But anyway, one thing that I haven't blogged about yet in terms of my collections is...autographs.
Like many other sci-fi and horror fans, I've begun to establish a nice collection of star/filmmaker autographs. This is one of those things I've kind of fallen into, primarily by the good grace of friends. One of the best and most delightful aspects of my writing career is truly the connections I've made with other writers and fans, and I've been very lucky on too many occasions to count - to have wonderful conventioneers and writers acquire autographs (and photos for that matter...) for me.
For instance, my wonderful friend Phil Merkel, over at CaptainPhil, is a Space:1999 fan commander and generous fellow. I've known him since we met in Los Angeles in 1999, and recently he procured for me a signed autograph of William Katt! You can see from the image, the autograph is made out to me, and the photo features the House star in full Greatest American Hero regalia. How cool is that? Especially considering that I wrote The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television.
Another writer friend, G.L. Norris, was a regular correspondent for Cinescape in the early years of the 21st century, and almost every month he (brilliantly...) covered the goings-on over at the Voyager set on the Paramount lot. He got me this great autographed photo from Kate Mulgrew. I didn't always like the series but I've always believed Mulgrew was a great talent, and I loved her character. I just wish the writing had always lived up to the casting and characterization.
Mr. Sulu himself, George Takei came to visit King's Dominion, an amusement park in Virginia, in 1992, when I lived in that state, and a co-worker of mine at the Supreme Court of Virginia kindly dispatched herself to get me an autograph. Unsolicited.
See -- it's the collection that builds itself! Of course, on occasion, I've nabbed my own autographs too (I'm not a complete mooch). At the Main Mission convention in Manhattan in 2000, for instance, I got Zienia Merton, (Sandra Benes) of Space:1999 fame to sign a page of the article on the series I'd written for Cinescape.
Not pictured, but in my collection, I also have autographs from special effects genius Tom Sullivan, the man who created the Necronomicon (and so much more...) from Evil Dead. Another prize of in my stash is an autographed copy of the original This is Spinal Tap script, signed by cinematographer extraordinaire, Peter Smokler. I also kept an e-mail from Kevin Smith, saying he enjoyed my book, An Askew View: The Films of Kevin Smith, and a signed letter from William Nolan after I interviewed him for my "vintage vision" Cinescape article on Logan's Run. I've also got thank you cards from the late great One Step Beyond director, John Newland, and The Funhouse barker himself, Kevin Conway.
And, I also collect the John Hancocks of my favorite writers and media personalities. Which means, I've got autographed books from Joseph Maddrey (Nightmares in Red, White and Blue), David Szulkin (Wes Craven's Last House on the Left), MaryAnn Johanson (The Totally Geeky Guide to Princess Bride), and Howard Margolin, host of Destinies: The Voice of Science Fiction.