50 per book.
Given that a signed Brian Azzarello Batman Damned comic sold on eBay for $126 unslabbed, you might be able to understand both the temptation and rationale.
Brian Azzarello is at Baltimore Comic-Con this weekend and will then be attending the MCM London Comic Con later in October alongside Dark Knight: The Master Race III co-creator Frank Miller.
I'll have my copy of Batman Damned in hand. Let's see if I can get Frank Miller to sign it. No one else will have that…