Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cpt. Caveman's TTM Autographs #58

Welcome back to another weekly TTM success post. This week I thought I'd talk a little more about Autopens or AP for short. Most of you already know what an AP is but for you new collectors that don't. An AP is a machine that is used to automatically recreate genuine looking autographs and signatures. These machines have been around since the early part of the 20th century and every US president since Eisenhower has used an AP to sign documents and to fill autograph requests. Kennedy was one of the first Presidents to heavily use an AP though. AP's work from a template that has been created from a real autograph. A pen or sharpie is attached to a mechanical arm that then can reproduce signatures on documents, photos and books. They even make AP's that can sign on odd shaped surfaces like baseballs, golfballs and bats. The templates can be changed out to accommodate different signers or different styles of someone's signature. To the untrained eye AP signatures can resemble an actual signature. Luckily for us collectors a machine can't quite duplicate the subtle differences that occurs when someone actually hand signs something and the AP leaves clues that points to it not being a real signature. With a little training of the eye you will start to notice a few key indicators of an AP signature. The first one is Dots at the ends of words or letters caused by hard or abrupt stops. The AP comes to a stop at the end and then pauses for a brief moment before lifting off the paper. This leaves a darker distinct dot especially at the beginning and end. This is normally not seen in a hand signed autograph. That's because humans write faster and more smoothly than the machine. This usually leaves the ink thinning out and tapering off at the end and doesn't suddenly stop like the AP. The next thing to look for is shaky or wobbly lines. These are the most noticeable AP trait. These normally occur on the longer straighter sections of the signatures or sometimes in the loops. This is caused by the AP trying to sign to fast and that leaves the signature with wavy lines that should normally be straight. The final thing to look for is the Ink flow. In a real hand written signature the ink flow and the width of the ink line have distinct variations as the signer moves the pen at different speeds, angles and pressures through the entire autograph so you can see slight variations in the ink color and width of the line. An AP writes everything at the exact same speed, angle and pressure leaving the ink line pretty much the same throughout the entire autograph. I hope this helps some of you new collectors out there to identify the dreaded AutoPen autograph. I know IV seen some AP signatures that have look almost real while others are obviously AP's with the above mentioned traits. Anyways I hope this helps now lets get on to this weeks TTM successes. Monday was a super TTM day with six returns. First with a quick seven days to return we received both pictures we sent to Russell Todd back signed. I love "Chopping Mall" it's on my top favorite horror film list along with so many other great horror films. Next a very cool return from the writer of "Friday the 13th" Victor Miller. He signed all three pictures we sent him and only took ten days to return. After that a great addition to our Aliens collection when we received both our picture and autograph card back signed from Ricco Ross after only a month and a half. The next success came from a VV attempt to Jesse Eisenberg. He signed one of the two pictures we sent and only took a month and a half to return. After that a great return from Alan Alda. I'm a huge "M*A*S*H" fan and its so awesome to finally add him with the rest of my cast collection and it took just over two months to return. To finish off this super TTM day I received my "SOAP" DVD cover back signed from Robert Guillaume. Great success and took eight months and one day to return. To finish off the week Saturday brought one last return. After only four months and on my 5th attempt using various addresses I finally got a reply from country music legend Dolly Parton. IV tried multiple times and either got a rejection letter or nothing back but my pictures unsigned but not this time. She sent my photo back unsigned but included a nice signed 8x10. Im super happy with this success. I expected to see a Pre Print when I opened it but was pleasantly surprised when it was a real autograph. Well that's it for this week. The Saints are gone so its back to strictly TTM for us for awhile but that's fine. Graphing is graphing. Be it in person or TTM its all the same great hobby to us. Have a great weekend and ill be back next week with more TTM autograph collecting goodness.

Russell Todd
Russell Todd Agency
5238 Goodland Ave.
Valley Village, CA 91607-2316
Victor Miller
1708 Cornell Drive
Alamenda, CA 94501
Ricco Ross
736 N. Fuller Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Jesse Eisenberg
VV-c/o "The Spoils"
Alan Alda
c/o Royce Carlton, Inc.
866 United Nations Plaza
Suite 587
New York, NY 10017-1880
Robert Guillaume
21700 Oxnard Street
Suite 2030
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Dolly Parton
CTK Management
P.o. Box 389
2817 West End Ave.
Nashville, TN 37203

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