50 Years of Comics Fandom
Bill Schelly has done it again! He coordinated this year's "Fandom Reunion" at the 2011 Comic-Con in San Diego, and turned it into a spectacular gathering of comic professionals, BNF's from fandom's past, and ol' farts (like me). And congrats on your Inkpot Award, Bill! Accolades should also be given to Jackie Estrada, who made all the room arrangements, collected RSVP's, brought her fanzine collection and much more.
Also, the CCI Board of Directors has to be thanked for funding the Meet-and-Greet (especially all the delicious food), and special thanks to Gary Sassaman for designing and printing the 50th Anniversary Hang Tags and Programs. There were many fandom-oriented panels to choose from, well attended and highly interesting - kudos to the Comic-Con's Programming Department for organizing and scheduling the panels and spotlight sessions. It was an absolute blast!
In this Reunion summary, you'll find a ton of photo images of fans, pro's, panel members and audience participants. Click on the fanzine scans, because most of the fanzine images link to pages with higher resolution, enlarged images, as well as further info on the contents of each zine! I have also included some external audio and video links for some of the Panels that have become available from other sites.
Photo left: Aaron Caplan (that's me) displays his trademarked double chin alongside of Larry Bigman and Bill G. Wilson. Middle Photo: On Friday night, I had a splendid dinner with Terry Stroud (in ball cap), Rob Gluckson (in white hat) and my son Jeff Caplan. Photo right: After dinner, we crashed a party at the Embassy Suites, where I met Johnny Chambers (black tee shirt)! By the way Rob, why were you running around all night with your belt unbuckled? Photo on left courtesy of Bill Wilson.
The beauty of the Fandom Reunion festivities was that I finally got to meet, after almost 45 years, some of the fandom heroes of my youth like Rob, Larry, Bill and Johnny, shown above.
The event of the week was the Fandom Reunion Party, advertised as the "Fandom's 50th Meet & Greet" in the Events Guide, and held on Saturday night, July 23rd. Jackie Estrada arranged the invitation-only party, and blew me away with the room, arrangements, food and decorations. Jackie was responsible for a lot of the behind the scenes work to make the Fandom Reunion possible. She made everything run so smooth it was seamless. Without her, the Reunion couldn't have happened! Thanks so much Jackie!
My "big" contribution to the Fandom Reunion was the production of the 3" buttons (see left) that feature reproductions of three groundbreaking comic book fanzines ... Comic Art 1, Alter Ego 1 and Xero 1! I had 300 made up and still have about 70 left over. So if you would like to own one free of charge, please contact me at aaron (AT) fantucchio (DOT) com, and I will send you one (I'll need your full mailing address, of course).
But the real highlight of the evening was the 140+ fandom luminaries who attended - just wait until you see who showed up for the party!
Of course, the Comic-Con itself is always a really enjoyable, unique and fun experience. There are way too many people, over 125,000 attended this year, but this is also part of the charm. The Comic-Con folks have learned how to police the crowds, and it's much more manageable than it may seem.
There was quite a bit of crowd control exercised at the end of the first day.
You also learn very quickly which areas to avoid in the Hall which are inundated with people (Hall F and G), and the less congested sections (unfortunately the silver-age comics aisles in Hall B).
I very much enjoyed strolling through the less crowded Silver Age Comics areas in Hall A & B and speaking to the dealers. Photo left: At Terry Stroud's booth, Terry shows off semi-pornographic art he drew. Photo right: Direct Market pioneer Bob Beerbohm works his booth with fandom writer/RPG guru Steve Perrin (in the hat). Remember the "Captain oh Captain" series of articles Steve wrote for Voice of Comicdom?
It wouldn't be Comic-Con if there weren't tons of costumed geeks running around ... some with incredible costumes, others absolutely horrid:
My wife says I'm too partial to "big" ladies in skimpy costumes ... hmmm.
"Spotlight on Bill Schelly" Panel
Moderated by Gary Brown (Editor/Publisher of such fanzines as Comic Comments, Gremlin and pro-zine Comixscene/Mediascene), Bill was interviewed about his latest books The Art of Joe Kubert and Founders of Comic Fandom. After the panel, I immediately ran down to the Fantagraphics booth to pick up a copy of Art of Joe Kubert - and holy crap, the book is monstrous ... I mean, it's a coffee table book that is the size of the frackin' coffee table! I wanted so bad to buy it right away (and get it signed of course), but I didn't think it would fit in my suitcase. It looks fantastic though, Bill. Oh well, amazon.com it is ...
Gary Brown (on left) interviews Bill Schelly. Gary edited Comic Comments and Gremlin and also was editor of Comixscene/Mediascene for Steranko.
A view of the audience shows an attentive Bill G. Wilson and wife Beth.
"Golden Age of the Fanzine" Panel
This was definitely my favorite Comic-Con panel. I am a collector of comic book fanzines from the 60's through early 70's, and since I have amassed a collection of over 4,000 comic fanzines, I guess this qualifies me as a serious collector. I don't really collect anything else, not comics, pulps, nor sci-fi books. Just comic book fanzines. The best part of this Panel was seeing many of the fanzine editors, artists and writers I had idolized but had never met - in both the Panel and the audience!
If you would like to hear the audio portion of this panel, click HERE to download a 70MB mp3 file of the entire session, courtesy of Jamie Coville! For more 2011 SDCC Fandom Panel recordings, go to www.thecomicbooks.com/audio.html.
The Panel participants included (from left) Bill Schelly (Moderator), Jean Bails (hidden by podium), Roy Thomas, Richard Kyle, Paul Levitz, Pat Lupoff, Richard Lupoff and Maggie Thompson!
Bill Schelly asked each panelist what the "origin story" was of their particular groundbreaking fanzine. Maggie Thompson discussed Comic Art. Dick Lupoff, Pat Lupoff and Richard Kyle shared stories about Xero. Paul Levitz talked about Etcetera, which morphed into a little zine called The Comic Reader (with a little help from Maggie Thompson). Roy Thomas and Jean Bails (wife of Jerry for 38 years) discussed their involvement and with the original incarnation of Alter Ego.
There were over 100 people in attendance, and many had been involved in publishing or contributing to fanzines. A defining moment occurred when Bill Schelly asked audience members to raise their hands if they had published a fanzine ... and about a third of the audience responded!
Fandom luminaries abounded in the "Golden Age of the Fanzine" audience: 1.) Gary Brown and Alan Hutchinson pose for a photo. 2.) Bill G. Wilson of The Collector fame speaks to the Panel. 3.) Joe Staton enjoys a humorous moment. 4.) Maggie Thompson stops to chat with BNF Steve Perrin. 5.) Larry Bigman got up to talk about the influence of the RBCC (in the foreground is Doug Fratz). 6.) I caught the back of Jeff Gelb's head.
My Fanzines get Ripped-Off in Hall B!
As great as the Con is, you have to be careful ... as I found out the hard way on Friday afternoon. Not 20 minutes after the "Golden Age of the Fanzine" Panel ended, I went downstairs to meet a friend at one of the Dealer's booths in Hall B, and had my bags STOLEN when I stupidly left them unattended, leaning next to the booth. I was away from my bags for less than 10 seconds!
I wouldn't mind if the stuff stolen were comics I had bought at the Con, but one bag contained 12 very rare, historical fanzines. I had brought them from home, part of my personal collection, specifically to show them to the creators/publishers of the zines themselves. The stolen fanzines include Alter Ego #1 (Tom Fagan's copy - see image on left), Alter Ego #2 (unmarked John Wright copy in near mint condition), Alter Ego #3 (George Kehayias copy, had 3 hole punches in it), Fantastic Fanzine #1, Comic Buyer's Guide #1, Xero #1 (pretty tattered with 3 hole punch/fasteners holding it together), The Comic Reader #8 (first actual issue under the name "The Comic Reader"), The Comic Fan #1 (stain in the middle), The Collector #1 (mint condition), Champion #1, Comicology #1 and Comic Comments #2.
Left: Bob Cosgrove shows my Champion #1 which he had just signed. Right: Doug Fratz signed my copy of Comicology #1. Middle: Buddy Saunders (with his beautiful wife) displays The Comic Fan #1 he had just signed. The red arrows point to the bags which were stolen not 20 minutes after "The Golden Age of Fanzines" Panel. And then they were gone ... sigh ...
I had just gotten The Comic Fan #1 signed by editor Buddy Saunders. After the Panel I had Bob Cosgrove sign Champion #1 and Doug Fratz sign my Comicology #1. The saddest item to lose is the Comic Comments #2, which was hand-typed by Wayne DeWald - there were only 4 or 5 copies ever published. I am happy I was able to show the issue to Gary Brown, who believes it the only copy in existence. The sad thing is, the thieves probably did not even know what they were stealing, probably threw all the fanzines away, and kept the 4 Comic Con t-shirts and 5 Little Lulu's in the other bag!
When I reported the loss to the San Diego Police, I tried to describe the entire list of items, and Officer Stewart crossed out my descriptions and wrote one word: "fanzines." So you know how hard the SDPD will work this case ... in the words of Dick & Pat Lupoff: XERO!
It's not the end of the world for me so I'll stop this sob story now ... but rest assured I will be scouring eBay for this list of zines for a long time.
Nov 2011 Addendum:
MY STOLEN FANZINES ARE FOUND AND RETURNED!!!
It is now three months after the theft of my treasured comic book fanzines, and because of an honest dealer, they have been recovered! I thought all was lost, asmost thieves would have no idea as to the value of these zines, as well as their historical significance - I thought for sure they would simply be trashed. But I was lucky. Thanks to an observant Jamie Newbold, owner of Southern California Comics (www.socalcomics.com) in San Diego, he knew something was suspicious about the young dude trying to sell these. Apparently, Jamie (see left) had previously seen a post on the Collector Society Message Board by Conan Saunders of mycomicshop.com and paid only $50 to recover the fanzines. He immediately contacted me to tell me the news. I was in shock! Only one zine was missing (The Buyer's Guide #1), and I already have several copies of that widely distributed adzine.
The stolen books in question were extremely high value comic book fanzines from the 60's. I never realized this until they were shipped back last week, but another zine, Mike Raub's Fandom Calling #3, was also in the batch.
Jamie Newbold (center with the moustache) saves my fanzines!! Jamie is an ex-San Diego police officer and knew better than to scare off the thief - he simply bought the fanzines for $50 and immediately contacted me!
Just to give you an idea of the actual value, I sold my duplicate copies of Alter Ego 1 and 3 in 2009 for $3000 and they were nice books, but not in what I would consider near mint condition - Yes Roy Thomas, that Alter Ego #1 you were presented at the SDCC Fandom Reunion party by Mike Tuohey (scroll wayyyy down the page to see what I'm talking about) is worth A LOT OF MONEY!!
MY HISTORIC STOLEN COMIC BOOK FANZINES RETURNED!
Top Row: Comic Reader 8, Champion 1, Xero 1, Comic Comments 2, The Collector 1 and Comicology 1. Bottom Row: Alter Ego 1, Alter Ego 2, Alter Ego 3, The Comic Fan 1 and Fantastic Fanzine 1! Not shown: Fandom Calling 3 and The Buyer's Guide for Comic Fandom 1 (TBG #1 was not recovered).
The Comic Comments #2 was irreplaceable and probably the last surviving copy, as it was hand typed by editor Wayne DeWald and only 4 or 5 copies ever produced!!! Gary Groth's Fantastic Fanzine 1 and Bill G. Wilson's The Collector 1 are impossible to find in any condition, so I would estimate the value of this collection at over $4000, and possibly closer to $5K.So again, I have to thank Jamie at Southern CA Comics for being an honest comics dealer with integrity. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, JAMIE!! If you want to buy comics from a reputable guy, contact Jamie at email@example.com and tell him I sent you!
I would also like to thank Conan Saunders and his dad, Buddy Saunders (both of Lone Star Comics and mycomicshop.com) as well as Al Stoltz of Basement Comics, for publicizing the theft to many of the comic dealers around the country. I'm sure there are others who helped spread the word, so forgive me if I have not mentioned your name. Conan (see photo at right) was particularly instrumental to the recovery of my comic fanzines as a result of his Collector's Society Message Board post that alerted many to the fanzine theft - click HERE to see the crime-busting post! Conan, you and Jamie are true comic book super heroes!!
"50 Years of Comics Fandom - the Founders" Panel
From left: Mark Evanier, Maggie Thompson, Pat & Dick Lupoff, Richard Kyle, Bill Schelly, Roy Thomas & Jean Bails.
Mark Evanier moderated this panel discussing the history of comics fandom. The Panel consisted of Bill Schelly, Roy Thomas, Jean Bails, Dick & Pat Lupoff, Maggie Thompson and Richard Kyle. A complete video is available for viewing on The Comic Journal's web site. Be sure to listen for Maggie's story about Hal Lynch and the naming of "comicdom." Access the Founder's Panel video presentation by clicking HERE.
Here is a view of the Comic Fandom Founders audience
More Comic-Con Panel Audios from Jamie Coville!
Jamie Coville has a website that features over 15 comics-related Panels that he recorded during the 2011 Comic-Con. Many of the panels are fandom related. The recordings are downloadable as mp3 files or you can just click on his links to immediately listen. It's the next best thing to being there!
Jamie Coville (left), Doug Fratz (middle) and Gary Brown (right) at the ''Golden Age of the Fanzine'' Panel. Michael D. Hamersky can be seen between Doug and Gary. Again, kudos go out to Jamie Coville and his magnificent recording machine!
You can visit Jamie's site HERE for his 2011 SD Comic-Con Report. I have taken the liberty of downloading fandom related Panel recordings so that you can directly access them. To download the mp3 file to your hard drive, right click on the link, then 1.) if you are using Internet Explorer, then click on "Save Target As ..." or 2.) if using Firefox/Mozilla or Chrome, click on the "Save Link As ..." menu item.
2011 Fandom Reunion Scrapbook
For me, the most spectacular event of the Con was not going to the Napoleon Dynamite panel (which I did indeed attend) nor the Friday night party in Dan Fogel's Hotel room (where I could still smell weed and beer on my clothing the next day). It was the Fandom Reunion 2011 Party. Fandom Reunion was billed as "Fandom's 50th Meet & Greet" in the Events Guide, and was held on Saturday July 23rd. What was so special about this historic event is I got to meet, for the first time in 45 years, many of the big name fans, artists, editors and publishers of comic fanzines I loved in my youth. And I do mean historic, because some of the founders of comic fandom who attended may not be with us in 10 years.
A crowded view of the Fandom Reunion Party. The party peaked with more than 140 attendees.
What follows is my account of the evening, with an assist from several other photographers - I will try to provide proper photo credits where appropriate. A special thanks to Jackie Estrada, who set up an excellent Flickr page that details Comic-Con 2011 as well as the Reunion - you can look at her Flickr page HERE. I've used quite a few of her images, so a special shout out to Jackie!
Fanzine Publishers, Artists, Writers and BNF's!
As I related before, I'm a fanatical collector of comic book fanzines, so forgive my total focus on them and note that the group of people that are depicted in these next photos are my fandom heroes, and the very reason I attended the Fandom Reunion!
Bill G. Wilson's The Collector was one of my all-time favorite comic fanzines. In the left photo, Bill points out himself as a 14 year old teen at the 1969 NY Comic Art Convention Luncheon (see inset image)! He had already been publishing The Collector for over 2 years! In the photo at right, I caught Bill and his beautiful wife Beth admiring the original fanzine art display that David Armstrong set up.
Blast from the past! An array of Bill G. Wilson's The Collector covers featuring John G. Fantucchio art!
At first a pamphlet, The Collector grew into one of the most high quality fanzines by the end of its run in 1974. Click on each fanzine for an enlarged view.
Another one of my favorite fanzines was Fantastic Fanzine, published/edited by Gary Groth (left) and he soon moved on to helm The Comic Journal. Gary is now the head honcho of Fantagraphics, and provided the original 69 NYCC Luncheon photo to Jackie Estrada, who had the photo blown up. Little did Gary realize that he (and Bill Wilson) would be reenacting their famous side by side pose (they were sitting next to each other in the original photo) all night. Photo on right courtesy of Bill G. Wilson.
Some of my favorite Gary Groth fanzines. From left to right: Fantastic Fanzine 11 with iconic Steranko cover; Fantastic Fanzine 13 with award winning John G. Fantucchio cover; Comics Journal 32, which is actually the very first issue of Comics Journal under that name (issue #31 was called Nostalgia Journal)! Click on each fanzine for enlarged view.
In the left photo, super-fan Stan Landman points to where he sat at the 1969 NY Comic Art Convention Luncheon - he really looks the same! At far right, legendary Bud Plant looks at various sample fanzines, while Craig Yoe (with always interesting hair) is transfixed by the '69 NYCC photo! Photo on right courtesy of Jackie Estrada.
The poster display of this 69 NY Comic Art Convention Luncheon photo held a lot of interest for Fandom Reunion attendees - especially since at least 8 people in the photo were at the 2011 Reunion, including 1.) Bill G. Wilson 2.) Gary Groth 3.) Gary Brown 4.) Marv Wolfman, who is rumored to be one of only two douchebags that turned their back on the photographer (the other being Dick Giordano to the right of Marv)! 5.) Stan Landman 6.) Jean Bails 7.) Roy Thomas 8.) Michelle Nolan. Click on the above image or HERE for a much enlarged view, plus a listing of over 57 identified attendees! See if you can find such fandom luminaries as John Fantucchio, Irene Vartanoff, Martin L. Greim, Grass Green, Roy G. Krenkel, Jerry Weist, Bill Thailing, Len Wein, Phil Seuling and many more! Photo courtesy of Gary Groth.
My son Jeff Caplan (left) with Robert Gluckson (middle) and Terry Stroud (right). Rob was publisher of several fanzines including Guts, the Magazine with Intestinal Fortitude (always loved that subtitle) and Inkling. He also has recently published a book called "Fast and Easy Cartooning for Fun." Rob does not like belts. Terry provided the cover art to The Collector #8 (above right) and wrote ama-strips for The Transformation. He is a well-known comic book dealer who has had a booth at every San Diego Comic-Con since 1970!
Bill Schelly (left) chats with Doug Fratz (right), fanzine writer/editor/publisher extraordinaire. Doug is best known for his great fanzine Comicology, but he also edited Potpourri, Comicology Fan Review, Crifanac, Horse Feathers, The Wonderful World of Marvel, The Wigtonian and 44 issues of Thrust/Quantum Science Fiction & Fantasy Review. He regularly contributed articles and columns to The Collector, Ajay 40, Emperial Comics, Wonder Worlds, Splash Page, Critique, Comic Courier and Cloak and Dagger, and Spidey Fan ... Whew, talk about prolific!
And while we're talking "prolific," let's talk about fanzine artist extraordinaire Alan Hutchinson. Al contributed to 100's of comic book fanzines in the 60's and 70's, and it's my opinion that he's never received the accolades he deserves. Look at the 3 covers shown above - they're iconic! Here's an abbreviated list of fanzines Al's cover and interior art enhanced: Comic Art, Dateline: Comicdom, Spectre, Gremlin, Star Studded Comics, Sense of Wonder, Orf, Gosh Wow, Heroes Illustrated, Amazing Masters, Comic Comments, Illusions, The Comic World, Fandom Calling, On the Drawing Board and Irving Forbush Gazette! Click on each fanzine for enlarged images.
1.) David Armstrong setting up two spectacular original fanzine art and fandom history displays. He put in days and days of work to make this happen! Thanks so much, David! 2.) Can you recognize the back of Roy and Dann Thomas? Or Michelle Nolan? 3.) Buddy Saunders and wife examine the fanzine original art, much of it supplied by Buddy himself. 4. ) Aaron Caplan (that's me) stands next to the Mask & Cape 4 (by Bill DuBay) cover original art he loaned out for David Armstrong's awesome display ... that's right, it's mine, all mine! 5.) Paul Levitz (far left) and crowd. The guy in the red runs the Alex Toth website - does anyone know his name? Photos #2 and 3 courtesy of Jackie Estrada. Photos #4 and 5 courtesy of David Armstrong.
I finally met Buddy Saunders (and his family shown above), who has been a fandom rock-star for almost 50 years. He was so popular as a fanzine artist that he had to create a pseudonym ("Don Fowler") so it wouldn't look like he was everywhere at once. At the Reunion, a lot of Buddy's original art was featured on the two displays set up by David Armstrong. At far right, Buddy's son Conan was instrumental in recovering my stolen fanzines (scroll way up above on this page to read what I'm taking about)!
The guy on the far left in yellow telling the fish story is writer George Clayton Johnson, who wrote the first Star Trek ("Man Trap") ever televised! Sitting in front of George is Rick Norwood, an early Big Name Fan who recently edited the 300th issue of Comics Revue. At right is Bob Cosgrove, publisher of one of my favorite fanzines, Champion, and a major contributor to Comic Crusader, The Collector, Sense of Wonder, Intrigue and All Dynamic. Bob still stays in touch with good friend Marty Greim, who could not make it to the Reunion because of health concerns. Photo on left courtesy of Jackie Estrada.
Five BNF's (start from left)! 1.) Jerome Sinkovec: Jerry is known for his long run with The Comic Reader, but I thought I would take the embarrassing route with his 1970 Comic Commentary #1. 2.) Michelle Nolan: Sure we know her for her CBG articles today, but Michelle created the MLJ (see above), Nedor and Golden Age Super Hero Indexes which predated (and were incorporated into) the Overstreet Price Guide! 3.) Mike Tuohey: Mike "impossible to spell his last name" Tuohey edited the first 3 issues of Super Hero before Rich Buckler took over (#2 is shown above) and was a major contributor to Masquerader and Comicollector. 4.) Steve Fears: Steve co-edited Mastermind with Paul McSpadden and contributed columns to many zines including The Comic Reader (#39 is shown above) and Superspy. 5.) Larry Bigman: Among many articles written for RBCC, Larry wrote an amazing index of the first 100 issues of Rocket's Blast Comicollector in RBCC #100 (shown above) - I still use the article as a reference today!
Steve Perrin was a prolific writer who contributed to a slew of early fanzines including Mask & Cape, Rocket's Blast, Bombshell, Rapport, Comic Feature, Intrigue, Countdown, Hero, Masquerader, Super Hero, and Voice of Comicdom ... it's impossible to list them all! The original artwork for the Perrin edited Mask & Cape #4 cover (shown above - also see red arrow) is owned by me and was displayed at the Fandom Reunion! Outside of fandom, Steve is a superstar game designer and famous for creating the role-playing game RuneQuest.
Left side: Rob Gustaveson published Beyond Infinity, Eon and Graphic Illusions (and later in 2001, Graphic Illusion) fanzines and is a very cool, metaphysical guy. Right side: Bob Beerbohm in blue shirt with Denis Kitchen. Bob is one of only four dealers who have sold comics out of a booth at every single SD Comic-Con since 1970! Plus, he published 5 issues of Fanzation (and #3 featured a letter from Ditko).
A nice crowd scene at the end of the party shows Gary Groth, Larry Bigman, Doug Fratz, Rob Gustaveson, Paul Levitz and Mark Evanier. The guy in the multi-colored green shirt and white hat is Richard Alf.
The Founders of Comic Fandom
There were some very special guests of honor at the Fandom Reunion including Roy Thomas, Maggie Thompson, Dick and Pat Lupoff, Paul Levitz, Richard Kyle, Jean Bails and of course Bill Schelly. The highlight of the evening occurred when Mike Tuohey made a special presentation to Roy Thomas, bestowing an original Alter Ego #1 to him. (For a split micro-second, I thought to myself "Tuohey's stole my fanzines" ... STOP IT, Aaron!!)
Mike Tuohey presents Roy Thomas with an original Alter Ego #1! Dick and Pat Lupoff are standing next to Roy. If you look closely into the audience you'll see Jamie Coville, Joe Staton, Gary Brown and Marv Wolfman. Beautiful photo courtesy of Jackie Estrada.
As Roy accepts his original Alter Ego #1, he thinks to himself "I wonder how much Aaron Caplan will pay for this?" Well Roy, I've got an original version of the Alter Ego #1 Biljo White reprint (see above right) that is much harder to come by than your ditto-faded imitation! Moo-ha-ha-ha ... (that's supposed to be an evil laugh). Photo on left courtesy of Jackie Estrada.
The guests of honor cut the cake in Fantastic Four fashion! From left: Bill Schelly, Maggie Thompson, Dick Lupoff, Pat Lupoff, Roy Thomas and Richard Kyle. Photo courtesy of Jackie Estrada.
Left: Paul Levitz deep in conversation with Mike Tuohey and Mark Evanier (with Richard Alf in the background). Evanier thinks "Do you spell it Tuohey, Touhey or Tuoey?" Right: Maggie Thompson reads under the light of the original art display.
I was surprised to see plenty of professionals at the Fandom Reunion. Some of the pro's who attended: Mark Wheatley, Denis Kitchen, Wendy and Richard Pini, Mark Evanier, George Clayton Johnson, Jim Lee, George R.R. Martin, RC Harvey, Greg Bear, Johnny Chambers, Marv Wolfman, Batton Lash, Joe Staton, Mike Royer, William Stout, and Michael Uslan. I'm sure I missed a few, but I managed to snap (or obtain) a few photos:
Left: As I entered the Reunion, I bumped into Jim Lee, and had my son take a somewhat blurry photo of us! Right: After a short chat, Denis Kitchen graciously posed for a photo.
Left: Jeff Gelb looks like a deer caught in the headlights as he gets an autograph from Jean Bails (Jerry's wife). Jeff is an author, but most people know he got his start in fanzines. Jeff's Men of Mystery (#4, above, featured a column called "Musings" from Gene Simmons of KISS) fanzine has been continuously published since 1964! Right: Johnny Chambers is most famous for his Little Green Dinosaur strip, but he also published Ymir and contributed to many a zine! Did you know that Johnny is credited with coming up with the name "Capa-Alpha" and published George R. R. Martin's first story (in Ymir #2)?
I would just die to know what Mark Evanier is saying to Wendy and Richard Pini that is making Richard's eyes pop out of his head! Photo courtesy of Jackie Estrada.
From Left to right: Bill Schelly, Richard Pini, the back of Wendy Pini, Bud Plant and Mark Wheatley! In the 60's/70's just about all of these people were actively involved in fandom. Schelly published Sense of Wonder and scads of fanzines, Wendy contributed a ton of art (as Wendy Fletcher) to Capa Alpha and zines of the day, Bud Plant published underground zine Promethean Enterprises and Mark Wheatley published Nucleus!
Writer's Corner: George R. R. Martin (left in black cap) has sold millions of fantasy novels and is riding high on his Game of Thrones TV adaptation. But did you know his first published work was a Manta Ray text story in Johnny Chambers Ymir #2 and his second was a Powerman text story (illustrated by "Don Fowler" a.k.a. Buddy Saunders) in Star Studded Comics #7 (click HERE to see)? George Clayton Johnson (in yellow jacket) not only penned the first televised Star Trek, he also co-authored Logan's Run, wrote the original story for the 1961 Ocean's Eleven and wrote tons of Twilight Zone stories including "Kick the Can" - are you impressed yet!?! Photo on left courtesy of Jackie Estrada.
Bob Foster (left) contributed strips to Graphic Story Magazine in the 60's/70's, is the creator of Myron Moose, was a scripter on the Donald Duck newspaper strip and is currently President of the Animation Guild. Mike Royer, (right) a fine comic artist and one of the best Kirby inkers ever, certainly needs no introduction! Photo courtesy of David Armstrong.
On left: Batton Lash and Marv Wolfman. If you look very closely, you'll see me (my head is growing out of Marv's hand) talking to Al Hutchinson (far left). On right: Joe Staton talks to Marv Wolfman. Photo on left courtesy of Jackie Estrada.
The Founders of Comic-Con
Another key group of people represented at the Fandom Reunion party were the "Founders of Comic-Con" that included some of the guys/gals who were there with Shel Dorf to start the San Diego Comic-Con, particularly Richard Alf (the guy in the colorful shirt and white hat) and Mike Towry--plus a lot of folks who worked on the show in its earliest days, including Gene and Mary Henderson, Clayton Moore, Dave Clark, Greg Bear, Greg Koudoulian, Dennis Smith and of course, Jackie Estrada. Other Comic-Con International early staffers (1970s-1980s) on hand included Barry Short, Mike Pasqua, George Olshevsky, Anthony Keith, Scott Smith, Frank Alison, and David Scroggy. Most of these images are courtesy of Jackie Estrada and Michael D. Hamersky.
1.) Richard Alf (left) was an original member of the first 1969 Comic-Con Committee! Greg Koudoulian (right) started Los Angeles' first monthly mini-con, The Fabulous First Sunday Club. 2.) Mike Towry (in blue) was a member of the original 1969 Comic-Con Committee. 3.) Dennis Smith (left) is one of Comic-Con's earliest staffers. George Olshevsky (right) was another early staffer who went on to author/compile the Official Marvel Comics Index. 4.) Jackie Estrada is the Administrator of The Eisner Awards for Comic-Con and instrumental in making the Fandom Reunion happen this year! 5.) Clayton Moore joined the Comic-Con committee in 1974, and has no relation to the Lone Ranger. 6.) Greg Bear was a founding member of Comic-Con, and is a Nebula Award winning science fiction author (read his Darwin's Radio - it is an incredible book)! 7.) Barry Short was a Comic-Con fixture during the 80's and 90's. Above photos courtesy of Michael D. Hamersky and Jackie Estrada.