Here’s another cracking glimpse at early British comics fandom courtesy of the brilliant Classic UK Comics Zines web site hosted by artist and independent publisher David Hathaway-Price – the 1969 ComiCon Booklet featuring a cover by the late, great, Jim Baikie.
Held at the Waverley Hotel, London, this was the second-ever British Comic Art Convention, the first taking place in Birmingham in August 1968, organised by Phil Clarke and Steve Moore.
The May 1969 event – its main guests, Steve Parkhouse and Barry Windsor-Smith, best known then, perhaps, for their work for Oldham’s’ Power Comics Fantastic and Terrific, was organised by Derek “Bram” Stokes, founder of Britain’s first comic shop Dark They Were and Golden Eyed, Frank Dobson and Steve Moore.
The British Comic Art Convention, usually known as Comicon, was an annual British comic book convention which was held between 1968 and 1981, usually in London. The earliest British fan convention devoted entirely to comics, later it was also the birthplace of the Eagle Awards, which launched in 1977.
With a cover by Jim Baikie, the 1969 event’s Convention Booklet was assembled by Frank Dobson, Steve Moore, Alan Willis and Derek “Bram” Stokes, with interior artwork by Dennis Gifford, Vaughn Bodé, Joe Orlando, Al Williamson, Wally Wood, Jeff Jones and Bernie Wrightson, thanks mainly to Canadian fan John Mansfield.
This latest snapshot of British comics fandom of yesteryear joins the Classic UK Comics Zines site thanks to Steve Bee, who was one of the seventh – yes, just seventy! – or so attending the event, who kindly scanned his copy.
“Fans were more than happy to travel, we were nearly all teenagers then, so visiting a different city was always an exciting prospect,” recalls publisher Dez Skinn of the event on his official web site. “Ah, such simpler times…”