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Comic-Con 2022: Scott Shaw says there’s no place like SDCC and he should know. He helped start it.

Scott Shaw sat at his booth at San Diego Comic-Con sketching the head of Fred Flintstone for a fan. Casual passersby were likely unaware that the cartoonist in the Hawaiian shirt is one of the reasons why Comic-Con exists at all.

Shaw was 18 when the first Comic-Con was held in 1970, and one of a group of seven comics fans who created and nurtured Comic-Con from its modest beginnings to the hugely influential pop culture celebration it is today.

Just don’t call him a founder.

“I don’t like that word,” he said, smiling behind his face mask. “I say, co-originator.”

Shaw has been at all but one Comic-Con since that first one in the dingy basement of a San Diego hotel.

“I had to miss one because of this,” Shaw said, exposing his prosthetic right leg, which is covered in a truly spectacular rendering of Rat Fink, the depraved-looking character created by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth in the ’60s.

“This was the first comic I used to rebel with,” he said.

But Shaw was back after that health issue was resolved and happy that the Con could resume this year after three years with virtual versions and a special scaled-down edition in November.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be here,” Shaw said. “The one in November was quite good too because there was an absence of Hollywood, which quite a few people seemed to enjoy.

“I’d say, ‘Having a good time?’ They’d say, ‘It’s the best one since 1990,’” he said. “I didn’t understand that, but I looked it up and it was the last one before Warner Brothers came in.”

Shaw says it has been a challenge remembering how to talk to the public after a few years without the usual Con crowds.

“I’m having to train myself to speak to more than one person at a time,” he says. “I don’t know whether to talk to somebody who’s buying something, the friend that I’ve known for 50 years, or someone from Comic-Con who’s here to get me to a panel or somewhere I need to be.”

Shaw has mixed feelings about what the Con has become over its 50-plus years.

“We weren’t planning to go Hollywood,” he said of the originators’ original idea. “We were more about, ‘Oh, so and so has a 16-millimeter copy of this great film.’ It was more about nostalgia.”

More than most of the other early Con creators, Shaw has worked in the field that the event set out to celebrate.

He wrote, inked and penciled for Hanna-Barbera comic books, including The Flintstones in the ’70s before going to work with that company on “The New Fred and Barney Show.”

He and Roy Thomas co-created the comic book “Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!” for DC Comics, and Shaw later served as the original artist for Archie Comics’ “Sonic the Hedgehog” series.

At 70, Shaw’s still as busy as ever, joking that every time his son asks him if he’s watched this or that TV show he has to tell him he doesn’t have time.

“I’m too busy getting my own stories down,” he said. “I don’t have time to watch other things.”

Shaw pulls out an illustration of one recent project, a T-shirt he designed for “Svengoolie,” the long-running Chicago horror and sci-fi movie show, which now also airs on the MeTV classic television network.

“I’m still working on my ‘oddball comics’ book, which is about the weirdest comics ever published,” he said.

Shaw said he’s also working on a few children’s graphic novels and a comic called “Kilgore Home Nursing” for Aces Weekly, a digital comics magazine founded by David Lloyd, the illustrator of Alan Moore’s “V Is For Vendetta.” That story was inspired by his experiences with home nursing care before and after he lost his right leg.

And as long as he’s able, he’ll be right here at his booth at Comic-Con, a place that has no peer, he said.

“I’ve been invited to shows all over the country,” Shaw said. “And there’s nothing that matches this show.”

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