Friday, July 31, 2009

Famous First Fridays: FOOM Magazine #1

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Let's keep our first anniversary party going with a groovy guided tour of the famously fabulous FOOM Magazine #1 (Spring 1973)! If you need a little FOOM background before we dive in, you can check out my previous FOOM post. I'll wait.
Back so soon? Okey-dokey! First up, here's Jim Steranko's cover featuring Stan "the Man" Lee and his initial greeting to the legion of FOOMdom. Right off the bat, Steranko's pop art and design skills raised the fan-mag bar to new heights!


Next we get Steranko's editorial in which he shares the lowdown on how FOOM came to be. Note the little FOOM sayings, dubbed "Fabulous Foomies", scattered in the margins (sometimes most any white space) of these pages. It wouldn't be long before Marvel would start using fan-created "Foomies" to decorate the pages of FOOM.


One of Young Groove's favorite FOOM features was the Bullpen Bios section. For the first issue, the spotlight fell on Stan, John Buscema, Roy Thomas, Joe Sinnott, and Gerry Conway. Dig those crazy photos, baby! The clothes! The hair! Ah, the 1970s!


Steranko and his armadillos created some truly awesome games to help fill FOOM's pages. The first one being this frankly fabulous "Hulk Stumped!" crossword puzzle. Don't get crayon marks on your monitor, Groove-ophiles!


The second best part of FOOM Magazine, for moi, was the hero histories we'd be treated to in each issue. It was only natural that FOOM #1 would celebrate Marvel's premiere super-team, the Fantastic Four! Young Groove totally geeked-out when he planted his peepers on that FF checklist. Sadly, the checklist feature ended when Steranko left (ish #4).


Lookit! Another puzzle page! This time it's a wondrous word-search hosted by Kraven the Hunter.


The Marvel Merchandise Machine started rolling along with page 15's advertisement of the "first rockomic" The Amazing Spider-Man. Dig that John Romita art! I wish I'd have scraped together the three bucks to order this Ron (The Archies) Dante extravaganza!


Another innovative activity of the Steranko era of FOOM: the center spread board game! Go ahead, give Nick Fury in "Moving Target" a try!


Remember when I said the hero histories were my second favorite feature? Well, here's my all-out fave: the "Department of InFOOMation" (originally called "Far-out Fanfare and InFOOMation"). Since FOOM was a quarterly, you got a glimpse of what was to come in Marvel comics up to three months in advance (hmm, why does that lead-time sound so familiar?). Said glimpse included a plethora of cataclysmic covers. Enjoy!


FOOM Magazine was always filled to the brim with awesome art, and as you can see the premiere ish is no exception. Dig this incredible Jack Kirby cover art for Fantastic Four #73!


Steranko concocted yet another word puzzle, this one featuring the FF's fiercest foe, Dr. Doom!


"Recommended Reading" opened the world of fanzines up to young fans like yours truly. Who knew there was a whole big world of fandom out there back then? FOOMers did, baby!


Down the home stretch we got a "Master of Disguise" activity starring Nick Fury; "Fantastic Fear" (from the 1967 Marvel Comics parodies series produced by Topps) by Roy Thomas, Len Brown, Gil Kane, and Wally Wood; a Marvel t-shirts ad ($2.50 for a Marvel tee--hoo-ha!); a page with answers to the issue's puzzles along with ordering info; and a snazzy Steranko Spidey piece (originally produced a few years earlier for Marvelmania).


There ya have it! The secrets of FOOM Magazine #1 held in deepest confidence for over 35 years--now revealed unto all true Groove-ophiles! Aren't you glad you stopped by? Pax!

4 comments:

  1. Ah, FOOM, FOOM ( goes misty-eyed, lump appears in throat ) how I loved thee...
    Thanx for posting, Groove! My first issue of FOOM was no.2 with that beautiful Hulk cover by Steranko, so it's a blast to finally see what lurked within the covers of no.1 :-)

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  2. I'm just lovin this series of posts.... thanks a heap Dr. Groove!

    I always wanted to buy FOOM as a kid, but a much respected older teen collector talked me out of it sayin "Ah... don't waste yer dough on that... it's prolly a gyp! " Now 36 years later, I wonder how could someone be so very wrong?

    Might I just add that I really appreciate all that you do for us misty eyed fans who remember a time where every kid on every street, practicaly everywhere in America had at least a shoe box full of comics kickin' around the house.

    What a great time to be a kid....huh?

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    Replies
    1. I still have this issue and the great hulk envelope it came in.Still remember what a tripit was when it came,And a younger bud at highschool brought his the next day,as did I.We made no secret we were marvelites.My experience with an older by year and a half bud was different.He convinced me most every comic after they went to 15 cents was crap,so both quit a lot of what i was buying,and got rid of for 5 cents per book, some 350-400 1969-1977 marvel and dc.Few are SO opinionated as the older fanboys!!

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  3. I get misty-eyed when I post about FOOM, too, guys. Makes it really hard to type, lemme tell ya!

    More FOOM to come!

    And Mitch, you are dead-on, baby! The 70s were the most fab-a-mundo time to be a kid. Let none speak otherwise!

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Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!