• Out and About alerts

Comic Fest, which ran Friday through today, is a new convention organized by several of the original promoters behind the early San Diego Comic-Cons: Mike Towry, Barry Alfonso, and Bob Sourk.

“This year is the 40th anniversary of the first Comic-Con we had at the El Cortez Hotel, which I was chairman of back in 1972 at the ripe old age of 17,” says Towry. “We think it’ll be fun to have a relatively smallish Con at which we consciously try to foster the vibe of those early fan gatherings.”

Staged at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center on Hotel Circle, classic Twilight Zone writer George Clayton Johnson hosted music events at Café Frankenstein, a recreation of the Laguna Beach beatnik lounge he co-founded in the late 1950s.

Says Towry, “Comic Fest is intended as a recreation of that 1972 El Cortez Con, for those who miss the early, intimate Con experience or who never got to enjoy it.”


PHOTO REPORT, DAY THREE:

Photos courtesy of Jamie Ralph Gardner (http://www.facebook.com/jamie.gardner.3348?fref=ts), Ed Cormier (http://www.facebook.com/Cormier.Ed), and Michael D. Hamersky (http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Diego-Comic-Fest/139148722856535)

None

Pacific Comics panel, recalling the local publishing company which, in the 1980s, recruited comic superstars like Jack Kirby to create one of the first successful indie comic book lines. Pioneers in the fight for comic creators' rights and royalties, the panel featured Pacific colorists Barbara Marker and Paul Tallerday, as well as co-founder Steve Schanes and moderator James Van Hise.

For more on the history of Pacific Comics, see the Reader's detailed cover story "Two Men and Their Comic Books": http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

None

Monkees Scrapbook co-author Duane Dimock hanging out with some joker.

None

Karate Kid 2030AD.

None

Local Folk Arts Rare Records owner Lou Curtiss performing with his wife Virginia in Cafe Frankenstein. Curtiss recalls performing at several early San Diego Comic Cons with Captain Marvel creator C.C. Beck. “He played harmonica, and we got together and jammed a little bit.” Once the owner of over 2,000 comic books (“I remember buying the first issue of Superboy”), Curtiss tells an all too familiar tale, second only to “My mom threw them away,” but with a unique twist.

“I got out of high school and had a girlfriend, and she talked me into selling all my comic books,” he says with regret. The twist? “I donated the money to John F. Kennedy, when he ran for President.” Curtiss collected comics again after he married, at least until “They got to where they were about a buck apiece, and I said the hell with it. They’re too damned expensive now.”

“So I went back to my records.”

None

"If only I didn't turn down that role in Donnie Darko..."

None

Lady Thor looks like she's ready to hammer the Phantom Stranger, Judge Dredd, and the guy from the condom commercials.

None

MC Duane Dimock presents show promoter Mike Towry with the Sparkling Mike Robot Award, asking the crowd "Why are we here?" The answer: "Because of Mike!"

None

Kevin Smith IS Batman!

None

"You are NOT 'just trying to read the nametag'..."

None

"DC gave Batman that utility belt, and all I got was this lousy fannypack."

None

"Yeah, I know it's just a t-shirt and skirt. But let's give her first prize anyway!"

None

When underachievers cosplay.

None

"Don't ever tan, baby, I love you just the way you are!"

None

Comic artist Tone Rodriguez in Artist Alley.

None

Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai.

None

Artist Roger Robinson (The Avengers, Spider-Man, etc).

None

Famous former neighbor Scott Shaw! (Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew)

None

Locally bred artist Jim Valentino, creator of Normalman and co-founder of Image Comics. To see the illustrated history on the early days of Image, featuring Valentino and local comic artist Jim Lee (the Punisher, etc.), and how the company conspired to create the ultimate creator-owned comic books, see this entry on the Reader's Rock Around the Town blog: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/03/the-birth-of-image-comics-an-illustrated-history

None

Valentino with comic and art dealer Robert Beerbohm.

None

Artist Dan Clowes (Eightball, etc).

None

Colorist Paul Tallerday.

None

Local Zombie Love creator and Alan Moore colorist Jeromy Cox with Roger Robinson.

None

Artist Mike McKone (the Punisher, Teen Titans).

None

Cork artist Scott Benefiel.

None

Pacific Comics and Blackthorne colorist/inker Barbara Marker.

None

Longtime Comic-Con booking agent David Siegel with classic comic artist Murphy Anderson (revered for his 1960s work on the Flash, the Atom, Batman, and Superman).

None

Underground Comix panel with Scott Shaw!, Encinitas artist and musician Mary Fleener (Life of the Party, Weird Tales of the Ramones), and Joyce Farmer (Special Exits, Tits and Clits).

None

Spotlight on Mark Evanier (Groo the Wanderer, Missing Man) with local Exhibit A Press publisher Jackie Estrada.


PHOTO REPORT, DAY TWO:

None

George Clayton Johnson -- wearing his trademark wicker hat, long hair, and beard -- entertains at Café Frankenstein. The Frankenstein monster poster in the background was designed by one of Clayton’s original Café partners, artist Burt Shonberg. The late surrealist’s artwork graced album covers by bands like Spirit, the Zarkons, the Curtis Brothers, and Arthur Lee and Love, and Comic Fest will be screening a preview of a new documentary being made about him.

None

Joe Pesci IS the Joker. "You think I'm FUNNY?! Do I look like a JOKE to you???"

None

Wherever there's comics, you'll find steampunks, especially in San Diego, home of the annual Gaslight Gathering convention.

None

When steamy Harry met punky Sally.

None

Outdoor murals being painted.

None

"I just washed my hair and can't do a THING with it..."

None

Mitt Romney IS the Frankenstein Monster!"

None

When dads go all Trekkie on you.

None

Political essayist Paul Krassner, who once worked with comic legend Wally Wood and spent time working on the early incarnation of Mad Magazine.

None

Okay, everybody sing-a-long: "Trojan Maaaan, TROjan Maaaaannn..."

None

This was the end of the Conspiracy to Mail Obscene Material panel, featuring SDSU law professor Tom Gitchoff, Greenleaf Books publisher Earl Kemp, Paul Krassner, and Terry Kemp (son of Earl) behind the table.

None

Tom Luth (Groo the Wanderer, Rock 'N' Roll Comics) with Phil and Linda Yeh (Uncle Jam magazine).

None

Comic artist Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo).

None

Famous former neighbor Scott Shaw! (The Flintstones, Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew).

None

El Cortez Days panel, featuring recollections of the old 1970s San Diego Comic-Cons.

None

Comic creator Don F. Glut (Star Wars comics, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe).

None

Archie Comics artist George Gladir.

None

Comic-Con Memories panel.

None

Panel spotlight on silver age artist Murphy Anderson (the Flash, the Atom, Batman, Superman, etc) .


PHOTO REPORT, DAY ONE:

None

George Clayton Johnson entertains at Café Frankenstein.

None

None

Damian and Marion Bowles bash out some beats for beatniks.

None

86 year-old artist Murphy Anderson (revered for his 1960s work on the Flash, the Atom, Batman, and Superman) signs a copy of the old DC Universe 'zine for a fan.

None

Anderson and his wife at Café Frankenstein.

None

Café entrance.

None

"I came to shoot my gun and sell marital aids...and I'm all outta bullets..."

None

"The skull? Oh, that was my date. Before I ATE her."

None

How about a little cheesecake with that cheesecake?

None

Carrie on Fisher, on a t-shirt, and on an autographed poster.

None

"Abra Kadabra, Kalamazoo, take us back to 1972..."

None

The future's so bright for creator Michael Aushenker, he's gotta wear shades...

None

Locally bred sci-fi author Greg Bear brought some reading material.

None

Monkees Scrapbook co-author Duane Dimock hosting the Zen and the Art of Cereal Boxes panel. Dimock is always philosophizing: "My security is the knowledge there is no security."

None

None

None

None

Famous former neighbor Scott Shaw! presenting his Oddball Comics slideshow, spotlighting the weirdest comics ever made, a presentation that has been a mainstay at the OTHER San Diego comic convention for over two decades.

None

SRO Oddball crowd.

None

Local teen singer/songwriter and author James Morris shows off his book Skybound.

None

Panel on the History of Comic Book Coloring.

None

Comic creator Tone Rodriguez in Artist Alley.

None

Local award winning colorist and creator Jeromy Cox, creator of the comic series Zombie Love.

None

Jay Potts with his World of Hurt web comic.

None

Classic movie posters on display.

None

None

Even the cherubs at the Cafe are beatniks.

None

"Maybe she's not into guys with hairy chests?"

None

Attendee representing for the Black head shop in OB!

None

"Hey lady, you in the mood for a little head?"

Photos courtesy of Jamie Ralph Gardner (http://www.facebook.com/jamie.gardner.3348?fref=ts) and Michael D. Hamersky (http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Diego-Comic-Fest/139148722856535)

None


RELATED STORIES ON THE READER WEBSITE:

None

THE ROCKETEER AND OTHER FAMOUS '80S COMICS BEGAN RIGHT HERE IN SAN DIEGO - Here's a detailed history of local Pacific Comics, who recruited comic superstars like Jack Kirby to create one of the first successful indie comic book lines. Pioneers in the fight for comic creators' rights and royalties, former employees and operators reveal how they did it, and what went so terribly wrong... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

None

ROCK 'N' ROLL COMICS: THE INSIDE STORY - In 1989, local Revolutionary Comics ("Unauthorized And Proud Of It") launched Rock 'N' Roll Comics, featuring unlicensed biographies of rock stars, most of which I wrote. Some performers, like Frank Zappa and Kiss, were supportive, while others like New Kids On The Block considered our comics akin to bootlegs and sued. In June 1992, publisher Todd Loren was found dead in his San Diego condo, brutally murdered... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...

None

OVER A MILLION CARNAL COMICS ARE IN PRINT - Here's how and why we made some of the top-selling erotic comics of all time, right here in San Diego, including what Gene Simmons has to do with it all, backstage tales of porn stars, and more confessions of a comic pornographer... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/08/carnal-comics-the-inside-story-jay-allen-sanfor

None

THE KOMPLETE KISS KOMIX KRONICLES - Comprehensive collection of stuff I’ve done about working with Kiss on a comic book series, along with a bunch of never-before-seen artifacts from the Kiss Komix archives AND an article by Kiss comic author Spike Steffenhagen, offering his own very-different take, ala Rashomon, on the same events I describe in my essay... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/12/komplete-kiss-komix-kronicles

None

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK VS REVOLUTIONARY COMICS - The inside story of how a hugely successful boy band tried to sue local-based Rock 'N' Roll Comics over an unauthorized biography of the group, sparking a court case that established, for the very first time, first amendment rights for comic books. Illustrated by comic superstar Stuart Immonen (Superman, etc.)... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/13/new-kids-on-the-block-versus-revolutionary-comics

None

TWILIGHT ZONE AND STAR TREK WRITER GEORGE CLAYTON JOHNSON PRESENTS - The inside story of a local horror comic book series featuring Robert Bloch, author of Psycho, plus sci-fi king Larry Niven, Zap Comix co-founder Spain Rodriguez, Matthew Alice artist Rick Geary, Vampire Lestat painter Daerick Gross, yours truly JAS, and many more... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/05/deepest-dimension-terror-anthology-twilight-zone

None

None

COMICS AND CENSORSHIP - DON'T BE AFRAID, IT'S ONLY A COMIC BOOK - A local-centric history of comic book censorship, and the fight for the rights of comic creators... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/06/comics-and-censorship-a-local-centric-illustrated

None

THE BIRTH OF IMAGE COMICS: INSIDE STORY OF A LOCAL PUBLISHING POWERHOUSE - Illustrated tale revealing how Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and local comic artist Jim Lee (the Punisher, etc.) conspired to create the ultimate creator-owned comic books... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/03/the-birth-of-image-comics-an-illustrated-history

  • Out and About alerts

Comments

Sign in to comment