“(San Diego) was very much a city of immigrants at that time… We, speaking collectively of the society at that time, were in the process of inventing a new city that could really be whatever we wanted it to be and the entire Comic-Con enterprise was really part of that.”

Roger Freedman has always been fascinated by the science side of science fiction. As a boy growing up in San Diego, his favorite comic books included Strange Adventures, Mystery in Space, Adam Strange, and The Green Lantern. While attending Crawford High School in the late 60s, Roger, along with David Clark, Scott Shaw!, John Pound, and Greg Bear, formed a science fiction and film fan group, inspired by the Famous Monsters of Filmland. In 1969, the group started meeting with Ken Krueger. Their shared interest in comics and science fiction formalized a new fan organization known as the Junior Woodchucks, based on the Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comics.

Roger served as the semi-official photographer for the one-day March 1970 Comic-Minicon and helped create the program books for the early Comic-Cons. He also worked as the auctioneer for the art auctions when they began in the mid-1970s. Roger was the frontman for Dr. Raoul Duke and His All-Human Orchestra, a rock band that only appeared at the Comic-Con Masquerades. Roger is one of the Five String Mob, introduced by Jack Kirby in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #144. While in college, Roger lettered for comic books. His advanced degrees culminated in a Ph.D. from Stanford in theoretical nuclear physics. Roger teaches in the Department of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Interviewed by Mark Habegger

Watch the Roger Freedman interview on YouTube.