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THE UNTOLD STORY

Go ahead, ask a question.   Images are an online-only supplement to the book MARVEL COMICS: THE UNTOLD STORY (plus occasional unrelated arcana )
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"A WILD-RIDE ACCOUNT" —The Hollywood Reporter
"EPIC" —The New York Times
"INDISPENSABLE" —Los Angeles Times
"DEFINITIVE" —The Wall Street Journal
"SCINTILLATING" —Publishers Weekly
"AUTHORITATIVE" —Kirkus Reviews
"GRIPPING" —Rolling Stone
"PRICELESS" —Booklist
"ESSENTIAL" —The Daily Beast
"REVELATORY" —The Miami Herald
"AS FULL OF COLORFUL CHARACTERS, TRAGIC REVERSALS AND UNLIKELY PLOT TWISTS AS ANY BOOK IN THE MARVEL CANON" —Newsday

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    Captain America as you’ve never seen him before!My Secret, published by Martin Goodman’s Atlas/Seaboard, February 1975.

    Captain America as you’ve never seen him before!

    My Secret, published by Martin Goodman’s Atlas/Seaboard, February 1975.

    — 9 months ago with 170 notes
    #Captain America  #martin goodman  #atlas  #seaboard  #Men's Magazines 

    Letter from 1966 Marvel Comics staffer to fan:
    Jack Kirby “plots the story as he draws it”; Marvel’s “whole operation is based on the story instinct” of Stan Lee


    Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is out in paperback this week; oh, how I wish I’d come across this amazing letter in time to include mention of it in the book. It’s a February 1966 letter from then-Staff Writer Denny O’Neil to Marvel fan Jay DeNatale, and it includes what’s possibly the earliest insider account of Marvel from someone other than Stan Lee.

    The course of events that led to Fantastic Four #1 that presented here are pretty much in keeping with the Stan Lee/company line, but the amount of credit O’Neil gives to Kirby for plotting—right down to the story beats in the margins of the pages—is notable.

    Among the other fascinating bits:

    • “Mr. Goodman insists that we keep sketches and editorial comments for reference and reprint.”

    • “Currently a Captain America pilot film is being shot in an animation process similar to that used by Hanna-Barbara”

    • “A producer named Robert Kranz [sic] is interested in the live television rights to several Marvel heroes” [Note: Robert Lawrence and Steve Krantz were both involved in the animated ‘Marvel Super Heroes’ series. Was a deal ever made for live-action series?]

    • There’s no mention of the recently departed Steve Ditko.

    As if all that weren’t enough, O’Neil included with his latter a Xerox of Jack Kirby’s pencils for Fantastic Four #47. (You can compare this to the inked, colored, and lettered page here.)

    — 9 months ago with 244 notes
    #Marvel Comics  #letters  #Denny O'Neil  #stan lee  #jack kirby  #fantastic four  #original art  #triton  #inhumans  #steve ditko  #martin goodman  #grantray lawrence  #steve krantz 

    Norman Saunders painting for Marvel Science Stories #2, 1939.

    — 10 months ago with 575 notes
    #norman saunders  #marvel science stories  #pulp  #painting  #pulps  #marvel  #martin goodman 
    Martin Goodman’s burgeoning empire, as depicted in the August 1936 Kable News-Gram. Image via Robert Beerbohm.

    Martin Goodman’s burgeoning empire, as depicted in the August 1936 Kable News-Gram. Image via Robert Beerbohm.

    — 10 months ago with 32 notes
    #Martin Goodman  #Ka-Zar  #pulps  #Timely  #ads  #pulp 
    Marvel to SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT publisher, 1953: “It is our intent to protect our rights by suit or otherwise in the event the Wertham book contains any defamatory matter about any of our publications.” Via Warren Bernard at TCJ.
Related: Wertham distorted his data.

    Marvel to SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT publisher, 1953: “It is our intent to protect our rights by suit or otherwise in the event the Wertham book contains any defamatory matter about any of our publications.”
    Via Warren Bernard at TCJ.


    Related: Wertham distorted his data.

    — 1 year ago with 74 notes
    #Marvel  #Martin Goodman  #Monroe Froelich  #Seduction of the Innocent  #Frederic Wertham 
    "When [Martin Goodman] sold the business, the person who was buying the business from him didn’t want to buy it unless I was under contract. And I wasn’t at the time. So he said to me, ‘Stan, I’d like you to sign a contract so that this guy will buy the business.’ I said, ‘I’m not going to make any terrible demands.’ The guy is my friend. He gave me a contract, I signed it. I trusted him. After I signed it, Joan and I had dinner at his house, he walked us up the stairs to one of his rooms, and he said, ‘You’ll never have to worry about money again. I’m so grateful.’ He never gave me a cent, other than the contract. We kept renewing it and renewing it. I was really quite disappointed. The thing that hurt me the most was all my friends thinking I was an idiot."
—Stan Lee

    "When [Martin Goodman] sold the business, the person who was buying the business from him didn’t want to buy it unless I was under contract. And I wasn’t at the time. So he said to me, ‘Stan, I’d like you to sign a contract so that this guy will buy the business.’ I said, ‘I’m not going to make any terrible demands.’ The guy is my friend. He gave me a contract, I signed it. I trusted him. After I signed it, Joan and I had dinner at his house, he walked us up the stairs to one of his rooms, and he said, ‘You’ll never have to worry about money again. I’m so grateful.’ He never gave me a cent, other than the contract. We kept renewing it and renewing it. I was really quite disappointed. The thing that hurt me the most was all my friends thinking I was an idiot."

    —Stan Lee

    — 1 year ago with 123 notes
    #Stan Lee  #Martin Goodman 

    Stan Lee, before and after the launch of the Marvel Age of Comics.

    Here’s what happened between these two pictures: Seduction of the Innocent was published; there were Senate subcommittee hearings about comics’ contribution to juvenile delinquency; the entire Timely staff was fired; Joe Maneely died; Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko returned; the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Hulk, Iron Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, Doctor Strange, and dozens if not hundreds of characters were introduced; Steve Ditko left; Martin Goodman sold the company; Jack Kirby left; Martin Goodman retired as publisher; Stan Lee became president and publisher.


    And here’s what was happening at the moment of each photograph.

    (1954)
    Martin Goodman moved operations to Madison Avenue, above the Boyd Chemists drugstore and cafeteria. With a carpeted office and a short walk to Central Park, he was headquartered at ground zero of 1950s consumerism, where legions of well-dressed martini-lunchers, responsible for approximately half of the advertising dollars in the country, ducked into newly built towers and straightened their ties at the elevator banks. At 655 Madison, most of Goodman’s new office space was dedicated to his magazine line (the creatively titled Magazine Management, Inc.), which had evolved from its pulp roots into a mixture of true confessions, movie gossip, crossword puzzles, and, under the editorial stewardship of Bruce Jay Friedman, mildly smutty action-adventure titles like Stag, Male, For Men Only, and Men’s World. But off to the side, Stan Lee was overseeing more than sixty different titles and, in the words of Friedman, “a sea of employees.”

    (1972)
    In a surprise twist, Goodman’s successor, Sheldon Feinberg, gave Lee a double promotion, to president and publisher of Marvel Comics. Lee would no longer have his hands tied. He could publish black-and-white comic magazines; he could have final say on covers; he could bring back the Silver Surfer. “It’s time for Phase Two to begin,” Lee proclaimed in his “Bullpen Bulletins” column. “No man, no group of men, no publishing company can rest on its laurels—and Marvel’s still much too young, too zingy, too bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to settle back and bask in the sun of yesterday’s success… . If you think we turned you on before, the best is yet to be—wait’ll you see what’s coming! Hang loose! Face front! Marvel’s on the move again!” Restless from all the time spent in Martin Goodman’s shadow, Lee quickly began casting around for new, more sophisticated ventures. He started to line up luminaries like Anthony Burgess, Kurt Vonnegut, and Vaclav Havel to write a line of adult comic books (Tom Stoppard expressed interest as well). He asked former Mad editor (and father figure to the underground comix scene) Harvey Kurtzman to edit a satirical magazine called Bedlam. Lee also turned to the legendary Will Eisner, who wrote to prospective contributors that he’d be publishing a Marvel-funded magazine that was “neither sophomoric, nor foul- mouthed or tasteless.” Lee invited underground publisher Denis Kitchen to New York to discuss packaging an anthology title that would feature left-of-center artists like Kim Deitch, Art Spiegelman, and Basil Wolverton.

    http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Marvel-Comics-Sean-Howe/?isbn=9780061992100

    — 1 year ago with 216 notes
    #1954  #Atlas Comics  #655 Madison  #Bruce Jay Friedman  #men's magazines  #Stan Lee  #Martin Goodman  #Harvy Kurtzman  #Will Eisner  #Kim Deitch  #Art Spiegelman  #Basil Wolverton 
    Above: from a 1974 Cadence Industries newsletter. In 1968, Martin Ackerman’s Perfect Film & Chemical Company purchased Marvel Comics from founding publisher Martin Goodman. After Ackerman was ousted from the Perfect FIlm board and new CEO Sheldon Feinberg stepped in, it was decided that a new name was needed, to distance the company from Ackerman’s controversial reign.

    Above: from a 1974 Cadence Industries newsletter.

    In 1968, Martin Ackerman’s Perfect Film & Chemical Company purchased Marvel Comics from founding publisher Martin Goodman. After Ackerman was ousted from the Perfect FIlm board and new CEO Sheldon Feinberg stepped in, it was decided that a new name was needed, to distance the company from Ackerman’s controversial reign.

    — 1 year ago with 4 notes
    #Cadence Industries  #Perfect Film  #Marvel Comics  #Martin Ackerman  #Martin Goodman  #Sheldon Feinberg 
    "After kicking it around with Martin and Jack for a while we  I decided to call our quaint quartet The Fantastic Four.” Original manuscript for Origins of Marvel Comics, 1974.

    "After kicking it around with Martin and Jack for a while we  I decided to call our quaint quartet The Fantastic Four.” Original manuscript for Origins of Marvel Comics, 1974.

    — 1 year ago with 47 notes
    #Stan Lee  #Origins of Marvel Comics  #Jack Kirby  #Martin Goodman  #Fantastic Four 

    What do Archie Bunker and H.P. Lovecraft have in common?

    They’re both covered in this memo from Roy Thomas to Stan Lee, from 1972. There’s a note in Stan Lee’s writing: “I’ll ask M.G.”—since Stan Lee replaced Martin Goodman as publisher by May, this must have been written only weeks before Goodman’s departure.

    — 1 year ago with 89 notes
    #Archie Bunker  #Spoof  #All in the Family  #race relations  #Martin Goodman  #Roy Thomas  #Stan Lee  #h.p. lovecraft  #timely  #All-Winners  #Letters 
    655 Madison Avenue: Home of Marvel Comics
Rapidly expanding, Martin Goodman moved operations to Madison Avenue, above the Boyd Chemists drugstore and cafeteria. With a short walk to Central Park, he was headquartered at ground zero of 1950s consumerism, where legions of well-dressed martini-lunchers, responsible for approximately half of the advertising dollars in the country, ducked into newly built towers and straightened their ties at the elevator banks. At 655 Madison, most of Goodman’s new office space was dedicated to his magazine line (the creatively titled Magazine Management, Inc.), which had evolved from its pulp roots into a mixture of true confessions, movie gossip, crossword puzzles, and, under the editorial stewardship of Bruce Jay Friedman, mildly smutty action-adventure titles like Stag, Male, For Men Only, and Men’s World. But off to the side, Stan Lee was overseeing more than 60 different comic-book titles and, in the words of Friedman, “a sea of employees.”
Text from Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

    655 Madison Avenue: Home of Marvel Comics

    Rapidly expanding, Martin Goodman moved operations to Madison Avenue, above the Boyd Chemists drugstore and cafeteria. With a short walk to Central Park, he was headquartered at ground zero of 1950s consumerism, where legions of well-dressed martini-lunchers, responsible for approximately half of the advertising dollars in the country, ducked into newly built towers and straightened their ties at the elevator banks. At 655 Madison, most of Goodman’s new office space was dedicated to his magazine line (the creatively titled Magazine Management, Inc.), which had evolved from its pulp roots into a mixture of true confessions, movie gossip, crossword puzzles, and, under the editorial stewardship of Bruce Jay Friedman, mildly smutty action-adventure titles like Stag, Male, For Men Only, and Men’s World. But off to the side, Stan Lee was overseeing more than 60 different comic-book titles and, in the words of Friedman, “a sea of employees.”

    Text from Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

    — 1 year ago with 12 notes
    #madison avenue  #atlas comics  #boyd chemists  #1950s new york  #magazine management  #martin goodman  #stag  #bruce jay friedman  #mad men 

    I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be appearing on a panel with the legendary Victor Navasky at the Brooklyn Book Festival, this Sunday, September 23rd, at 11 am.

    Mr. Navasky has just published The Art of Making Magazines. In commemoration, I present to you the above Mort Kunstler illustration from STAG, an example of the kind of work that Martin Goodman, publisher of Marvel Comics, featured in his magazines in the early 1960s. While the magazine editors raced around, a neglected Stan Lee sat sequestered at a tiny desk and edited a handful of monster comic books—and, at the time that this illustration was printed, the second issue of a new comic called THE FANTASTIC FOUR.

    St. Francis McArdle (180 Remsen Street)
    Ink and Pressure: The Delicate Art, History and Future of Publishing. Authors Victor Navasky (The Art of Making Magazines) and Sean Howe (Marvel Comics: The Untold Story) take a look at the nuts and bolts construction of a comic book empire and the intricacies of what it really takes to make magazines. Moderated by Melissa Maerz.

    — 1 year ago with 49 notes
    #Martin Goodman  #Fantastic Four  #Mort Kunstler  #Stan Lee 
    Marvel Comics founder Martin Goodman, with wife Jean, circa 1950.

    Marvel Comics founder Martin Goodman, with wife Jean, circa 1950.

    — 1 year ago with 87 notes
    #marvel  #comics  #martin goodman  #jean goodman