By Lee Hester, owner of Lee's Comics of California.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Usually I like to post convention pictures right away. This time, the fates have kept me from that task. I hope that there are still a few people interested in a few snapshots from the front. In my case, I was set up at booth #1100 in the Golden and Silver age area. Sales were brisk this year, as we seem to have built up a loyal annual following. Richard Garcia and I worked the both. All the pictures are taken from inside or in front of the booth, except for #7 and #8, which were taken in the field. These few pictures and short paragraphs don’t begin to scratch the surface of my experience at the con, let alone the individual experiences of the over one hundred thousand people that attended the event. The San Diego con is an endless buffet…a pop culture explosion. From a size standpoint alone it’s awesome. The convention floor is a half a mile long from one end to the other. All one can do is sample from the diversions offered. I was happy to play my own small part in the festivities.

Loading the van, driving, setting up, selling, packing down, packing the van up again, driving it back and unloading it was a huge amount of work. In between the work, I met some cool people and reacquainted myself with old friends. I bought and sold a bunch of comics and other cool items. I’m looking forward to next year.

1. Here is a candid shot of the lovely Fatima Kioskli. Her friends call her Tim. She works at Jeffrey’s Comics in San Francisco. They were nominated for an Eisner award this year.

2. Here’s Richard and Chris Williamson. Chris is a nice guy, and a loyal Lee’ Comics customer. You can see Tim in the background checking out the back issues.

3. Here is famous comic book artist Eduardo Baretto. He is holding up the comic book that he just purchased from the Lee’s Comics booth. It is a shadow comic featuring the artwork of Frank Robbins. Remembering back to the 1970s, Robbins was one of the most hated artists among the fans. Lately I have noticed that quite a few really good artists that I know love and collect his work. I remember Steranko telling me how much he liked his art. My buddy Rafael Navarro picked up a couple of original Robbins pages from The Invaders, and was showing them to me at his booth during the convention. I must confess that I was one of those people who were not fond or Robbins back in the day. I’ll have to give his work a more serious look.

4. Here is EC Fan Addict Grant Geissman with the rare comic book he purchased from us. Grant is the author of 2 definitive books on EC comics. His most recent book is “Foul Play: The Art and Artists of the Notorious EC Comics”.

5. Here is a couple of Lee’s Comics customers dressed up as Escaflowne characters.

6. Another great costume.

7. I wasn’t able to break away from the table for more than a few moments at a time. I managed to see about 20 minutes of the Stan Lee panel. He kept the audience in stitches the whole time. He was very animated and came up with a funny and interesting answer for each question that he was asked. I think Stan injected a very vial force into comics in the ’60, and that is Personality. He’s definitely a larger than life personality himself.

8. I always like to stop by and see my friend Maggie Thompson. Editor of the Comics Buyer’s Guide. Maggie is a national treasure for the comic book world, and she is always the brightest person in the room. Maggie mentioned that she sold her high-grade run of Amazing Spider-man #1-100, and was looking to rebuild it with low grade, low cost issues. I helping her build that collection starting with this copy of #6. It’s really nice except for the 2-inch square piece missing from the front cover.

9. Gary Owens the famous announcer of Laugh In, the voice of Space Ghost, roger Ramjet, powdered Toast Man, and many other credits, stopped by the booth. He mentioned that he was a big fan of Alex Ross. I had never met Gary before, but I had always been a huge fan. He was incredibly friendly and gracious.

10. Here’s Gary and my buddy Ron Murry. Ron and I sell side by side each year, and help each other out. He’s a great guy, and when it comes to golden and Silver age comics, he’s the dealer’s dealer. I’ve never seen another dealer who buys and sells in such a low pressure and friendly manner. Ron travels all over the country buying and selling vintage comics, and enjoying life.


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Imagine a World with no comic books. Not worth living.

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