Will Eisner and The NY Comicon

Will Eisner and The NY Comicon 960 300 Paul Levitz

Working on the Eisner book yesterday, having fun doing detective work…for decades, Will and Denis Kitchen have told flip sides of the same story of their first meeting at the 1971 NY Comicon, the first time either of them attended. I was always a bit jealous–that was MY first Comicon too–why didn’t I meet you guys and become best friends too? [Not that we didn’t ultimately meet and become friends, you understand, but still…]

But something bugged me. I vaguely recalled a SPIRIT cover on an earlier NY Con program book I had gotten when I was working for Phil Seuling in the early moments of SeaGate Distributors and the direct market. Dug down, found it. 1968 con…no article on Will in the book, though. 1969 con program, no transcript of the previous year’s guest of honor event, no photos. Hmm…

Emailed a few friends who had been at the cons before me. Memories fuzzy. Suggestions back: look at the progress reports, try this other friend. Paydirt!

Will was a luncheon guest of honor at the ’68 show with Burne Hogarth, or at least announced to be, and Will rarely missed a commitment. And another friend recalls other friends scoring him an Eisner sketch at the ’69 show.

Will apparently conflated his early con appearances into the one, which made the story better…and probably forgot that he did so in retelling the story again and again…

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