Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to they’re e-mail questions to me at email@example.com).
This time around, the question is an indirect one, as it wasn’t asked specifically to me, but rather to the internet as a whole, but hey, that’s close enough.
First off, some context before we get into the question. In 1991, Marvel began doing an interesting thing on their Bullpen Bulletins pages. Dubbed the “Cool-o-Meter,” it was a list of then topical items that the folks in the Marvel Bullpen (presumably the editors of the era) found to be cool. The Cool-o-Meter also went all the way down to “uncool,” as well, so it could be an area where Marvel editors could take a valiant stand against such uncool things as “Ponytails on men,” “McLean Stevenson” (your guess is as good as mine as to why they were irked at the former MASH star, who died five years later), “bowling” and “bellybutton lint.”
I put together a collection of all of the Cool-o-Meters at the site a few years back. You can check it out here.
So anyhow, the other day, your friend and mine, CBR Managing Editor Albert Ching tweeted about the Cool-o-Meters, noting that “pop culture is so cyclical that nearly every Marvel Coolometer from the early ‘90s could run today with only a few changes.” He’s right that a lot of these things really do oddly apply today, like the one that promoted Squirrel Girl well before anyone else figured out how great that she was.
However, Albert also asked the Twitter universe about an item on the August 1991 Cool-o-Meter…
“wait what is “Mondo Marvel, the talk show”??”
It’s an excellent question. And when Albert Ching wants to know something, you can be damned sure that I am going to find out for him (it has nothing to do with Black Bolt, I just needed a featured image involving Marvel and a talk show).
I sort of guessed that maybe it was a local New York public access show. So I asked the expert on all things comics and TV related, Andy Mangels, and he told me the answer. Amusingly enough, the answer was in the PREVIOUS MONTH’S Bullpen Bulletins!
That issue debuted the Cool-o-Meter, so each of the items in the Bullpen Bulletins was about the “coolest” whatever (coolest movie, coolest comic, etc.).
And for Coolest Convention Event, we discovered that Mondo Marvel the Talk Show was a bit that Marvel was doing at comic book conventions in 1991, where Fabian Nicieza (then a Marvel editor) would host guests and talk comics…
That sounds like it would make for a really cool 2018 podcast, doesn’t it?
Thanks a lot to Andy Mangels for the answer (even though it didn’t even have anything to do with TV)!
Now, as noted, Albert didn’t technically ask me this question, but do not let that deter any of you good folks from asking me actual questions! If anyone else has a question about comic books that they’d like to know the answer to, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!