Bullpen Bulletins (July 1966)


BULLETIN! It’s hail and farewell to sturdy STEVE DITKO! SPIDER-MAN #38 and STRANGE TALES #146 (both now on sale) will mark his final appearances in any Marvel mags! (Except for the numerous reprints you’ll find in our king-size issues.) Steve recently told us he was leaving, for personal reasons. After all this years, we’re sorry to see him go, and we wish the talented guy success with his future endeavors. As for his replacement, all we can say is–since someone else has to draw Spidey, thank Asgard that jazzy JOHNNY ROMITA has returned to the fold! Not only has he captured the spirit, the excitement, and the indefinable uniqueness that have made the ol’ web-spinner one of literature’s most sensational successes, but Johnny has actually managed to add a new dimension–the attribute of sheer artistic glamour which, we predict, will lift Spidey to still greater heights of Marvel magnificence! (And, needless to say, smilin’ STAN will continue to turn out the type of stories which no one has yet been able to hold a candle to!) As for Dr. Strange, at the time of this writing, we still haven’t chosen a new artist, but we’ve had a whole kaboodle of volunteers from among our loyal bullpeners [sic], so just wait’n see, pussycat!

BULLETIN! We never realized the whole, whacky, wonderful world was so hungry for our rapturous reprints! MARVEL COLLECTORS’ ITEM CLASSICS are being gobbled up as fast as we can turn them out­–and the same goes for its new sister mag (or, brother mag, if you prefer), MARVEL TALES! But, here’s the stop-the-presses part of our bulletin – we’re making FANTASY MASTERPIECES a king-size mag, too–and, besides featuring our greatest and nuttiest monster tales, it will star–hold your breath, now–the earliest tales of CAPTAIN AMERICA–from mighty Marvel’s golden era! The first one’s on sale now–or, it was! Once this notice appears in print, those nearly-priceless copies will last about as long as a Yancy Streeter at the Thing’s birthday party! And we kid thee not!

BULLETIN! Is our collective face red! We printed an announcement recently about the fact that the famous college mag, the PELICAN, was doing a satire on us! But, we referred to is as the U.C.L.A. PELICAN, when anybody who is anybody (except US) would know that we SHOULD have said the University of California at Berkeley PELICAN! (Or, is it the other way around? Hooo boy!) Anyway, forgive us, Berkeley-ites, and many thanks for the kind things you had to say – things such as: “Seekers of wisdom and truth will accept nothing less than MARVEL COMICS – Marvel mags sell faster than Unguentine in a leper colony. They are viciously sought out, purchased, stolen, and hoarded by a rapidly-growing number of students–who have found Marvel to be the first real revolution in literature!–Sartre, Camus, Marx, and Dostoevsky [are] being crowded off intellectual bookshelves to make way for SPIDER-MAN and the HULK–“ Etc. etc. etc. We’re too modest (as everyone knows) to print any more! But, we promise you this, lads – we’ll be sure to get the name of your ubiquitous University correct next time – as soon as someone tells us what it really is!

BULLETIN! Here’s one of our most sensational items yet! By the time your sparkling little eyes can devour these wondrous words, Lancer Books, one of America’s top paperback book publishers, will be featuring two of our Marvel-ous characters – in paperback book form! Whatever you do, don’t miss ‘em! They’re on sale now! One book features the FANTASTIC FOUR; and the other, SPIDER-MAN! How about THAT!

BULLETIN! There are so many exciting things perking at Marvel, we don’t know what to tell you first! Here are a few choice items – to wit – The fabulous FANTASTIC FOUR introduces a brand new character in ish #52 called the Black Panther! We expect the largest mail reaction of the year after you’ve met him!–DAREDEVIL #s 16 and 17 have been guest-starring Spidey–so don’t miss your chance to get a sneak preview of how Ring-a-ding Romita can handle ol’ Web-Head! – Everyone’s talking about the reappearance of Giant-Man in the AVENGERS…and of his name (Goliath) and his new costume (like Wow!) – Stan and Jack are going batty trying to keep track of the Greek gods whom they’ve introduced in the new THOR series, along with the Norse gods! For the most “celestial” saga around, don’t dare miss it! – Have you seen Bill Everett’s version of the Hulk yet? It’s created a heap of talk in fandom, and you’ll be reading the various comments in our letters pages starting next month. Big Bill is one of our old-time, all-time greats, and the master still hasn’t lost his titanic touch!

BULLETIN! Have you seen those little “mini-books” on sale in vending machines thruout the country? They’re about the size of a postage stamp, and more fun than Dr. Doom on a pogo stick! Anyway, early in April you’ll be seeing over TEN MILLION new ones–called MARVEL MINI-BOOKS – featuring Spidey, Thor, Captain America, the Hulk, Sgt. Fury, and Millie the Model! Watch for them – they’re millions more pieces of proof that mighty Marvel is taking over the world – and you’re in on the coup right along with us!

BULLETIN! We haven’t had much time to mention it lately, but the ol’ MERRY MARVEL MARCHING SOCIETY has so many thousands of members now that we’re almost running out of numbers for the flood of new applications that keep pouring in! Remember, every Merry Marcher receives a special surprise bulletin in the mail a couple of times yearly, plus all sorts of other goodies too numerous (and too ridiculous) to mention here! And, before we forget, a mighty Marvel salute to amazin’ ART ROBERTS, the sensational swingin’ Dee Jay of Chicago’s wild and wondrous radio station WLS, for the great job he’s been doing in recruiting Merry Marchers for us among his millions of listeners! (And, a personal aside to Art from Stan: Peter Fugitive is the coolest, man!)

THE WRAP-UP! We  received a letter which we feel is of such general appeal to Marvelites everywhere, that we’re printing a portion of it in this space rather than on a letters page? Here goes:

Dear Stan,

Before you let yourself become entangled in a bitter and senseless tirade against your major competitor, I ask you to stop and consider all aspects of your competition. True, the both of you are marketing the same product – but your treatment of the stories and problems you choose to bring up is startlingly different–and you need not resort to needling and name-calling. To see you, who at times publish such superior material, accuse the other of using your old material is certainly a comedown from when you refused to acknowledge them as competition! It is we, the readers, who suffer from your present course of unpleasant propaganda. I remain one of your most loyal fans. Best wishes,

Mike Murano
Peabody, MA

Actually, we’ve never tried to single out any one competitor for criticism. By BRAND ECHH, we really mean all of them! But, that’s besides the point. What we want to know is – do most of you agree with Mike? If so, we won’t mention Brand Echh again. Personally, we get a kick out of the mutual letter-col needling that goes on – but, as always, our job is to please YOU! So, clue us in, frantic ones – and we’ll announce your decision as soon as all the mail is in. Till next month then, FACE FRONT – you may never know when Irving Forbush may drop in! ‘Nuff said!

The Mighty Marvel Checklist
A Line-Up Of Some Of The Marvel-ous Mags On Sale Right Now!

FANTASTIC FOUR #52: The first appearance of the sensational, spectacular Black Panther!
SPIDER-MAN #38: Once again Spidey battles a brand-new, nuttier-than-ever super villain!
AVENGERS #29: Wow! Look at who’s back! Power Man! The Black Widow! And the Swordsman!
X-MEN #21: The secret of Lucifer, revealed at last, as the X-Men face: Dominus!
DAREDEVIL #17: The wrap-up of the sea-son’s greatest fight – D.D. vs. Spidey! It’s a blast!
THOR #129: Hercules! Pluto! Zeus! Odin! Thor! The Netherworld! How can we do it all for 12¢?
SUSPENSE #79: Iron Man faces disaster! Captain America takes the Red Skull! Hooo boy!
ASTONISH #81: Sub-Mariner goes mad! As for the Hulk, he’s fighting everyone in sight!
SGT. FURY #31: Captain Sawyer gets into action at last! It’s a bombshell!
FANTASY MASTERPIECES #3: Now giant-sized! Featuring Captain America from Marvel’s Golden Age!
MARVEL TALES #3: How’s this for a parlay – Spider-Man! Thor! Ant-Man! And the Human Torch!
COLLECTOR’S ITEM CLASSICS #3: Merely the greatest – Fantastic Four! The Hulk! Iron Man! Dr. Strange! And–The Watcher!