Ken Krueger Dies

Comic-Con cofounder Ken Krueger passed away November 21 from a heart attack, reports Digital Spy.

While Krueger is best known for helping plant the seeds of the popular megacon by his work on the first Golden State Comic-Con in 1970, he had a long history in sf fandom before that.

Krueger attended the first Worldcon in 1939. He was a part of the group photograph taken at the Slan Shack that appeared in All Our Yesterdays, probably shot during one of the large fannish gatherings there during WWII, since he was living in Buffalo around that time.

Later, Krueger co-owned a bookstore in San Diego.

The Shel Dorf Tribute site has an excellent retrospective with some telling insights:

In the sixties and seventies, society in general looked down on science-fiction fans much more so than today, but even science-fiction fans looked down on comic fans. Not so Ken. He always made us feel welcome. Ken even went on to become an indie or underground comics publisher himself, publishing some of the first professional work of Scott Shaw! and John Pound.

[Thanks to Lloyd Penney for the story.]

5 thoughts on “Ken Krueger Dies

  1. Saddened by Ken’s passing, I remember spaghetti dinners at his house with his wife Patti, she was great. I was just a kid and they treated me like family. Sunday night after SDCC El Cortez I would have a place to go and hang out.

    Ken would always offer me a cigar, being a cigar person, I would always smoke with him. I did not care for his brand of cigar, yet I would smoke it anyway just for the privilege to hang with Ken Krueger. I will never forget you…

    THANKS MIKE

  2. Just for the record, being the fannish stringer I try to be, I did find the story on Digital Spy. Just a few minutes ago, I saw the story of Ken’s passing on the BBC News site. Fandom in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, NY will miss him, and I hope they will mark his passing.

  3. I was there in the beginning of Comic-Con and Ken was quite instrumental in the start-up of that convention. Shel Dorf had all the connections (or seemed to know more people) in the comics world, while Ken had various connections in the science fiction world. On top of that, he also had a great understanding of business and the running of conventions.

    A fellow founding member of Comic-Con, Mike Towry, had helped in createing a tribute site for Shel and now has done likewise for Ken at:

    http://www.KenKruegerTribute.com

    Shel was too ill to attend the recent 40th celebration of Comic-Con, but several of us were there and we also had, thanks to Jim Valentino and Ken’s sons, a dinner outside of the con. Among those in attendance were various members of the early Comic-Cons, including Greg Bear, Roger Freedman, Towry, Valentino, Richard Alf, and Barry Alfonso. I also had the pleasure of sitting with Ken at the Eisner Awards.

    Ken will definitely be missed not only by family and friends, but also by those who knew him from his various ventures and fan activities.

    All My Best,
    Will

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