The 1974 Irving Awards

This week’s F.O.O.M. Friday is the “Irving Awards” ballot from F.O.O.M. #9 that I carefully filled out … but apparently never sent in!

The 1974 Irving Awards

This earnestly-filled-out ballot is like a time capsule for me!

First of all, my penmanship wasn’t half-bad for a twelve-year old … and I was confident enough to do the ballot in pen!

Second, that return address was for my grandmother’s house, which meant my family and I were between addresses when I subscribed to F.O.O.M. — likely still at the Hollywood, CA address where I experienced the first blush of my personal Golden Age.

Third, I really liked Thor! My nominee for “Favorite Marvel Color Story” was Thor #227, the first issue of that series I ever saw:

my first Thor

I have no clue why I nominated Thor #153 as my favorite cover — I must have been confused, as I’ve never laid eyes on that issue! And I was likewise confused about many of the creative roles called out for making comics, having no favorite Penciller (neglecting to understand that Penciller = Artist), and, I am sure, just picking the names of Inkers, Letterers, and even Writers at random!

A bit more care went into my character selections. It would have been cool to pair Firelord with the Human Torch in Marvel Team-Up (and there’s another Thor #227 connection, as Firelord figured in that story). Likewise, the Vision was definitely the guy-most-deserving of his own book in 1974, and a Hawkeye/Spider-Man partnership still sounds like fun to me!

Finally, even though I wasn’t a Spider-Man fan, and even though I’d never read a story about him, so great was my love of dinosaurs that I nominated “The Lizzard” as my favorite Marvel villain. It’s possible I’d encountered the character in a Ditko reprint some time in 1974, but chances are better I was thinking of this guy:


See you next week for another F.O.O.M. Friday!


About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published every now and then at!

Posted on January 3, 2014, in FOOM Friday! and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Firelord and Torch is a “anything you can do I can do better” story waiting to happen.


  2. Lizzard Rokks!! Hey, even though you claim to have never seen the menace of machismo from FF #153, ‘favorite marvel covers’ has a top ten sound to it!


  3. The idea that their 9-year-old customers could distinguish between pencils, inks, colorist, and letterer is endearing. And to be fair (to you), Hercules is a pretty awesome guest star!


  4. Not sure why I soured on Hercules. It might be because he violates Blake Snyder’s “Double Mumbo Jumbo” rule from Save The Cat — a rule that says you should only require one outrageous leap of faith from the audience in any given movie. So, for example, your movie might have vampires, or it might have UFOs, but don’t have vampires land in UFOs and bite people to turn them into undead aliens!

    This is a ridiculous concept to apply to comic books, where every goofy thing under the sun is happening at the same time … but for me, I suppose, it made the mythological-but-made-real Thor seem less interesting and special to team him with an equally mythological-but-made-real Hercules.

    Such are my strange geek predilections.

    (But I must have liked Hercules plenty in Thor #227 to put him on my ballot! I blame being a kid who didn’t know any better, as opposed to the much wiser fifty-something I am now, who oh-so-sagely opines on all things comics here at Longbox Graveyard!)


  5. The cosmology / theology of the Marvel U is an interesting topic. Thor & Hercules from different pantheons, but also Mephisto, etc …


    • And of course like most things at Marvel, it is an accidental theology, resulting from hundreds (thousands?) of creators throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks … so I don’t expect a lot of consistency here, and my peculiar reaction to seeing Thor and Hercules together is entirely my own hang-up.

      It is fun to go back to the original books and look at the early appearances of these characters without the weight of rationalization and continuity. For example, Mephisto was pretty clearly supposed to be the devil, but Stan Lee wouldn’t call him such, for whatever reason. It has only been in the decades that followed that editors, writers, and fans have tied themselves in knots trying to explain the character.


Leave a Reply to Professor Alan Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: