Do you realize how strange the act of asking for an autograph really is? It's fucking crazy. I've been on both sides of this one. I've asked a lot of people for autographs, and I've been asked many times for my own autograph. I still can't wrap my head around it, even though I've been meeting writers, actors, etc. who I've respected for a long time.
There's a part of it, I think, which exists to prove to other people that you did, indeed, meet this person. Hey, I hung out with James Marsters or Reggie Banister and his band, and here is my proof! But at the same time, it doesn't matter to other people, because an autograph can be forged. It only matters to the person who gets the autograph.
There are those who get things signed just so they can sell it on eBay or Amazon or whatever. I'm not here to talk about them. I'm really curious as to why we get these autographs for OURSELVES. I've been doing it for so long, I don't even know why I do it. It feels like the right thing to do, I guess.
But it goes deeper than that. When I attended Wizard World Chicago, one of the autographs I wanted the most was from Karl Urban. I wanted him to sign my copy of DREDD, because he is easily the best Judge Dredd we can ever get. But . . . well, I got a lot of good people. Michael Jai White, John Carpenter, Joel Hodgson, J. August Richards and so many more. I really wanted Urban, and I really wanted Elvira. Elvira's line was soooooo fucking long it would have taken two hours to get to her. Urban, on the other hand, had a scheduled signing. I showed up at that specific time, but apparently, he'd given up and wasn't signing shit. It bothered me. I really wanted to get him.
Why did I want that so badly? His autograph doesn't change the movie one single iota. I'm going to enjoy it whether or not it has his signature on it. Why was this so important to me? It bothered me for the rest of the day, and if I'm being honest, it still kind of bothers me. I don't want it to bother me, but it does.
I got Leinil Yu. I almost didn't, but I have Jon Lennon to thank for that. If he hadn't directed me, I probably would have left without finding him. I didn't expect to get Norman Reedus or William Shatner or Stan Lee or Bruce Campbell or anyone like that because they charge too fucking much. (I did get Rooker, though, because he kicks ass. HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER is a great debut movie, and it still has an incredible effect today. As an aside, I told him that I'd never been disappointed by him in a movie. Ever. And he said, "Well, there's always the first time." And that surprised me, because he's such a confident alpha-male that I wouldn't have expected such a self-deprecating response from him. It just goes to show you that even the toughest of actors still feel that nagging self-doubt.)
I'm getting off-topic, though. I want every book and movie and CD that I own to be signed, but I don't understand why. Is there anyone else out there who can explain this for me? I'm in the dark. On the opposite side, I'm happy to sign anything that I've done. Yet at the same time, I don't understand why my fans want that, either. Why do we do any of this? This question is directed toward both my fellow autograph hounds and my fellow authors who sign our own books to fans. Anyone?