Sheldon Dorf dies – OBcean helped start Comic-Con

by on November 4, 2009 · 3 comments

in Civil Rights, History, Labor, OB Heroes, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Shel Dorf-ed

OCEAN BEACH, CA.   I met Sheldon Dorf back in the mid-seventies here in Ocean Beach.  The OB resident passed away on Tuesday, November 3rd, to diabetes complications.   He was 76.   Sheldon was perhaps one of the most culturally influential OBceans as he was a co-founder of San Diego’s now infamous Comic-Con.

Comic-Con – now the convention that draws tens of thousands every year to San Diego. The City jumps hoops just to keep the event local.

But I didn’t meet “Shel” over comics, or even art.  He got involved, ever so briefly, with a local community group called Common Ground back in 1975.  Common Ground, started by a handful of OB activists, became a coalition in an early attempt to field a progressive city council candidate that would represent all the beaches.  It never went very far, after holding a district-wide convention of its own. We did hammer out some great planks, like “health care is a right,” props for mass transportation, and other stances ahead of our time.

I recall Shel remaining interested and he stayed on our mailing list. I never became friends with him, but he would always greet me when I ran into at the Post Office, library or xerox place.

Here’s today’s Union-Tribune obit:

Dick Tracy, Charlie Brown and the entire comic strip pantheon lost a friend yesterday, with the death of a Comic-Con founder. Sheldon “Shel” Dorf succumbed to diabetes-related complications at Sharp Memorial Hospital. He was 76.

Mr. Dorf, a resident of Ocean Beach, spent 15 years as a leader of the annual convention, serving on its organizing committee. But even before and after his time with the Con, Mr. Dorf was a tireless promoter of comics, their creators and fans.

“The guy just lived and breathed comics his whole life,” said Mark Evanier, a TV and comic book writer. “The Con was built on his passion and his cheerleading.”

For the remainder of the U-T obit, go here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

The Other Bob November 4, 2009 at 6:39 pm

A fine and funny man. I haven’t seen him since the seventies when he’d drop by the Abbott St. Grocery. RIP.


Molly November 4, 2009 at 7:29 pm

And what, pray tell, TOB, were you doing at the Abbott Street market?


Pat November 5, 2009 at 10:26 am

I knew Shel. Many years ago we did work for him reproducing a paper doll, coloring book by Dale Messick .
Sometimes he would ask for a ride home . I had a chance to sit with him in his cottage and he would share some of his comic memoribilla with me.
His passion for comics was very obvious .
I was just thinking about him the other day, realizing I hadn’t seen him for a while.
He was a character.
RIP Mr Dorf


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