Friday, February 11, 2011

FOOM Fridays: FOOM #6

FOOM # 6 (Summer 1974)

Karen: This issue of FOOM was the first of a two-part look at the Avengers, Earth's Mightiest (and at that time, finite) Heroes. The cover is an amusing shot of the faithful butler Jarvis, surrounded by his work. Jarvis is also the subject of an interview, where he reminisces about the early days of the team. It's pretty amusing stuff, as we get Jarvis' view of the first meeting of the Avengers. Of course he is "awestruck" by Thor, and passes out when the Hulk enters the room! Jarvis goes on about the coming of Captain America, and the Kooky Quartet. It's striking how much thought was put into this article; the comments about Cap and how lonely his life was in the early days were really well-done. There's no author credited so I'm not sure who to heap praise on. This feature was graced by some absolutely beautiful Dave Cockrum art. Again, I can't express how much I wish he had been a regular artist on the title. His work here is perfect -and I believe some of these images were used for other purposes, maybe even on some of the Slurpee cups.

There's a one-page biography of then-Avengers writer Steve Englehart. I'm sure most of you have already heard the details of his life elsewhere, so I won't repeat them here. I did smile when I read this quote from him: "I've been kind of feeling my way with the series for a while now and I'm still not quite as happy with it as the fans are. I've been trying to do it as Roy would, but it's going to change a little. It's going to be sort of strange in the future." He wasn't kidding!

The Department of Infoomation leads off with the big news that Spider-Man will be joining the Electric Company on television. Do you remember those segments? Of course, this was also the beginning of Spidey Super Stories, the tie-in comics for younger readers. The House of Ideas also announced the advent of Marvel Calendar, and the coming of the momentous Stan Lee book, Origins of Marvel Comics. I'm pretty sure I got both of those items for Christmas that year!

More non-comics news: Aurora Models would be releasing a Captain America model kit! The Hulk and Spidey kits did so well, Cap got the thumbs up. So what character would be next? Well, Marvel asked the members of FOOM: who do you want to see for the next model? Now, I'm certainly no expert on this (although I did have the Hulk and Spidey kits), but I don't recall another Marvel kit being made. Any of you model fans out there, please pipe up if you have any more info.
In magazine news, Marvel announced the launch of a new science fiction magazine called Worlds Unknown - although the final title that reached the newsstand was Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction. Iron Fist, another kung fu magazine was also announced, but I don't recall ever hearing of that one, just the Iron Fist comic. Was there such a mag?

Marvel welcomed new talent such as Chris Claremont ("assistant editor and a fine scripter in his own right"), Bob McLeod, Bill Mantlo, Roger Slifer, and Ron Wilson.

The rest of the news is fairly mundane listings of what's coming up in the multitude of titles being put out. The variety of material is one of the things I loved about the 70s! Super-heroes, monsters, barbarians, sci fi...something for everyone.

There's a two-page article written by Roy Thomas on "the Man-Gods from Beyond the Stars," the feature story of the first issue of Marvel Preview magazine. Thomas pretty much admits that the concept was to capitalize on the Erich Von Daniken Chariots of the Gods craze. He credits this idea to Stan Lee. I never read this but it seems to me the concept was played out already. Of course, when Kirby returned to Marvel a few years later he would revive it in The Eternals.

The ish closes out with letters, and a photo from FOOMer Patrick Robinson of Thunder Bay, Ontario, standing in his bedroom where he and his brothers painted an enormous, ceiling-spanning portrait of the Green Goblin! They really must have dug the Goblin. The back cover features an odd drawing of Tigra -perhaps by Ed Hannigan? The initials "EJH" are visible. Youngsters will not understand the "Put a Tigra in your tank" phrase -but oldsters like me recall the Exxon (or Esso, depending on where you lived) gas commercials.


david_b said...

This was probably my fav out of the 4-5 FOOM issues I had originally received.

I'd like to think Jarvis's comments were done by Steve Englehart myself, but 'course we could easily ask 'im; I've gotten replies from Steve via email a few years back when I thanked him for his excellent CA&F work in '73.

Edo Bosnar said...

Great post. Never having had a subscription, I can see I really missed out on alot by not having Foom.
And sorry to sidetrack, but you reminded me of Slurpee cups: I had a few of those (none with any of those Cockrum images), and the one that sticks in my memory the most featured the black-tights-and-vest-wearing Namor. As I recall, those things were pretty durable, too - they floated around our household being variously used, i.e. as pencil cups & whatnot, until my late teens.

Doug said...

Edo --

I don't know if you ever saw this, as it may have been posted before you became one of our stalwarts. Check it out -- Karen's got some Slurpee Cup knowledge as well!


Edo Bosnar said...

Thanks for the link, Doug. Yes, I think that was posted before I discovered your blog. Great 7-11 memories - I recall once asking if I could just buy the cups without the Slurpees, but the clerk wouldn't let me.
And sorry for the digression, Karen...

Simon B ( formerly cerebus660 ) said...

One of my fave FOOMs too! Great articles, awesome artwork and a very slinky Tigra on the back cover!

The Iron Fist magazine was never published ( I think its cancellation was mentioned on a Bullpen Bulletins page )but the already-produced stories were eventually published in Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu. I'm pretty sure Chris Claremont and Rudy Nebres were the creative team.

The Man-Gods story may not have been too original but it had some wonderfully weird artwork by the unique Alex Nino.

Karen said...

I've looked around the web a bit and can confirm that the Quicksilver pic was used for a cup. Also, the Hawkeye cup featured a pic from the next issue of FOOM, also drawn by Cockrum.

I had quite a few of these as a kid, but made the mistake of putting them along my windowsill. The plastic got aged quickly by the sun, and the cups faded and became brittle!


giantsizegeek said...

This issue of FOOM was memorable to me for all the items you mentioned. I was really digging Englehart's Avengers at this point. Dave Cockrum's pinups were amazing and he was one of my favorite artists. I also longed for him to draw the regular Avengers title.

Good stuff about the Slurpee cups, too. I only have one, a Dr. Strange cup.

spencer said...

Great look back. Fond memories of the run of foom that I had, this was one of them. I think you got a 4-issue subscription. It does make one long for the much less complicated days of Marvel!

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