NPR

San Diego Comic-Con Is Turning 50: Here's Its Origin Story

50 years ago, a bunch of teenaged comics fans got together to plan a convention, and what started with 300 people in a hotel basement became the pop culture juggernaut known as San Diego Comic Con.
The original San Diego Comic-Con committee, as drawn by Scott Shaw! and inspired by Jack Kirby. Source: Courtesy of Scott Shaw!

Fifty years ago, a bunch of comics fans in San Diego decided they wanted a way to meet other fans. They were mostly teenagers — okay, and two adults — but what they created became the pop culture phenomenon we know as San Diego Comic-Con.

Today, Roger Freedman is a physics professor, but in 1969 he was 17 years old — and he had no idea what he was about to get himself into. "I think it's fair to say that if you had come to us and said how Comic-Con was going to evolve, we would have said A) what are you smoking, and B) where can we buy some?"

It all started with a guy named

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from NPR

NPR4 min readSociety
A Water Crisis In Newark, A Lead Problem Echoing Flint
Newark, New Jersey, residents are lining up for bottled water after lead was found in tap water. We look at crumbling infrastructure and public health.
NPR5 min readPolitics
Trump's 'Disloyalty' Claim About Jewish Democrats Shows He Doesn't Get How They Vote
"In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat, you're being very disloyal to Jewish people, and you're being very disloyal to Israel," Trump told reporters outside the White House Wednesday.
NPR3 min read
'The Trojan War Museum' Is A Gorgeous Gallery Of Dreams
Ayşe Papatya Bucak's debut collection is full of musical, lyrical stories that occupy a dreamscape of Turkish culture, art history and surprise encounters between humans, ghosts and djinns.