Barry Alfonso

Richard Alf is a legendary figure in my life. I first met him in the fall of 1969, at the apartment of Shel Dorf’s parents in Clairemont. I was 12 years old. We were getting together for the first time to start a comic book club and make the first steps towards launching the San […]

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By Mike Towry Next year (2012) will see the 40th anniversary of the first El Cortez Comic-Con, which was held August 18-21, 1972. I was Chairman of the con that year, at the ripe old age of seventeen, and it’s always held a special place in my heart. I’m not alone, however, in looking back […]

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Bill Lund recently sent me a couple of audio recordings of television interviews that were done for the 1974 Comic-Con. The recordings were supplied to him by Jean Graham, who at the time was known as Jeannie Peacock. (Jean was a key person in 1970’s San Diego Star Trek fandom, which contributed a lot of help and enthusiasm to the Comic-Cons of those days.) The 1974 Comic-Con was held July 31 – August 5, 1974.

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Here’s the fourth batch of scans from Shel Dorf’s negatives from the 1974 San Diego Comic-Con, which was held at the El Cortez Hotel with Bill Lund as Chairman. Guests, fans, and committee members pictured include Charles Schulz, Ray Bradbury, Dave Stevens, Frank Brunner, Mike Friedrich, Don Glut, Tom Orzechowski, Barry Alfonso, Shel Dorf, Igor Goldkind, John McGeehan, and Bill Schanes.

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Here’s the second batch of scans from Shel Dorf’s negatives from the 1974 San Diego Comic-Con, which was held at the El Cortez Hotel with Bill Lund as Chairman. Guests, fans, and committee members pictured include Forry Ackerman, Kirk Alyn, Frank Capra, Mike Friedrich, Jack Kirby, Russ Manning, Roy Thomas, Danton Burroughs, Camille “Caz” Cazedessus, Barry Alfonso, Igor Goldkind, and Eric Hoffman.

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Here’s the first batch of scans from Shel Dorf’s negatives from the 1974 San Diego Comic-Con, which was held at the El Cortez Hotel with Bill Lund as Chairman. (I received the negatives from Shel’s friend and cartooning partner Charlie Roberts. The first two negatives – which are of Shelf Dorf, action hero – were in poor condition but the rest were in good shape.) There are over two hundred pictures so I’m going to post them periodically in batches. Professional guests pictured include Brad Anderson, Russ Manning, and Roy Thomas. Comic-Con committee members pictured include Barry Alfonso, Shel Dorf, and Igor Goldkind.

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In 1969, San Diego comics fan Barry Alfonso and comics dealer Richard Alf placed the ads that led to the creation and early success of Comic-Con.

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Pictures of the birthplace of Comic-Con International in the San Diego community of Clairemont.

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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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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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