By Jack Bertram
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. I remember sitting there as they began to auction off the drawings, thinking that when the bidding went over $10.00 that was too high for me. The bidding went a little higher and suddenly my mother was standing up, calling out $40.00. My head turned, I looked up at my mom in disbelief. To me $40 was a lot of money. Anyway we won the drawing and I was happy to have it. I still have it today.
Here’s a photo of that sketch that Kirby did at the 1970 Comic-Con. The paper that he sketched it on is 36″ x 42″. It’s a large sketch that he did on stage. He did other sketches too, that other people purchased. I’ve cropped it some to make the edges look a little neater. In the book Comic-Con: 40 Years of Artists, Writers, Fans, and Friends, there is a picture of Kirby doing this sketch. I was excited to see that sketch in the book.
The sketch contains the faces of Reed Richards, Doctor Doom, and the Thing. Someone from the Comic-Con staff commented that this could be the last time that Kirby draws these characters. So, this seemed pretty historic at the time. But, I didn’t care about the history of it. It was a Jack Kirby drawing and that’s all I had to know. They took a picture of me with the drawing. I’ve always wondered if that picture was still around somewhere hidden in some archives.
Comic fan Jack Bertram blogs at http://jackbertram.blogspot.com.