Charging For Signatures? The Comic Creator Conversation Continues… (UPDATE)

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Yesterday Bleeding Cool ran an article reporting on the current politics of charging for autographs at comic conventions and whether those that didn't, devalued the practice for others.

We updated with comments from Marv Wolfman and Neal Adams but there was plenty more to say.

Peter David wrote to Bleeding Cool to say, regarding Ben Templesmith's Tip Jar scheme,

I've actually instituted one at my table some months ago.  Honestly, I put it in to simplify my life, because I got tired of fans asking if I charged for my signature. I'd always say no.   Some seemed grateful, but many seemed confused:  why wasn't I charging?  So some months ago I put a tip jar on my table.  And fans STILL ask me, but now I simply say, "I don't charge for signatures, but if you want to throw money in the tip jar, I won't refuse it."  I leave it to the fans to decide, except in rare cases where they're bringing me, I dunno, like fifty books or something. Then I say, "For this much, please throw some money in the tip jar."   Even then I don't get specific; I just say, "Whatever you can afford."  I've been fascinated by the differences in what I get.  Some fans have had me sign twenty, thirty books and left nothing.  Others give me one book to sign and drop in ten bucks.   So I guess it all evens out.

But plenty of people had lots to say… here are just a few examples.

https://twitter.com/cameronMstewart/status/648941021796139008

https://twitter.com/GWillowWilson/status/648945848932392960

https://twitter.com/GWillowWilson/status/648948432741101568

 

https://twitter.com/jasonlatour/status/648937360751788032

https://twitter.com/GWillowWilson/status/648947438351347713

https://twitter.com/GWillowWilson/status/648978473734635520

 

https://twitter.com/jasonlatour/status/648939182308622336

https://twitter.com/ColleenDoran/status/648959631591518208

https://twitter.com/jasonlatour/status/648939414903738368

https://twitter.com/GWillowWilson/status/648976197519478784

https://twitter.com/jasonlatour/status/648939958946893826

https://twitter.com/jasonlatour/status/648940361222647808

https://twitter.com/van_jensen/status/648992665539846144

https://twitter.com/jasonlatour/status/648943366613413888

https://twitter.com/jasonlatour/status/648949852085354496

https://twitter.com/jasonlatour/status/648957279769915392

https://twitter.com/jasonlatour/status/648963406603681792

https://twitter.com/jasonlatour/status/648966197288009728

I remember that day…

UPDATE: From the comments:

Gene Ha: I keep out a VOLUNTARY tip jar. But the idea that me charging $30 for a signature helps other creators is bunk.

Fans come in with a budget they try to stay under. Fans only have so much money, for books, signatures, prints, etc. The $10 or $30 I do NOT charge is extra money THEY WILL SPEND at another table

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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