January 2010

I have been scanning some of San Diego Comic-Con Founder Shel Dorf’s old film negatives. (I received the negatives from Shel’s friend and cartooning partner Charlie Roberts.) Below you will find a batch of his color pictures from the 1973 Comic-Con. I’ve identified people in photos where I was reasonably certain of their identities. Also Bill Lund (San Diego Comic-Con Chairman in 1973 and 1974), with an assist from Jean Graham, was able to identify a number of others. Some of the professional guests pictured are Neal Adams, Bob Clampett, June Foray, Carmine Infantino, Jack Kirby, and Larry “Seymour” Vincent. Comic-Con committee members pictured include Barry Alfonso, William Caron, Shel Dorf, Vicky Kelso, Ken Krueger, Bill Lund, Bill Schanes, and Steve Schanes.

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Artist Alan White has begun posting to his smellthefandom.com web site a personal history of his fifty-years with science-fiction and comics fandom and conventions titled “Boomer’s Lament.” As with so many others, his fan history more or less begins with Famous Monsters of Filmland, Forry Ackerman, and the Ackermansion. Since it was being supported by Forry, Alan began attending the San Diego Comic-Con in 1970, its very first year. So far he’s told his story and posted his pictures through 1977, with much more to come. It’s all very cool and very much worth reading.

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I was there at the 1970 Comic-Con. I was 15 and my mother drove me down there from L.A. It was a big thing for me, my first contact with fandom in the flesh. I was so in awe of Kirby, Bradbury and all the other guests, just in awe of the whole situation, that I was at a convention for comic books. They auctioned off some sketches that Kirby did, right there in person.

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A Tribute to David Siegel

January 18, 2010

In 1997, Charlie heard that Shel Dorf was planning an article about comics fan extraordinaire David Siegel to be published in the Comic Buyer’s Guide. To provide information for the article, Charlie wrote the following letter to Shel. The letter details Charlie’s adventures with David while Charlie and his wife, Joan, were living in York, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, Shel’s article was never published and so, with Charlie’s permission and encouragement, we present it here.

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The San Diego Comic Convention hosted many stellar guests during its first decade, but perhaps the most unlikely among them was psychedelic guru Dr. Timothy Leary. Once labeled by Richard Nixon as “the most dangerous man in America,” he was still a notorious figure when he attended the 1976 Comic-Con. Not everyone on the Con committee was thrilled to have him there. Nevertheless, he did play a small but memorable part in the program. I know: I acted as his assistant, temporary sidekick and cohort in pranksterism.

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In 1975, the San Diego Comic-Con committee produced two conventions: one from July 30th through August 3rd and a second from November 7th through 9th. This article is about that second convention. It originally appeared on November 21, 1975 in the University of California at Irvine student newspaper New University (where the author had been the editor-in-chief a year earlier).

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This article is about the July 30th through August 3rd, 1975 San Diego Comic-Con and first appeared on August 22, 1975 in the Los Angeles Free Press (where the author was Book Editor). It is presented here by permission of the author, David Laurence Wilson.

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The following audio recordings were made at the first, full San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con (as it was known in those heroic days of yore). The convention dates were August 1st through 3rd, 1970. The site was the basement of the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. The audio segments are presented in the order they were recorded.

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….Entered organized comics fandom age 13 responding to GB Love’s first display advert in Marvel Comics, which caused me to send a dollar in thereby receiving RBCC #45 plus the second Comics Collector Handbook and Alter Ego #7 in the mail soon thereafter. I was hooked from the get-go with Rocket’s Blast*ComiCollector, placing my first mail order advert by #47 Oct 1966. I was now 14 years old….The same year as we made our first Seulingcon, we also made the 1700 mile car trek from outside Omaha out to the first San Diego Comic-Con in 1970, and now over 40 years later, am one of a very small club of only four persons who have sold comic books out of a booth at every single SD Comic-Con since.

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The new online, Fall 2009 edition of the Comic-Con Magazine is available from http://www.comic-con.org/common/cc_magazine.shtml. It features very nice articles on San Diego Comic-Con International Founder Shel Dorf (pages 4-5) and Chairman of Comic-Con #1 Ken Krueger (page 6). There is also a great picture of Ken with some of the original Comic-Con crew at the 2009 Comic-Con on page 36.

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