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July 19, 2006 weds
July 19th, 2006

Tomorrow is the beginning of the San Diego Comicon. Since 1972, the largest comic art, fantasy and sci-fi gathering in the Western Hemisphere.
courtesy of

I've been attending Comicons since the early 1970s in New York, when they were held at the old Commodore Hotel next to Grand Central, and the New Yorker Hotel. I remember how excited and proud I was the first year my badge read professional instead of student. I recall in 1974 going to a party up in one of the rooms that reeked of potsmoke, stepping over a cartoonist passed out on the floor, only to learn later it was Vaughn Bode, the creator of Cheech Wizard. Seeing Wendy and Richard Pini passing out copies of their comic Elfquest, that I believe was one of the first successful self published comics. And another time fellow animator Lester Pegues coming in my office and declaring he just saw a sneak of the greatest sci-fi film of all time! Something new called Star-Wars. I was ambivalent... I had already seen Silent Running, now I was waiting for French Connection II or the Revenge of Billy Jack. Who knew?

Gaudy, crazy, at times in questionable taste. But where else can you meet Ray Bradbury or Kevin Smith alongside a 300 pound woman dressed as Sailor Moon? In later years it's been a great place to network with old friends, some of whom come out only for the Comicon. One underground cartoonist from Berkeley told me he only travels out of town to go to the Con, then he does his CHristmas Shopping at the gift shop at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. After all, who can say no to a Richard Nixon frisbee or Richard Nixon Christmas ornament?

If I wasn't out of town right now I'd be at a HeMan SheRa DVD signing, but currently I can only be there in spirit.Look for the ASIFA booth with Eric Goldberg and Dave Burgess drawing for the crowd, and the National Cartoonists Society booths. So to all my friends who are attending, have a great Con!

History for 7/19/2006
Birthdays: Edgar Degas, Col. Samuel Colt, Charles Mayo of the Mayo Clinic, Vladimir
Mayakovsky, UNcle Max Fleischer, Lizzie Borden, Ille Nastase, George McGovern,
Brian Harold May of Queen, Atom Egoyan, Anthony Edwards, Campbell Scott

1717- George Frederich Handel premiered his suite the Water Music for a procession
of King George II on pleasure boats from Whitehall to Lambeth Palace.

1941 - British PM Winston Churchill launched his "V for Victory" campaign.
By coincidence the letter"V" in morse code corresponded with the opening
notes of Beethoven's 5th symphony "Dit-Dit-Dit Daaah."making it the musical
theme of the BBC overseas radio service war news. If you ever lived in England you
would know that reversing the two fingers sign is an insult akin to flashing someone
the middle finger.

1957- That great movie I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF starring Michael Landon premiered.