Friday, April 14, 2017

Those Groovy Letterheads!

If you're like Ol' Groove, Groove-ophiles, you miss the days of the liltin' letters pages in your favorite comics. The punny titles, the cool art, the comraderie, the "regular letterhacks" (many of whom would go on to become pros)...ah, those were good times. I was the kid who read the letters page before I even read the comic. I wasn't the only one, was I? Yeah, we have message boards, Facebook, and all'a that, but none of that compares to those letters page glory days?




















Ever had a letter printed? I did once. You show me yours, and I'll show you mine--sometime!

21 comments:

  1. Of course there was also Bad Tidings, from Super-Villain Team Up!
    I forget what the one with the Justice League was, where they're all sitting around opening letters.
    I only wrote one letter, to Marvel's Epic magazine, but my handwriting was so bad they misspelled my name and my town. Sigh.

    M.P.

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    1. I wanna use Bad Tidings in the next round. SVTU turned out to be such a cool book!

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  2. I was happy to see that, after spending so many shekels on the Master of Kung Fu omnibuses, they had included all the letter columns. And even now, that was what I read first!

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    1. Now I've GOTTA get those! That is so awesome that they used the letters columns. Of course, as Rip says below, the LOCs were a huge part of the overall package--and the letters in MoKF were some of the best evah!

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    2. I also like the deeply philosophical, new agey letters that ran through Dr. Strange during the Englehart/Brunner run.

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  3. Where's the JLA Mailbag?! Loved that one! I only wrote two letters, none of them published. Recently I picked up an old Detective Comics (early 400's), was reading the letters column and noticed that 3 of the writers were pro's.

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    1. JLA Mailbag will be in the next round. There are lots more of these to come!

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  4. Cool. My favorite letters page title was always "Let's Level with Daredevil". Glad to see it there.

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    1. One of my faves, too. I even used "Daredevil" as my CB handle back when CB-ing was the thing.

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  5. Wonderful post. I tried to write one letter to Marvel around 1968. I asked Stan Lee if he would send me the first issues of Spider Man and Fantastic Four b/c I'd never read them. I needed my Mom to address the letter, since I was only 7 years old. I have a hunch it was never mailed since I never received them in the mail, LOL. Perhaps he sent me a "no prize?"

    B.t.w. I enjoyed yesterday's post of Stumbo. There is something so pleasingly innocent in the Harvey comics. To this day, if I see a Harvey cover of old, I feel great!

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    1. I'm feeling the urge to do a Harvey "Grooviest Covers of All Time" post...

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  6. I had more than 40 letters printed during the Groovy Age, the vast majority of them in DC Comics, and mostly in Julie Schwartz-edited titles. Even today, when I pick up a back issue, the first thing I do is read the letterpage. I pity the poor comics fans today who don't have letter columns to enjoy, or the Bullpen pages or the Direct Currents pages... man, those were the good ol' Groovy days!

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    1. I remember seeing your name quite often, Dave. I need to dig up some of those old DC's and look for your LOCs! And here ya are, still talking comics 40 some years later! That's why we love the CLASSIC medium!

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    2. I like when I pick up an old issue and see a letter printed from Dave Cockrum, Alan Weiss or Klaus Janson.

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  7. 1st letter I ever wrote was written about 25-30 years after I began reading the things. It was to Eclipse for MIRACLEMAN & was printed last on the page in #13 (presaging exactly what Bates did once KM resurfaced), The last letter I wrote was to DC for JONAH HEX: TWO-GUN MOJO--printed in final issue of miniseries & also saved for last. Had a lot of letters printed in DC's THE SHADOW when Helfer & Baker were having fun, as was I in my letters & the responses to them were quite funny as well. A couple in DETECTIVE COMICS during the '80s, too. I do miss the letters pages in the comics--heck, I miss the comics. Just not to my taste any longer for about 10 years now after a half-century of collecting. Things change--good, bad, but never indifferent.

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    1. I still have my copies of Two-Gun Mojo. I wanna look up your LOC! Sold my 'Tec's in the 90s (sigh).

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  8. E-Man's E- Mail was so prophetic of what was to come. Charlton closed down in 1986 before many had even heard of using the internet to send digital mail.

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    1. Ain't that so cool? Great comics point to the future--even if they don't know they're doing it!

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  9. So much attention is paid to the artwork of vintage comics that sometimes the point is missed. The comic book was a complete artifact, a product filled with delightful images and and compelling language which wove a spell. No less a part of that spell was the ancillary stuff like the ads which we remember and the text pages which eventually morphed into letters pages. When I first started in late 1968 Marvel often used two pages for letters and that became what I assumed was normal. The single letters page quickly reasserted itself but I always felt a little cheated. When comics abandoned such things (for reasons we can argue about) they lost touch with the notion that each and every comic book is a complete thing. Now comics feel too much like what they really are, merely incomplete pamphlets of a potential larger publication. Once upon a time a comic book was a complete package all of its own and letters pages and such were key.

    Rip Off

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    1. Rip, you can officially change your name to "Hammer" 'cause you hit the nail on the head!

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    2. I miss the personal touch that Stan imbued each comic with, through the Bullpen bulletins and letters pages. He made everyone feel like we were all part of a cool club. Roy continued it as the fanboy turned pro. But as more time went by Marvel lost that connection with its readers. The 90s felt like they were just going through the motions with no heart attached. Nowadays, it's a rare title I pick up, preferring to buy hard cover reprints of the glory days and the always enjoyable publications from Tomorrow's.

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