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We all know what Comic-Con International is today: a mega pop culture event that serves as a dizzying gathering and show place for TV series producers, cosplayers, gamers, anime fans, graphic novelists, artists, movie industry wannabes, and, oh, yes…comic book dealers and readers. For it was a love for comic books that inspired the original Comic-Con, created and held together with hope and enthusiasm by a group of San Diego teenagers in 1970.

Comic-Con Kids WebsiteLest the modest origins of this four-day extravaganza become lost beneath the layers of glitz and time, the SDSU Library began an oral history project several years ago to collect the stories of Comic-Con’s remaining founders and early participants. The “Comic-Con Kids” project was funded through the Community Stories Grant Program from the California council for the Humanities. Funds from the grant made possible the new interactive Website that features the videos of the founders’ oral histories. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and block off a couple hours of time…you’ll want to explore and enjoy this site fully. In addition to the fascinating tales of early Comic-Cons told by Mike Towry, Greg Bear, and Scott Shaw!, additional resources are featured, including a page on “Comic Convention Memories.” Check it out!

To learn more about our “Comic-Con Kids” project, I’ve included links to recent news videos and articles at the end of this post. To get a quick taste of the interviews features on the Website, watch the video embedded below.

Fox 5 San Diego Report on the Comic-Con Kids Project

Daily Aztec

San Diego State NewsCenter

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Members of the library’s Comic Arts Committee are at San Diego Comic Fest today through Sunday, video recording more oral histories of the early Comic-Con organizers and participants for the library’s oral history project, “Comic-Con Kids: Finding and Defining Fandom.” Yesterday was set up day at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center. Below are some photos of a few of our staff, faculty, students, and volunteers setting up the lights, sound, and camera equipment in the interview room.

comic fest

Waiting to unload the lighting equipment truck.

comic fest

One of the cool things about this project is that SDSU students are receiving real-world experience working with film/video production professionals.

Comic Fest

Setting up the lighting and camera equipment in the interview room.

Comic Fest

How do you know your lighting arrangement and camera angle are going to work? You get a patient soul to sit in for the interviewee while you test and make adjustments!

Many thanks to the California Council for the Humanities for the grant that’s making this exciting project possible!

Harold K. BrownCongratulations to Harold K. Brown, the library’s 2012 recipient of the Monty Award! Brown was honored at an April 14 gala dinner and awards presentation at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego.

Brown is a prominent civil rights and community and economic development leader. He is an SDSU alumnus (class of 1959) who later became the first African American administrator at San Diego State University. While at SDSU, he organized the Black Studies courses into the Afro-American Studies Program and, as an associate dean in the College of Business Administration, he established the college’s Center for Community Economic Development.

More recently, Brown was instrumental in establishing the Harold K. Brown Civil Rights and African American Experience Collection, which is housed in the SDSU Library’s Special Collections and University Archives Department. The collection is an exceptional, full account of the struggles and progress of San Diego’s African Americans as told through unique, digitized personal papers, photographs, and oral histories.

Sponsored by the Alumni Association, the Monty Award is a symbol of achievement and success presented to distinguished alumni from each of SDSU’s seven academic colleges, Imperial Valley Campus and Library and Information Access. Distinguished service awards also are given to an exceptional alumni volunteer and an outstanding university employee.

If you would like to learn more about Harold Brown or the Collection, please visit the links below.

Harold K. Brown Oral History
Harold K. Brown Papers
SDSU NewsCenter Article on Harold Brown and the Collection
Creating Community Online Exhibit

Flickr Photos

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