June 1968

"'Who SAYS this isn't the Second Golden Age of Marvel!'"

From Fantastic Four, Vol. 1, No. 75

May 1968

"[T]ill we meet again - let's be good to each other. There's gotta be SOME hope for a race that keeps reaching for the stars!"

From Fantastic Four, Vol. 1, No. 74

Real Frantic Ones, Titanic True Believers, and Quite 'Nuff Sayers, Oh My!

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)!
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."
RFO Mark Evanier
[July 1967]
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:

"Dear Stan,
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?"
Robert Lax

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.

April 1968

"Anyway, when you're on top of the heap, it doesn't seem right to rib the other guy who hasn't quite made it - and that's why the only time we'll use the phrase Brand Echh from now on is in the title of our own goofy gag mag!
So, to the artists, writers, and editors of the other companies in this batty business in which we toil, many of whom are close personal friends of ours - we hereby end the fatuous little feud we've been flaunting before the public."

From Amazing Spider-Man, Vol.1, No. 59

March 1968

"This notice is not intended as an endorsement on our part of any specific policy regarding the war.
We simply feel that many American boys have been sent into battle far from home - and anything we can do to make 'em feel they're not forgotten is surely a worthwhile deep which transcends mere politics.

'Nuff said?"

From Amazing Spider-Man, Vol. 1, No. 58

Starring Reed Richards! Ben Grimm! Johnny Storm! Sue Storm! And Spider-Man!

Only another few months till Marvel makes the network! Starting in September, the FF and Spidey will be presented border-to-border and coast-to-coast by the American Broadcasting Company! Our fascinatin' foursome will be produced by Hanna-Barbera, while your favorite web-slinger will be filmed at the Universal City studios of Grantray-Lawrence - with both half-hour shows being in full animation and glowing color!
-Bullpen Bulletin, August 1967

Click on the images above to browse YouTube playlists of episodes of Fantastic Four and Spider-Man.

Making their debut on September 9, 1967, the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man cartoon series carried on the tradition of faithful adaptations and great voice work begun by 1966's Marvel Superheroes cartoon, but with improved animation courtesy of such talents as the late Alex Toth and Ralph Bakshi.

Although the Fantastic Four series ran for only twenty episodes, Spider-Man continued for three seasons, in time becoming just as much, if not more, of a cultural touchstone as the comic series that inspired it. For more great Spider-Man info, check out Wallopin' Websnappers, a fun Flash-based site narrated by Spidey himself, Paul Soles (Who also provided vox for Hermie the Misfit Elf!) which takes a look at the actors who lent their voices to the cartoon's cast of characters, and WFMU's Beware the Blog's article on the show's timeless music and its production history.

February 1968

"Now then, we've often been asked how we at Marvel actually feel about having to submit out masterful yarns to an outside agency for approval. Our answer is, we're delighted to do it.
After all, the Comics Code Authority and your batty Bullpen share the same overall objectives..."

From Fantastic Four, Vol. 1, No. 71

January 1968

"And by the way, even if you don't live in the continental United States, write to your local TV station anyway, asking when Spidey and the FF will be seen in your area. (If you live in Red China, think how that'll shake 'em up!)"

From Fantastic Four, Vol. 1, No. 70

December 1967

"All of Marveldom assembled sends best wishes to Jolly Jack and Roz Kirby on their 25th wedding anniversary!
We're beginnin' to suspect that these two have a good thing going!"

From Fantastic Four, Vol. 1, No. 69