With the exponential rise in comics shows, and a corresponding rise in attendees, there’s been a lot of talk recently about various pros imposing signing limits or charging for autographs at show, with the money often going to a charity. Popular con guests Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner have just made their policy clear:
FROM NOW ON: AT CONS: Amanda and I will be signing up to 5 books for FREE. After that it is $2 a book. The money going to the charity of our choice and all cgc or graded books are $5 each. No exceptions. Want to give a heads up to our Ebay friends. We both agree that part of the fun of the con is getting to meet you, so 5 free books and a wonderful conversation while with us is a good deal, no?
ADDED: We will sign as many books, prints and sketchbooks you buy from us, no limit.
We’ve all seen the guy with the comics box full of books that they lug to a signing, removing each and everyone from its plastic bag and back board while a long line forms. I know some creators have imposed a limit on how many they will sign, or put in a tip jar. I’ve also seen the guy with the 200 comics to be signed just get back in line after the limit is hit and keep doing it over and over again. With these signed books often ending up on eBay, it does seem against the spirit of meeting and greeting that conventions foster to stand there with dozens and dozens of books to sign.
I’m been hearing rumbles that there much discussion among guests about starting to charge for con appearances — and not just hotel and air fare, but actual appearance fees. It’s pretty much a sellers market out there with hundreds and hundreds of comics events taking place around the world, and as we’ve shown again and again, making comics isn’t the most lucrative gig in the world.
The comics economy and the con economy have seen a lot more money flowing through the pipeline, and tapping a bit of that for a charity when a huge pile of books is offered to be signed seems more than reasonable.
Expect to hear more about this all year.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.