Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and thirty-sixth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
George R.R. Martin was the first person to win a No-Prize from Marvel Comics.
Reader Mark G. wrote in with this one a while back, and I thought with the release of Game of Thrones Season 7, the timing was just right to address it (although, if Mark had read the Knowledge Waits installment that I did on No-Prize history last year, he would know the answer already!).
A cool part of George R.R. Martin’s history IS that, when he was a young man, long before A Song of Ice and Fire was a glimmer in his mind, Martin was a prolific letter writer to Marvel Comics, especially Fantastic Four. Martin actually does have the distinction of being the very first person to sign up to attend the very first comic book convention in 1964 (Steve Ditko was the guest of honor! Talk about starting off on the right foot!).
So it certainly is not outside the realm of possibility that Martin would be the first person to win a No-Prize from Marvel. However, that was not the case.
The first No-Prize from Marvel was announced in Fantastic Four #22’s letter column, and it was simply a matter of Stan Lee saying that “no prizes” would be awarded in this contest…
Three issues later, the winners were announced, and here is when Lee began referring to their prizes as “no-prizes”…
So those people are the ones who can say that they have the distinction of being the first “No-Prize” winners in Marvel history.
Now, Martin DID end up playing a role in No-Prize history, though, as he wrote in to point out a goof in a comic in Fantastic Four #33, which inspired Stan Lee to offer up a No-Prize to anyone who could explain the goof away…
And that became the major way that No-Prizes were awarded over the years – explain away a mistake and you get a No-Prize, which eventually became physical prizes (well, envelopes containing nothing within them, as the envelopes themselves were the prize)…
I don’t know if Martin EVER won a No-Prize, but he was not the first winner.
Thanks to Mark for the suggestion!
Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed at CBR: Was Nick Fury originally going to be Peter Parker’s mentor in Spider-Man: Homecoming instead of Tony Stark?
OK, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is email@example.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!
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See you all next week!
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