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10 September 2009 @ 09:45 pm
Happy 57th Birthday, Gerry Conway!  
In my ongoing efforts to make old friends feel even older, I'm wishing Gerry Conway a happy 57th birthday by posting an image he helped bring into being 38 years ago, when we were both a heck of a lot younger.

The year: 1971. I was 16, while Gerry was a seemingly ancient and much older 19.

The place: The basement of the Times Square branch of Nathan's.

The event: A standalone dealer's room without any convention programming surrounding it, dubbed Nathan's Con, and organized by Phil Seuling. It was a precursor to the Second Sundays Phil set up each month so we'd have a place to spend our money between his annual July 4th cons.

Mixed in with about 8-10 dealers' tables was a table containing some artists and writers drawing sketches and signing autographs. That's me wearing the headband in the photo above right. You can see Phil to the far left in the photo. Not pictured is birthday boy Gerry Conway, who at the time was writing Daredevil for Marvel Comics.

I don't know which of the writers present (because Marv Wolfman and Len Wein were both also there) got the idea, but someone grew so bored that rather than just signing an autograph, he scripted a full panel. When it was my turn, Gerry scribbled out words to be spoken by Matt Murdock's girlfriend Karen Page, and then passed the panel on to Alan Weiss, who at the time (if I'm remembering correctly) had only drawn some stories for House of Secrets and other DC anthology titles.

Alan drew the rather languid Karen Page below:

(Click on the image several times to view full size.) Other panels were written by Marv and Len and drawn by different artists, and I hope those sketches still exist. Collectors out there, if you have them, please share them with the world. History demands it!

But that's not what's important right now.

What matters, Gerry, is that I've made you remember what it was like to be 19, filled with hope, sitting in Times Square surrounded by adoring fans, your whole life ahead of you, while today ... you're 57.

No need to thank me.

Happy birthday, Gerry!
(Anonymous) on September 11th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
That picture
I'm the guy with the glasses who looks like he's whistling.

-Mark Mayerson
scottedelman: Kongscottedelman on September 11th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
Re: That picture
Glad to have part of a mystery solved!

Are you this Mark Mayerson?

And I'm pleased to finally officially meet you after all these years.
jim_salicrupjim_salicrup on September 11th, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
Were there more than one of these, Scott? I certainly remember going to one, back when I was 14. I remember getting there really late, it was wrapping up. That's when I first met Roy Thomas, who was in the middle of scrpting an issue of THE AVENGERS Kree/Skrull War and was getting pages ever so slowly from Neal Adams.
scottedelman: Jack Davisscottedelman on September 11th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Hey!
I believe that there was only the one, that once it did well, he started the Second Sunday gatherings. I'm willing to be proven wrong, though ...