If you are heading out to WonderCon, you will definitely want to set aside time for a very special panel discussion on the wonderful world of collecting comics. This panel is moderated by an important player in the world of comics and Comic-Con, Greg Koudoulian. Greg goes back to the beginning of the San Diego Comic-Con and has many friends to show for it. He started out as a film contributor for the early Comic-Cons and even went on to host is own mini-monthly cons in LA in the early ’70s.
It was in 2009 that an idea took hold that has been growing ever since. Shel Dorf, the leading founder of Comic-Con, was in hospital and did not have long to live. Greg, and a close group of friends, which included George Clayton Johnson, Richard Alf, William Clausen, Mike Towry, and Clatyon Moore, created The Shel Dorf Fan Club and Entourage. It was a beautiful gesture that pleased Shel very much and a wonderful way to say goodbye. Since 2009, the club has honored numerous talents in the industry with plans for much more to come, even an art museum. Then, early in 2012, SDCC co-founder Richard Alf passed away. This sad event has only spurred the Fan Club and friends to greater action. It is good to mention here that Richard Alf and Mike Towry were working on San Diego Comics Fest, a return to a more intimate event reminiscent of the early years of Comic-Con. And San Diego Comic Fest held its first annual event in 2012.
Through it all, Greg Koudoulian has remained a trusted, active, and much loved part of Comic-Con and its legacy. There are some special plans up ahead for the cartetaking of valuable archival material. While no formal announcements are ready to be made, it is what Greg is doing today that will lead to some exciting prospects for securing Comic-Con history in the future. One project is a documentary of the early San Diego Comic-Cons of the 1970s. The documentary has a working title of “Planet Cortez, A Legacy in Time.” The work involved is multi-layered: everything from digitizing a vast collection of material as well as creating essential new material.
When asked about his thoughts on the emergence of geek culture, specifically the evolution of the comics collecting culture, Greg is ready with an answer: “When Charles Kuralt, of CBS, went to Cherokee Books in Hollywood in 1973 and said that there might be a goldmine in your grandma’s attic, things went through the roof. When you’ve got Walter Cronkite endorsing your hobby on national television, that got it booming! The prices in the Overstreet Comics Price Guide began to inflate. For example, I bought ‘Superman #2’ in 1974, in fair condition for $125 and, a year later, sold it for $250. Around that time, Johnny Carson had on as a guest on ‘The Tonight Show’ someone who’d bought a copy of ‘Action Comics #1’ for $1,800. I was interviewed for the pilot to Tom Snyder’s ‘Tomorrow Show’ with my comics collection. And I managed to get a copy of ‘Action Comics #1’ lent to me to show but my interview never aired.”
And this leads us back to the WonderCon panel, “The Business & Hobby of Collecting Comics,” March 31, Sunday, 3:30-4:30 PM, Room 213AB. The panel will offer a variety of insights and stories to tell. Plus, stick around for some fun giveaways. Go to the Facebook page here. You can also call the hotline: 858-215-3659
Here are the details:
“The Business & Hobby of Collecting Comics,” March 31, Sunday, 3:30-4:30 PM, Room 213AB
From personal collections, working with museums and art galleries and even a little bit of hoarding, George Clayton Johnson, Barry Short, John Ellis, Eric Hoffman, Michael Hamersky, Alan Williams, and Dave Arshawsky are all fans and collectors of most things related to science fiction and comics. Collecting is a major industry these days; just watch the cable shows dedicated to it! Join moderator Greg Koudoulian to discuss how we can make sure that our histories and legacies are preserved for future generations, in both museums and art galleries and your own home!
George Clayton Johnson, wrote 8 original “Twilight Zone” stories and screenplays, wrote the first episode of “Star Trek” to be broadcast, and co-created “Ocean’s 11,” and “Logan’s Run.”
Barry Short, was a former Program Director for SDCC from 1982-86 and owner of 21st Century Comics from 1986-2003.
John Ellis, Partner in the Milton Caniff Estate, a Special Effects artist and writer.
Greg Koudoulian, Moderator, Early SDCC film program contributor, also produced first Mini Cons on the west coast in 1973-74 and a Collector too.
Eric Hoffman, Writer, Film Historian and collector of most SF Genre! Early SDCC film program contributor too.
MICHAEL HAMERSKY, Comics Dealer, blogger, and expert on the Comics Industry, past, present and future.
Alan Williams, former Comic Book store owner, Fanzine expert and writer.
Dave Arshawsky, Comic Book Artist, Toy designer, Sculptor, writer and Collector.