Action Comics #1000: A Milestone and an Exercise in Impulse Control

Comics, Treasures, Walt a Life

Big day in comicdom! Action Comics #1000 is out, the first comicbook in history to reach that number. It’s also the 80th anniversary (to the day) of Action #1, which introduced Superman to the world. “I’ll buy just ONE COPY of issue #1000,” I said this morning. “I WON’T buy the 9 variant cover editions, each representing a different decade. I WON’T!” One hour later…

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RIP Stan Lee. A memory of his generosity to me: in the form of a “No-Prize.”

Comics, Flashbacks, Musings, Treasures

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In 7th grade, I wrote a gushing fan letter to Stan Lee, which was subsequently published in Captain America #107, Nov., 1968 (pictured.) A thrill. 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.

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“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.