Archive for the 'Make Mine Marvel' Category

Marvel Con ’76 Program (1976)

Marvel Con 76-1

Marvel Con 76-7

Marvel Con 76-3

Marvel Con 76-4

Marvel Con 76-5

Marvel Con 76-6

Marvel Con 76-2

Select pages only. The Bruce Cardozo Spider-Man film mentioned in the third photo is not available anywhere, but the earliest known Spidey fan film, produced by Don Glut in 1969, is here. Glut went on to write for the animated Spider-Man (1981-1982), Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981-1983), and The Transformers animated series (1984-1986).

Spiderbike, Spiderbuggy, and Spidercopter (Corgi, 1979)

Corgi Spidey 1979

Corgi Spidey 1979-2

Corgi Spidey 1979-3

For those of you amused by the inaccuracy (and irrelevance) of Corgi’s Star Trek II Klingon Warship, I present these gems. The Spidercopter has an “amazing flicking spider tongue,” which Mary Jane may or may not have appreciated. A Spidervan came in the same series.

D&D/TSR Commercials (1982 – 1985)

These are all the TSR-produced commercials I’ve been able to find so far. They aired in (from top to bottom) 1982, 1983, 1983, 1984, and 1985. I’ve posted them before with the exception of the 1984 spot, which is very well done and advertises not only the red cover Basic Set (Frank Mentzer revision), but the Marvel Super Heroes and Adventures of Indiana Jones RPGs. The 1983 Star Frontiers commercial is my favorite.

Let me know if I missed any.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Characters Coloring Book (1983) (Part Four)

D&D Characters-1

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D&D Characters-4

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D&D Characters-7

D&D Characters-8D&D Characters-9











D&D Characters-10D&D Characters-11











D&D Characters-12

D&D Characters-13

AD&D Characters BC

The fourth and final installment of the AD&D Characters Coloring Book. My favorite page in this lot: “Mercion is a good cleric. Scary things like skeletons are afraid of her goodness.” I think Zarak looks appropriately sinister, but isn’t he a little short for a half-orc?

Parts one, two, and three of the book are here, here, and here, respectively.

Read Magazine #13 (February, 1975): Interview with Stan Lee

Read 1975

Read 1975-2

Read 1975-3

Read 1975-4

I haven’t been able to find much on Read magazine yet, but it seems to have run from the early to late 1970s, and focused on giving young readers fun, relevant stories and articles.

Lots of good stuff in the interview about what does and doesn’t constitute “serious culture.”

 “The public accepts all the media more now,” explained Stan. “Take movies. Thirty years ago movies were considered frivolous and unimportant. Now they’re taught in schools and colleges, analyzed, etc.”

The literary novel was also considered frivolous until at least the first quarter of the 20th Century. Today, graphic novels and comics are taught in schools and colleges, and many universities offer degrees in Pop Culture.

Stan again on “why Marvel’s heroes had so many failings”:

“We’ve always felt that if readers could accept the fairy tale quality that this person has green skin or can burst into flames or whatever, then everything else should be realistic… We can write much more interesting stories with human heroes than with unreal ones who never lose their cool.”

Lee, Kirby, and Ditko created a series of interconnected myths that are just as powerful in their way to the modern world as the stories of Zeus and Odysseus were to the ancient Greeks.

(Images via Steven Casteel/eBay)

Le Sourire du Dragon (Transecom/TSR, 1987)

Sourire 1987-1

Sourire 1987-2

Sourire 1987-6

Sourire 1987-3

Sourire 1987-4

Sourire 1987-5

According to French Wikipedia, the Dungeons & Dragons animated series premiered in France in 1984 (IMDb says 1987, as do other sources), and was rebroadcast starting in 1986. The series was called Le Sourire du Dragon (The Smile of the Dragon), as was the song used for the intro, sung by Dorothée. Listen to the full version here, and watch the actual intro here. It’s very sweet, but also kind of creepy, maybe because it reminds me of the Twin Peaks soundtrack.

The game was designed by François Marcela-Froideval, an influential figure in the introduction of RPGs in France. He came to the U.S. in 1982 to work for TSR, where he collaborated with Gary Gygax on Oriental Adventures (1985), among other projects.

Tignous is credited as the interior artist, and comics innovator Bill Sienkiewicz painted the cover. Sienkiewicz got his start on Moon Knight and The New Mutants, and went on to do mind-blowing art for Elektra: Assassin and the Daredevil: Love and War graphic novel, both of them written by Frank Miller.

See detailed views of all the game pieces and instructions at Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon Encyclopedia.

(Images via eBay and Dungeons & Dragons Cartoon Encyclopedia)

Blip #5 (June, 1983): ‘Technology + Tradition = Summer Fun’

Blip #5 1983-1

Blip #5 1983-8

Blip #5 1983-5

Blip #5 1983-6

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Blip #5 1983-2

Blip #5 1983-3

Blip #5 1983-4

Blip was Marvel’s short-lived—seven issues only—foray into the video game world. It was colorful but silly, printed on comic stock and marketed to younger kids.

Page two talks about the development of Atari’s E.T., and refers to TRON (the movie) as a “flop.” Ripping every gamer’s favorite flick was probably not a good idea.

The activity on pages 12 and 13 is representative of the entire run. Kids of every age would have found it condescending.

Pages 14 and 16 are about computer camp, one of my favorite subjects. I wrote about the Atari camp here. I love the robot on the lawn chair, even though it’s a clunky (pun intended) metaphor.

And, if you weren’t feeling old enough already, how about the “News Blips” on page 23?

The most amazing feature of the Concept 100 is its satellite hookup. That’s right—this car will actually have a computer that is tuned in to a satellite orbiting in space. What good is this? One big advantage is tracking. If you ever get lost, just order up a map and the satellite will find your car…

Read the whole issue, and the whole run, at

Madonna Kissing Dr. Strange #45, Circa 1981

Madonna Strange

So says Rob Kelly, author of a book I would like to read called Hey Kids, Comics!: True Life Tales from the Spinner Rack.

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Coloring and Activity Book (1984) (Part One)

Secret Wars Coloring Book FC

Secret Wars Coloring Book BC

Secret Wars Coloring Book pg. 1Secret Wars Coloring Book pg. 1-a

Secret Wars Coloring Book pg. 2Secret Wars Coloring Book pg. 3

Secret Wars Coloring Book pg. 4Secret Wars Coloring Book pg. 5

Secret Wars Coloring Book pg. 6Secret Wars Coloring Book pg. 7

Secret Wars Coloring Book pg. 8Secret Wars Coloring Book pg. 9

Secret Wars Coloring Book pg. 10

Secret Wars was Marvel’s first big crossover event. Mattel wanted to produce a Marvel toy line, but only under the condition that the toys be attached to a major event in the Marvel Universe. Secret Wars was the event. The story was meager—basically a grander version of 1982’s Contest of Champions,  Marvel’s first limited series—but writer-editor Jim Shooter and especially penciler Mike Zeck managed to make it something special.

The Coloring and Activity Book has nothing to do with the comic, but it does feature many of Mattel’s cheaply made, uninspired toys. You’ll see the big ticket item, the Tower of Doom, above.

I talked about the Marvel Books imprint and artist Carlos Garzon here. I’ve covered Jim Mooney’s work a couple of times: The Amazing Spider-Man: A Book of Colors and Days of the Week, and the AD&D Characters Coloring Book.

The Amazing Spider-Man Web Spinning Action Game (1979)

Spider-Man 1979

They couldn’t come up with a better pose for Spidey? The villain molds look great.

The Amazing Spider-Man live-action pilot premiered in 1977, and the series resumed in 1978. The witty web-slinger, Marvel’s most relatable and engaging (in my opinion) hero, was everywhere.




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