Comic-Con International > SDCC Guests, Autographs, and Off-Site Events

Autograph Tips and Tricks for SDCC

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Please use this thread to discuss tips, tricks, advice, and the like for getting autographs at Comic-Con.

Thank you!

It may sound silly and most people know this by now but get there early if you want a CW/Fox/CBS etc autograph. If you get there early enough you may even get a chance to pull a ticket for a chance at another signing. I have very good success with autographs every year. I want to have an autograph from all the DC TV shows and I am missing Arrow and Gotham. I have a Flash poster I got at Wonder-Con but Grant Gustin wasn't there so I'd like to get another one, although I realize this will be the hardest one to get.

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yeah getting autographs is my thing, im addicted to getting autographs. i will be doing all nighters(that way i can get back in line to get a 2nd autograph) again this year with my daughter each night.

so far for 2014/2015 i got all the autographs i was in line for(KNOCK ON WOOD!).

yeah flash last year was crazy it sold out fast, my daughter got a winning ticket, i ended up pulling for a different show myself, which i was a winnner as well.

the only time i didnt do all nighter for autographs was in 2014, which was my 1st SDCC, we got in line at 5am on Thursday and my son pulled the last winning ticket for keifer sutherland for 24. the following nights we did all nighters.

all nighters don't gurantee a winner but your chances are a lot better, especially for the bigger shows.

Man, so many things to say on this topic.  I love, love, love going for autographs and sketches.  Mostly for cartoons and lesser comics so I unfortunately can't say much when it comes to the big TV/Movie stuff or the A-list comic artists.  But a lot of stuff can probably be applied.  I'll do sketches first.

1.  I learned this from this forum a couple of years ago (thanks guys), but having two or more sketch books are useful.  If you go for sketches, you can leave one with an artist if s/he is backlogged and still continue on to get more autographs/sketches.  Most will get back to you your sketchbook later in the day (say an hour or couple of hours).  In rare cases, you  may need to leave the book with them overnight.  Hence the need for multiple books.

2. Carry a few different types of pens.  Sharpies, ball points, even pencils.  Artists are usually pretty prepared, but you never know, things happen and its happened where an artist thought they brought extras but didn't.

3. The more popular an artist, the more important it is to get their early to get on their list.  Most artists, if they have a table will set aside a list for each day.  So if you are locked in on a particular artist, be sure to stop by their table first thing to get on the list.  Most are limited.  Could be 30 a day, could be only 5.  You never know unless you go there yourself.

4. Know what to budget for and what you REALLY want in your sketch  Do you want a head sketch?  Or a full body?  Or partial body?  Or multiple characters? Color? Black and White?  Backgrounds?  These things cost money and the more elaborate you want, the more money to lay down.  Also the bigger the sketch, the more money it costs(duh).  And some artists will only do black/white to save time or may do partial color.  Some sketches are given for free (usually quick ones or pencil only) to a few dollars (head shots) to hundreds (full body/color/backgrounds, etc).

5. Some artists do sketch reservations ahead of the convention.  Check twitter, deviantart, tumblr, etc. for information.  These can yield you the best quality since the artist has weeks to get ready for them rather than doing it in less than an hour.

6. Be specific on what you want the character to do.  Some artists are good if you just name a character and let them go do their thing, but some guidance can also make the sketch really feel like it's yours.  I like having a theme that's simple but still let's the artist use their imagination like "draw this character at comic con" or "draw this character laughing" or "draw this character as a disney character."  Don't be TOO SPECIFIC ("I want Spiderman jumping, but his right hand should be shooting webbing while the other is holding a sandwich.  Oh and make sure his left knee is lifted higher than his right knee.  And can you show a tear on the left side of his costume and....").

7. If an artist is doing sketches at a publisher booth, be sure to get there early and get ready to wait awhile.  DC and Marvel artists tend to be high in demand and die hards have no problem hanging around the booth well before singing time to be guaranteed a sketch.  Lines can to be capped even before the signing time officially starts.

8. If an artist is drawing but you only want to get a comic/print signed, they usually don't mind breaking and signing first before continuing on their sketch.  So if you see a line and everyone is getting a sketch but you only want him to sign your comic, don't be afraid to ask someone (usually their manager/handler or even the artist him/herself) if you can just move on up and get the signing.  There's no point in waiting for 45 minutes if all you want is a signature.

9. Cash is king, but things like Apple/Google Pay and Square make it easy now to charge things.  But cash is always a better bet.  Plus it helps with budgeting.

10.  Oh and make sure your sketch book has your contact information on it.  Name, Phone and Email are the best.  I add my address too, but the first three are probably more important.

11.  Be sure to have a small sheet of paper that can be placed behind your page.  When an artist sketches, sometimes the inks bleed into the page behind it.  To stop that, I usually have a sheet, usually slightly bigger or smaller than the page, behind the page the artist is working on.  This can stop the bleeds and keep the next page pristine for the next artist to use.

That's all I got for sketches.  I'll get to autographs later, but I'd like to know what other tips people have.

   Have a question!  So, for the last two years a couple of friends and I have been like in the front of the line to get into the exhibit hall for the Marvel booth, like we were maybe 5th or 6th in line, but every time we try to get there the line is already full.  Could someone perhaps explain how that is happening?  Is it people who already work in the exhibit hall beating us or what? 


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