May 21, 2010

Kirby and Friends

This image comes from the Pittsburg Post Gazette. An article called "Comic-Con Founder Recalls its Humble, Geeky Beginning," from Wednesday, July 22, 2009, by Barry Alfonso.

It's a photo of the first committee members of the San Diego Comic-Con (except for Mike Towry, not pictured). It was taken in the fall of 1969 in front of Jack's home. Left to right are: Dan Stewart, Bob Sourk, Richard Alf, Barry Alfonso, Jack Kirby, Shel Dorf, and Wayne Kincaid (Wayne was not a Comic-Con member). The photo comes from the collection of Richard Alf.

I find this picture charming because it looks like the kid in front wants to make sure the Kirby sketch is in the photograph so he steps in front of Jack, and it never even occurs to Kirby -- ever the humble gentleman -- to try and reposition himself so that he is the center of attention. From Jack's expression it looks like he's just happy to be the member of a new kid gang -- in this case the original founders of the comic book convention phenomenon.

From that very simple beginning, I doubt Jack, Shel Dorf and that group of kids could have imagined one day millions of fans all over the world would attend yearly comic book conventions worldwide, and a network like Spike TV would cover the San Diego Comic Com live. Sadly Shel passed away in November of 2009, but when you attend a comic convention this year and see all the smiling faces, you can be sure his dream lives on. That is, if you can navigate your way past all the tables set up by video games distrubutors, movie promoters, and porn stars, and actually find any comic books.