Richard Alf, co-founder of San Diego’s Comic-Con, died January 4 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 59.
While Shel Dorf had the vision for first Comic-Con in 1970, Alf’s contributions were indispensible – he fronted the money, up to several thousand dollars, for the first three cons and was paid back later. Alf’s VW was an essential asset, too, another co-founder, Mike Towry, told UT San Diego because Dorf and the others didn’t have cars in those days.
Alf co-chaired the first Comic-Con, then was sole chair of the 1971 edition which he brought to UC San Diego. There he was able to offer attendees dorm rooms at discounted rates. However, reports UT San Diego the arrangement was not a complete success:
“Unfortunately,” Alf told KPBS-FM in 2010, “they had booked us in with other study groups. There was a Montessori study group there, there were some other study groups there in the same dorms with us, and they’d interspersed us on different floors. And so it was just a matter of people couldn’t get to sleep at night because there were — this constant activity going 24 hours a day.”
Towry and Alf co-chaired the 1972 event, moving it to the El Cortez hotel.
Richard Alf was the son of Edward F. Alf Jr., a psychology professor at SDSU from 1963 until 1988, and Martha Alf, an artist. Alf is survived by his mother.
[Via Steven H Silver, Airlock Alpha, and the Associated Press.]