Staff Picks (January 13): The Secret History of Marvel Comics


Publisher: Fantagraphics Books

In the days before Marvel Comics was its own company, they were part of Cadence and Magazine Management, publishers of "men’s" magazines that were the Cinemax after Dark of their day and scandal magazines that would do TMZ and Jerry Springer proud. In Fantagraphics Books’ The Secret History of Marvel Comics we see the House of Ideas at its foundation. Martin Goodman started in the pulp era with titles like Marvel Super Science and Marvel Tales with artists such as Jack Kirby. Then there were the men’s magazines featuring covers with women as scantily clad as they could get away with at that time.

An artist could come into New York looking for a comic book script but could end up illustrating scenes of torture in POW camps for one of Goodman’s other publications. Artists well known to comic book fans today such as Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Bill Everett, king of the fold-in’s Al Jaffee, Standard/Nedor cover artist Alex Shomburg, and top Archie artist Dan DeCarlo illustrated these works. The men’s magazines and pulp covers gave extra exposure to the talents of artist like Frank R. Paul, Hans Wesso, and Mars Attacks artist Norman Saunders. Those publications also featured writers like Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, and L. Ron Hubbard.

In The Secret History of Marvel Comics: Jack Kirby and the Moonlighting Artists at Martin Goodman's Empire you will find rare pieces of comic art, pulp and magazine history that is part of Marvel Comics’ unseen history.

~Steve Leaf

Item Code: JAN131165
Stores: 03/27/13

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