Signatures of the Stars Book Review


This review was originally written on March 10, 2001
I See Dead People ... Too Many Of Them!

I bought "Signatures of the Stars: A Guide for Autograph Collectors, Dealers and Enthusiasts" by Kevin Martin to learn about the stars signing habits and see example of their signatures, so I'd know which stars would be my best bet to write to. Unfortunately, most of the stars listed in this book are DEAD! It does me no good to know the signing habits of dead celebs, since I obviously can't write to them. I bought the book in conjunction with the same author's "The Autograph Collector Celebrity Autograph Authentication Guide." While there are some signature examples in this book that aren't in the authentication guide (such as John Candy and Kathy Ireland), finding them is quite a pain because this book lacks an index. The authentication guide has an index, and practically doesn't need it because it's much better laid out than this book. The back cover of this book says that inside "you'll find the actual signatures of the stars reproduced". While that's true for most of the stars, there are very few reproductions to none at all when you get to the back of the book, in the "cast" and "Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame" sections. There should be authentic examples for *everyone* that is listed. To sum up this book, I think that it's trying to be too many things to too many people - price guide, authentication guide, and more ... it should stick to just one subject.

The Autograph Collector Celebrity Autograph Authentication Guide Book Review


This review was originally written on March 10, 2001
BOOK OF ADS ... and celebrity autograph authentication guide

The first thing you'll notice about The Autograph Collector Celebrity Autograph Authentication Guide by Kevin Martin, the minute you open it up to page 1, are the ads. That's right, this book has *advertisements* in it. But not just a few ads, 25 FULL PAGES OF ADVERTISEMENTS! The ads clutter up the front and back of the book, which makes it a pain to quickly locate the index at the back of the book (placed right before all the ads). What good is an index if it itself requires a little bit of searching to find?!? The ads are mostly for companies selling autographed photos. A list of these companies should have been put at the back of the book (before the index) for those who are interested. Putting full-page and half-page ads is ridiculous. Because of all the ads, I feel that this book should be free, or at least cost less than half of what it currently sells for.

Now that let me get to the REAL content of the book - the autograph examples. The book lists many, many stars, including a few I was surprised to see (Melanie Chartoff and Ray Parker Jr., for example), but there are also many that are missing which should have been in there (Samantha Mathis and Hayley Mills, for example). Granted, I know that it is virtually impossible to list every celebrity that ever existed, but they could have made the autograph examples a little smaller and fit more people in there. In fact, there are some pages where there is only one or two examples on the entire page. Heck, come to think of it, the text in the introductory lessons to authenticating autographs is way too large. It should have been shrunken down to standard size, so that more autograph examples could be placed in the book. Also, it would have been a great idea to put, at least, two examples of each star's autograph in the book, just to account for variations in the way a person signs (no person signs his/her name exactly the same way every time).

All griping aside, this is actually a great book and I *am* glad that I bought it. The ads are a pain to deal with (I'm tempted to rip them out, but I don't want to ruin the book), but I guess nothing in life is perfect. At least now you have a little more information about this book than I did when I purchased it.

Trash or Treasure Guide To Buyers Book Review


This review was originally written on October 13, 2000
Got Stuff Made Before 1970? Buy The Book. Otherwise, Forget It

I bought "Trash or Treasure - Guide To Buyers" by Tony Hyman because I have a lot of 1980s and 1990s action figures, comic books, magazines, trading cards, and the such. I was hoping to finally find someone to sell them to. Well, I contacted some people listed in the book, and ... I've still got the stuff. If you have something made before 1970, this book may be of use to you. But if your stuff was made after 1970, don't waste your money on this UNCOMPREHENSIVE book. Hey, Tony Hyman, how about writing/compiling a separate volume covering items made after 1970?