Or, How I Stopped Worrying and Started Cutting Up Silver Age Comic Books

First of all, I didn’t know it was any age of comic books at the time. I was a reader making the transformation to fan; readers read comics, maybe saved them, but didn’t collect and wasn’t aware of their history. In the late-1960s, DC Comics ran a series of fan pages in their comics, no doubt in reaction to Stan Lee’s popular Bullpen Bulletins and Soapbox at Marvel. But, like all attempts back them to emulate Marvel’s growing success, instead of matching Stan’s easy, breezy style, DC’s pages (mostly written by fans-turned-professionals E. Nelson Bridwell and Mark Hanerfeld, although there’s at least one among my clippings signed by Marvin Wolfman) were kind of the stodgy, informative side.

But that was cool with me! As much fun as Stan’s pages were, they were mostly hype and happiness. It was like the difference between Marvel’s “thanks for writing!” postcard and empty-envelope No Prize and DC’s 1960s form letter reply to fans, a double-sided 8.5″ x 11″ letter printed in teeny 9-point type and so stuffed with information about all things DC (or National Periodicals in those days) and where to go to learn even more that I read and reread it for months after getting it in response to some letter I’d sent in! (Scans available here) I never learned a thing from a No Prize!

“The Wonderful World of Comics” was one of those regular text features; I also threw in “The Spectre Interviews Neal Adams!” because I’m that kind of guy. “Fact Files” and “The Greatest Heroes of Them All” and some miscellaneous pages to come in future posts.

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1 Comment on The Wonderful World of Comics

  1. Chuck Fiala says:

    Back then I loved getting any information about DC and Marvel Comics that I could. But, I would never cut up my comics! I would read all the text and letters pages, often more than once! Sometimes I would read the letters pages first, because I was anxious to find out what other fans thought of previous issues! I don’t think “these kids today” have any idea about how little the original fans could communicate with other fans. On the other hand, we could get a nice stack of comics for under a dollar!

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