TODAY: Comic-Con audio documentary created by local pop culture historian premieres on SiriusXM

Credit: Jackie Estrada

Credit: Jackie Estrada

Prior to the formation of Comic-Con, there were few ways for science fiction fans and comic book enthusiasts to come together to celebrate their love for the industry.

However, in 1970, Shel Dorf and others came together to create a convention in San Diego, California featuring a large assortment of comic books, genre-specific entertainers, vendor booths and more. Though the event has expanded to other cities around the world and now draws crowds in the thousands, it is still a gathering place for every variety of science fiction, comic book and film enthusiasts.

Those curious about the early days of Comic-Con and its cultural significance will find local pop culture historian Mathew Klickstein’s latest project especially interesting. Today, June 22, “Comic-Con Begins: Origin Stories of the San Diego Comic-Con and the Rise of Modern Fandom” will debut on the SiriusXM app Stitcher and all other major podcast platforms.

In the early days, Comic-Con was attended by film and science fiction legends like Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris and “Star Wars” creators and cast members.

“The uniting theme of Comic-Con is a group of fans coming together to celebrate their fandom, each other, their idols and their history,” Klickstein said. “This celebration happens to span across all elements of pop culture. It did then, and it does now. Now, yes, there is a bit of a difference because it is so big. It started off with 300 people and now there are 150,000 people who attend Comic-Con each year.”

ExploreChappelle ignites NYC with film premiere and surprise concert

Credit: Comic-Con Begins

Credit: Comic-Con Begins

Each episode of the audio documentary will feature in-depth interviews with fans, organizers and participants involved in the creation and longevity of Comic-Con. Klickstein, who moved to Dayton from Boulder, Colorado, last year, spoke with dozens of industry giants to gather a comprehensive history of the convention. “Comic-Con Begins” is narrated by sci-fi and horror film actress Brinke Stevens.

Since moving to Dayton, Klickstein has hosted a screening of Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic science fiction film “Blade Runner” at the Dixie Twin Drive-In and organized a screenwriting workshop for children based on the book “Animal Farm.” Klickstein embarked upon his latest creative endeavor in hopes that he might be able to document an important part of pop culture history.

ExploreDPO joins area churches this summer for virtual Stained Glass Series

“This story needs to be told because it’s so interesting and impactful to our culture,” Klickstein said. “The people involved tend to be more modest and I want them to have this legacy. I want people to know who they are.”

Throughout its six episodes, the audio documentary includes commentary from over 30 founding members of the original San Diego Comic-Con, “Sandman” creator Neil Gaiman, film director Kevin Smith, Marvel directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and many other legendary individuals involved in Comic-Con.

Credit: Comic-Con Begins

Credit: Comic-Con Begins

Explore3 upcoming food events give you a chance to try different things

According to Klickstein, Ohio also boasts its own assortment of comic book creators and cartoonists like Bill Watterson, the creator of the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes,” and Billy Ireland, a renowned cartoonist with the Columbus Dispatch in the early 20th century.

As previously stated, the first episode of “Comic-Con Begins: Origin Stories of the San Diego Comic-Con and the Rise of Modern Fandom” can be streamed beginning today on the SiriusXM app, Pandora, Stitcher and other major podcast platforms. Those who have the SiriusXM app or Stitcher Premium can listen to all six episodes of the series beginning today.

More information about the audio documentary can be found by visiting SiriusXM’s website. A trailer for the documentary can be found on the “Comic-Con Begins” website.

About the Author