There was precious little material out there on the history of the company back then, and not much more on USA Marvel's history in the days before (the greatly missed) Comic Book Artist, Alter Ego and Back Issue et al. Repeated attempts to expand a sketched out skeleton chronology, well, repeatedly faltered. That was until I took a look back through a few boxes of old fanzines and comics magazines I'd hung on to, and discovered that I'd had some useful slivers of background material sitting there all the time. With this as a foundation, and with various comics folk spurring me on to delve deeper, I began writing to various US comics magazines, and started to receive replies from creators and editorial folk who'd previously worked on the UK comics on both sides of the Atlantic.
The growth of the internet, and the introduction of e-mail, greatly accelerated this, and I've been very fortunate to have spoken to a whole host of people right across the creative spectrum. The result of all this effort is that the history part of the book, which eventually settled with the title "From Cents to Pence!", now far exceeds the number of pages occupied by the indices that started the whole perishing thing off!
|A work in progress cover (2011)|
The icing on that cake came while doing some additional research (into a few specifics of elements that had surfaced through my conversations with Ray) when I stumbled across an on-line inventory for the Stan Lee archive at Wyoming University. It's an amazing treasure trove of material that I've only scratched for my immediate purposes, although I've just learnt that Danny Fingeroth (who also figures strongly in "From Cents to Pence!") has also made very good use of other parts of this archive for his own, recently published (by TwoMorrows), Marvel-ous book "The Stan Lee Universe".
Over the rest of this year I will be continuing to assemble, and then re-design, all the final material that I need to insert at the appropriate junctures in-between working on some of the other projects you will be reading all about on these pages. In the meantime, Back Issue will be running a little something from the book early next year :)
It's going to be a hectic, but very enjoyable, year ahead!
I'll try to keep you updated whenever there's something a little more concrete that I can tell you.
Nuff said for now :)