Here’s a book I backed on Kickstarter which arrived recently, and it’s a gem. Jackie Estrada has been involved in the San Diego Comic Con from its beginning in 1970, and she was wise enough to have a camera with her. This large book is her photo album from the first two decades, and it’s full of terrific photos. Though I got into comics in 1977, I didn’t start attending the San Diego Con until 1993, so this book allowed me to visit the show through Jackie’s eyes and words, and see so many of the people I met in the business as they enjoyed the show during those years. Jackie’s comments are mix of identifying people and why they’re known with personal memories of them and the time and place. It really is like looking through a photo album with the author at your side.
While the vast majority of people shown are from the comics and comic strips world, there are also chapters on famous figures from science fiction, movies and TV. San Diego always presented a mix, and Jackie includes photos from a few other shows, as on this page featuring one of my favorite writers, Robert Heinlein. (And rest assured it looks much better than this scan!) It was interesting to learn that Jackie and I had both been at the 1976 World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City where he was the guest of honor, but how about that photo of him in a Hawaiian shirt doing a sketch?
In addition to mainstream comics writers and artists, there are photos of people from underground comics, independent or small press, and animation. There are comic strip creators, and cartoonists. There are behind the scenes folks like editors, publishers and journalists. And while most of the photos were taken in black in white, there is a nice section of color photos as well.
In short, if you’re interested in the people behind the comics and media you enjoy, you’ll love this book. I can’t recommend it highly enough.