Saturday, January 7, 2012


                Richard Alf, left, and Mike Towry outside the San Diego Convention Center in 2009 — Eduardo Contreras 

From MSN News

Richard Alf, one of the co-founders of San Diego's Comic-Con, has died from pancreatic cancer at age 59.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Alf joined up with a band of volunteers in 1970 to start the now-annual convention celebrating comic books.
Friend and fellow Comic-Con co-founder Mike Towry says Alf fronted a few thousand dollars to pay for the convention for the first three years and
In 1970, the first Comic-Con was relatively modest compared to the convention that now draws more than 125,000 people to San Diego every summer for a 3-day extravaganza.
Alf also founded the Comic Kingdom shop in the North Park area of San Diego in the 1970s.
Alf was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer in December.

Our condolences to the family and friends of Richard Alf.

UPDATE: From the San Diego Union Tribune

In 1970, Sheldon Dorf led a band of volunteers organizing San Diego’s first Comic-Con. The 35-year-old Michigan transplant had the vision and the experience, having run similar shows in Detroit.
But if Dorf was the main man, Richard Alf was the indispensable teen. The 17-year-old senior at Kearny High School possessed two things Dorf did not: a car and cash.
“He was a really good businessman,” said Mike Towry, a friend and fellow co-founder of the Con, which now draws more than 125,000 people each summer to downtown San Diego. “For the first three years, Richard would front the money — and it could have been as much as a few thousand dollars — to the convention and then get paid back afterward.”
As Dorf lacked his own transportation, Alf’s battered 1954 Volkswagen bug was also critical.
“In those early days,” Towry said, “it was all about Richard’s VW.”
Alf, who later founded the “Comic Kingdom” shop, died Wednesday from pancreatic cancer. He was 59.
His death came as some were working to restore Alf to his central place in the Comic-Con saga. He and other founders were saluted at the 2009 Comic-Con. The gesture came none too soon — two key organizers died that November, Dorf passing in San Diego at age 76 and former Ocean Beach bookstore owner Ken Krueger in upstate New York at 83.

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