The Comic Reader #11 (July 26th, 1962).

§ September 11th, 2020 § Filed under fanzines, from the vast Mikester comic archives § 7 Comments

This is the earliest example of The Comic Reader fanzine that I own, three mimeographed pages stapled together, two of them printed both sides. Included is an extended review by Roy Thomas of ACG’s Magic Agent.

The front page is made up of current news items, most notably the following:

“SPIDERMAN [sic] — This hero will be missing from a few issues of AMAZING, but if this trail [sic] run in this mag is a success, then expect him back as the star of — (title as yet uncertain).”

Initially it took me a second to parse out that “AMAZING” as Amazing Fantasy…according to the Grand Comics Database, #15 came out in early June, which means this ‘zine was released as Spider-Man’s debut appearance was only about two monthss old. This news about a test run in Amazing Fantasy didn’t pan out, as that was the last issue of the series (and if I remember my Origins of Marvel Comics correctly, Stan Lee said, for what it’s worth, Spider-Man only made it into the comic because it was the last issue. “Ah, throw that weird character into the book, not like it’s gonna hurt sales.”

Regardless of whatever mess I’m making with my recollection of comics publishing history, it’s still pretty neat to be holding this artifact talking about Spider-Man when the character was literally brand new.

I picked this ‘zine up from eBay about a couple of decades back. paying $30 for the item. “$10 a page!” I’d say when I would discuss this with folks who pretended to be interested. Of note: at the time I had a mutual acquaintance with the sadly now-deceased Jerry Bails, the very man who had assembled and distributed this very ‘zine back in ’62. Said acquaintance informed Mr. Bails of my purchase of this copy of The Comic Reader #11, and the price I paid for it. It was reported back to me that Mr. Bails was, quote, “bemused.” …That’s probably the correct response.

7 Responses to “The Comic Reader #11 (July 26th, 1962).”

  • Tim says:

    That is an absolutely amazing (heh) historical artifact.

    ‘Trying to make Hawkman a thing’ has a lineage that can be traced back to the dawn of time, apparently.

  • D.D.Degg says:

    Despite what Stan said, this adds to the very plausible theory that Spider-Man was intended as a featurette in Amazing Fantasy, like Thor in JIM. The first 2 issues of Amazing Spider-Man consist of 2 short stories each, then go book-length with #3.

  • Two thoughts, Mike:

    I had the run of TCR from the Street era, like 100-something to its demise. Donated them to U of Michigan library 20 years ago.

    And wanted to share this, just on the topic of “stuff at the very start” (although I didn’t get to touch the artifact):

    http://heisathark.blogspot.com/2014/07/rumination-and-query.html

  • Scott Rowland says:

    I remember you telling me about this at some point when I asked if you had any old Comic Readers for sale and you told me that I would be competing with you for them!

  • S says:

    This had never occurred to me before – but is the reason they called the comic “AMAZING” SPIDER-MAN to try to show to readers that it was a continuation of “AMAZING” FANTASY?

  • Andrew says:

    Very cool!

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Stan Lee said, for what it’s worth, Spider-Man only made it into the comic because it was the last issue”

    AMAZING! If true, that means one of their greatest characters- and greatest moneymakers- almost didn’t get published!

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