Back Issue #96 June 2017 (magazine review).

May 26, 2017 | By | Reply More

This issue of ‘Back Issue’ is devoted to the sixty issues of ‘Marvel Fanfare’. In his interview, Al ‘Editori-Al’ Milgrom explains how it came to be. Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter at the time explained to Milgrom that they advertising money wasn’t going to production so a direct distribution comic was possible without adverts, so they went for something different allowing higher rates and some experiments by having a direct sales glossy paper comicbook. Its final days were numbered when royalties came in and the other comicbooks were making more money. Even so, ‘Marvel Fanfare’ also has the distinction of having one editor throughout its entire run and was prepared to be different allowing new artists and different combinations of penciller and inker working together.

This particular ‘Back Issue’ has the most articles, 20 in fact, I’ve seen in any of the issues but there was so much ground to cover in characters used and the number of creators involved.

On completing reading, I realised I hadn’t picked out anything of particular interest. Not because there wasn’t, just so much and not to mention being a little punch-drunk with so much information.

Back in my day, ‘Marvel Fanfare’ got accused of being the slot for inventory material. Reading here, some of that is true. I was surprised by the amount of material commissioned elsewhere but not used or even completed sometimes. In that respect, they could have ended up being stashed away forever although you would have thought the likes of ‘Marvel Spotlight’ or ‘Marvel Premiere’ should have taken some of the slack. Getting it out there was important.

Nevertheless, Milgrom also commissioned as well and was quite prepared to take on interesting newcomers and different creator combinations, not to mention letting some loose on characters they want to tell stories about. I have to confess that it made continuity connections complicated but I read and still have all the issues so reading ‘Back Issue’ this time brought back a lot of happy memories.

Seeing some of the art again is also great and you have to love the cover of the Vision and Scarlet Witch. I hope editor Mike Eury considers doing this with other titles occasionally. Certainly, the likes of ‘Premiere’ and ‘Spotlight’ where characters were introduced would never be covered elsewhere.

In the meantime, if you want a dose of nostalgia, then pick up this edition.

GF Willmetts

May 2017

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated softcover. Price: $ 8.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 7.61 (US))

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Category: Illustration, Magazines, Superheroes

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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