I have known Shel for over thirty years and in that time all he has done was to do special favors FOR me, and never to ask for a thing FROM me. He invited me as a guest to the world famous event he created, the San Diego Comic-Con, and as an invited guest, all expenses paid a number of times. He introduced me to great cartoonists like Jack Kirby and Milton Caniff and Jim Steranko. He invited me a private dinner with himself, Ray Bradbury, Stan Lee and Stan’s lovely British wife. This is the kind of company many would pay money to be with.
One time he took me to a Cinecon with him. We were both using canes by the time, he for his problems with diabetes, and me just because I was getting old. We managed and got front row seats for a talk by Fay Wray, King Kong’s love. Miss Wray was ninety by this time, but still had the same recognizable, beautiful face. Outside there was a long line of fans lined up to get her autograph. I had snatched up a still of Kong on top the Empire State building, with Fay at his feet before leaving home. After she concluded her remarks I said quickly “Miss Wray, could you sign this photo for me? I have a bad leg and I could never last long enough standing in that line outside.” One convention official did an imitation of Franklin Pangborn, fluttery and frustrated. “No, no, no — no signing inside.” Miss Wray gave him a look. “I am going to sign this gentleman’s photo. I have a bad leg too.” And she did. Shel was greatly amused by the whole incident.
Another time, Shel asked me to come over to the home of another great old friend, attorney John Zinewitcz. When I got there I found that John only had a week to live from liver cancer and Robert Overstreet of Comic Book Guide fame was there to buy his comic book collection on behalf of the Geppi organization. They needed another witness to the transfer of money for merchandise, and that John had agreed to the figure. It was substantial and perhaps something certain people would not care for me to broadcast even now. John also revealed that his mother had preceded him in death only a few days before. Most people would have been crushed by what was coming down on him, but John was going to go to another Cinecon during his last few days in this life.
I think Shel is that kind of person too. He will be planning things in his mind to the end. And probably things to help others more than himself.
– Jim Harmon, winner of a Comic-Con award for such books as The Great Radio Heroes