Author Matthew Klickstein has a very complicated reputation. This is not his first oral history, but he has been criticized at piecing together histories that reflect his own personal viewpoint as well as not interviewing subjects who have been discussed by others with disparaging reports without getting both ends of the story. It could be argued that while his works are called oral history, they are edited in such a way to be a singular vision of a time period.
That said, a book that explores the history of what is considered one of Pop-Culture’s largest conventions (and longest running as well as growing from what it was to what it became) is definitely worthy of a book. Especially one with views and stories from the people who were there to experience a small comic convention become the summer hub for film and television to majorly promote, market and announce their future products to what was once a niche market and is now THE market.
Following is the official Press release for SEE YOU AT SAN DIEGO.
Fantagraphics Books To Publish SEE YOU AT SAN DIEGO: AN ORAL HISTORY OF COMIC-CON, FANDOM, AND THE TRIUMPH OF GEEK CULTURE
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
This fall Fantagraphics will publish 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. Over the course of 480 pages, author and pop culture historian Mathew Klickstein presents the rise of both Comic-Con and modern geekdom itself, with behind-the-scenes observations from the likes of Ho Che Anderson, Sergio Aragonés, Scott Aukerman, Bruce Campbell, Felicia Day, Kevin Eastman, Mark Evanier, Neil Gaiman, Lloyd Kaufman, Frank Miller, the Russo Brothers, Stan Sakai, Scott Shaw!, Kevin Smith, Brinke Stevens, Trina Robbins, Tim Seeley, Maggie Thompson, and more. The book also includes forewords by Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai and Bone’s Jeff Smith, as well as an afterword by the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA.
“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 Marx Bros, Ray Bradbury, Flash Gordon, Bride of Frankenstein, Bruce Lee, Sailor Moon, all melding together and burbling a certain effervescent energy. I wanted to help organize and tell the story of how this all came together over the last century, focusing on the thrust of the before-during-and after the creation and expansion of Comic-Con over the past five decades in particular. These are my forebears, my people, and I think we together are telling the story of the progenitors of modern fan culture today. And at less than $50. What a steal.”
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.
“Having attended Comic-Con from the early ‘70s to the present, I’ve literally experienced it grow from a small, intimate con to the frenetic, hyper commercial mass media extravaganza it is today,” said Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth. “ I can say with some authority that Klickstein’s oral history captures evolution of the convention itself and the concomitant devolution of American culture — a sociological spectacle told with verve and humor by the participants.”
Here’s what folks are saying about SEE YOU AT SAN DIEGO:
“Finally! An unexpurgated history of Comic-Con and fandom that comes directly from the horse’s mouth – actually a whole herd of horses. The overall result is as pleasantly chaotic as the Con itself. What a relief!” — Scott Shaw! (cartoonist; Comic-Con co-originator)
“These wild and wooly origin stories of San Diego Comic-Con and fandom take us back to the thrilling days of yesteryear, before the crowds and lines, before Hall H and Hollywood celebrities, before the endless summer of superhero box office blockbusters, to the halcyon days of the early 1970s when San Diego Comic-Con was the ramshackle creation of first-generation fans, teenagers, and stoners. All of this makes for a colorful oral history, especially from the mouths of the people who lived it firsthand.” — Rob Salkowitz (author, Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture)
“The rambunctious, delicious story of how the biggest pop culture event in history was born – and grew from nothing to everything.” — Allen Salkin (journalist, Vanity Fair; bestselling author, From Scratch: The Uncensored History of the Food Network)
“Mathew Klickstein might be the geek guru of the 21st century.” — Mark Mothersbaugh
See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture will be in stores on September 6, 2022. For more info, follow Fantagraphics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.