Dayton resident to travel Miami Valley on Comic-Con history book tour

If there was ever a book to “geek out” over it would definitely be Dayton resident Mathew Klickstein’s new oral history celebrating decades of pop culture fandom.

“See You at San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture” was released on Sept. 6 and is available for purchase online and at local stores. The audiobook was also just released.

The book is a collection of interviews, archives and photos from the people who made Comic-Con what it is today. According to Klickstein’s website, the book contains “plenty of raw hot takes on everything from Stan Lee to ‘Twilight,’ from ‘Star Trek’ to ‘Star Wars,’ and MAD Magazine to ‘Watchmen.’”

Klickstein said this book has been in the works for a long time.

“I wanted to figure out what would be the ultimate pop culture history book, and for various reasons, it dawned on me to do something that focused on the pre-history, history and expansion of the largest pop culture gathering in the world,” he said.

Klickstein is no stranger to nerd culture. He’s a multi-platform storyteller who has written many books including one on the history of Nickelodeon as well as “Springfield Confidential,” which celebrated the 30th anniversary of “The Simpsons.” He’s also written for film and TV, but said he loves telling people’s stories and became close with his interviewees.

“With many of them, I’ve become extremely close,” he said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with these people. We talked on the phone. I’ve helped them through emotional and spiritual issues over the last few years… Their fans are our fans, and we talk about movies and music and art. I think they appreciate (talking with) a younger person from my generation.”

When he came up with the idea for the book, he had just moved to Dayton in February 2020, and then the pandemic happened. He switched gears and started the podcast “Comic-Con Begins,” which debuted in June of 2021. Once the pandemic let up, he was able to get the book ready working with Fantagraphics.

Klickstein has been traveling on his book tour. He’s traveled from California to Colorado to Canada. The tour is culminating with numerous stops around the Miami Valley. After traveling the country working, he and his wife currently call Dayton home, which is why he’s making multiple stops in Dayton.

“I’ve always had a lot of faith in the potential of this place,” he said. “I’ve met some really amazing people here who are extremely talented, hardworking, dedicated and passionate. This community has opened a lot of doors for me and greased the wheels so that I can do more. It’s not so much for what can be done for me, but for what I can do for the community at large.”

Many of the friends Klickstein has met will help him during his tour. Some of the book tour events will feature Klickstein being interviewed and discussing the evolution of the book. He said he wanted other people involved, and particularly wanted to visit places that wouldn’t usually host a book tour. One stop on his tour is Omega Music in the Oregon District.

“It’ll be a discussion because the story of how this project came together was very interesting and instructive as far as how we put it together, how I was able to get in touch with everybody,” he said. “Also, the difficulties and complications through COVID.”

After the book tour, Klickstein will not be slowing down. He has another book coming out in November titled “The Little Encyclopedia of Jewish Culture.” He also looks forward to connecting more with the Dayton community and participating in all the city has to offer.

“This is a special place,” he said. “And I’d like to remain a part of it and take a lot of the skills, background, abilities and connections I have to the academic community, to the arts and culture community and to the communications media community here. Those are my people. I’m tired of moving place to place, and I think we can really make something special happen here.”

For more information, visit Klickstein’s website at


· Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Heritage Coffee on the University of Dayton campus, 300 College Park Dr., Dayton

· Nov. 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Bell, Book and Comic, 458 Patterson Rd., Dayton

· Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fairborn Community Library, 1 E. Main St., Fairborn

· Nov. 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with special guest moderator Libby Ballengee at Omega Music, 318 E. Fifth St., Dayton

· Nov. 5 from noon to 4 p.m. at Super-Fly Comics & Games, 132 Dayton St., Yellow Springs

· Nov. 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Teen Fan Fast at the Yellow Springs Library, 415 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs

· Nov. 9 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Monocle Comics & Coffee, 22 S. Main St., Miamisburg

· Nov. 17 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. with special guest moderator and local poet Leroy Bean at the Dayton Metro Library – Kettering-Moraine Branch, 3496 Far Hills Ave., Kettering

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