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Marvel's Bullpen Bulletins, From A to Z!

Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me. Today, we see a clever idea by Scott Edelman that lasted in Marvel's comics for over two years!

As you likely know by now, one of the things that really made Stan Lee stand out from the rest of the comic book editors-in-chief of the era is his ability to promote Marvel Comics in a fascinating way that seemed like he was actually doing the fans a favor by telling them of all the great things going on at Marvel that they could support. By fostering in the fans a sense of community and almost a sense of OWNERSHIP of Marvel as a whole, he created some devoted fans. This was how the "Marvel Zombie" was born. Lee would use the letter columns to communicate with fans, but pretty early on, his discourse with the fans went beyond simply answering letters. The Fantastic Four letter pages became a sort of home base for the Marvel fan community. Lee then slowly transitioned that concept from there to a stand-alone feature that would appear in all Marvel Comics called "Bullpen Bulletins." It would be filled with interesting little tidbits (mostly ones that served to make Marvel look good) but at the same time, Lee would talk directly with fans in his "Stan's Soapbox" feature in the Bulletins. In the early years, especially, Lee would really get into it with fans on a number of issues. He was obviously more involved in the day-to-day running of Marvel at the time, so he had a lot more interesting things to say. There was a whole bit about companies that he felt were ripping the Marvel Style off. There's a legendary bit about the importance of espousing progressive (for the era, at least) ideals in comic book stories. It was a real pip.

When Lee stopped being Marvel's Editor-in-Chief, Bullpen Bulletins duties fell to the new Editor-in-Chief, Roy Thomas. When Thomas left, it was the responsibility of new Marvel Editor-in-Chief, Len Wein (Wein was the Editor-in-Chief of Marvel's color comics line, while Marv Wolfman was in charge of their black and white magazine line). Wein, though, gave the job to Assistant Editor Scott Edelman. Edelman came up with a clever idea that I don't think has really been appreciated over the years. He would have the introduction of each Bullpen Bulletins be an alliterative headline, with a different letter of the alphabet from A to Z.

This lasted through Wein's Editor-in-Chief stint AND Marv Wolfman's stint (when he became the Editor-in-Chief of both the black and white line as well as the color comics line) AND Gerry Conway's stint and into Archie Goodwin's stint. Edelman wrote the Bullpen Bulletins (except for Stan's Soapbox, of course, which continued to be written by Stan) during Wein and Wolfman's tenures, but I believe Conway and Goodwin wrote their own (at least at first for Goodwin. He might have dropped it after a while).

Anyhow, here they are, beginning in the books cover-dated April 1975 (the first eight scans are from Daredevil issues and then the rest are from Incredible Hulk issues)

Here is A...

Here is B...

Here is C...

Here is D...

Here is E...

Here is F...

They took a month off from the alphabet to celebrate Jack Kirby's return to Marvel!

They went back to the alphabet the next month.

Here is G...

Here is H...

Here is I...

Here is J...

Here is K...

Here is L...

Here is M...

Go to the next page for the rest of the alphabet!

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