Jim Harmon, author of “The Great Radio Heroes” and many other works and an award-winning Comic-Con guest, writes about Shel Dorf’s generous spirit, having dinner with Shel and Ray Bradbury and Stan Lee, meeting Fay Wray with Shel at Cinecon, and more.
On Saturday, October 17th, a group of fans and professionals from the Los Angeles, Riverside County, and San Diego areas got together to visit Shel Dorf in the hospital. The visiting group comprised the following individuals: Richard Alf, member of the first Comic-Con committee, and 1971 Comic-Con Chairman; William Clausen, professional comics artist and writer; George Clayton Johnson, screenwriter, author, and frequent Comic-Con guest; Greg Koudoulian, videographer, and former producer of Los Angeles conventions; Clayton Moore, former Comic-Con committee member; and Mike Towry, member of the first Comic-Con committee, and 1972 Comic-Con Chairman.
Charlie Roberts, Southern California Cartoonist Society Member, writes about working and being friends with Shel, Milton Caniff, Comic-Con 1983, and more.
Phil Yeh, Godfather of the Graphic Novel, writes about the positive difference Shel Dorf has made in his life and career and those of other cartoon and comic creators. Phil also remembers the encouragement he received at the first Comic-Con (1970) from Ray Bradbury and Jack Kirby.
Shel Dorf’s cousin Donna Horwitz remembers good times with Shel when they were children, his saving of comic strips in scrapbooks, Milt Caniff putting Dorf family members in his strip, Shel’s love of family, friends and San Diego, and his pride and happiness over his “baby,” Comic-Con.
Shel Dorf’s cousin Shelley Horwitz speaks of visiting Shel and his parents, Shel’s homemade greeting cards, and his love of San Diego, comics, and his friends.
We thought you might enjoy hearing a sample of Shel’s voice. The following clip was extracted from a recording of a conversation that took place between Jack Kirby and a group of San Diego fans back in December 1970 at Jack’s house in Thousand Oaks, California. In it, Jack and Shel discuss Jack’s name change and his early attempt at an acting career.
Some people might wonder, when it was that Shel Dorf was first considered to be Comic-Con’s founder? When was he first known by that title? Is that how he was known from the beginning or is it perhaps a legend that developed in later years? Well, here’s an image that should cast some light on this matter. It is cropped from a scan of the back of the advertising flyer for the original San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon, which was held on March 21, 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego.
Audio link to recording of Comic-Con 2009 Secret Origins panel with Comic-Con #1 committee members Richard Alf, Barry Alfonso, Greg Bear, Dave Clark, Roger Freedman, Ken Krueger, Bill Lund, Scott Shaw!, and Mike Towry. Includes transcript of Richard’s account of Shel Dorf’s early guidance as Comic-Con founder.
On April 11, 1988, Shel Dorf attended the 60th Anniversary Academy Awards (Oscars) ceremony in the company of Alan Light and friends. Their tickets originated with famed actress Bette Davis.