San Diego Comic Fest 2012

March 16, 2012

San Diego Comic Fest Logo

This year will see the 40th anniversary of the first San Diego Comic-Con to be hosted at the legendary El Cortez Hotel. That con, which was held August 18-21, 1972, set the pattern for a string of memorable Comic-Cons throughout the rest of the ’70s, all of which, with one exception, were at the El Cortez. For many longtime attendees, the El Cortez cons are a fondly-remembered golden age of Comic-Con.

To coincide with this year’s El Cortez Comic-Con annivesary, some early Comic-Con co-founders and committee members agreed it would be a fine idea to have a new “old-school” San Diego comic convention and thus was born the San Diego Comic Fest. We think it will be a lot of fun to have a relatively-smallish con at which we consciously try to foster the spirit, or “vibe” as we used to say, of those early fan gatherings. The 1972 Comic-Con had between 900 and 1,000 attendees, which is around the number we’re looking at for at this year’s event. The Fest intends to bring creators and fans closer together, to create an environment of creative exchange in a fun, inclusive environment, much as the El Cortez-era Comic-Cons did.

If you’ve been missing the early, intimate con experience or never got to experience it but wished you had, then we hope to see you in San Diego over the October 19-21, 2012 weekend.

For more information, please visit www.sdcomicfest.org.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Apolonio Chavez April 8, 2012 at 11:45 am

Being born in the late ’70s, I never had the opportunity to have attended any of the shows up until ’91 (when the show moved to the Convention Center on Harbor). Even in the ’90s, much of the Con itself was manageable enough as a fan to attend and enjoy without the fair-weather fanfare getting in the way and buying up all the tickets to just show up and say they were there. Sorry for the tiny rant, but that’s how I see it. Fast forward to now and with the announcement of a smaller show later in the year, I was excited as ever to really be at a show where I can enjoy and even get a feeling of what the intimate comic con experiences were like in the past.

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Steve Chaput April 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm

My first SDCC was in 1975, while I was stationed in San Diego aboard the USS Waddell (DDG-24). I had attended a small convention, also in San Diego, at a high school gym a few months earlier, but can’t recall the name after all these years. I remember a few pros were in attendance, but when I entered the big room at the El Cortez I was completely blown away. Here were dozens of professional comic book writers and artists. Was that really Jack Kirby and Roy Thomas? OMG, I just passed Jock Mahoney in the hallway and is that really Kirk Alyn over at that table?

To be honest, the ’75 & ’76 cons seem to have merged in my memory so I can never recall who I met at either one, or what famous person I spotted which year. I do remember being too embarrassed most of the time to actually go up to most of those folks and I’ll always regret not taking the opportunity. I mean, how many times are you going to be waiting for an elevator and have Dr. Timothy Leary come out? Did the public announcement really say that Leary was going to appear on a panel with Mel Blanc?

I do have a couple of questions:
1) Will Dr. Raul Duke perform and smash a concrete brick on Scott Shaw, or was it the other way around?
2) Will Wendy Pini appear in her Red Sonja outfit again?

and, most important:

3) Where is Captain Sticky?

Thanks for doing this, folks. I am psyched!

I have lost count of the number of conventions I have attended since those first two. Naturally, there have been more in San Diego, but also in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Mid-Ohio, not counting the small marketplaces and one-day events in several states.

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