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May 12, 2009



The more things change... that overly sensitive, grouchy letter would not be out-of-place in today's comic message board. In fact, I could see Steve posting endless variations of that on any possible thread he could with complaints that back in his day, Editor So-and-So always treated readers with utmost respect...

Pat Curley

I'm amused that he thinks that DC was being more courteous by referring to Marvel as Brand I. In fact, that stemmed from a letter in Action Comics #332, when a Howard Berger wrote in mentioning the Brand Echh nickname Stan used and suggested that Marvel be known as Brand I for the editor's "I Complex" for "How great I am and how great are my stories." He also suggested that Marvels were "Imitations". He closed by asking the editor what he thought of the suggestion, and Weisinger replied, "Marvelous!"

Chris Tolworthy

Brand I? Fascinating! That's why I follow blogs like this.

David Morefield

I don't know, I thought Stan was being jokey, not feisty. As for the letter itself, it's so weird ("Imagine a man looking or acting like a spider?") I can't help wondering if it's a feeble shot at humor too.

Incidentally, this is a very fun issue. I have the "Stuporman" segment (written by Roy Thomas, apparently) up at my site if anyone wants to read it:


Shameless plug, I know. What can I say? Stan inspires me. LOL

Mark Engblom

Hey, thanks for the interesting background on "Brand I", Pat! It's clear the letter writer wasn't familiar with the meaning behind "Brand I" either.


Oh, yeah....I'm sure Stan was just playing around (as he always did). I was just amping up the conflict for effect.

Indeed, "Stuporman" is one of the best Not Brand Echh pieces (which varied wildly in quality). I've actually been working on completing my NBE collection...they're a great chapter in Marvel's Silver Age story.

Thanks for the link, too!


I remember when the whole Brand Echh/Brand I thing started, too, circa 1966? I read both of the letters referenced above when they were published. I thought that the "echh" thing was just Stan's use of a common Jewish expression used quite frequently in MAD. Stan never really seemed mean about it, just competitive. Not Brand Echh made major fun not just of DC's characters, but "Marble Comics" as well, and of other companies at the time, like Magnuts, Robot Biter.
Some of the stories were funny as hell!

Pat Curley

I've also assumed that NBE the mag was largely inspired by Thomas' parodies of comics cliches in the original Alter Ego fanzine from the 1960s; the first issue of which featured a story about the "Bestest League of America" written and drawn by Roy Thomas.


Incidentally, Not Brand Ecch! seems to be darn near the last (sort of) Marvel Universe title to have never been reprinted.

I know *I* would buy a Marvel Masterworks of Not Brand Ecch!

ShadowWing Tronix

And yet they still get along better than today. No crossovers for us.

Show of hands: who doesn't want to see a Superman/Spider-Man animated DTV? Ok, me because I'd rather an adaptation of the Spider-Man & Batman comic.

Mark Engblom

suedenim- You're right....NBE hasn't enjoyed the deluxe reprint treatment. Since I've got about half of the original issues, I wonder if I should keep tracking them down, or just wait for the inevitable hardcover collection? Hmm. Decisions, decisions.

Shadow Wing-I'd love to see a Supes/Spidey DVD, but if you think it's tough getting these guys to figure out the money stuff with comic book crossovers, can you imagine how many lawyers they'd need to pull off something like this?

Al Bigley

NBE was one of the first Silver Age titles I collected once I had access to cons and comic shops in the early 80s! LOVE that book!

And, yes, I've been yelling for a NBE MASTERWORKS for years now!

Get with it, Marvel!

Al Bigley

Greg Walter

The What The--? series may have done some of the same for another generation. After the vastly confusing first Crisis in the 80s and the subsequent need for me to pour over the necessary Who's Who series, the first What The--? had a nice spoof on Crisis. I vividly recall the "Aunty Monitor" declaring that "this universe has become entirely too complicated" and thereby shrinking it to one time. The stand-in for the Spectre said something like, "won't that make it more complicated?"
'nuff said.

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