Mark’s Remarks – West Coast Avengers #9 (June 1986)

There are going to be some changes made around here. In an effort to keep the letters pages in the Gruenwald-Mackie edited books as user-friendly as we know how, we’re going to be making a few improvements. First, it’s goodbye to the Question of the Month, a letters page tradition here for over three years. The Q.O.T.M. was designed to give you readers glimpses of the personalities behind the names in the credits, but it often lapsed into a wisecrack contest. Some of you loved it. Some of you hated it. Recently, it seemed like more of you disliked it than liked it. So…we hereby banish it from these pages. (If we ever come up with a great question and some great answers, maybe we’ll run it again, say once a year.)

Next it’s goodbye to the Special Announcements Section. Longtime Marvel fans recognize that “Special Announcements Section” is what Stan Lee called the chatty little coming attractions department of the letters pages in the days before the Bullpen Bulletin was invented. We revived the S.A.S. as a supplement to the B.B.P., to help you get to know the names behind the credits a bit better by hearing of their antics, and to plug books of exceptional interest. I thought the majority of the items we ran over the years were interesting or informative, but at times I’ll admit the material may have been thin. So we’re going to eliminate the Special Announcements Section and whatever material we deem appropriate for it we’ll pass on to Big Jim Shooter for the Bullpen Bulletin Page.

So, does this mean we’re going to have a plain ol’ letters ‘n’ answers page, stripping it of all personality? Not on your mint Marvel’s! Beginning next issue, we’re going to feature a short essay by Yours Truly (much like this one) on whatever subject strikes my fancy–from pressing issues (like Why is Flexo Printing So Bright?) to personality profiles (like What Working With Howard Mackie Has Meant to Me) to supplementary information on a story you just read. It’ll be a place where I can let my hair down (what’s left of it) and give you a piece of my mind (what’s left of it).

But wait–there’s more. I’ll also be running a Must Read section, from time to time, telling you about what Marvel’s I’m really excited about that month. And finally, there’s the – well, why don’t I leave the last great innovation to next month’s Mark Remarks. It’ll be worth the wait.

So that’s the plan. I’d like to thank every one of you who wrote in to tell me way to improve my letters pages, and please let me know what you think of the New Look!

–Mark Gruenwald