From the Archives: Then and now: Planning the first Comic-Con in 1970

San Diego Comic-Con 2022 ends on Sunday, July 24. The popular “confab for science fiction and comic book fans” has endured for more than 50 years.

Here’s a flashback to a 1970 interview with 15-year-old Mike Towry, one of the conference’s founders, before San Diego first annual Comic-Con.

From Evening Tuesday July 21, 1970:

Devotees of comic book design gather here

By Robin Maydeck

Comics in newspapers and books are still the favorite reading material for thousands of San Diegans, and a “comic convention” planned here next month may bring comic fans out of hiding.

Jungle Jim will slip into the jungle, the Fantastic Four will fight for justice again, and Captain America will do his thing at the first annual San Diego Comic-Con.

Sessions August 1-3

Comic-Con will be a salon for sci-fi and comic fans who want to come together, share their treasures, meet the greats of sci-fi and comics, and relive the time when heroes were heroes and nothing to ask was too great a task.

The super convention for super sports enthusiasts will be held from August 1 to 3 at the US Grant Hotel. Tickets for each day’s events will be available at the door, as will sponsoring San Diego Golden State Comic-Con applications.

A loosely-knit group of 25 San Diegans, including students, commercial artists, bookstore owners, aspiring artists and casual sci-fi-comics fans, found themselves among mutual friends and comic book ads last fall and decided San Diego was ready for a condensed dose of super adventure and super heroes.

Mike Towry, 15, Kearny High sophomore and comic book entrepreneur at the first annual San Diego Comic-Con at the US Grant Hotel on August 2, 1970.

(John Price / San Diego Union-Tribune History Center Collection)

Their first effort was a “mini-convention” for sci-fi and comic book fans held here in May to raise funds for the full Comic-Con effort, said Mike Towry, 15, a Kearny High sophomore and entrepreneur. comic.

Ready for a big event

“We’ve had some guest speakers, some film and comic book shows, sci-fi writing and sci-fi movies.” Turi reminded. “We did pretty well. We’re advertising about 100 people visiting, so now we’re ready for the really big conference.”

The schedule for the sci-fi-comics jamboree will have something to please just about every fan, Towry said, including a visit from Ray Bradbury, one of the nation’s leading sci-fi writers.

Bradbury, who waived his usual speaking fee and agreed to appear at Comic-Con for free, will be in attendance on the convention’s opening day on August 1.

Kirby Honor Guard

The guest of honor on August 1st will be Jack Kirby, creator of Captain America and The Fantastic Four, who is also known as “King Kirby, king of the super-hero comic”.

AE Van Vogt, creator of the “Slan” tribe, will appear at the Comic-Con session on August 2nd, and Bob Stevens, political cartoonist for The San Diego Union, will present at the August 3rd session.

For aspiring sci-fi writers and cartoonists, Earl Kemp, editor of Greenleaf Classics, will offer professional advice on “breaking into the business,” Towry said.

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From the Archives: Then and now: Planning the first Comic-Con in 1970 Source link From the Archives: Then and now: Planning the first Comic-Con in 1970

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