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Comic-Con 50th Memories: David Glanzer

Pop culture convention’s spokesperson recalls his first Comic-Con

Photo by Beth Accomando

David Glanzer may be the spokesperson for Comic-Con but he is also the type of geeky fan who will run after his favorite costumed character — Brian from "The Family Guy" — to get a photo.

Comic-Con holds its 50th convention this week and there will be a number of panels focusing on that five-decade history of celebrating pop culture.

For half a century the non-profit organization Comic-Con International has been on a mission to celebrate the popular arts, emphasizing the artistry of a diverse array of genre entertainment that has often been overlooked or dismissed by the mainstream. From comics and movies to TV and video gaming, Comic-Con has put the spotlight on the creators and fans of the best pop culture has to offer.

To kick off Comic-Con week, and look back on its past 50 years, I’ll be speaking with some of the people who know Comic-Con best. David Glanzer has been attending Comic-Con since 1978 and then started volunteering before eventually becoming its official spokesperson in 1984.

I have known Glanzer professionally since the early 1990s when I was working for XETV Fox Channel 6 and would shoot commercials that would run on Fox. That was back in the day when Comic-Con had to promote itself to get people to come and Glanzer would hand out stacks of passes when he spoke at schools about the pop culture convention. But what I discovered over all these years is that Glanzer is absolutely sincere when he says that the organizers just want to put on a show that they would like to attend.

Glanzer's has a giant Han Solo decal on the glass window next to his office door and a Han in carbonite rug. One of his prized possessions is a silver and black "Star Wars" teaser poster that he proudly points out has a different font for the "W" than in the final artwork. Yes. That's how geeky a fan he is.

Glanzer, like me, came to Comic-Con mainly because of a love for movies rather than comics.

"I remember walking through the doors and not really knowing what to expect but I had heard these great things about Comic-Con having movie posters and stuff," Glanzer recalled.

Here's his memory on the eve of the convention's 50th show.

Comic-Con kicks off Wednesday with preview night and continues through Sunday with its main base at the San Diego Convention Center. The Comic-Con Museum, which is not yet officially open, will be hosting panels and have "pop up" exhibits for people without badges to enjoy.

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Photo of Beth Accomando

Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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