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COMIC-CON BEGINS: Origin Stories of the San Diego Comic-Con and the Rise of Modern Fandom
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COMIC-CON BEGINS: Origin Stories of the San Diego Comic-Con and the Rise of Modern Fandom

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In the Summer of 1970, a ragtag group of teenage hippies, proto-punks, artists, and science buffs assembled in a small, obscure town called San Diego to celebrate their pop culture heroes … and each other. They couldn’t possibly have known that the San Diego Comic-Con would over the decades grow into the largest pop culture gathering worldwide.

Join original scream queen and cosplay pioneer Brinke Stevens as she, nearly 50 of her childhood cohorts, and a cadre of uber-geeky celebrity guests reveal their most fascinating, funny, and fannish memories of how they brought the Comic-Con together in the “early days” … as well as the profound impact the fandom community it helped spawn has had on our shared culture at large.

Celebrity guests include: Kevin Smith, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Felicia Day, Bruce Campbell, The Russo Bros., Scott Aukerman, Trina Robbins, Stan Sakai, Tim Seeley, Maggie Thompson, Sergio Aragones, Kevin Eastman, Ho Che Anderson, and many more!
8 Episodes
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Days of Comics Past

Days of Comics Past

2021-06-2201:01:56

We plunge down the time tunnel to the earliest days of fandom: back before nerds were cool, before science fiction was taken seriously, and before comic book characters ruled Hollywood. It was a time when fans could only connect through ‘zines and specialty magazines. A time when MAD Magazine and The Twilight Zone expanded the minds of youth across the nation. And a time when a small group of high school kids in San Diego met a visionary super-fan from Detroit named Shel Dorf.Narrated by Brinke StevensCreated and Directed by Mathew KlicksteinExecutive Produced by Rob SchulteWritten and Produced by Mathew Klickstein, Rob Schulte, Christopher Tyler, and James BilodeauEdited by Rob Shulte, Christopher Tyler, and James BilodeauMixed by James BilodeauOriginal Music Composed by Max DeVincenzo and Produced by Fox Tracks MusicWith help from Brannan Goetschius and Michael FischeAll interviews (unless otherwise noted) conducted by Mathew Klickstein.Principal interviewees/contributors (in alphabetical order):Al Jean, Anthony Russo, Barry Alfonso, Barry Short, Bill Lund, Bill Mumy (provided by contributor), Bill Schanes, Bjo Trimble, Bob Arendt, Brinke Stevens, Bruce Campbell, Caseen Gaines, Chuck Graham (provided by SDSU), Clayton Moore, Dave Clark, Dave Scroggy, Erin Hanna, Gene Henderson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Gus Krueger, Felicia Day, Frank Miller, Ho Che Anderson, Igor Goldkind (provided by SDSU), Jackie Estrada, Jeanne Graham (provided by SDSU), Jim Cornelius, Jim Means, Jim Valentino, Joe Russo, John Pound, John Trimble, Kevin Eastman, Linda Yeh, Lloyd Kaufman, Kevin Smith (provided by contributor), Len Wein (provided by M. Klickstein archive), Maggie Thompson, Mark Evanier, Mike Towry, Mo Alzmann, Neil Gaiman (provided by contributor), Paul M. Sammon, Phil Yeh, Richard Alf (provided by KPBS), Richard Butner, Rick Geary, Roger Freedman, Scott Aukerman, Scott Shaw!, Sergio Aragonés (provided by contributor), Stan Sakai, Tim Seeley, Trina Robbins, Wendy All.We are grateful to the family of Mary and Gene Henderson (who, sadly, passed away during the final stages of Comic-Con Begins' post-production). This production is dedicated in part to their memory, as well as the memory of the many Con contributors no longer with us but whose legacy will continue to live on for time immemorial.Archival material and additional research provided by: Mike Towry and his “Comic-Convention Memories” website.Alan Light’s 1975 Comic-Con recordings Jackie Estrada and Comic-Con’s 40th Anniversary Souvenir BookPamela Jackson and San Diego State University’s Comic-ConKids project Maureen Cavanaugh at San Diego’s KPBSMark EvanierScott Shaw!Barry AlfonsoErin Hanna and her book Only at Comic ConBjo Trimble and “The Star Trek Concordance”The works of Bill SchellyWendy AllFantagraphics’ “We Told You So: Comics As Art”
First Geeks

First Geeks

2021-06-2901:23:07

Just because they were geeks doesn’t mean our intrepid Con creators were any less impacted by the “drugs, sex, and rock-and-roll” of the 1960s. We delve deep into the intimate experiences of these colorful characters of the Comic-Con and how their passion for pop culture was affected by the volatile era’s seismic cultural, political, and technological shifts. Includes a special visit from Mr. “Turn on, Tune in, Drop out” himself, Dr. Timothy Leary, along with the birth of Star Trek fandom.Narrated by Brinke StevensCreated and Directed by Mathew KlicksteinExecutive Produced by Rob SchulteWritten and Produced by Mathew Klickstein, Rob Schulte, and Christopher TylerEdited by Rob Shulte, and Christopher TylerMixed by James Bilodeau Original Music Composed by Max DeVincenzo and Produced by Fox Tracks MusicWith help from Brannan Goetschius and Michael FischeAll interviews (unless otherwise noted) conducted by Mathew Klickstein.Principal interviewees/contributors (in alphabetical order):Al Jean, Anthony Russo, Barry Alfonso, Barry Short, Bill Lund, Bill Mumy (provided by contributor), Bill Schanes, Bjo Trimble, Bob Arendt, Brinke Stevens, Bruce Campbell, Caseen Gaines, Chuck Graham (provided by SDSU), Clayton Moore, Dave Clark, Dave Scroggy, Erin Hanna, Gene Henderson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Gus Krueger, Felicia Day, Frank Miller, Ho Che Anderson, Igor Goldkind (provided by SDSU), Jackie Estrada, Jeanne Graham (provided by SDSU), Jim Cornelius, Jim Means, Jim Valentino, Joe Russo, John Pound, John Trimble, Kevin Eastman, Linda Yeh, Lloyd Kaufman, Kevin Smith (provided by contributor), Len Wein (provided by M. Klickstein archive), Maggie Thompson, Mark Evanier, Mike Towry, Mo Alzmann, Neil Gaiman (provided by contributor), Paul M. Sammon, Phil Yeh, Richard Alf (provided by KPBS), Richard Butner, Rick Geary, Roger Freedman, Scott Aukerman, Scott Shaw!, Sergio Aragonés (provided by contributor), Stan Sakai, Tim Seeley, Trina Robbins, Wendy All.We are grateful to the family of Mary and Gene Henderson (who, sadly, passed away during the final stages of Comic-Con Begins' post-production). This production is dedicated in part to their memory, as well as the memory of the many Con contributors no longer with us but whose legacy will continue to live on for time immemorial.Archival material and additional research provided by: Mike Towry and his “Comic-Convention Memories” website.Alan Light’s 1975 Comic-Con recordings Jackie Estrada and Comic-Con’s 40th Anniversary Souvenir BookPamela Jackson and San Diego State University’s Comic-ConKids project Maureen Cavanaugh at San Diego’s KPBSMark EvanierScott Shaw!Barry AlfonsoErin Hanna and her book Only at Comic ConBjo Trimble and “The Star Trek Concordance”The works of Bill SchellyWendy AllFantagraphics’ “We Told You So: Comics As Art”The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987)
The Con is On

The Con is On

2021-07-0601:00:18

We forge ahead at light speed into the complex scenario of how the first San Diego Comic-Con was cobbled together by our illustrious cast of kooky characters. From there, we venture onward through the mid-1970s as the Con grows exponentially in both physical size and attendance, heralding the “golden years” at a ramshackle downtown hotel that had seen better days called the El Cortez.Narrated by Brinke StevensCreated and Directed by Mathew KlicksteinExecutive Produced by Rob SchulteWritten and Produced by Mathew Klickstein, Rob Schulte, and Christopher TylerEdited by Rob Shulte, and Christopher TylerMixed by James Bilodeau Original Music Composed by Max DeVincenzo and Produced by Fox Tracks MusicWith help from Brannan Goetschius and Michael FischeAll interviews (unless otherwise noted) conducted by Mathew Klickstein.Principal interviewees/contributors (in alphabetical order):Al Jean, Anthony Russo, Barry Alfonso, Barry Short, Bill Lund, Bill Mumy (provided by contributor), Bill Schanes, Bjo Trimble, Bob Arendt, Brinke Stevens, Bruce Campbell, Caseen Gaines, Chuck Graham (provided by SDSU), Clayton Moore, Dave Clark, Dave Scroggy, Erin Hanna, Gene Henderson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Gus Krueger, Felicia Day, Frank Miller, Ho Che Anderson, Igor Goldkind (provided by SDSU), Jackie Estrada, Jeanne Graham (provided by SDSU), Jim Cornelius, Jim Means, Jim Valentino, Joe Russo, John Pound, John Trimble, Kevin Eastman, Linda Yeh, Lloyd Kaufman, Kevin Smith (provided by contributor), Len Wein (provided by M. Klickstein archive), Maggie Thompson, Mark Evanier, Mike Towry, Mo Alzmann, Neil Gaiman (provided by contributor), Paul M. Sammon, Phil Yeh, Richard Alf (provided by KPBS), Richard Butner, Rick Geary, Roger Freedman, Scott Aukerman, Scott Shaw!, Sergio Aragonés (provided by contributor), Stan Sakai, Tim Seeley, Trina Robbins, Wendy All.We are grateful to the family of Mary and Gene Henderson (who, sadly, passed away during the final stages of Comic-Con Begins' post-production). This production is dedicated in part to their memory, as well as the memory of the many Con contributors no longer with us but whose legacy will continue to live on for time immemorial.Archival material and additional research provided by: Mike Towry and his “Comic-Convention Memories” website.Alan Light’s 1975 Comic-Con recordings Jackie Estrada and Comic-Con’s 40th Anniversary Souvenir BookPamela Jackson and San Diego State University’s Comic-ConKids project Maureen Cavanaugh at San Diego’s KPBSMark EvanierScott Shaw!Barry AlfonsoErin Hanna and her book Only at Comic ConBjo Trimble and “The Star Trek Concordance”The works of Bill SchellyWendy AllFantagraphics’ “We Told You So: Comics As Art”
Good Grief, Shel Dorf!

Good Grief, Shel Dorf!

2021-07-1355:46

Some would call late Comic-Con founder Shel Dorf “controversial,” others “#$%!!,” still others their “greatest inspiration and friend.” The only thing everyone can agree on is that the Comic-Con would never have happened without Shel. And now his closest Con compadres open up about the reason why. As well as thoughtful reflections of Shel’s contentious departure in 1984 … right as the Con and geek culture took a giant leap forward.Narrated by Brinke StevensCreated and Directed by Mathew KlicksteinExecutive Produced by Rob SchulteWritten and Produced by Mathew Klickstein, Rob Schulte, and Christopher TylerEdited by Rob Shulte, and Christopher TylerMixed by James Bilodeau Original Music Composed by Max DeVincenzo and Produced by Fox Tracks MusicWith help from Brannan Goetschius and Michael FischeAll interviews (unless otherwise noted) conducted by Mathew Klickstein.Principal interviewees/contributors (in alphabetical order):Al Jean, Anthony Russo, Barry Alfonso, Barry Short, Bill Lund, Bill Mumy (provided by contributor), Bill Schanes, Bjo Trimble, Bob Arendt, Brinke Stevens, Bruce Campbell, Caseen Gaines, Chuck Graham (provided by SDSU), Clayton Moore, Dave Clark, Dave Scroggy, Erin Hanna, Gene Henderson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Gus Krueger, Felicia Day, Frank Miller, Ho Che Anderson, Igor Goldkind (provided by SDSU), Jackie Estrada, Jeanne Graham (provided by SDSU), Jim Cornelius, Jim Means, Jim Valentino, Joe Russo, John Pound, John Trimble, Kevin Eastman, Linda Yeh, Lloyd Kaufman, Kevin Smith (provided by contributor), Len Wein (provided by M. Klickstein archive), Maggie Thompson, Mark Evanier, Mike Towry, Mo Alzmann, Neil Gaiman (provided by contributor), Paul M. Sammon, Phil Yeh, Richard Alf (provided by KPBS), Richard Butner, Rick Geary, Roger Freedman, Scott Aukerman, Scott Shaw!, Sergio Aragonés (provided by contributor), Stan Sakai, Tim Seeley, Trina Robbins, Wendy All.We are grateful to the family of Mary and Gene Henderson (who, sadly, passed away during the final stages of Comic-Con Begins' post-production). This production is dedicated in part to their memory, as well as the memory of the many Con contributors no longer with us but whose legacy will continue to live on for time immemorial.Archival material and additional research provided by: Mike Towry and his “Comic-Convention Memories” website.Alan Light’s 1975 Comic-Con recordings Jackie Estrada and Comic-Con’s 40th Anniversary Souvenir BookPamela Jackson and San Diego State University’s Comic-ConKids project Maureen Cavanaugh at San Diego’s KPBSMark EvanierScott Shaw!Barry AlfonsoErin Hanna and her book Only at Comic ConBjo Trimble and “The Star Trek Concordance”The works of Bill SchellyWendy AllFantagraphics’ “We Told You So: Comics As Art”
Navigating throughout the ever-expanding pop culture constellation of the turbulent 1980s, we seek out intelligent new life in the final frontier: the Hollywood blockbuster machine. Meanwhile, comics go uptown, with Pulitzer Prize winners, the birth of graphic novels, and four guys named Neil, Alan, Frank, and Art.Narrated by Brinke StevensCreated and Directed by Mathew KlicksteinExecutive Produced by Rob SchulteWritten and Produced by Mathew Klickstein, Rob Schulte, and Christopher TylerEdited by Rob Shulte, and Christopher TylerMixed by James Bilodeau Original Music Composed by Max DeVincenzo and Produced by Fox Tracks MusicWith help from Brannan Goetschius and Michael FischeAll interviews (unless otherwise noted) conducted by Mathew Klickstein.Principal interviewees/contributors (in alphabetical order):Al Jean, Anthony Russo, Barry Alfonso, Barry Short, Bill Lund, Bill Mumy (provided by contributor), Bill Schanes, Bjo Trimble, Bob Arendt, Brinke Stevens, Bruce Campbell, Caseen Gaines, Chuck Graham (provided by SDSU), Clayton Moore, Dave Clark, Dave Scroggy, Erin Hanna, Gene Henderson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Gus Krueger, Felicia Day, Frank Miller, Ho Che Anderson, Igor Goldkind (provided by SDSU), Jackie Estrada, Jeanne Graham (provided by SDSU), Jim Cornelius, Jim Means, Jim Valentino, Joe Russo, John Pound, John Trimble, Kevin Eastman, Linda Yeh, Lloyd Kaufman, Kevin Smith (provided by contributor), Len Wein (provided by M. Klickstein archive), Maggie Thompson, Mark Evanier, Mike Towry, Mo Alzmann, Neil Gaiman (provided by contributor), Paul M. Sammon, Phil Yeh, Richard Alf (provided by KPBS), Richard Butner, Rick Geary, Roger Freedman, Scott Aukerman, Scott Shaw!, Sergio Aragonés (provided by contributor), Stan Sakai, Tim Seeley, Trina Robbins, Wendy All.We are grateful to the family of Mary and Gene Henderson (who, sadly, passed away during the final stages of Comic-Con Begins' post-production). This production is dedicated in part to their memory, as well as the memory of the many Con contributors no longer with us but whose legacy will continue to live on for time immemorial.Archival material and additional research provided by: Mike Towry and his “Comic-Convention Memories” website.Alan Light’s 1975 Comic-Con recordings Jackie Estrada and Comic-Con’s 40th Anniversary Souvenir BookPamela Jackson and San Diego State University’s Comic-ConKids project Maureen Cavanaugh at San Diego’s KPBSMark EvanierScott Shaw!Barry AlfonsoErin Hanna and her book Only at Comic ConBjo Trimble and “The Star Trek Concordance”The works of Bill SchellyWendy AllFantagraphics’ “We Told You So: Comics As Art”Michael Keaton Batman David Letterman Interview June 22 1989Alan Moore on Hollywood adaptations, The Show & NorthamptonPrisoners of Gravity: Watchmen
SDCC Conquers the World

SDCC Conquers the World

2021-07-2701:02:07

Twilight, Robert Downey Jr., eight-hour lines. Time to ask the $64,000 question: Has Comic-Con become something completely different?! Why not ask those who made it all happen during the formative years of the Con? Luckily, that’s exactly what we did, and their answer may surprise you.Narrated by Brinke StevensCreated and Directed by Mathew KlicksteinExecutive Produced by Rob SchulteWritten and Produced by Mathew Klickstein, Rob Schulte, and Christopher TylerEdited by Rob Shulte, and Christopher TylerMixed by James Bilodeau Original Music Composed by Max DeVincenzo and Produced by Fox Tracks MusicWith help from Brannan Goetschius and Michael FischeAll interviews (unless otherwise noted) conducted by Mathew Klickstein.Principal interviewees/contributors (in alphabetical order):Al Jean, Anthony Russo, Barry Alfonso, Barry Short, Bill Lund, Bill Mumy (provided by contributor), Bill Schanes, Bjo Trimble, Bob Arendt, Brinke Stevens, Bruce Campbell, Caseen Gaines, Chuck Graham (provided by SDSU), Clayton Moore, Dave Clark, Dave Scroggy, Erin Hanna, Gene Henderson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Gus Krueger, Felicia Day, Frank Miller, Ho Che Anderson, Igor Goldkind (provided by SDSU), Jackie Estrada, Jeanne Graham (provided by SDSU), Jim Cornelius, Jim Means, Jim Valentino, Joe Russo, John Pound, John Trimble, Kevin Eastman, Linda Yeh, Lloyd Kaufman, Kevin Smith (provided by contributor), Len Wein (provided by M. Klickstein archive), Maggie Thompson, Mark Evanier, Mike Towry, Mo Alzmann, Neil Gaiman (provided by contributor), Paul M. Sammon, Phil Yeh, Richard Alf (provided by KPBS), Richard Butner, Rick Geary, Roger Freedman, Scott Aukerman, Scott Shaw!, Sergio Aragonés (provided by contributor), Stan Sakai, Tim Seeley, Trina Robbins, Wendy All.We are grateful to the family of Mary and Gene Henderson (who, sadly, passed away during the final stages of Comic-Con Begins' post-production). This production is dedicated in part to their memory, as well as the memory of the many Con contributors no longer with us but whose legacy will continue to live on for time immemorial.Archival material and additional research provided by: Mike Towry and his “Comic-Convention Memories” website.Alan Light’s 1975 Comic-Con recordings Jackie Estrada and Comic-Con’s 40th Anniversary Souvenir BookPamela Jackson and San Diego State University’s Comic-ConKids project Maureen Cavanaugh at San Diego’s KPBSMark EvanierScott Shaw!Barry AlfonsoErin Hanna and her book Only at Comic ConBjo Trimble and “The Star Trek Concordance”The works of Bill SchellyWendy AllFantagraphics’ “We Told You So: Comics As Art”
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