Enough! I have sat idle too long! I have watched the MMMS turn into disorganized chaos. (And that's the worst kind!) As a solution, I suggest we have some officers. By buying his first Marvel mag, a fan is automatically entitled to the rank of RFO (Real Frantic One). His first published letter elevates him to QNS (quite 'Nuff Sayer). A no-prize raises him to TB (true Believer). Each additional no-prize raises one level: From JHC (Junior Howling Commando) to AAT (Associate Assistant Thing) and finally to the penultimate, the utmost status a fan can attain: MM (Marvelite Maximus)!Although the Bullpen's response was positive, this letter published in the November 1967 Bullpen Page shows not everyone in Marveldom agreed with young Evanier's idea:
Naturally, the artists all have the rank of DDD (Definitely Dizzy Doodlers), the editorial assistants are IPR (Illiterate Proof Readers), art associates are VOD (Victims of Doodlers), the letterers are IWP (Indefatigable Word Placers), and Stan himself is at the summit - MEO (Marvel's Earthbound Odin). Each person would use his title at the start of his name - as I've done."
Let's get something straight. You are not MEO (Marvel's Earthbound Odin); your artists are not DDD's (Definitely Dizzy Doodlers); and your letterers are letterers, not IWP's (Indefatigable Word Placers) and so on. Get the message? If you follow up the idea of having to get letters printed, and of winning no-prizes in order to gain Ultimate Status, you'll get more bone-head letters than you know what to do with.
When a fan sends a letter, it's to verify or correct what you've done. If it gets printed, fine! If it wins a no-prize, fine! But if people write just to get their letters printed or to win no-prizes, the letters pages will start losing dignity. Finally, I though all loyal Marvelites had achieved ultimate status in the eyes of the Bullpen long ago. Do we have to add an atmosphere of cheap, commercial competitiveness to the Marvel comics group?"
Despite Rancorous Rob's objections, Marvel adopted Evanier's proposal and introduced the first rank in the next month's Bullpen Page. Real Frantic One was followed by Quite 'Nuff Sayer, Titanic True Believer, Keeper of the Flame, Permanent Marvelite Maximus, and Fearless Front Facer, cementing Marvel's rep as a company that cared and listened to its fans.
Mark Evanier went on to considerable success in both comics and television and Robert Lax was never heard from again... unless he was this Robert Lax. Regardless, his snarky spirit lives on in the cranky comments of killjoys and flame-artists all over the internet.