Hey, I'm back with more goodies from Fort Knox (don't I wish!!). Speaking of investing in this hobby we love, I guess I turned that corner after two events. The first was the marketing travesty that was the 1990's, what with all of the multiple covers, foil covers, bagged comics, events, crossovers, blah, blah, blah. After initially being sucked into that mania, I figured it out pretty quickly that nothing from that era would a) stand up, and b) be worth much to the next couple of generations. The second event that made me more of a "possessor" than a "collector" was the completion of my complete run of Avengers (a future topic for this column). At the same time I was zeroing in on the last couple of dozen issues that I needed, a good friend of mine -- you may know of him: Don Kramer, noted DC Comics artist -- was attempting to complete a run of the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Fantastic Four. Don was very picky about the books he'd buy -- he was not only wanting the run, but also to have it in pretty good condition. I'll discuss my strategy at a later date... Let's just say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
On to this post's "stuff":
A couple of weeks ago I gave you a peek at some of the Slurpee cups in my collection. This time 'round I want to show off a few more (I have others that you haven't seen yet, including the very-much desired X-Men cup with Dave Cockrum -- the first licensed Wolverine image! Unfortunately, I used it for beverage consumption, washing it regularly. Consequently most of the silkscreen has worn off. Doh!!).
I was a very hit-and-miss collector of these cups when they were available at retail. While we didn't have a 7-Eleven in my hometown, my sister and I spent a week each summer at my aunt's and uncle's in St. Charles, IL (I mentioned this in an earlier post). They had a 7-Eleven right down the block. What I most remember is cutting a deal with the manager at the store to sell me these wonderful cups, but without the Slurpee - hey, a 10-year old can only take so much brain freeze in a week's time! I should add that I didn't get any break on the price, even sans the icy concoction. I ended up with maybe a dozen of the cups for the first series, and another 12-15 the next summer. Just great fun! It used to irritate me, though, when on the way to the store I'd see a cup, inevitably showcasing a character I'd not yet collected, smashed on the sidewalk by some obviously less-sophisticated miscreant. Years later, as an adult, I came across glasses that contained the same artwork as the '77 cups - I believe there were five in the set, although I can't verify that. I have three of those glasses in my collection, as you can see from the photos.
For some great details on the cups, their artwork, the backstory to how the artwork was chosen for the cups (and sometimes even modified), and a checklist (including the issue/page number for the cups' artwork), please see Back Issue #34, available from TwoMorrows Publishing. You can get a hard copy or a digital edition here:
Here's an interesting nugget from the article (finely written by Lex Carson): The characters on the cups had to be good representatives of Marvel (and this speaks to some of the artists' work that was chosen/not chosen), and could not be fearsome -- in fact, some of the art that was altered involved changing grim expressions to smiles!
Glassnews.com reports that there are four major sets: a 1973 DC comics set (which includes a very sexy Lois Lane and some killer Dave Cockrum art on the Legion cups!), two 1975 Marvel comics sets, and a 1977 Marvel comics set. The 1973 and 1975 sets have a still picture of each character on the front, often with the logo from their comic book. On the back of each cup is a summary of the character’s origin, powers, and supporting characters -- the Black Bolt cup shows him thinking, not speaking (a fine touch slanted toward the true Marvel aficionado). One of the 1975 sets is taller than the other. As far as the glasses go, I can never seem to find too much information about them. However, when researching for this post, I did come across the FF and Cap/Falc glasses for sale (although noted as "backordered") -- you can check it out here: http://www.superherostuff.com/OtherItems/GlassesMugs/images/captglass77.html
Leave a comment -- do you have these? How about the tall glasses that were available (locally for me, at least) at Hardee's -- they showcased DC characters. I have a Wonder Woman glass, but bought it years later at a flea market. I'm sure many of our readers have more recent collectibles like these -- cups from the Batman franchise of the late 80's-early 90's, the X-Men cups that were available at Pizza Hut about the time Jim Lee was drawing the series, etc. Let us know!!
Karen here. Doug has asked me to share some of my Slurpee cup memories as well. I don't actually have my cups any more, but at one time I had a pretty fair amount. When the DC cups came out, we didn't have a 7-Eleven near us, but my grandparents did. So we got Slurpees when we went to see them, and I think that was my introduction to the Legion! I recall having the Cosmic Boy cup, and wondering why he wore pink! By the time the Marvel cups were out, we had a 7-Eleven about 3/4 of a mile from our house, and we went there frequently ( it was also right next to Taco Bell!). So I had a lot of the Marvel cups. My big mistake was putting them in my windowsill; they faded quickly that summer! They're all gone now, except for the Warlock one I got at the San Diego Con last year. They wanted $15 for it but I managed to talk them down to $10. That cup is in beautiful shape. I do still have 3 DC glasses that were from a promotion at Taco Bell - Batman, Robin, and Aquaman. A friend broke Superman a few years ago and I think I broke Wonder Woman. Of course they are all terribly faded - we put them in the dishwasher! What did we know back then?