A Brief Tribute to Stan Lee and a Story About my “No-Prize.”

Comics, Flashbacks, Letters to Editors, Treasures, Walt a Life

waltjaschek-holding-noprize

In 7th grade, I wrote a gushing fan letter to Stan Lee. The letter was subsequently published in its entirety in Captain America #107, November, 1968. A thrill. Here’s the cover, by Jack Kirby (another hero:)

captainamerica107

But it got better. Stan deemed the letter worthy of a “No-Prize,” his inside-joke “award” for fans – an envelope with literally nothing inside. So when, a few weeks later, said envelope from Marvel arrived, my 12-year-old head hit the ceiling.

This is my way of saying… RIP Stan, entertainer extraordinaire, wizard of words and worlds, and an outsized influence on many, including me. I’m so happy you lived long enough to see your co-creations explode into every corner of pop culture. Thanks for the ride.

And thanks also for this little envelope: no prize I’ve gotten since surpasses.

noprize

“Congratulations,” it says. “This envelope contains a genuine Marvel Comics No-Prize which you have just won. Handle with Care.” I did, through the decades. That’s a pic I shot recently. The outer envelope (from 625 Madison Avenue, New York, 10022) has yellowed. The No-Prize itself… is mint. 

My letter to the editor in Daredevil #69 (1970)

Comics, Flashbacks, Letters to Editors

October, 1970. I open Daredevil #69, Marvel Comics.

daredevil69-cover

I flip to the letters column. And there I am, in all my 9th-grade fanboy glory.

waltjaschek-letter-dd

That’s Roy Thomas answering, I believe, and I’ve always appreciated his  graciousness at my fan-fueled enthusiasms, in this letter and others. I think Roy was used to guys like me.

And to address one of his comments: yes, I do have MMMS stationary.

My Letter in TV Guide, May 9-15, 1987

Flashbacks, Letters to Editors, Walt a Life

NO TALKING AT THE PICTURES!

Yeah, okay, I’ll buy James Morrow’s premise that people should watch TV “noisily and together,” [The Best Way to Watch TV? Noisily and Together,” April 11]. But there’s a dangerous side effect to such behavior: the compulsion to converse loudly in movie theatres. We at HUSH (Help Us Silence Half-wits) submit that the social dynamic of the living room is too often transferred to the cinema, where boorish cretins babble with no regard for those around them. Sure, discourse should be nurtured at home. But so should manners.

Walter S. Jaschek
St. Louis

tvguide-cover-72dpi

tvguide-letterspage

Walt Jaschek writes about stuff that matters. To him.