Stan’s Soapbox – Marvel Age #44 (November 1986)

Greetings, Culture Lovers!

This ish I wanna start my column with a blatant commercial! That’s right, I’ve got something to sell, and you’re the perfect captive audience. So get your paper and pencil – this offer may not be repeated!

Ballantine Books (bless ‘em!) just published a sensational new book called THE BEST OF SPIDER-MAN, written by one of my very favorite authors! I don’t want to embarrass this living legend by mentioning his name, but his initials are S.L.!

Anyway, it sells for about $9.95 and it’s a huge 81/2 by 11” deluxe quality paperback with a couple of hundred pages (some in full color!) devoted to everybody’s favorite web-spinner! It features eight of Spidey’s greatest newspaper strip adventures, plus the world’s longest introduction by yours truly (wouldja believe more than 30 pages?!!) and enough photos of this same S.L. person to make you swear off photography forever.

Hint: THE BEST OF SPIDER-MAN (at book stores everywhere) makes a wonderful gift for your best friend (an even better one for your worst enemy) and, if nothing else, you’ll enjoy counting all the times the word “I” appears in the text which is so magnificently written by this shy and unassuming author.

And now, on to weightier matter while you prepare to dash to your favorite book seller.

Since we last met, you’ve probably all been caught up in the excitement of the NEW UNIVERSE. I guess when you’re as tall as Jolly Jim Shooter you can’t just settle for one measly ol’ universe – you’ve gotta go out and create your own! And that’s just what your batty Bullpen did! Of course, it’s separate and distinct from the old Marvel Universe  I mean, if any wise-guy artist draws Peter Parker taking a photo of Starbrand in one of the stories. Tom DeFalco’ll whip ‘im with a wet noddle. So read all about it in this MARVEL AGE – and all about the titanic Transformers, too. Didja know that we produce the TRANSFORMERS cartoon show right here at Marvel Productions’ animated studio in sunny California? And didja know that the TRANSFORMERS (and our other great production, G.I. JOE) are two of the highest rated cartoon shows on the tube? And I don’t even narrate them! How about that!

Hey, I’ve got a confession to make. When Slim Jim Salicrup asked me to write these Soapbox columns I figured who needs it? But now I find I really enjoy doing ‘em! I guess I never realized how much I missed rapping with all you True Believers. It’s kinda hard to explain, I feel as though I’m really talking to you – I can almost see you drinking in each word in undisguised rapture and unbridled appreciation!

So now comes the hook. Since I’m providing all this incalculable entertainment for you, the least you can do is drop me a line in return! How about sending a note telling what you’d like me to sound of about (or, if you’re a misanthropic malcontent, what you’d like me to shut up about!). I won’t have time to answer your letters, but I’ll sure read each one, and in my usual sneaky way, steal every good idea I can grab from them! Just send your merry little missives to STAN LEE (See? I’ll do anything to get my name in print!) MARVEL AGE, 387 PARK AVE. SOUTH, NYC NY 10016. I can just picture Hobson’s Heroes shouting, “Hey, look at all the mail! Is someone READING this mag?!!”

Well, that’s it for now. Till next ish, keep healthy, keep happy, and keep the faith! We don’t know where we’re going, but let’s stumble along together!

Excelsior!

–Stan