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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

My Collection - MARVEL FANFARE [1982 Series]

Marvel Fanfare [1982 series]
60 issues [1982 - 1991]
1 - 60

This is the Al Milgrom edited book that was one of Marvel's intial forays into the direct market exclusive books, printed on much fancier paper than their regular books and with no ads. Lots of different characters and creators herein, as it often ran random portfolio pages of artists or inventory stories which no longer fit in anywhere else.

This is one of those books where I became a sort of compulsive collector by accident. I never picked up any issues new, but shortly after the book was cancelled I came across an of issue that Charles Vess drew, featuring the Warriors Three from Thor. Liked that a lot, and went looking for the other three chapters of the story. While looking for those I picked up a few others that looked good, including one with a Craig Russell cover (which as it happened also had a Vess back-up) and one of the Ken Steacy issues with Iron Man.

Then one day I came across a bunch in a quarter bin, including most of the first year of the book. Most of them looked like they had something of interest, if only a few pin-ups or a back-up story, certainly 25 cents worth, so I picked them up, and suddenly I had almost half the run of the book. Enough of what I had only had one chapter of a continued story, or a reference to another issue of interest, that more issues went on my list of books to look for, and in looking for them I found a few more issues that looked cool ("Hey, is that Dave Cockrum doing a blatant rip-off of the Blackhawks? I'm there!"). At some point I crossed over from wanting issues of high interest to wanting issues of any interest to deciding I might as well have a full run. It took a while, especially for some of the later issues, but eventually I had it and could stop looking at the MARVEL FANFARE section of any back-issue bin I saw.

After all that of course I'm keeping them for now. I suppose if ever pressed for space I could get rid of about half of them, but quite a few have at least a few pages I want to keep.

A few notables:

#34 - #37 - the Charles Vess story that started it all, a great mix of Kirby designs with Vess's other artistic influences and the mythological roots of the Asgardian stuff.
#16 - #17 - Cockrum and Wolfman doing Blackwolf... I mean, Skyhawk... wait, make that Sky-Wolf. Yeah, that's the ticket...
#51 - a full double-sized Englehart/Buscema version of a new Silver Surfer first issue that was scrapped in favour of the Englehart/Rogers version.
#59 - Richard Howell and Al Milgrom doing a spot-on pastiche of Simon&Kirby romance comics in a Hellcat story.

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