Jeff Smith 7 a.m., March 30
Comic Fest on Hotel Circle, Day Three: Photo Report
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)
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...
Monkees Scrapbook co-author Duane Dimock hanging out with some joker.
Karate Kid 2030AD.
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.”
"If only I didn't turn down that role in Donnie Darko..."
Lady Thor looks like she's ready to hammer the Phantom Stranger, Judge Dredd, and the guy from the condom commercials.
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!"
Kevin Smith IS Batman!
"You are NOT 'just trying to read the nametag'..."
"DC gave Batman that utility belt, and all I got was this lousy fannypack."
"Yeah, I know it's just a t-shirt and skirt. But let's give her first prize anyway!"
When underachievers cosplay.
"Don't ever tan, baby, I love you just the way you are!"
Comic artist Tone Rodriguez in Artist Alley.
Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai.
Artist Roger Robinson (The Avengers, Spider-Man, etc).
Famous former neighbor Scott Shaw! (Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew)
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
Valentino with comic and art dealer Robert Beerbohm.
Artist Dan Clowes (Eightball, etc).
Colorist Paul Tallerday.
Local Zombie Love creator and Alan Moore colorist Jeromy Cox with Roger Robinson.
Artist Mike McKone (the Punisher, Teen Titans).
Cork artist Scott Benefiel.
Pacific Comics and Blackthorne colorist/inker Barbara Marker.
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).
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).
Spotlight on Mark Evanier (Groo the Wanderer, Missing Man) with local Exhibit A Press publisher Jackie Estrada.
PHOTO REPORT, DAY TWO:
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.
Joe Pesci IS the Joker. "You think I'm FUNNY?! Do I look like a JOKE to you???"
Wherever there's comics, you'll find steampunks, especially in San Diego, home of the annual Gaslight Gathering convention.
When steamy Harry met punky Sally.
Outdoor murals being painted.
"I just washed my hair and can't do a THING with it..."
Mitt Romney IS the Frankenstein Monster!"
When dads go all Trekkie on you.
Political essayist Paul Krassner, who once worked with comic legend Wally Wood and spent time working on the early incarnation of Mad Magazine.
Okay, everybody sing-a-long: "Trojan Maaaan, TROjan Maaaaannn..."
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.
Tom Luth (Groo the Wanderer, Rock 'N' Roll Comics) with Phil and Linda Yeh (Uncle Jam magazine).
Comic artist Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo).
Famous former neighbor Scott Shaw! (The Flintstones, Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew).
El Cortez Days panel, featuring recollections of the old 1970s San Diego Comic-Cons.
Comic creator Don F. Glut (Star Wars comics, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe).
Archie Comics artist George Gladir.
Comic-Con Memories panel.
Panel spotlight on silver age artist Murphy Anderson (the Flash, the Atom, Batman, Superman, etc) .
PHOTO REPORT, DAY ONE:
George Clayton Johnson entertains at Café Frankenstein.
Damian and Marion Bowles bash out some beats for beatniks.
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.
Anderson and his wife at Café Frankenstein.
"I came to shoot my gun and sell marital aids...and I'm all outta bullets..."
"The skull? Oh, that was my date. Before I ATE her."
How about a little cheesecake with that cheesecake?
Carrie on Fisher, on a t-shirt, and on an autographed poster.
"Abra Kadabra, Kalamazoo, take us back to 1972..."
The future's so bright for creator Michael Aushenker, he's gotta wear shades...
Locally bred sci-fi author Greg Bear brought some reading material.
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."
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.
SRO Oddball crowd.
Local teen singer/songwriter and author James Morris shows off his book Skybound.
Panel on the History of Comic Book Coloring.
Comic creator Tone Rodriguez in Artist Alley.
Local award winning colorist and creator Jeromy Cox, creator of the comic series Zombie Love.
Jay Potts with his World of Hurt web comic.
Classic movie posters on display.
Even the cherubs at the Cafe are beatniks.
"Maybe she's not into guys with hairy chests?"
Attendee representing for the Black head shop in OB!
"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)
RELATED STORIES ON THE READER WEBSITE:
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...
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...
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
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
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
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
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
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
More like this:
- ComicFest Day 3 Photo Report: Russ Heath, Batton Lash, more — Oct. 7, 2013
- Con-Dor science fiction/fantasy convention photo report — March 9, 2013
- Comic Fest on Hotel Circle, Day Two: Photo Report — Oct. 21, 2012
- Comic Fest on Hotel Circle, Day One: Photo Report — Oct. 19, 2012
- Live music at old school Comic Fest, Oct. 19 - 21 @ Town and Country Resort — Oct. 17, 2012