Comic-Con 1970

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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We were delighted today to receive an email from Stephen McGlone, whom we hadn’t heard from in years. Stephen and his brothers, David and Patrick, joined the San Diego Comic-Con very early on and made substantial contributions in those early years. (You can read Stephen’s brief reminiscence about those days at http://www.sheldorftribute.com/2011/04/06/stephen-mcglone-answers-shel-dorf%E2%80%99s-call-to-join-the-first-year-comic-con-committee/.)

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Alan Scrivener has recently posted online a history of the early days of San Diego Tolkien fandom, particularly the San Diego branch of the Mythopoeic Society known as the Society of the Friends of Hobbits. Alan’s article is titled “Ron Cearns and the Society of Friends of Hobbits (S.O.F.O.H.) OR On the Prehistory of Comic-Con in the Grossmont High School Tolkien Club and Some Other Related Notes.” You can read it at http://www.well.com/user/abs/SOFOH/sofoh.html.

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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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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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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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