My brothers, David and Patrick (and our neighbors at the time, Mike Williams and Gary Pagel), and I answered an ad in the newspaper. Shel Dorf had placed it when he decided to get things rolling for what was to become the San Diego Comic-Con. At the first meetings, we met Shel, Richard Alf, Mike Towry, Scott Shaw, Ken Krueger, Barry Alfonso and a bunch of others. I was just out of High School. Mike Williams and my brothers had a few years to go and Gary Pagel was in junior high.
On February 20, 2010, the Glendale, California specialty bookstore Mystery and Imagination Bookshop hosted a signing for the new anthology of new and/or previously unpublished weird stories The Bleeding Edge. Authors in attendance included Ray Bradbury, George Clayton Johnson, and many more. At the signing, Bradbury was happy to receive from Greg Koudoulian his very own, personalized Shel Dorf Fan Club Badge.
Fan artist Alan White sent us a scan of Shel’s 1970 business card, which Shel gave to him at the first full San Diego Comic-Con (August 1-3, 1970).
At the ComicConMemories.com web site, you can listen to audio recordings of many committe members and guest speakers from the first San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con, which was held August 1st thru 3rd, 1970 in the U.S. Grant Hotel. The list of those recorded includes the following: Shel Dorf, Ken Krueger, Barry Alfonso, Greg Bear, Ray Bradbury, Roger Freedman, Mark Hanerfeld, Earl Kemp, Jack Kirby, Scott Shaw!, and Morrie Turner.
Ken Krueger passed away on Saturday, November 21, 2009. He will be sorely missed by family and friends. As a teenager, Ken Krueger attended the first-ever science fiction convention, the 1939 Worldcon. As an adult, thirty years later, he helped create what has become the premier comics and pop-culture convention, Comic-Con International, for which he served as chairman of the first full convention in August, 1970. In the intervening and subsequent years, Ken was active as a mail-order book seller, book store owner, small-press publisher, periodical distributor and distributor’s rep, and all-around friend to fans and fandom, serving as mentor and life coach to many young fans and aspiring professionals.
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.
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.
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.