Comic-Con International 2016 Souvenir Book
The Comic-Con International Souvenir Book is a collectible full-color trade paperback given FREE to all attendees (while supplies last). The book features bios and photos of this year's special guests, plus articles and art created by fans and pros devoted to our anniversary celebrations. It also functions as a kind of "Yearbook" for the show, featuring Eisner Award winners from the past year and current nominees, Hall of Fame inductees, and tributes to those popular arts creators who have passed away in the previous year. (The 2016 Souvenir Book, shown at left, features an exclusive cover by Comic-Con special guest Babs Tarr, commemorating the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman.)
2016 Anniversary Celebrations
100th Birthday Celebration of Forrest J Ackerman
He was arguably the world’s first super-fan. Forrest J Ackerman cosplayed at the first science fiction convention (WorldCon) in 1939, went on to become a literary agent to authors such as Ray Bradbury (a close life-long friend), A. E. van Vogt, and Isaac Asimov, but is best remembered as the lovable, pun-happy editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland, a seminal publication for many fans, including some who went on to become the premiere authors and filmmakers of today. He was also a frequent guest at Comic-Con, including at the very first show, the 1970 mini-con. Share your personal memories of the man called Forry, 4-e, 4sj, and the Ackermonster.
75th Anniversary of Aquaman
He’s gotten a bad rap from shows like Entourage and Robot Chicken, but we’re about to see once again what a powerful character Aquaman really is, with his upcoming big-screen debut (rumored to be in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and portrayed by Jason Momoa from Game of Thrones). The aquatic superhero was created in 1941 by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger and first appeared in More Fun Comics #73. He experienced a renaissance with art by Ramona Fradon, Nick Cardy, and Jim Aparo in the 1950s and ’60s, before exploding onto the scene again with new stories by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis in the last decade.
75th Anniversary of Archie
America’s favorite teenager doesn’t look a day over 18, but Archie turns 75 this year, along with all his gang—Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and Reggie, to name just a few. Created in 1941 by Bob Montana, Archie Andrews went on to spawn an entire publishing empire. Immortalized over the years by artists such as Dan De Carlo and Stan Goldberg and writers like Vic Bloom, Frank Doyle, and George Gladir, Archie and friends were recently revamped and modernized by writers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Michael Uslan, Mark Waid, and Chip Zdarsky, with artists Francisco Francavilla, Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, and Erica Henderson.
75th Anniversary of Captain America
Captain America burst onto the comics scene in 1941, socking Hitler squarely in the jaw before the USA even entered the war. Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Cap was revived into the Marvel Universe in the early 1960s and has gained new life and popularity with his movie appearances featuring star Chris Evans in multiple films, including two Avengers movies and three Captain America movies, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Captain America: Civil War.
75th Anniversary of Green Arrow
On TV he’s Arrow, but Green Arrow has been around for 75 years! Starting in 1941 in More Fun Comics #73 (along with the above-mentioned Aquaman) and created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, the bow and arrow-toting crimefighter quickly added a sidekick (Speedy). Revamped by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams in the 1960s, and again by Mike Grell in the 1980s, Green Arrow has been a steady presence in comics since his inception. His newest incarnation as Star City’s avenger is in its fourth season on The CW.
75th Anniversary of Plastic Man
Jack Cole’s wild creation Plastic Man jumped fully formed into the comics world in 1941 in Police Comics #1, published by Quality Comics. Cole’s comical adventures with the shape-shifting, stretchy hero were a fan favorite for many years, and Plas is the comic book forefather of later characters such as Elongated Man, Elastic Lad, Mister Fantastic, and even The Incredibles’ Elastigirl. DC eventually acquired Plas and he was featured in his own animated TV series in the early 1980s. Comics legend Art Spiegelman sung Plastic Man’s praises in a seminal article published in both The New Yorker magazine and in book form, and Kyle Baker tackled the bendable buffoon in an award-winning series in the mid-2000s. Plus, he’s fun to draw!
75th Anniversary of Wonder Woman
America’s first female superhero sprang from the mind of psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston and the pen of artist H. G. Peters. Wonder Woman first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in late 1941 and went on to star in Sensation Comics and her own book soon after. She’s been a part of comics lore ever since, portrayed by such memorable artists as Ross Andru, Mike Sekowsky (who revamped her into a Mrs. Peel-like character in the swinging ’60s), George Pérez, John Byrne, Phil Jimenez, Cliff Chiang, and David Finch. Her 1970s TV series starring Lynda Carter was her first live-action appearance, but she makes her movie debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and follows in her own standalone movie in 2017.
50th Anniversary of the Batman TV Show
Who can forget the theme song, the POW! BIFF! BAM!s, the wild colors, the movie star villians, and the campy dialogue? The Batman TV series premiered on ABC in January of 1966 and for a little while the whole world went Bat-crazy. Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar forever changed our Bat-senses, and the show’s popularity has withstood the test of time with a DVD and Blu-ray release just a couple of years ago.
50th Anniversary of the Black Panther
The Black Panther is the first African American superhero in mainstream comics. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appearing in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966, T’Challa, the king of Wakanda, quickly became one of Marvel’s most popular characters. Over the years, he’s been memorialized by comics creators such as Don McGregor, Reginald Hudlin, Christopher Priest, John Romita, Jr. and many more. Now he’s poised to make his big-screen debut in Captain America: Civil War this year, followed by his own movie in 2018, plus a new Marvel Comics series later this year.
50th Anniversary of the Silver Surfer
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were at the peak of their creative powers in the mid-1960s. All one has to do is look at about a 40-issue run of Fantastic Four, starting around issue #44, that introduced a plethora of new characters, including the above-mentioned Black Panther, and a gleaming, surfboard-riding herald of destruction known as the Silver Surfer. Kirby inserted him into Lee’s plot about a world-eating alien known as Galactus (he figured someone like that would have a minion to go out and find planets to destroy), and the rest, as they say, is history. The Surfer became one of comics’ most eloquent and stylish characters.
50 Years of Star Trek
Has there ever been a moment when we were not aware of that “5-year mission to explore new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before”? Gene Roddenberry brought Star Trek to vivid life in 1966 on NBC and the whole science fiction universe changed forever. Spawning multiple TV series (including a new one coming our way very soon) and numerous movies, Star Trek has become part of the pop culture firmament. We celebrate all aspects of this amazing franchise as it reaches its 50th anniversary.
25th Anniversary of Bone
Jeff Smith’s indie-comics sensation has had numerous lives over the past quarter century. Starting as a self-published black-and-white series, Bone quickly became a fan favorite, winning numerous awards. Once Smith finished his story, he published it as one massive volume. Then, in 2005, Scholastic Press launched its Graphix imprint with Bone in full color, giving it a whole new life. Now, 25 years later, and in 23 languages around the world, Bone continues to thrill readers young and old alike.
25th Anniversary of Deadpool
The “Merc with a Mouth” is enjoying a banner year in 2016 with the release of his first movie, starring Ryan Reynolds. Created by writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Rob Liefeld, Deadpool first appeared in New Mutants #98, cover-dated February 1991, and quickly became one of the X-Universe’s most popular characters. He currently appears in multiple Marvel books, including his own title and Spider-Man/Deadpool, and the miniseries Deadpool & the Mercs for Money.