Monday, June 13, 2011

The Merry Marvel Marching Society

I found these the other day.

Thanks to my charmingly pack-ratty mother, my Merry Marvel Marching Society membership kits survived the ages. That's her writing on the envelope of the first membership kit.

The first time I signed up for the M.M.M.S. was in 1964, at the age of 12. Later Marvel offered a second membership kit. Had to have it. That would have been in 1966 or 1967. Anybody know for sure when the second kit was offered? Anyway, by that time I was a regular writer for DC.

So, I was an M.M.M.S. member in good standing while working for Mort, which posed a grave danger....

Secret Marvels/Marvel's Secret

 

 M.M.M.S. Kit #1
 

M.M.M.S. Kit #2

13 comments:

Vinnie Bartilucci said...

One brief search later, the MMMS theme song -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pB_v5w9NwUU

And the recording of The Voices Of Marvel -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y26EmSDHXh4&feature=related

Dave M! said...

Jim,

To complete this experience, A stumbled on a YouTube presentation of the MMMS theme song:

http://www.youtube.com/user/comicbookart#p/c/828825189034BC95/1/y26EmSDHXh4

David Marshall, Comics/Art/Web Guy
Cartoonist
Comics Teacher

José Joaquín Rodríguez said...

Hahahaha, that stuff is great! DC had something like that?

Roberto Guedes said...

MAKE MINE MARVEL! :)

Marc Miyake said...

Dear Jim,

I was wondering if you had dared to get an MMMS kit while working for DC. Now I know!

The condition of the items is amazing. Like brand new! Much better than my Archie fan club kit from only 31 years ago.

The biggest surprise was the list of unavailable back issues. I didn't know Marvel used to sell them.

Purple ink! Haven't seen a ditto sheet in decades.

These kits exemplify the fun that's gone from comics now.

Gannon said...

The dialogue between the Hulk and Dr. Doom had me in stitches. How could you NOT join if given the chance?

JBTheo said...

To Marc: I agree that most of the silly fun is gone from modern (DC/MARVEL) comics. I miss the subscription pages with the Hulk wearing slippers in front of a fireplace drinking tea or Spider-Man talking to you telling you the lastest subscription deals. Simply, the big companies don't make mainstream comics for kids anymore, so they have to be all serious and intense and violent and use curse words because that is what adults like. Sigh. I personally wouldn't even let my children read most Marvel or DC comics anyway, because they are far too graphically violent (DC's Blackest Night comes to mind). It's sad. At least Marvel has a line of comics aimed at children (I think they still do, anyway). I don't know if DC does, but I think they do publish a Teen Titans book aimed at kids. The better comic book stores will have kid friendly sections.

The REALLY sad thing is that I think, in general, people still regard comics as childish and only for children or young teenagers. How backwards.

HemlockMan said...

I ordered that kit when I was eight years old (1965 or so). As a southern kid, I'll never forget being totally horrified by the accents of the guys in the Marvel Bullpen! What the heck? My mom, who was born and raised in Manhattan--but who'd largely lost her New York accent--was amused by my reaction.

kintounkal said...

JBTHeo,

Johnny DC titles are intended for younger readers so that currently includes Tiny Titans, The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold + Young Justice. The latter 2 ongoing series are based on animated TV series while Tiny Titans is just meant to be silly and charming.

It's not quite accurate to say Marvel has a line of comics aimed at children at the moment. Marvel Adventures has been replaced with Spider-Man (written by Paul Tobin), Super Heroes (which is deleveloping a pattern of reprinting old Marvel Age or Marvel Adventures material), and Marvel Super Stars magazine (collecting newer stuff like Uncanny X-Men: First Class + Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers).

Slentz said...

Comics are not aimed at kids because that's typically not who's reading them. Comic book readers are getting older and older every year.

My friends kid loves comics. He is 5 years old and every week I bring him a comic. He loves the Batman: The Brave and the Bold series and I recently picked him up a bunch of Marvel Adventures back issues. Hopefully his love comics will carry on with him as he gets older. There is a lot of competition out there for kids time and money. Comics just don't have the appeal they once had. Digital comics might change that (hopefully).

In short, comics are more mature because so is the audience.

OM said...

...One of the reasons I've heard noted for the "lack of fun" associated with Marvel where "fan clubs" are concerned was the fiasco/scam associated with Marvelmania International and the reported combination of fan backlash and failure to deliver associated with FOOM. The story of the former can be found by searching Mark Evanier's blog archives - fairly concise, even if he won't name the bastard who pulled the scams so others could be spared being similarly scammed if possible - while the latter I've only heard bits and snippets of from then-Marvel creators and editors like Dave Cockrum and Mike Carlin. Apparently the problems associated with both "fan club" attempts, as well as DC's failure in trying to restart the Supermen of America club about the same time FOOM came about, prompted Marvel's owners to issue a policy of "no more fan club attempts" that apparently has continued over three decades after Cadence was over and done with.

Jim, you arrived at Marvel on the tail end of FOOM. Were you familiar enough with the situation to comment?

jimshooter said...

Look for my next "Corruption" post.

OM said...

...I've got your blog bookmarked and flagged for daily update alerts now. Looking forward to that next "Corruption" post indeed!