KETTER, Ken (1947-)

The person selected for 2017 is:


Ken was the founder and primary organizer of COSMICON (Winters College – York University, 1972-76), one of Canada’s earliest comic book events and predecessor to modern pop culture conventions by being multi-genre, mixing comic books, film and music, complete with notable industry guests, dealers, art shows, film presentations and live music.

Before Cosmicon, Canadian comic conventions were mostly small gatherings of club members and swap meets.

In 1968, Captain George Henderson – owner of Canada’s first comics shop, Memory Lane, had brought Stan Lee to the city for the Triple FanFair (no doubt inspired by the convention of the same name that had been taking place in Detroit around the same time – the three fandoms in the name being science fiction, movies and comics). That event took place in tents on Markham Street (former home of Memory Lane and later, the Beguiling).

For the most part Canadian comic fans of this era in this region had to pile in a car and drive to Detroit, Chicago or primarily New York to attend a comic book convention.

What happened at York University was pretty amazing and was the highlight for many young fans, a lot of whom would go on to work in comics or related activities and it came together at Winters College at Toronto’s York University due to the vision and perseverance of the event’s founder Ken Ketter, with the assistance of people like Ronn Sutton, Ron Kasman, Mark Segal and Gloria Agnew.