Stan’s Soapbox – Marvel Age #56 (November 1987)

Hi, Heroes! Greetings from the hallowed hills of Hollywood!

Y’know, I don’t want you to think that living out here in the midst of all this show biz opulence and glamor has changed me. No way! I’m still the same wonderful, lovable, unassuming guy I always was – and I’d tell you more about it except that one of the six telephones in my limousine is ringing and I’ve gotta answer it!

But, to be serious – which isn’t easy here in tinseltown – I promised to clue you in about all the exciting movie and T.V. projects that our brand-new parent company, New World Pictures, has lined up for us. And you know me, I never break a promise, especially when the New World honchos are breathing down my neck! So get your pencils ready and start marking your calendars – no True Believer would want to miss a single one of these upcoming dynamite productions!

First off the bat, slated to open all around the country (and the cities, too! I figured I’d beat you to that one!) on July 24th, is the long-awaited sequel to one of last year’s spookiest and cleverest thriller-chillers, the haunting, horrific and hilarious HOUSE! After burning the midnight oil for hours, the New World whiz-kids finally came up with this title for our swingin’ sequel: HOUSE II: THE SECOND STORY. (Second story, get it?!!) This little horror/fantasy fable stars Arye Gross, whom you’ll remember from New World’s SOUL MAN, Jonathan Stark, Royal Dano, Bill Maher and John Ratzenberger (of CHEERS fame). It’s produced by Sean S. Cunningham and written and directed by Ethan Wiley, who were both involved with the original film.

Incidentally, we’re running a big contest on opening day of HOUSE II: THE SECOND STORY. (July 24th, remember?) I’m gonna be in the audience at one of the theaters somewhere in the country. The first Marvelite who spots me sitting near him wins the big prize – namely, he’ll be allowed to change his seat! (Forgive me, gang. It’s been a tough day!)

Anyway, here are some more of New World’s dazzling doozies you won’t want to miss. The funniest female in captivity is coming your way this fall! It’s none other than Whoopi Goldberg in THE TELEPHONE! No, she doesn’t play a Bell-Tel repair man, but we guarantee that this lively little laugh-riot will have you rolling in the aisles! Hey, that’s how expressions are born! From now on, any terrific comedy will be – an aisle-roller!

And, for a change of pace, New World is gonna bestow HELLRAISER on you, opening August 14th! It’s just what the name implies, Seymour, and the punks are gonna love it – it’ll keep their hair standing on end! (I’ve no excuse for that one. Call me shameless!)

I don’t know where they get the time or the talent (to say nothing of big bucks), but New World’s also planning to lay two other dynamite dramas on you this fall. One is SISTER, SISTER and the other’s FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC. And if you think the titles sound like something out of Mother Goose, think again, pilgrim. They’ll keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. In fact, they oughtta charge you half price for your ticket! I mean, hey, you’ll only be using half the seat!

Nest ish we’ll feed you more details on these momentous little megahits, like who’s starring in them, directing ‘em and so forth. But for now, let’s segue into what’s coming up on the television side of New World’s bag of goodies.

The first one I’m bustin’ to tell you about is called TRUE COLORS. It’s a real Marvel-type fantasy tale, wild and whacky and totally far-out. If focuses on the nutty exploits of a comic book hero from the third dimension who comes to Earth in order to – but, wait! Why spoil your fun by giving it away? Watch for it on ABC – it’s coming soon!

Stop the presses! I forgot to tell you the most important part about TRUE COLORS! Guess who does a cameo appearance in the opening show? Here’s a hint…he’s my favorite writer/editor/publisher. He writes a column for MARVEL AGE MAGAZINE, pens the SPIDER-MAN newspaper strip and talks about the unending excitement of Marvel/New World every chance he gets. Can’t figure it out yet, huh? Well, when you see him on the screen with his moustache and sunglasses, fumbling every line he says, maybe you’ll recognize him then – even if they didn’t let him shout “Excelsior!”

Hey, remember Sid Caesar? He was only the funniest, most brilliant comedian on T.V. a few decades ago. Well, he’s back again and New World’s got him! THE SID CAESAR SHOW for CBS, written by Sam Denoff, and Andrew Smith might just be the most hilarious half-hour you’ve ever glimmed! And if we all get behind it, maybe we can convince sly Sid to guest-star DAREDEVIL or THE X-MEN in one of his skits!

Speaking of ol’ DD and everyone’s favorite mutants (notice how sneakily I got them in?), I’ll be giving you the inside scoop on what’s happening with their theatrical careers in one of my upcoming columns. Fact is, there’s so much going on with New World Pictures that it’s impossible to squeeze all the exciting news into just one ish!

And now, a personal note. I’ve been rapping with you on the pages of Marvel’s mellifluous mags for the past zillion years or so. I’ve huckstered our comics, preached our philosophy, bored you, badgered you and bent your ears. Our heroes have been vital and important to me, just as they are to you, and the reason I’ve been proud to be a part of The House of Ideas is I’ve always felt that Marvel represents the very best in this art form that all of us love.

Now I find a tremendous similarity between our comics and New World Pictures. When we started the Marvel Bullpen years ago, we were a young, eager company, vowing to be the best there was. We had good times and bad, great books and some not so great, but we were always in there trying, always giving our best and always leveling with you as we shared the lunacy together.

Well, that’s the feeling I get about New World. In the brief three years since the company was formed by Happy Harry Sloan, Lucky Larry Kuppin and Rollickin’ Robbie Rehme, they’ve become a major force in movies, T.V. and videocassettes, bringing new energy and new excitement to entertainment. Since taking Marvel into their orbit, they’re now major players in the publishing field as well, and best of all, they’re determined to bring our characters to the screen as powerfully, as dramatically and as faithfully as possible.

Many years ago I welcomed you to “The Marvel Age of Comics,” hit you with “Make Mine Marvel” and urged you to always “Keep the Faith!” Well, why stop now? With the titanically talented staff of New World Pictures in our corner, Marvel’s on the move again the sky’s the limit! It promises to be one riotous, ring-a-ding ride! So stay with us, Believers – the best lies just ahead!

Excelsior!

–Stan