As I delve into my 20+ years at Comic-Con in my series “My Life in Comics,” our new banner image for the blog for the next few months features “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine,” the Fantastic Four. This comic book series by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had a profound and lasting effect on my life. It was the comic that made me realize someone—in this case, Lee and Kirby—actually wrote and drew these stories that I enjoyed so much. And through his incessant promotion (both self- and company-oriented), Lee inspired a feeling of community, of belonging to something, of being more than just a reader of Marvel Comics. That and the interconnected continuity separated the publisher from its rivals. Here are the covers of the first twelve issues of Fantastic Four, a mind-blowing assortment of a runaway freight train powered by the unbridled imagination of Jack Kirby teamed with the dialogue and editing skills of Stan Lee.
Growing up with Marvel in the 1960s, its best decade, was a really wonderful experience, and as I grow older, something that means more and more to me. There was no more exciting time to be reading comics.