I’m a librarian, so I have been trained in how information has been organized.

I’m a collector, so I’m always looking for esoteric items never before seen again.

But, among my special powers, I have what I call “web-fu”. I have an almost zen/Force ability of finding things, almost at random.

Today, while scanning the newsfeeds from San Diego, I wondered… what is the oldest mention of “Comic-Con” on the Internet?  Getty Pictures has a few photos from 1992, but not much appears in the Google News archives.

So I did a general search:

“comic-con”  “san diego”  Jan 1, 1970 – Dec 31, 1990

Now, some of the date tags are a bit false…  but I found something that looked curious, so I clicked on the link.

[PDF]San Diego – Ironic Sans

SDCC 88 progress report 2Go ahead… Click on it.  You’ll see a PDF of the “1988 San Diego Comic-Con progress report No. 2”, dated June 1988!

Now, I recommend you spend an hour perusing the newsletter, but here are some highlights:

  • Held August 4-7, 1988 at the San Diego Convention and Performing Arts Center & Omni Horton Plaza Hotel
  • Memberships: $30 (before June 30), $36 at the door, $12 for one day
  • Expected attendance: 9,000
  • 350 exhibitors
  • Golden Hall was turned into a lounge for attendees, and also served as overflow for the dealers room in Plaza Hall.
  • This was the first year one-day memberships were sold in advance, due to long registration lines.
  • Carol Kaleescky and Julie Roloff, the “registration twins” controlled an expanded registration desk.
  • Hotels? Four. Room rates? $55-$115


  • Howard Chaykin
  • Will Eisner
  • George R. R. Martin (then known as the producer of “Beauty and the Beast” on TV)
  • Jules Feiffer
  • Arthur Adams
  • Matt Wagner
  • Max Allan Collins
  • Kirk Alyn
  • Robert Asprin
  • Raymond Feist
  • June Foray
  • Scott Shaw!
  • Lynda Barry
  • Matt Groening (back when he was known for “Life in Hell”, and The Simpsons were guests on The Tracey Ullman show)
  • Kevin Fagan
  • Jack Kirby

Headline on Page 8: “Programming to emphasize alternatives, diversity”

Anyone know what happened to 21st Century Comics & Toys in Orange, California?

How about Ninth Nebula in North Hollywood?

Comic Castle? (Four stores!)

Comico The Comics Company has a full page ad.

Artists Alley, sold out by mid-March, hosted 50+ creators. (Many of those listed I’m not familiar with.)

Father Tree Press (AKA Warp Graphics) offered a 40% discount on their graphic novels. $60 for all six volumes!

Wow… “Silver Card honors past members”

The Silver Card grants lifetime free admission to the Comic-Con.

Page 18 lists the entire (?) San Diego Comic-Con Committee!

Pages 19-21 list all advance members through April 10th.  That doesn’t include professionals or media, it seems.

Wow. To go back in time… Would I meet you there, and what were you doing then?



  1. Wow…that’s about two years before my first trip to Comic-Con, so you wouldn’t have seen me there.

    I’ve been racking my brains trying to remember anything about 21st Century Comics other than its name. I had friends who were also into comics who went there, but I didn’t even remember it was next to the traffic circle in Old Town. At the time I mostly went to Freedonia, also in Orange, and Comics Toons ‘n’ Toys in Tustin (still around!)

    I did a little digging and found that 21st Century Comics moved to nearby Fullerton, and apparently owner Barry Short was one of the *many* people who ran for California governor in the 2003 recall that ended up giving us the Governator: http://icv2.com/articles/comics/view/3269/barry-short-21st-century-comics-launches-gubernatorial-run

    So they were still around in 2003, but I don’t know when they closed.

    Interestingly, when I was checking the address listed in the program to see if the area looked familiar, I discovered there’s a comic store called Big Red Comics across the street from where 21st Century used to be!

  2. YES I was at SDCC in 1988, at Golden Hall, and it was awesome. Probably the first year I went all four days, spent too much money and had way too much fun. I was 17 just graduated High School and had a job to earn money for Con.

Comments are closed.