Mark’s Remarks – Avengers #276 (February 1987)

In the world of cinema, they give out Oscars, Golden Globes, and People’s Choice Awards (among others) for excellence in the various disciplines of that medium. In the world of comics, we also have awards, although none of them has been around long enough to become a household word yet. In one awards presentation, sponsored by the Comics Buyer’s Guide a popular weekly newspaper for comics enthusiasts, I was voted Number Six Favorite Editor of 1985. I felt that this was quite a distinction, considering how many comic book editors there are in the field today (why, there are twelve at Marvel alone!). In announcing the results to you, the reading public, in my various letters pages last year, I remarked how I was proud to be known as Number Six, that being Patrick McGoohan’s designation in The Prisoner television series back in the late sixties, a long-time favorite of mine. I then asked for your input on how to improve the editorial content of my books so that if I followed through on some of your suggestions, you readers would not only get more of what you wanted for your money, but you’d also have ample reason to think even more highly of me when the 1986 polls came around. Specifically, I was hoping to catapult into the Number One slot, seeing as Patrick McGoohan (Number Six) “became” Number One in the last episode of The Prisoner.

Well, folks, I didn’t become the new Number One Favorite Editor in the ‘86 awards. But I did become Number Two! I find it quite remarkable that any Marvel editor did so well seeing as how, unlike most of the other publishers, Marvel did not print the CBG ballot anywhere (we figured that in interests of fairness, we would not promote one awards program over any other). That means that anyone who voted for me or any other Marvel editor was not prompted to do so by seeing the ballot in a Marvel magazine. So I’m as pleased as all get-out to be voted Number Two. (And as far as my Prisoner analogy is concerned, Number Six’s perennial nemesis was Number Two, and in one episode, Number Six actually ran for Number Two’s office!)

Suffice to say, being Number Two feels great, and like a certain car rental company, you know I’m going to try harder. I may never make it to Number One – after all, there are a lot of great people editing comics these days and the comics I edit are the grand old guard not the fan-faves of the week, but hey, I’m going to hang in there trying. I’d do that even if there were no popularity contests to compete in. I’m here to make comics as good as I can make them. I’m here to pay back my debt to the comics creators of my youth for giving me so many hours of great reading pleasure, by trying to provide the same for the youth of today. Let me know how I’m doing, at the polls, and particularly in your letters.

–Mark Gruenwald­­