Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and forty-fourth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
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The man behind "Marc -- On the Man's Side" is veteran DC and Marvel letterer, John Constanza.
In the early 1970s, DC's romance titles were still going strong. They were being edited by Dorothy Woolfolk, one of the few female editors at DC Comics at the time.
In late 1971, Woolfolk debuted a new column in the pages of Young Love. Oddly enough, it was a column about a male chauvinist answering letters from the book's mostly female audience, to give them the man's perspective, but mostly just to be a jerk...
Initially, a young Byron Preiss (before he got into book publishing) did the writing for "Marc," but I imagine it was continued by various assistant editors or low level staffers at DC.
Marc was soon popular enough that he was promoted on the cover of the magazine! Along with a picture even!
He expanded to the pages of Young Romance, as well, where he was also promoted...
Eventually, DC came up with a clever twist and introduced Marc's brother, Paul, who was a nice guy and who would give advice from THE OTHER SIDE...
He, too, was promoted on the covers...
Okay, so obviously Marc and Paul were fictional characters and I already noted Byron Preiss wrote for Marc (at least at first). But who PORTRAYED Marc and Paul?
The answer is longtime comic book artist and letterer, John Costanza, who worked for DC at the time. He is perhaps best known for being the letterer during Alan Moore's iconic run on Swamp Thing...
He explained it to David A. Kraft in the fifth issue of Kraft's seminal magazine, Comics Interview: "[T]hey used a photograph of my face for the romance books. They used to call it Marc, On the Man's Side. It was sort of a male, "Dear Abby." A really obnoxious character. But I had nothing to do with outside of their using my photograph." He then noted that they later edited on facial hair to make him "Paul."
So now Marc and Paul have been unmasked!
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