Saturday, July 6, 2019

Another Anniversary

If you're a comic book fan, you probably know that this is the 80th anniversary year of Batman, who first appeared in Detective Comics #27 on March 30, 1939 (with a cover date of May 1939). There has been a lot of hype on this anniversary. For my part, I drew some Batman-related sketch cards and took them to Bat-Con, a Batman-themed comic book convention in Nitro, West Virginia, a couple of weeks ago. In doing a search on the Internet, though, I find that another 80th anniversary seems to have slipped by unnoticed. The event was the first World Science Fiction Convention, also called Nycon or Worldcon, which was held eighty years ago this week, July 2-4, 1939, in New York City, in conjunction with the New York World's Fair. (That conjunction was fitting in that the theme of the world's fair was the future.) Science fiction fans near and far converged on New York for their convention, including Ray Bradbury, Forrest J Ackerman, and Morojo, who came all the way from Los Angeles. (Given that Ackerman and Morojo wore science fiction-themed costumes, this must also be the 80th anniversary year of the first cosplay.) The World Science Fiction Convention of 1939 is supposed to have been the first science fiction convention held in the United States, at least as we understand conventions. I would like to be the first, I guess, to say Happy Anniversary to Science Fiction Conventions in America.

Forest J Ackerman and Morojo, in costume, at the first World Science Fiction Convention, July 2-4, 1939, in New York City.

Text copyright 2019, 2023 Terence E. Hanley

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