Comic Book Legends Revealed #440

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?

Let's begin!

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!


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