Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sunday, January 18th, 1976

11:00 PM

The day I waited for all this year! The Second Annual Cincinnati Comic Book Art Convention! I got up early and even though Terry and I got a late start at 11, we ended up staying until about 5. I had the best time I've had in a long time!

Terry bought almost all he'd missed since he quit collecting a couple months ago. As for me, I almost finished my CAPTAIN AMERICA, Spidey and FF collections. All I lack now is 1, about 4 and 3 issues respectively. I also got the Howard the Duck poster but minus the autograph. We never did even see Brunner and he was the Guest of Honor!

We did see the other guests, though. In fact, we spent more than two hours listening to Steve Gerber, Mary Skrenes, Marty Pasko and Bruce Carlin talk, mostly about the politics in the industry that we fans never see and the possibilities of creating a new comics union. It was all too marvelous to write down here but I learned more than I ever dreamed from them today! I also saw Steve Conner again and he said he's opening a new store! The whole day was all just too great, even the free decal! I can't wait 'til next year! Wow!

Another event I had been looking forward to was far overshadowed by the Con and that was Bobby Sherman's first TV appearance in over a year on tonight's ELLERY QUEEN. He didn't get much to do.

NOTES: I was disappointed in not getting to see artist Frank Brunner but at least I got the poster (which I still have). That poster is legally kind of interesting. It was actually entitled SCARFACE DUCK and has a copyright only to Brunner and the poster company. While it is clearly Marvel's HOWARD THE DUCK, it was, at the same time, technically NOT. This would be the beginning of years and tears of copyright issues over that character with creator Gerber eventually being granted SOME rights back in court.

Steve Gerber had been a fan and frequent letter writer to comics and had just turned pro a couple of years before. His style--often including prose sections--was unique and led to some of the best written comics of the time including, believe it or not, the notoriously titled GIANT-SIZE MAN-THING. Gerber died in early 2008.

Mary Skrenes was a writer friend of Gerber's who flitted around the industry off and on for years and had, at this time, just begun a collaboration with Steve on Marvel's OMEGA THE UNKNOWN. She and I now have seven mutual friends on Facebook.

Martin "Pesky" Pasko had been a popular letter writer to DC comics who had, himself, turned pro not long before and was then writing some Superman Family stories. He had not been announced as a guest but came along anyway. I'm going to guess that Bruce Carlin was also a friend of Gerber's who tagged along. I don't recall him at all and his slight comics credits show only some humor work for Marvel.

Steve Conner had started the first Northern Kentucky comics store--actually a small section of his father's rural gardening store that he called COMIC CORNER--a year or so earlier but it hadn't lasted. I was only ever aware of one comics store in the whole area before Conner's and that was in the Losantiville area of Cincinnati--an outlying area that I was never able to get to at age 15, even by bus.

For the record, I eventually did finish my FANTASTIC FOUR and CAPTAIN AMERICA collections but was never able to finish SPIDER-MAN. Never got the first 4 issues or his first appearance in the now out-priced AMAZING FANTASY 15. In recent years, I've had to sell most of my classic comics due to a consistent lack of finances. Sigh.

This convention, by the way, apparently took such a financial toll on the organizers that even the Yellow Kid Comic Shoppe soon closed so there was NO third annual convention.

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