You “Con” be a Superhero

Alayna Camisa, Social Media Coordinator

March 21, 1970: the  first Comic Con. The first time  every gaming character, anime character, television show character, renaissance people, and sidekicks would meet.  This would be the first spot where superheroes from different worlds would come together. BAM!

The question is,  who in the world came up with this idea? Who in the world had the time to think, “oh maybe we can just make all the worlds and eras become one. SMASH! A GENIUS  I TELL YOU! Or geniuses. Sitting around the dinner table of the Dorf’s household was Richard Alf, a 17-year old former firework dealer, who sold comic books; Mike Towry and Bob Sourk, who were mail-order comic businessmen; Barry Alfonso, a 12-year old boy, and Dan Stewart, a comic customer. Why were they together sitting at the table? I DON”T KNOW! Maybe the forces of comic gods brought them together, not knowing that the meeting of these six men would soon change lives.

This group of San Diegans presented their first “mini-con” called San Diegans Golden State Comic-Con, at the U.S. Grant Hotel in California, having approximately 145 people attend. Soon, they hosted  their second comic con from August 1st to August 3rd. Over 300 attendees packed the hotel including Jack Kirby, Ray Bradbury, and A.E. Van Vogt for this unprecedented event that featured panels, film screenings, programs, and much more…. BOOM! Comic-Con would soon be considered one of the biggest cultural gatherings in the world.

These early conventions raised funds and generated interest for larger conventions.  As they moved their venues from the U.S. Grant Hotel to Muir College and University of California, the crowds grew. They soon began to present their conventions at other venues in different states, causing different famous people to attend, which then attracted more people. These places included the El Cortez Hotel, Sheraton Hotel, Harbor Island, San Diego Convention and Performing Arts Center, Hotel San Diego, Holiday Inn, Omni Hotel, San Diego Convention Center; Doubletree Hotel, and Hyatt Regency.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, 130,000 people will attend the next San Diego Comic Con,  spending over $600 each person, and making approximately $700 million in state and local tax revenue. Today, the event has expanded into a New York Comic Con, as well as many “mini cons” around the country. Shel Dorf, Richard Alf, Mike Towry, Bob Sourk, Barry Alfonso, and Dan Stewart created a masterpiece in which thousands upon thousands of people would be able to live out their super heroic dreams, at least for a little while.  

Attend Comic Con. You won’t regret it.