Monthly Archives: November 2009

Shel Dorf remembered

The Fox News station in San Diego ran a really nice feature on Shel Dorf, my friend, and founder of the San Diego Comic-Con. It’s here:,0,658394.story

In case you haven’t heard, Shel passed away this week. Shel was a big supporter of the Jack Kirby Collector from its early days, and of course a close friend of the Kirby family. My wife Pam and I had the privilege of visiting Shel at his home after a San Diego Con in the mid-1990s, and man, what a treasure trove of comics memorabilia he had there. (Shel lettered for Milton Caniff, and he had a lot of comic STRIP material around; maybe more than comic BOOK material.)

He was a delightful host that day, showing us all around the beautiful beach town he lived in. We got to have some very interesting conversations over the years, and Shel entrusted me with a lot of photos he took at Comic-Con over the years, with the hope that we’d help preserve them and publish them in our books and mags. With his passing, that responsibility hits home even harder.

My sense was that he was really astonished to see what his little “West Coast Comic-Con” morphed into over the years, being somewhat impressed by its current size and scope, but a little dismayed that it’d gotten quite so large. I know he had stopped coming the last few years, because he couldn’t handle all the walking around it required.

Y’know, this is a really weird time of life for me. I’ve been doing this publishing thing for 15 years now, and I’ve been blessed to make so many really nice friends while doing something I absolutely love. It’s just been the best experience, and for so long it seemed like they’d always be around, ready to pick up a conversation the next time we saw them (which, in many cases, would only be at the next year’s comic convention). But now, 15 years into this, each passing year seems to bring the loss of someone else that I didn’t really get to know well enough before they left us. For so long, this stuff was just fun, fun, fun for the most part. But losses like this really do temper it, I’ve gotta say.

I’m really glad I got to know Shel. But now I realize it wasn’t enough time to really *know* him, y’know? I just wish I had a few more Comic-Cons with him there, to get to know him even better. I really do miss him.

Thanks to Terrence Sanford for alerting me to the Fox piece on Shel.

Modern Masters on sale for $10!

Now through the end of November, all in-stock MODERN MASTERS books are on sale for just $10 each! Where else can you get that comics fan on your holiday gift list (or yourself) such an enjoyable present for ten bucks? Take your pick from volumes on these top artists:

Alan Davis
George Pérez
Bruce Timm
Kevin Nowlan
José Luis Garciá-López
John Byrne
Mike Wieringo
Kevin Maguire
Charles Vess
Michael Golden
Jerry Ordway
Frank Cho
Mark Schultz
Mike Allred
Lee Weeks
John Romita Jr.
Mike Ploog
Kyle Baker
Chris Sprouse

Sorry, our volumes on Arthur Adams and Walter Simonson are sold out (although we plan to do new printings of them soon).

Do you want to see COLOR in our mags? Vote now!

WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK! Do you want us to add color to the print editions of our magazines ALTER EGO, BACK ISSUE, and DRAW! (with a corresponding cover price increase)? Or keep them black and white? Please CHOOSE ONE:

* Keep ’em black & white and stay $6.95 per issue
* Make 16 of the pages full-color, for $7.95 per issue
* Make the whole issue full-color, for $8.95 per issue

There’s two ways to vote. You can click here to go to our Yahoo group and vote in about 3 seconds (requires you to sign-in to a free Yahoo account if you don’t already have one):

Or just send us an email with one of the three choices in the body of it. The email address is:

Please let us know what you think; your vote will help us shape the future of our mags! Thanks for taking time to respond.

John Morrow, publisher