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Kirby Speaks!

It’s been twenty years this week since the passing of the great Jack Kirby so it is only fitting that this week’s FOOM Friday looks at FOOM #11, which celebrated Kirby’s 1975 return to Marvel Comics.

FOOM #11 -- Jack's Back!

Central to this issue was a four-page interview with Jack Kirby, and while it is thin on details of the books Jack was doing for Marvel at the time, it does contain a remarkable digression about the nature of man, god, and superheroes:

“What happened; what’s happening; what’s going to happen. Those are the essential questions for anybody, and that’s why we create gods, create myths … And I feel that the gods are only idealized versions of ourselves … We already are super-heroes. When we prove ourselves, at the last analysis, whatever we see around us is us … You’ll find out in the end, when everything gets wiped away and you’re left standing in your underwear, all that’s left is you … And you’re all there is. So when we yearn for gods, we’re merely expressing that kind of feeling … ‘I’m all there is; you’re all there is.”

Read the entire interview, below … and be sure to check out my reviews of Kirby’s mid-70s Marvel work:

Captain America

Black Panther

The Eternals





Kirby is gone, now, and those mysteries he pondered in this article have long since been revealed to him. As was so often the case during his career, Kirby is out in front of the rest of us — again!

We miss you, Jack! Rest in peace.



Voice of the X-Men!

This week, F.O.O.M. Friday looks at F.O.O.M. #10, which featured the (then) all-new Uncanny X-Men!

F.O.O.M. #10

The issue is actually pretty thin when it comes to the new X-Men, but a long-winded article about an FBI agent investigating the mutant phenomenon did turn up some interesting trivia by cribbing from what may have been Stan Lee’s original X-Men character descriptions from the 1960s. I don’t know if Stan was thinking about animation, or if he was just being thorough, but the character descriptions reference contemporary 1960s actors for the voices of the X-Men.

For example, did you know that Cyclops was supposed to have the voice of Anthony Perkins? According to F.O.O.M. #10, it’s true!

Anthony Perkins IS Cyclops!

Hmm. Relationship issues, can be charming or a jerk … I guess it fits. And now we know that when they call Scott, “Cyke,” it’s really short for “Psycho!”

Charles Xavier had the voice of Leslie Howard (“without English accent”); the Angel was to sound like a young Gene Barry; and the fastidious Beast had the voice of the equally-fastidious Tony Randall!

Felix Unger is The Beast!

That may or may not fit, but at least the Beast got a voice. Iceman and Marvel Girl were identified only as typical teenagers. Poor Jean was also described as falling “… madly in love at the drop of a hat. Presently has a crush on Professor X, Cyclops, Angel, and Lord-knows-who-else.”

Since Marvel Girl is listed as age 17 1/2 while Professor X was “Thirty-ish” that’s kind of … eww. Maybe Stan the Man was still getting over Stanley Kubrick’s 1962 film, Lolita?

Iron Sis!

Courtesy of F.O.O.M. #9!

Iron Sis!

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

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!

Welcome To The Wonderful World Of Cosmics

This week’s F.O.O.M. Friday rockets ahead to F.O.O.M. #9, with a Jim Starlin cover and a subject focus that blew my twelve-year-old mind back in 1974.

F.O.O.M. #9 cover by Jim Starlin

I liked Silver Surfer and (especially) Captain Marvel before receiving this issue of Marvel’s in-house fan magazine, but it was the first time I thought of these characters as belonging to a specific genre.

The mag even coined a term for this new comics genre with a clever bit of wordplay:

Welcome To The Wonderful World Of Cosmics

I loved thinking of these stories as “cosmics,” rather than “comics” — it made the stories seem so much bigger, and more consequential. This clever bit of branding helped bind me to Marvel’s cosmic heroes for decades to come … and it is an obsession that continues to this day, as one look at this list of the many “cosmic” subjects I’ve tackled here at Longbox Graveyard will attest!

The articles in this particular issue of F.O.O.M. weren’t especially memorable, but that cover is as fresh today as when I plucked it from my mailbox almost forty years ago. Yeesh! I’m getting as old as The Watcher!

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

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