Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy Birthday, Spiderman!

On August 1, 1962 the comic-book called ADULT FANTASY #15 went on sale. It was its last issue, an anthology book that just hadn't caught on. No matter how much Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and other talents tried to make their stories interestingly similar to "Twilight Zone" or "Tales of the Unexpected," the title just wasn't selling. Issue #15 would be its last.

So Stan Lee decided to publish a story of a superhero character who, he was continually told,  wasn't worth much, anyway. He had thought of kind of an "anti-hero" character and wanted to use him. His  publisher didn't think he was commercial enough. Certainly Steve Ditko drew him as kind of creepy-looking in his mask and gangly and unattractive out of it. Stan Lee liked it, though. He didn't want another Jack Kirby "HERO." He wanted something different . He figured they had nothing to lose.

Turns out they had everything to gain. That comic presented Spider-Man to the world. When sales on that issue came in several months later, Marvel was shocked that it had sold so well. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 went on sale in March, 1963. Spider-Man eventually became Marvel's   flag-ship character. He has been on televison, cartoons, movies, rock albums, Broadway, and amusement park rides. There are millions of dollars of merchandise out there with his likeness plastered on it. He is known all over the world.

And a HUGE "thank you" to Stan Lee,
Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko for creating you in the first place!!

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