Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Con Program (1978)

Sci-Fi Con Program 1978

Sorry, nerds: “HOTEL SECURITY requests that NO ONE bring a weapon that looks real. This includes all METAL swords and daggers (wood ones with rounded tips are acceptable)…” Don’t cry into your tankard of cider, though, because “Futuristic weapons are acceptable.”

Note the prominent D&D placement: “Dungeons and Dragons Games are the latest addiction for fans…we warn you the games can become habit forming!!! Sign up to play or learn.”

Program art is by Mike Royer, who inked a large volume of Jack Kirby’s DC output in the ’70s before embarking on a long career with Disney in 1979.

Margaret Sheridan (The Thing from Another World), Roy Thomas (impeccable Marvel comics scribe), Ray Bradbury (duh), Constance Moore (1939 Buck Rogers serial), Jean Rogers (1936/1938 Flash Gordon serials), George Pal (duh), and Jack Arnold (possibly the greatest sci-fi B movie director of all time) all made appearances at the event. I won’t list all the films shown, because it will break your heart.

I guess cons weren’t always bullshit corporate endorsements of a contemporary “geek” subculture that’s defined more by fashion and performance than intellectual and imaginative pursuits framed by at least a rudimentary historical perspective. Maybe I’m wrong.

(Image via a.b. productions/eBay)

5 Responses to “Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Con Program (1978)”

  1. 1 contradextraavenue March 7, 2014 at 1:55 am

    Yeah. That last paragraph sums up my reasons for not going to ComicCon when I lived in San Diego. It’s really kind of sad.

  2. 2 J March 14, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    It’s the final trick played on those who were practically tortured for resisting popular trends and not conforming to peer pressure. Now everyone’s a geek! “I read a graphic novel, I’m a geek!” “I binge watch Doctor Who, I’m a nerd!” Really? I guess those words hurt more when they’re used with “fag” or “queer” and a swift kick in the groin. The fact that these modern “geeks” seem to spend alot of time on the internet bullying those who dare to be different from them is incredibly ironic.

    • 3 2W2N March 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      Here’s a snippet from an open, well meant, poorly written Tumblr post from 2012 about how The Big Bang Theory insults “nerd culture” while Community celebrates it. My wife sent it to me a couple of months ago. It got 54,000 notes. This is the part where the poster defines “nerd”:

      “I am wary of labelling myself as anything other than what I definitively know I am, but for the purposes of this post I will call myself a nerd. This is a label which I think others would use to describe me – I help run the sci-fi society at my university, I spend my days watching TV and movies, I collect merchandise and comics, read science fiction and fantasy novels and play video games. I like to be organised, I alphabetise my DVDs, books and CDs, I go to conventions and participate in cosplay. More than anything though, I’m a fan. I love things obsessively and I like to think I know a lot about what I love. I know there’s a lot of debate online about what constitutes a nerd, and then there’s the debate about whether there should be a debate at all. I’m not getting into any of that here. Let’s just say I’m a nerd and move on.”

      There’s a lot to say, and here is not the place to do it, but the bottom line is that there’s not one word about being passionate about the interior life. A geek/nerd is just an intellectual who applies a significant portion of his mental energy to the fantastic. That’s it. You don’t have to read indie comics, or be socially awkward, or dress up like a superhero, or be a fan (whatever that means), or buy a fucking shirt with a d20 on it.

      The whole post is a pretty fascinating look at the new school:

  3. 4 VR March 23, 2020 at 2:20 am

    So cool to find this here. This was the first con I went to and it started me going to three or four a year through the end of the 80s. Cons were very different back then. Thanks for still having this up.

  1. 1 Mark Hamill Signing Autographs, 1977 | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on September 2, 2015 at 5:53 pm

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