When I was a kid, it was that interstitial writing, as much as the comics themselves, which made me into a True Believer. Stan somehow made me feel as if I had a pal.
The book, which will be available in November, is being published as a fundraiser for the Hero Initiative, a federally chartered not-for-profit corporation which provides a safety net for comic-book creators in need of emergency medical aid or other financial support.
In additional to the columns themselves, the collection will also place Stan's columns in their correct historical context via essays by current Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige, former Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas, and others.
But one thing I'll bet the book won't contain is scans of the original typed copy for those Soapboxes, direct from Stan's hands. Why, to read something like that, you'd probably have to have been working at Marvel Comics in the mid-'70s so you could go through the trash next to the typesetter's desk.
Well ... either that ... or else, lacking a time machine, you could just click on the image below.
One of my duties as an Assistant Editor at Marvel Comics in the mid-'70s was to write all of the text for each Bullpen Bulletins page except for Stan's Soapbox. (Thanks for the opportunity to channel my childhood idol, Len!)
Which meant that Stan would hand me a yellow sheet of paper each month on which he had typed out his musings, complete with edits in the form of crossed-out clauses and handwritten additions. I'd hand both his text and mine (for the rest of the page) to a different Stan, Stanley Aaron, the typesetter who would make it all look pretty so it could then be pasted up for print.
No one really cared about these scraps of paper at the time, and so I kept all memos and notes which passed through my hands, and that included at least half a dozen of these yellow sheets, saved from the recycling bins. (Actually, there were no recycling bins in those days, so I guess that if I hadn't snatched these up they would just have ended up in a landfill somewhere.)
In any case, enjoy this look back, which includes info on Stan's razor-blade commercial, plus a note at the bottom from John Verpoorten to Archie Goodwin about deadlines.