Friday, August 1, 2014

no Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones in 1977 AFF program book

Sorry for the lack of Atlanta Fantasy Fair posts here at the so-called Atlanta Fantasy Fair blog... but real life sometimes intrudes upon our nostalgic wanderings.  At any rate, thanks to readers Z. V. and R. W., here are some images from the program book for 1977's Atlanta Comics & Fantasy Fair!

That's a Neal Adams/Dick Giordano illustration of DC Comics president, publisher, and editor-in chief Jenette Kahn gracing the cover there. How many women have there been in the top slots of major comic book companies since then?

Some amazing 70s convention program book design is in effect here, demonstrating how tough it was to produce small-press publications in the days before computer-aided desktop publishing software. You'll notice a wide variety of programming in what I assume was their one event room - guest speakers, keynote addresses, cartoons, old silent films, 50s Technicolor extravaganzas, and the Holy Screening Of The Blooper Reels, which in 1977 must have been unscratched and nearly pristine, ready for decades of being screened to eager audiences.

Neal Adams and Jim Steranko are still-active comic book and illustrator legends, Dick Giordano passed away in 2010, Jenette Kahn retired, and Ken Smith used to write impenetrable essays for The Comics Journal.

Remember kids, this was a time before home video, before 500 satellite channels, before the internets and streaming video and watching movies on a little gadget you stick in your pocket - if you were a SF nerd and you wanted to see Invaders From Mars, then by golly you sat your butt down on those uncomfortable hotel ballroom seats and you watched that scratchy print of Invaders From Mars. And you liked it!

Here's the front and back cover, with a terrific Steranko piece wrapping things up.

The 1977 Atlanta Comics & Fantasy Fair was the first one to be held at what was then the Dunfey's Royal Coach, and would later become The Castlegate and slide slowly into decrepitude and ignominy. There is now a Wal-Mart on the site. I would not have been at this convention as I was 7 at the time.

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