Passings | Sheldon "Shel" Dorf, who in 1970 co-founded the event that grew into Comic-Con International, passed away Nov. 3 in San Diego's Sharp Memorial Hospital from diabetes-related complications. He was 76.
A collector of comics and Dick Tracy memorabilia, Dorf had run Triple Fan Fest in his native Detroit. After he moved to San Diego in early 1970, he met Ken Krueger of Alert Books in Ocean Beach and the two, together with a group of teen-aged fans, organized first Golden State Comic Con, held Aug. 1-3, 1970, at the U.S. Grant Hotel. Dorf served as president, or chairman, of the convention until the mid-1980s, stepping away just as the annual event was becoming a national stage for pop culture.
Dorf reportedly struggled with diabetes for years, gradually losing mobility and vision. He entered Sharp Memorial Hospital in 2008 and never left. His brother Michael was with him when he died.
Mark Evanier, of course, has a nice tribute to Dorf peppered with memories dating back to before that first convention. There's also an extensive Shel Dorf Tribute website, and a memorial banner topping the Comic-Con International homepage. The photo above, of Dorf with Warren Beatty on the set of the 1990 Dick Tracy movie, is borrowed from Alan Light's Flickr stream. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]
Publishing | Tor.com, Macmillan's science fiction and fantasy online initiative, has acquired the web-only publishing rights to two full-length graphic novels: The Imitation Game, a biography of mathematician Alan Turing, by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis; and Red Light Properties, a real-estate horror story by Dan Goldman. The two books will be serialized on Tor.com beginning in January. [PW Comics Week]
Publishing | Bestselling novelist S.E. Hinton, author of The Outsiders, has partnered with Bluewater Productions to publish comic-book adaptations of some of her books, beginning in spring 2010 with her young-adult novel Taming of the the Star Runner. [Bluewater Productions]
Publishing | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson talks with BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Mark Waid about the company's philosophy, its position in the marketplace, the BOOM! Kids line and newsstand distribution. [PW Comics Week]
Creators | Writer, and Image Comics partner, Robert Kirkman talks up Image United, the six-issue miniseries that brings together six of the company's seven founders. [USA Today]
Creators | Brian Heater wraps up his four-part interview with Guy Delisle. [The Daily Cross Hatch]
Creators | Author Frank Beddor discusses his Looking Glass Wars novels, which have spawned the Hatter M comic book tie-ins. [Hero Complex]
Conventions | The Des Moines Register previews Saturday's I-CON convention in Altoona, Iowa, with a series of articles profiling a local artist, a local writer, a cosplayer, a collector, etc. (You can find an index here under "Related Stories.") Guests include Phil Hester, Sean Galloway, Kevin Cannon, Bob Hall and Ryan Benjamin. [I-CON]