Monday, February 26, 2007


If you've seen photos of my office (click here), or have checked out my numerous posts on "retro toy" flashbacks, you know I'm something of a collector. Actually, I'm a bit of a nut when it comes to collecting...just ask my wife.

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 matte
r...) 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 a
utographed 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.

Anyone out ther collect autographs? Who ya got? The autograph I don't have, but want (desperately)? Lance Henriksen, star of one of my favorite series, Millennium...


  1. John -

    Shame on me for not getting you a Lance Henriksen autograph. Did we talk about this while we were shooting THB? I had just returned from a convention in Philadelphia... where I gave Lance a copy of your book "Terror Television," and referred him to the chapter on Millenium. You'd think I would have gone the extra step...

  2. joey_bishop_jr.11:32 AM

    Hey pally-

    The closest I ever came to passing out was when I got to meet Alice Cooper for his autograph.

    I also have Doug Bradley, Ken Foree, Reggie Bannister, and Bill Moseley. I got them all at the '03 Horrorfind, and they were all very gracious, and I had a blsat meeting each and every one of them.
    I also got Dee Snider when he came to town to promote a local radio show he had here, and he was a hoot as well.

  3. JM -

    I don't think we talked about this, but now I must make you suffer torment for not getting me Henriksen's autograph! Oh yes!

    No, actually, I interviewed Mr. Henriksen for my Sam Raimi book, and should have asked for an autograph then, but was too nervous!!! (I did ask him if he still has Frank Black's jacket though...and he does!)

    So, don't worry about it, Joe. But I will make you suffer.

    I just haven't figured out how yet. (Making you keep me on schedule for the THB is torment enough, really...)

  4. Howard Margolin11:50 AM

    John, you neglected to mention that you had me sign a copy of your own book, "The Encyclopedia of Super-Heroes on Film and Television," to which you graciously allowed me to contribute comments. I've never written a book of my own.
    As far as other autographs (yes, I'm proud to have yours on my copies of your books), our friend Phil also got me a signed photo of William Katt, as well as John Wesley Shipp (in costume as the Flash). Over the years, I've also managed to acquire a number of Babylon 5 signatures (J. Michael Straczynski, Claudia Christian, Jason Carter, Richard Biggs, Andreas Katsulas, Peter Jurasik) on my copy of the Babylon 5 Vol. 2 Soundtrack CD, members of the cast of Earth: Final Conflict (Robert Leeshock, Anita LaSelva, Richard Chevolleau, Lisa Howard) on that show's soundtrack, and Andromeda cast members Kevin Sorbo and Keith Hamilton Cobb on that show's CD. In addition, I had George Takei sign a couple of his Captain Sulu audio adventures. Plus, I have dozens of autographed comics and books by such creators as Chris Claremont, Marv Wolfman, Peter David, Curt Swan, Murphy Anderson, Bob Rozakis, Bob Greenberger, Richard Hatch, T. A. Barron, Keith DeCandido, and many more too numerous to recall.

  5. You've got loads of cool autographs here !!

  6. I've got Ken Russell (obviously), Michael Bradsell, Tom Savini, and TONS of authors of film books (including several very rare, very valuable John Kenneth Muir signatures).

    My good friend Kate Petty's brother JT Petty directed MIMIC 3 and got to work with Lance. If memory serves, he was kind, professional, and always on point. In short, the perfect B list actor!