Sheldon Dorf, the founder of the San Diego Comic Convention died Tuesday at the age of 76 from kidney failure.
Dorf, a freelance artist and comic strip letterer, founded Comic-Con in San Diego in 1970 after moving from Detroit.
The San Diego Comic Con currently draws 125,000 fans a year and is a major gathering for comic book fans, artists, writers and movie stars.
Sheldon Dorf had some high-profile friends in the comic world like Marvel artist Jack Kirby and "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz. The Comic Con became the place to showcase new comics, and increasingly in recent years, debut trailers for genre-related Hollywood films, which would also attract major celebrities into the auditorium.
He must've taken great pride knowing his Con was the largest of its kind in America, and arguably, the world. Sheldon will be sorely missed.
I knew it was going to be tough working the graveyard shift last Saturday, October 31, because of four things: it was Saturday, nearly always our busiest night on graveyard anyway, it was Halloween, which brings out the partying ghosts and goblins, it was the same night as Guavaween, Tampa's version of Mardi Gras (along with Gasparilla), and it was the same night as the time change to Eastern Standard Time, for cryin' out loud, so I could enjoy all this madness for an extra hour! Throw in lots of alcohol and you get the picture. Forget trying to accomplish any side work, this was going to be an excercise in survival.
But survive it I did, met lots of cool ghouls, and got some pictures in the process.
Due to the economic downturn, Guavaween was itself downsized with no floats or parades this year and live music was at a minimum. Still, if you went out wanting to have a good time, chances are you found it among the throngs of like-minded revelers that did attend this yearly festivity in Ybor. Somewhere around 20K, as I understand it.
All that said, the costumed turn-out at 7-Eleven was a little less than I expected, no doubt due at least in part to the aforementioned economy, but we did have a few hardy souls stumble through the door in varying degrees of decomposition. Enough to mark the occasion for yours truly, anyway.
On a personal note, I was delighted to see several members of Crazed Fanboy's Youth Nation appear for a visit, most of whom I haven't seen in weeks or even months. Not many were costumed, oddly, I figured they'd be more into it. Nevertheless, I was glad to see them.
Scroll down to see the photo record of The Best of 7-Eleven Halloween Horror Nights '09!
Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
Mason Troupe, left (who's obviously had better nights), and Andrew Callahan, the latter visiting from Florida State University @ Tallahassee. No, that isn't real blood on Andrew's face, just a remnant of an earlier zombie get-up.
Erin strikes a pose as a pirate's wife/significant other. Yo Ho Ho!
Erin's friend Chris Gavin, left, examines the ride of visiting Josh Minchew, fresh out of the Navy. No costumes here, sorry, but they're all part of my youth gang.
Two of my favorite customers, Donna, left, and Carrie patiently pose for the camera. A slight blur was caused by us being harrassed by a crazed trailer park drunk!
A visiting demon, care of a Features Costume associate.
This hippie couple wandered in and agreed to a picture. Peace and love!
Look, next to the capaccino: it's a bird, it's a plane...OK, OK, the Man of Steel needs his java and doughnuts, too!
TERENCE GREASER ZOMBIE, REDUX
Our own Terence Nuzum was quite dissatisfied with how his '50s Greaser Zombie make-up turned out in last week's PCR pics from 7-Eleven. Seems a lot of the dust, grime, and greasepaint had worn off in the earlier hours spent in Ybor's "The Castle" Halloween event, and he could not have y'all thinking he'd come up short in the zombie department! He requested I run the following photos taken before his trip downtown to prove his case. Being the doting uncle I am, I couldn't say no. Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2009
Hey, I seem to be one of the few people who liked that film, 2010.
I'm old enough to remember when even the year 2001 seemed an impossibly distant future. Now, I'm old enough to remember it in a rather distant past tense. The 1968 movie 2001: A Space Oddysey predicted a space program way more advanced than the one we have now. 2010 picked up the pieces of a space derelict and headed home.
A gross over-simplification of both films, of course, but this is not why I brought all this up. I brought this up because when the considerably darker 2010 came out in 1984, I, again, saw the future date as impossibly far into the future. And now....now...it's nearly here.
No HAL 9000s, but we did get Windows PC operating systems (ahem, coff coff) and a revolution in the way we communicate. They aren't what you'd call "artificial intelligence" but they're far smaller than HAL, too.
We finally got wall-mounted, flat-screen plasma TVs about a decade later than predicted, but that's not bad. And cell phones that play movies are right about on schedule.
Despite the relentless optimism of the '60s that predicted established moon bases and large, floating-wheel space stations in earth orbit, sci-fi writers and visionary directors could hardly know the political and economic turmoil that would reign in the space program to a mere sliver of its former self.
However, many movies of decades past also predicted we'd have another World War by this point (The Shape of Things to Come and the Terminator films come to mind), but fortunately, they were wrong, at least so far. Soylent Green predicted by 2022 food shortages brought about by overpopulation would be so severe, we'd wind up eating packaged people parts. TV's Lost in Space predicted the same overpopulation would necessitate space voyages to institute re-settlement among the stars.
But...that was then, this is now. We never made contact with extraterrestrials, and the next world war always seems right around the corner. We seem to be on track for the more dismal predictions, but the case for space exploration has been minimized and nearly eliminated. Pity, that.
But hey, pop culture has been revolutionized in the computer age where we can at least re-live The Future That Used To Be via DVD, YouTube, and digital downloads. And, of course, discuss it all in forums like Nolan's Pop Culture Review, which, to be honest, I never would've predicted forty years ago!