Welcome to the four hundred and fortieth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous four hundred and thirty-nine. This week, in honor of New York Comic Con, is it really true that the very first comic convention attendee was George R.R. Martin?! Plus, two stories about David Bowie’s first wife, Angela. Did she really nearly play Wonder Woman AND Black Widow on TV?
NOTE: The column is on three pages, a page for each legend. There’s a little “next” button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1, 2 and 3 on the top and the bottom, as well).
COMIC LEGEND: George R.R. Martin was the very first comic convention attendee.
STATUS: I’m Going With True
This weekend is New York Comic Convention and fans from all over the world are lining up to attend the four-day event, which reportedly will bring in roughly $70 million to New York City. These mega-sized comic conventions are worlds apart from the early days of organized comic book fandom, especially the VERY FIRST comic convention, which was also held in New York City on July 27, 1964 (Bob Brosch and Jerry Bails had a fan event in Detroit in March 1964 but while that certainly eventually BECAME a convention, I don’t know if I’d term that first meeting a convention – it was more of a swap meet and I don’t know if you could even classify it specifically as a COMIC convention, as it seemed more like a meeting of like-minded fans and collectors from the worlds of comics, fantasy, horror and science fiction). The convention only had about 100 attendees. The brainchild of fan Bernie Bubnis, the convention was organized by Bubnis, Ron Fradkin and Len Wein. Wein was the one who coined the name of the convention, “Comicon.” It was the 1964 New York Comicon. Guests included Stan Lee’s secretary, Flo Steinberg, Tom Gill (the artist of the Lone Ranger comic strip) and a Marvel artist who also provided artwork for the convention booklet, a fellow by the name of Steve Ditko…
Amazingly enough, though, Len Wein has long noted that the very first person to pay to attend the convention was none other than…George R.R. Martin!
Martin was a big time fan of Marvel Comics at the time, and he had letters appear in a number of comics, including Fantastic Four #20…
He was a friend of Wein’s and according to Wein (and Martin himself) the first membership was sold to Martin.
How awesome is that?
Thanks so much to Len Wein for this amazing piece of comic book history!
Check out some Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed!
On the next page, did David Bowie’s wife almost land the Wonder Woman role instead of Lynda Carter?!
COMIC LEGEND: Angela Bowie lost out on the lead role on the Wonder Woman TV series to Lynda Carter.
Angela Bowie was a model and the first wife of world famous singer/songwriter David Bowie.
Bowie has long told a story of how she tried out for the Wonder Woman TV series, first posing for photographs in a Wonder Woman costume designed by Natasha Korniloff, who designed a number of costumes for David Bowie during the Ziggy Stardust days.
Bowie would explain that she had an awful time at the actual audition, though, with her lack of a bra being an issue and she also had a bad experience with the screenwriter for the project. Also, she later discovered that the whole thing was a ruse by David Bowie’s manager to get her in the news so that he could get Johnny Carson to have Angela Bowie on the Tonight Show to ostensibly talk about the Wonder Woman project but really to promote an upcoming concert appearance by David Bowie. The whole thing sounds quite horrid.
Bowie, though, states that even if she had actually been up for the part, that she would have lost out on the role to Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the TV series of the same name…
Bowie, though, is almost certainly mistaken. She appeared on Carson in 1973 to discuss her audition. The Carter series was not in EXISTENCE in 1973. She was then, instead, actually thinking of the 1974 Wonder Woman TV movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby…
The always indispensable Andy Mangels has the full story from Bowie’s own words at his awesome Wonder Woman museum here.
Check out some classic Comic Book Legends Revealed involving Wonder Woman!
Was William Marston once given a specific percentage of how much he had to cut down on Wonder Woman being tied up by chains?
COMIC LEGEND: Angela Bowie once owned the TV rights to Daredevil and Black Widow.
Whether she was ever seriously in contention for Wonder Woman or not, the idea of playing a superhero obviously appealed to Bowie, as in 1975, she actually acquired the TV rights to the then recent Marvel series Daredevil and Black Widow (although, interestingly enough, by 1975 Black Widow was no longer appearing in the pages of Daredevil).
I received permission from Stan Lee to have the rights to Daredevil and Black Widow for a year. We were unable to place the series. Actor, writer, Benny Carruthers and I did the photo shoot with Terry O’Neill and Natasha Kornilkoff costume designer and Barbara Daly – make-up in London and that was all that ever happened. Unfortunately at that time it was considered too difficult and expensive to film, special effects etc.
It never got beyond the test photos they made using Kornilkoff’s costume designs, so these photos are all we have, but still, that in and of itself is a whole lot of awesomenessness!
Thanks to Kuljit and Angela for the information!
Check out the latest edition of my weekly Movie/TV Legends Revealed Column at Spinoff Online: Was Denise Crosby fired by Star Trek: The Next Generation because she posed nude in Playboy?
Okay, that’s it for this week!
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