May wonders never cease. Miracles do happen.
While perusing my comics the other day – research for a Marvel.com article – I came across something that I was sure didn’t exist: an uncut 1970s comic from my own childhood. Why is that so amazing?
I cut up all my Marvels for their Marvel Value Stamps.
Those of you under the age of 35 or so may ask, “What’s a Marvel Value Stamp?” Take a look here and when you’re done you may get the impact of what I’m saying. My copy of THOR #224 from 1974 has an intact lettercol with its MVS, #87 from Series A, in perfect condition. I about swooned when I discovered it. Stunned, I stared at it for several minutes, reveling in its pristine goodness and wondering how it ever escaped the scissors.
Every once in a while I chide myself out loud for cutting up my comics, but The Little Woman always reminds me that not only was I a child at the time but that they were meant to be cut up. Yeah, I know; that’s tantamount to treason these days but back then it was the thing to do – heck, Marvel would even sell you a stamp album into which you could paste those little squares of pulp. Funny times. More innocent times, but also funny. I often miss them.
I’d also like to note that this is the one and only issue of THOR that I own from my childhood. See, my father bought me all my comics back then, from 1972 til about 1978, and to this day I often find it difficult to figure out how he’d choose one comic over another to buy me. “Sporadic” would be a good word to describe some of the runs of titles in my collection, and though I know some of that was due to the crummy distribution of the era – drugstores, pals, drugstores – some of it was also Dad’s perception of either what I’d like or what he himself liked. DC comics came out on top, natch, and Marvels came in second. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, MARVEL TEAM-UP, and AVENGERS were good bets and I even got the occasional CAPTAIN AMERICA and IRON MAN. The monster and devil stuff was right out, usually, but a stray HULK or DAREDEVIL could be counted on from time to time - but THOR? Nopers. One issue and one issue only. What was it about the God of Thunder that turned my father off? Did its covers denote non-super hero action, of which Dad himself was fond? Too many scantily-clad ladies? Too many scantily-clad men? I don’t know and I’m not asking the 72 year-old curmudgeon.
The mystery will simply have to prevail. For now, I get to gaze at my mint-condition Marvel Value Stamp – which by the way is of J. Jonah Jameson.
No wonder I didn’t cut that one out.