An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture
written by Mathew Klickstein
foreword by Stan Sakai
foreword by Jeff Smith
afterword by RZA
(*** OUT THROUGH Fantagraphics, SEPT 6 2022; audiobook version from Blackstone concurrently)
About See You At San Diego
SEE YOU AT SAN DIEGO: AN ORAL HISTORY OF COMIC-CON, FANDOM, AND THE TRIUMPH OF GEEK CULTURE is the comprehensive chronicle of Comic-Con and modern geekdom itself, as told through countless intimate, hilarious, at times heartbreaking and often thought-provoking stories by nearly fifty of the most integral members of today's convention and fandom community.
Bursting with reflections, observations, and plenty of raw hot takes on everything from Stan Lee to Twilight, from Star Trek to Star Wars, and MAD Magazine to Watchmen, SEE YOU AT SAN DIEGO's special guests include: Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Kevin Smith, Bruce Campbell, Felicia Day, Scott Aukerman, Stan Sakai, Sergio Aragonés, Trina Robbins, The Russo Bros., Lloyd Kaufman, Tim Seeley, Kevin Eastman, Maggie Thompson, and many others, along with 400+ pics and art, plus an afterword by Wu-Tang Clan’s own uber-nerd mastermind RZA. Learn how, in this historical and sociological tour de force, the geek at last inherited the earth ... with a little help from a half-century of the planet's largest pop culture gathering (clocked twice by Guinness!): the San Diego Comic-Con.
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Wu-Tang Clan's RZA gives the "Bong bong!" to the book to which he contributed an afterword
CLICK ON IMAGES BELOW TO WATCH VIDEO/LINKS
Mathew Klickstein recounts the early origins of Comic-Con on San Diego's ABC10 News during Comic-Con 2023
Good Day Dayton interview with Mathew Klickstein
KGNU (Boulder, CO) - "Morning Magazine" interview with Mathew Klickstein
Comics Carnival (Indianapolis, IN) interview with Mathew Klickstein
CXC 2022: Spotlight on Mathew Klickstein
UC Riverside virtual discussion with Mathew Klickstein
Original artwork celebrating See You At San Diego by Comic-Con co-originator and legendary cartoonist Scott Shaw!, one of many contributors to the book.
From The Twilight Zone to Ray Bradbury, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and Star Wars, to Twilight — Klickstein explores how fandom has transformed popular culture. Featuring more than 400 photos and art bursts, the book is an essential and defining resource of the forces that have transformed popular culture over the course of the past century.
Compiling a history of Comic-Con is a Herculean task, and Matthew Klickstein rose to the occasion with not only a well-researched book bringing together a history that’s been recorded only in oral histories and ephemera before, but also a really good looking book. Put this on your bookshelf to thumb through to remind yourself of where fandom has been, and where it could go from here.
Published by Fantagraphics and penned by pop culture historian Mathew Klickstein, See You at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture charts the history of Comic-Con’s evolution from its roots as a small comics gathering to the premiere event in the nerdy pop culture calendar, a behemoth where the world’s biggest studios and networks sit alongside those comics publishers to reveal the latest news, wild casting announcements, and, of course, maybe a trailer or 16.
This full-fledged oral history, bursting with intimate reflections, hilarious observations, and at times, heartbreaking, often thought-provoking stories, is about how the geek at last inherited the earth and the story of the transformation of mainstream American pop culture into comic book culture over the past century.
Last year, pop culture writer Mathew Klickstein explored the origins of San Diego Comic-Con in a podcast called Comic-Con Begins, where he interviewed dozens of people who were present at the creation of SDCC back in the early 1970s. Now, See You at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom and the Triumph of Geek Culture (Fantagraphics Books) collects all that valuable material and more in a hefty volume chock full of vintage photos, artwork and reminiscences.
Comic Book Couples Counseling
Klickstein's massive tome is a beast of a feast, and one not only San Diego Comic-Con obsessives will enjoy. Inside, you'll find numerous wild characters. Yes, folks like Neil Gaiman, Kevin Smith, and Scott Aukerman are present, but wait until you meet cats like Mike Towry, Bjo Trimble, and Scott Shaw!
Since its inception in 1970, San Diego Comic-Con has been the premier gathering for pop culture. What started as place for niche comics creators and fans to assemble has become a blockbuster of all things nerdery. History has literally been made in those conventions hall, and now you can read all about it.
Comic-Con International: San Diego is one of the biggest and longest-running fan conventions in the world, so it stands to reason there are a lot of fascinating, untold stories about the Comic-Cons of yesteryear. That's the idea behind Fantagraphics' upcoming retrospective book See You at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture.
“Fandom is a tribe of people,” says pop culture historian Mathew Klickstein. “Geeks, nerds, fanboys/fangirls, misfits, outsiders, weirdos — all bonding over pop culture nostalgia. People who speak a shorthand based on the singular universe built around certain niche passions. It’s more than a subculture, but rather an entire network of interconnected and often overlapping nodes of fandom.”
These days, Comic-Con International is the nexus of nerd culture. No matter what you’re into, whether it’s film, TV, gaming, or actual comic books, it all converges in San Diego for four days every year. But it all started over fifty years ago, as just a small gathering of comics fans. Back in an era when geeks absolutely did not rule pop culture.
Broken Frontier proudly presents the shortlists for our 19th annual Broken Frontier Awards. Our team has selected five nominees for each of the 15 main categories that comprise the BF Awards, honouring some of the creators and publications of the past year whose work has particularly spoken to us in 2022.
The Good Men Project
One of the most rewarding ancillary effects of the recent release of my pop culture nostalgia/fandom oral history See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture (Fantagraphics, Sept 6) has been my witnessing the cartoonish eye-bulging that inevitably occurswhenever I present the book to a friend or colleague. There’s no two ways about it: the thing is MASSIVE.
Comic-Con has become a huge event not just for San Diego but for pop-culture fans around the globe. During the pandemic Mathew Klickstein created a podcast called "Comic-Con Begins," which presented an oral history about the pop-culture convention. But he had always planned for those interviews to be a book. Tomorrow "See You at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture" finally goes on sale.
KGNU - Metro
Author Mathew Klickstein joins us live in KGNU's Denver studio to discuss his beautiful and loving tribute to founding fans who created a world of fantasy interplay many now take for granted. With most Hollywood blockbusters now based on comics and sci-fi plots, debuting their promotions at San Diego Comic-Con, "See You at San Diego" shows how a grassroots gathering based on sharing "way-out" interests became a cornerstone of popular culture, in the words of those who made it happen. Published by Fantagraphics Books.
KFI AM 640
The Mo’Kelly Show Presents – An in-depth conversation with Author & Pop Culture Historian Mathew Klickstein, who joins the program to discuss the Fantagraphics Books release “See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture” … A comprehensive chronicle of the rise of fandom and pop culture nostalgia throughout the past century on KFI AM 640
The Comic Book Yeti
Comic Book Yeti contributor Cody sat down with Mathew Klickstein to chat about See You at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom and the Triumph of Geek Culture. Mathew has written such a deep exploration of Comic-Con filled with stories and photographs. You are not going to want to miss it. Come read what Mathew had to say about this amazing project.
The Dayton Jewish Observer
You can see the people who really made it happen, who brought it together. They did so because there was this intersection like the cantina in Star Wars, the bar in Treasure Island. All these different people who are there. People would go there to get work. Because people knew they’d see, even early on, Bradbury and others. And as early as the mid-’70s, you start to have Hollywood come down with Star Wars and Star Trek and others.
Last night Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) held their CXC 2022 Announcement Party, an event at which the organization unveiled their lineup of special guests for this year’s festival. Set to take place October 6th through 9th, the guest line-up features two-dozen figures from across the world of comics, including Keith Knight, Maia Kobabe, Ron Wimberly, Trina Robbins, and many more.
Nominated for a 2022 Broken Frontier Award in the Best Book About Comics category it’s a truly impressive achievement and a vital archival record for comics historians. I chatted with Mathew recently about the book, the logistics involved in such a mammoth undertaking, and some of the anecdotal highlights in its pages…
Yellow Scene Magazine
Mathew Klickstein has been a storyteller his whole life. In elementary school, he would write stories instead of listening to his teachers, and as a teenager he devoted hours to making short films. Today, he continues to use his creativity working as a multi-form storyteller. Klickstein has published everything from podcasts to non-fiction books. His most recent book, See You At San Diego, is an oral history of the San Diego Comic-Con and geek culture; it will be published in September.
For the "why don’t they make comic cons like they used to?" fan. If the fan in your life is old enough to remember the good old days when comic conventions were motley assemblages of freaks and geeks in hotel ballrooms and not giant multimedia extravaganzas, definitely pick up See You In San Diego, an oral history of the San Diego Comic-Con from its earliest days, by Mathew Klickstein.
From THE TWILIGHT ZONE to Ray Bradbury to STAR TREK to FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND to STAR WARS to Bruce Lee flicks to TWILIGHT, SEE YOU AT SAN DIEGO: AN ORAL HISTORY OF COMIC-CON, FANDOM, AND THE TRIUMPH OF GEEK CULTURE explores how fandom has transformed popular culture. Featuring more than 400 photos and art bursts, the book is an essential and defining resource of the forces that have transformed popular culture over the course of the past century.
Scott Shaw! is channelling Sergio Aragonés for the new book See You At San Diego, as he has created artwork for the American Cinematheque launch event, projecting it onscreen during the LA movie panel this week on the 8th of September, which also includes a screening of Scott Pilgrim vs The World which debuted at San Diego Comic-Con.
Pop Culture Squad
When I say I love history, I don’t just mean I like to read about ancient Rome and the Revolutionary War. There’s so much more out there, and Mathew Klickstein has provided a doozy. His newest book, See You at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom and the Triumph of Geek Culture is a deep-dive history of San Diego Comic-Con. It’s informative, insightful and great fun.
Anime News Network
“Fandom is a tribe of people,” said Klickstein. “Geeks, nerds, fanboys/fangirls, misfits, outsiders, weirdos — all bonding over pop culture nostalgia. People who speak a shorthand based on the singular universe built around certain niche passions. It's more than a subculture, but rather an entire network of interconnected and often overlapping nodes of fandom."
The Fanboy Factor
Featuring Forewords by USAGI YOJIMBO creator Stan Sakai and BONE creator Jeff Smith, An Afterword by RZA, 400+ Photos and Art Bursts, And Stories by Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Kevin Smith, Bruce Campbell, Felicia Day, Scott Aukerman, Sergio Aragonés, Trina Robbins, the Russo Bros., Lloyd Kaufman, Tim Seeley, Kevin Eastman, and More
Fantagraphics Books will publish See You at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture, by Mathew Klickstein, on September 6. The 480-page paperback collects interviews with nearly 50 creators, media personalities and fans, including Sergio Aragones, Kevin Eastman, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Trina Robbins, Stan Sakai, and Kevin Smith, along with over 400 illustrations, both photos and artwork.
Geek Vibes Nation
In what is commonly known by people who cover this wonderful thing that we call “Geek Culture” as my “paying job,” I walk a great deal. To pass the time as I walk, I have listened to an inordinate amount of audio books and podcasts. One of those that I listened to was Mathew Glickstein’s six-part audio documentary, Comic-Con Begins. This podcast was produced in partnership with SiriusXM/Stitcher. Comic-Con Begins was a historical look back the origins of the San Diego Comic-Con and the people who brought it to life. As a comic and pop culture nerd, I enjoyed it very much.
Klickstein’s latest venture is a complete oral history of the most prominent and influential comic convention of all time: San Diego Comic-Con. In his new book, See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture, Klickstein gathers together first hand accounts about the famed convention, detailing all of the history and events that show the evolution of SDCC.
This looks like a very intriguing volume: an overarching history of San Diego Comic-Con, told by the people who were there. I've got an advance copy of this, and I've been flipping through it with great interest (in no small part because this is a book I would have loved to have picked through while writing Cosplay!)
Otaku USA Magazine
Mathew Klickstein calls himself a Multi-Platform Storyteller, and his newest book, See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture, is being released on September 6 by Fantagraphics. The 500-page book has all sorts of information and interviews on different types of geek interests, including anime and manga.
The following is an interview with author and pop culture historian Mathew Klickstein regarding the upcoming release of his new book, See You at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture, through Fantagraphics. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Klickstein about the comprehensive chronicle of the rise of fandom and pop culture nostalgia throughout the past century, why Fantagraphics makes the perfect home for the book, and more!
Women Write About Comics
Dragon Con. NY Comic-Con. Flame Con. SDCC. The comic convention as juggernaut may seem like a recent occurrence, but the journey to get there stretches back five decades. To understand the present (and what the future may hold), we must look to the past. Pop culture historian Mathew Klickstein’s new book, See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture collects 50 years of history of San Diego Comic-Con, but fandom in general.
The history of fandom is a wild and complicated one, but a new oral history attempts to tell the whole story from origins to the present day – while also sharing the journey of San Diego Comic-Con from its humble beginnings to its current status as one of the leading pop culture conventions in North America.
Mom Read It
A definitive history of San Diego Comic-Con, See You at San Diego is a personal chronicle of fandom, as members of the convention and fandom community provide their own stories of the rise of Con. From a group of like-minded science fiction and fantasy fans grew a definitive event in comic book culture and fandom history.
Pop Culture Squad
The smiles, laughter and comradery of geek culture and conventions comes through loud and clear in Mathew Klickstein’s new book: See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture. It was just published by Fantagraphics, and it’s a treasure too. This oral history is about the size of a phone book (anyone remember what those were?), and it’s packed full of stories and photos telling the birth, and perhaps adolescence, of the San Diego Comic-Con. (Now also called Comic-Con International).
Pop culture, and especially what might be referred to as geek culture, has taken over the mainstream over the last few decades. This is due in no small part to the growth of San Diego Comic-Con into an entertainment juggernaut. Multi-hyphenate author Matt Klickstein’s recently released book, See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture delivers the definitive accounting of how this came to pass.
Exhaustive but not exhausting, if you ever wondered how the geek cultures of comics, science fiction, and animation managed to become huge engines of money and crowds in showbiz, you'll be interested in See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture. This deep dive explores the history of San Diego Comic-Con via the voices of the curious, driven gang of nerdy weirdos and creatives who started small gatherings of fellow fanatics in San Diego hotels. Over 50 years, they took over the town and the entertainment industry.
Mathew Klickstein is a writer, filmmaker, playwright, arts therapist, and pop culture historian whose writings have appeared in Wired, the New York Daily News, and Splitsider. He co-authored Springfield Confidential with Simpsons writer Mike Reiss, and recently published an oral history of the San Diego Comic-Con, “See You at San Diego,” and The Little Encyclopedia of Jewish Culture.
San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog
Fantagraphics will have a slew of talent at their Booth #1721 this year, though the exact signing (and panel) schedules are still to be revealed. Stop by all weekend for some of their featured artists and authors from titles such as Werewolf Jones & Sons, Love & Rockets, and See You at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture.
The Convention Collective
Step forward screenwriter, playwright, journalist and author Mathew Klickstein. Who, along with some friends and colleagues along the way, has put together a book about the origins of San Diego Comic-Con. Coming in at nearly 500 pages, this book is a comprehensive chronicle of San Diego Comic-Con and modern geekdom itself, as told through countless intimate, hilarious, at times heart-breaking and often thought-provoking stories by nearly fifty of the most integral members of today’s convention and fandom community.