Thursday, June 28, 2012

Southern California Manuscript Society visits the Academy of Motion Picture Library

Members of the Southern California Manuscript Society with Howard Prouty

*Have you ever seen Winston Churchill's autograph next to Adolf Hitler's?

*Have you ever seen an autograph album with three (3) clear, dark Greta Garbo signatures?

*A letter, on White House stationery, from Franklin Roosevelt, inviting political enemy, William Randolph Hearst to the White House?

* A signed Picasso sketch and a signed Walt Disney get well card from the Disney Studio!

I just did, and so did a half dozen other members of the Southern California Manuscript Society on Tuesday June 19, 2012. We visited the Academy of Motion Picture Library in the Douglas Fairbanks Building. We were greeted by the Acquisitions Archivist Howard Prouty. He gave us a quick tour of the outstanding 1927 building that was once used as Beverly Hills Water department! In the 1980's it was converted into the Academy's library. What treasures are inside that beautiful building. Howard took us into the reading rooms, and through the poster and photo coping room and into the vaults!

*We saw a "paybook" from MGM and saw that John Gilbert was getting $3000 a week and Greta Garbo only $400 a week. (They fell in love anyhow!)

*We saw the wig used by Bert Lahr's lion in the 1939 The Wizard of Oz. (Tom Folenta had to be held back from trying it on)

*We also saw terrific black and white photos from Charles De Gaulle and Maurice Chevalier, inscribed to Charles Boyer!

*We saw the correspondence from the "Hays" office to film makers asking for every possible change to clean up films.

But for me, the Crown Jewel was the autograph album kept by William Randolph Hearst friend Harry Crocker. It was this autograph album I described above, and I have only mention 5 % of the signatures!

The best part was dinner after the tour. Pat Mock joined Beverly Hill and Bill and Monique Coleman drove in from Riverside. Tom Folenta joined us only after being assured he could visit the library again on his own.

A great time with great autographs and great autograph people.The only sad part was we missed visiting with Kevin and Stephanie Segall, who were not able to be there.

Below is a photo of your guide, Howard Prouty. This photo captures his intelligence, but not his humor, which was on display during our trip.
Howard Prouty
Article by Michael Hecht, Manuscript Society member and UACC President

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Autograph Signing Schedule at San Diego Comic-Con 2012

International Comic-Con is coming up soon, and it's so overwhelming these days that you really have to plan your strategy ahead of time for autograph signings. Hopefully the information posted here should help you out.

The Autograph Area is the place to go for a special memento from a variety of artists, authors, and actors from every era of popular culture. Some are signing right after their spotlight panel, so check the program grid daily.

Fans interested in attending signings should review the schedules posted, then plan to visit the Autograph Area at the time of each drawing. All fans present at the appointed time will receive numbered tickets that feature a distinct sticker. Then a randomized drawing will determine which fans receive wristbands granting access to each autograph line.

Comic-Con International's complete 2012 Autograph schedule and rules are here!

These are our favorite highlights:

The Munsters Limited Edition Print Signed by Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick
The Munsters Limited Edition Print Signed by Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick

Miss Fortune Limited Edition Print Signed by Frank Kozik
Miss Fortune Limited Edition Print Signed by Frank Kozik

Thursday July 12

Butch Patrick, (The MunstersLidsville)
AA11 10:00 am - 2:30 pm

Chuckboy and Frank Kozik
12pm - 2pm Kidrobot Booth #4529

Jim Kelly, (Afro Ninja, Enter the Dragon)
AA10 2:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Robot Chicken
Adult Swim Booth #3949

MAD Autograph Signing TBD

Mad Magazine #168 Cover Painting Original Art by Norman Mingo
Mad Magazine #168 Cover Painting Original Art by Norman Mingo

Community Poster Signed by 11 Including Joel McHale and Chevy Chase

Community Poster Signed by 11 Including Joel McHale and Chevy Chase

Friday July 13

Community Signing
11:30-12:30pm Sony Booth #4229

Butch Patrick, (The MunstersLidsville)
AA11 2:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Jim Kelly, (Afro NinjaEnter the Dragon)
AA13 10:00 am - 2:30 pm

TNT’s Falling Skies Cast
6pm Dark Horse Booth 

Luke Chueh
12pm - 1:30pm Munky King Booth #4539

Kane Hodder, (Friday the 13th, Hatchet)
AA16 2:30 pm - 7:00 pm

The Big Bang Theory Autograph Signing
Cult Autograph Signing
Arrow Autograph Signing
666 Park Avenue Autograph Signing
H+ Autograph Signing
HBO’s Game of Thrones Autograph Signing
Childrens Hospital Autograph Signing
Nikita Autograph Signing
Saturday July 14

Grimm Signing
11:00-12:00pm Nerd HQ (Block No. 16 Union and Spirits, 344 Seventh Avenue)

Luke Chueh
12pm - 1:30pm Munky King Booth #4539

Butch Patrick, (The MunstersLidsville)
AA11 2:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Jim Kelly, (Afro NinjaEnter the Dragon)
AA10 2:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Revolution Signing
12:30-1:15pm Warner Bros. Booth #4545

Transformers Prime Voice Cast
2pm – 3pm Shout! Factory Booth #3849

J. Michael Straczynski, writer (Before Watchmen, Superman Earth One)
AA2 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Tom Kenny (SpongeBob Squarepants, The Super Hero Squad Show)
Shout! Factory Booth #3849 5pm - 6pm

Black Dynamite
Adult Swim Booth #3949

Venture Bros.
Adult Swim Booth #3949

Aqua Something/Squidbillies
Adult Swim Booth #3949

Fringe Autograph Signing
The Following Autograph Signing
Revolution Autograph Signing
The Vampire Diaries Autograph Signing
Person of Interest Autograph Signing
HBO’s True Blood Autograph Signing

Sunday, July 15

Guillermo del Toro
Author/Director (The Strain Trilogy, Hellboy series, Pan's Labyrinth)
Drawing for Line Tickets to be held Sunday at 9:00 am in the Autograph Area
Sunday AA8 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Jim Kelly, (Afro NinjaEnter the Dragon)
AA13 10:00 am - 1:30 pm

Butch Patrick, (The MunstersLidsville)
AA11 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Kane Hodder, (Friday the 13thHatchet)
AA16 2:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Sunday AA16 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Doctor Who
Members of the cast and crew
Drawing for Line Tickets to be held Sunday at 9:00 am
Sunday AA3 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Supernatural Autograph Signing
DC Nation Autograph Signing

Friday the 13th Poster Signed by 20
Friday the 13th Jason Reunion Poster Signed by 20

Spider-Man Vault Book Signed by Stan Lee and 15 other Comics Legends
Spider-Man Vault Book Signed by 17 including Stan Lee

Here is the complete special guests list for Comic-Con International: San Diego 2012!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Farewell Famed Sports Artist LeRoy Neiman

LeRoy Neiman: Art & Life Style Book Signed by LeRoy Neiman
LeRoy Neiman: Art & Life Style Book Signed by LeRoy NeimanLeRoy Neiman (1921 - 2012), the artist known for capturing the colorful kinetic energy of the sports world, died Wednesday in New York at age 91. Probably the most successful artist during his lifetime, Neiman was also closely associated with his work at Playboy Magazine and was the official painter for five Olympiads.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Whirlwind Account of The Manuscript Society Annual Meeting 2012 - Quebec City

It was my honor and privilege to join the Board of Trustees of the Manuscript Society this year. We're an international nonprofit organization founded in 1948 and devoted to the collection, preservation, use, and enjoyment of autographs and manuscripts. Our annual meeting is in a different city each year, and for 2012 we had the pleasure of exploring the treasures of Quebec City, Canada.

The Redpath Museum at McGill University
Neither my wife Stephanie nor I had ever been to Canada so we began our trip in nearby Montreal a couple of days before the official itinerary began. We visited the Redpath Museum at McGill University which consists of three floors of natural history and world culture artifacts - both areas are right up our alley. We also visited Montreal's McCord Museum of Canadian History - home to collections of costumes, paintings, art and aboriginal objects. It seemed like they must have known that we were coming because one of their main temporary exhibits was Mary Pickford and the Invention of the Movie Star. The exhibit featured some incredible manuscript items like a 1920 signed distribution contract for United Artists and a 1924 Motion Picture Relief Fund Certificate signed by Mary Pickford and Cecil B. Demille.

Pickford Inscribed Photo on her Wedding Day to Husband Douglas Fairbanks 1920
We took the train to nearby Quebec City and arrived at the historic Château Frontenac which was our home base for the annual meeting. My first full day there was spent with the other board members taking care of our regular business: budgets, membership, marketing, ethics issues, future annual meetings, honors, and scholarships. Since it was time for the well-respected Herbert Rubin to step aside to make room for new board members such as myself, he was unanimously elected as an honorary board member for life. At the end of the day, we enjoyed a cocktail reception with the other meeting participants in the Salon Rose Room. We learned that the room had hosted critical meetings between world leaders Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and William Lyon Mackenzie King during the Quebec Conferences of World War II in 1944.

Our Quebec City adventure begins outside the Château Frontenac
The next day we begin with a talk by our host David Mendel entitled Quebec: World Heritage City. For those of us with a basic "American" education, the talk certainly filled a number of holes in our knowledge of Canadian history and served to orient us for our visit. We took a walking tour of Upper Town and stopped at the Ursuline Convent to explore its museum and archives. It is the oldest educational institution for women in North America and still functions as a school.

Outgoing president Barton Smith and the Manuscript Society outside the Ursuline Convent
Metting with the librarian to view the treasures of the Ursuline Archives
1831 Manuscript with the Seal of King William IV
1671 Testament of Madame de la Peltrie who started the Ursuline order of Quebec 
We had lunch that day at Le Parlementaire Restaurant at the National Assembly, where we took a guided tour and visited their library and archives. The origins date to 1791 and serve the members of the National Assembly in their duties of governance.

The Manuscript Society checks out the Goods and mingles with the Archivists
Oldest Item in the National Assembly Library - 1472 Thomas Aquinas Book
Register of Oaths taken by Members of the Legislative Assembly
Later that evening our group visited the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity with a special viewing of communion silver given by King George III. We were also treated to a double-bill concert. First, the church organist demonstrated a rare English chamber organ made in London in 1790 that was recently moved to the Cathedral. Next, our esteemed ex-president Barton Smith performed several piano pieces - including compositions by J.S. Bach, Chopin, and Scott Joplin. Finally, he quizzed the audience with a mystery ballad by a manuscript dealer who died in 2000 and was once a famous chanteuse. The song was on the Hit Parade several times, the most famous version being by Nat King Cole. Can you guess the answer?

The next day was filled to the brim with activity - a walk to Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica, an exploration of the exhibitions and archives of the Seminary of Quebec, and a visit to the National Archives of Quebec.

Inside the Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica

Visiting with one of several Librarians at the National Archives of Quebec

Early Choir Book at the National Archives
The Autograph of one King Louis of France (or is it the "Hand" of the King?)

The Autograph of another King Louis of France
James Pattison Cockburn (1779 - 1847) Original Illustration of Early Canada in the Archives
For lunch that day we had just barely enough time to cover a business meeting and auction off about 60 lots of donated manuscript material to benefit the Manuscript Society. The annual auction is always one of the highlights of our annual meetings, and certainly the most boisterous. UACC President Michael Hecht and I had a bidding war over a Jack London signed check which he finally let me have (thanks, Michael). I returned the favor by quickly parting with a David Selznick letter that I had been eyeing. I also was lucky enough to provide winning bids on several other goodies - an autographed Jack Benny letter, an Al Capp signed contract, and several signed Hollywood photos including Mr. Television himself, Uncle Miltie.

Milton Berle Signed Photo
Pearl Bailey Signed Photo
Our final day in Quebec City consisted of a walking tour of Lower Town and a trip to the Island of Orleans where we walked across the majestic Montmorency Falls. Our farewell dinner at the Garrison Club was accompanied by a talk about the Napoleon/Josephine/Marie-Louise love triangle by member Peter Friedman.

Our Hotel as Seen from Lower Town 

Me and the Mrs. at Montmorency Falls
Next year: Santa Fe, NM and another adventure. We can't wait!

Discounted Tickets to PopConLA

Discounted Tickets at PopConLA

Catch some of your favorite celebs at the First Annual ITVfest Pop Culture Convention. This exciting four-day event at the Los Angeles Convention Center will feature screenings, panels, workshops and exhibition booths for fans of movies, TV, novels, fashion and so much more. Special events include a screening of the film Nighthawks followed by a Q&A discussion with Billy Dee Williams (The Empire Strikes Back). The "Donner Cut" of Superman II will feature a Q&A and signing with Margot Kidder, Valerie Perine and Jack O'Halloran and there will be a Q&A with Sean Young following a screening of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.

Discounted Tickets at PopConLA for July 5 - July 8 through Goldstar

Discounted Tickets to the Hollywood Show in Burbank

Discounted Tickets for the Hollywood Show through Goldstar
The Hollywood Show is world-famous for giving fans the chance to personally meet and purchase autographs and photos from literally scores of their favorite celebrities from the '70s and '80s right through today, while regularly featuring various star-studded cast reunions from hit TV shows and movies. In the past, these have included Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar from TV's Batman, the casts of the classic The Waltons,The Brady Bunch, Dallas, The Twilight Zone, Happy Days, classic films like West Side Story and many more. Going stronger than ever since its first event in 1979, The Hollywood Show takes place only four times a year and boasts a large array of vendors selling comic books, posters, autographs, vintage magazines and other pop culture, entertainment and celebrity-related memorabilia.

FREE and Half Price Tickets to the Hollywood Show in Burbank on August 4 and 5

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Science Fiction Legend Ray Bradbury Dies at 91

Legendary author Ray Bradbury, best known for his classics Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes, died Tuesday night at the age of 91 after a long illness. Bradbury touched the lives of countless people in a way unlike any other author of the 20th century. On a personal note, my father read to me Bradbury's short stories from R is for Rocket and S is for Space when I was a young child - sparking my lifelong love of science fiction. Bradbury's work spoke to the heart of my wife as well - she literally cried when we talked with him at the Jules Verne Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in 2007. He was there to receive a lifetime achievement award. He will be greatly missed.