1980-1989

1980

Universal Press Syndicate co-founder Jim Andrews dies suddenly at age 44.

1981

The Kansas City Star hires editorial cartoonist Lee Judge, who would remain on staff until 2008.

1982

October 29: Hallmark founder J. C. Hall dies at age 91.

1983

The Kansas City Comic Book Club is founded. The club began promoting comic book conventions, growing to two mid-size conventions each year through the late 80s and early 90s. The founding members were Mike Wileman, Craig Delich, Clyde Myers, and Joe Hughes.

The Kansas City Comic Book Club’s first convention is held at Rykers Hall in Lenexa, located above a grocery store. Rick Stasi and Steve Lightle are the professional guests. There were 20 tables, and attendance was just 100.

1984

April: Steve Lightle makes his professional debut in DC Comics’ New Talent Showcase #4.

1987

March: Rob Davis makes his professional debut inking and lettering Syphons #5 published by Now Comics.

July: Writer Steve Miller makes his professional debut with Rust #1 published by Now Comics. The book is lettered by former Kansas City resident Rob Davis.

October: Kansas City gets its own superhero team with the debut of Doom Patrol #1 from DC Comics. The first five issues of the series are drawn by area artist Steve Lightle. The heroes establish their base in the ruins of Union Station, prior to its renovation in the 1990s.

1988

April 10: The first Foxtrot newspaper comic strip is published by Universal Press Syndicate. It is created by Kansas City resident Bill Amend.

October: The Mo-Kan Comics Festival is held at the Overland Park International Trade Center. Guests include DC Comics’ Executive Editor Dick Giordano and Pat Bastienne.

November: Writer Paul Tobin and artist Phil Hester make their professional debut with a back up feature in Eternity Comics’ Shattered Earth #1.

1989

May: The Mo-Kan Comics Festival is held at the Overland Park International Trade Center. Guests include Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Tom Defalco.

October: The Mo-Kan Comics Festival is held at the Overland Park International Trade Center.

December: The first artistic collaboration by penciller Phil Hester and inker Ande Parks — an illustration of Doom Patrol’s Robotman — is published as the cover of Comics Career Newsletter #16.

The Walt Disney Company posthumously honors Kansas City native Ub Iwerks with a Disney Legends award. Iwerks created Mickey Mouse while working as Disney’s primary animator in the 1920’s.

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