General view of the atmosphere during Comic-Con 2009 held at San Diego Convention Center on July 24, 2009 in San Diego, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

Dorf will be missed. (John Shearer/Getty Images)

By Mark Memmott

As The San Diego Union-Tribune says, "Dick Tracy, Charlie Brown and the entire comic strip pantheon lost a friend" this week.

Sheldon Dorf, who founded the hugely successful Comic-Con International comic book convention, died Tuesday at the age of 76. A friend, Greg Koudoulian, tells the Associated Press that Dorf succumbed to kidney failure. The wire service adds that Dorf "had diabetes and had been hospitalized for about a year."

NPR's Ina Jaffe reminds us that Dorf founded the convention in 1970. The four-day event, which pulls in about 125,000 people, is held in San Diego each year. The next is scheduled for July 22-25, 2010.

Dorf ran Comic-Con for 15 years. He told the Union-Tribune that over time, "it's just become an ordeal. ... It's become too much of a success."

Comic-Con's board of directors posted a statement online saying that it was Dorf's "appreciation of this art form and his keen foresight that helped to create what is Comic-Con. It is with a heavy heart that we ... mourn the passing of our dear friend."

Here is Ina's report:

Our friend Linda Holmes follows all-things-cultural over at Monkey See.

categories: Culture, Obituaries

8:30 - November 5, 2009