Welcome back, true believers! It’s once again time for a new Fabulous Find, and this week I’ve pulled out of the comics vault another rare find. It is the September 1966 edition of Esquire Magazine, published by Arnold Gingrich.
And why is this magazine of interest to us? Well, thanks for asking! It’s because it has a very early article on Marvel Comics and some stellar artwork by Jack Kirby and Marie Severin, that’s why! Starting on page 109, there is an article entitled; “Are You Smart Enough to Beat the Draft, Stay in College and Read this Issue of Esquire?” On that page the magazine asks ten (10) questions, where the reader must score seven (7) or more to answer yes, I am smart enough!
But if the reader failed to pass the test, they turned the page to see … “If You Flunked the 2-S Test, Nice Going … You get to cut out these pinups and keep them in your duffel bag, soldier.” and they were rewarded with four pages of classic pin-up images, featuring Jill Haworth, Pamela Tiffin, Joey Heatherton and Elke Sommer.
And if you got a score off seven or more, then you turned to page 114 and found … “O.k., You Passed the 2-S Test – Now You’re Smart Enough for Comic Books”. And we got to see this lovely two page spread featuring the Marvel Heroes drawn by the King himself, Jack Kirby. Take a look:
And just because I’m such a nice guy, here are the pages blown up so you can see the glorious details.
And the next page, as well:
Pages 116 and 117 are also drawn by Jack, but Esquire choose to run these pages in black and white, rather than full color, for some reason. Maybe because they only had black and white photographs of the students that were matched up with the Marvel characters. And these were actual students in college back in 1966. Take a look:
And page 117, as well …
That is all the Kirby artwork for this issue, but turning to page 118, we find “mirthful” Marie Severin doing her thing, illustrating the article; “Not All Your Supermen are in the Funnies, Meet Super-Student!”. Here is the two (2) page spread in color:
And I just happen to have enlarged photos of these two pages, so here ya go, face-fronter:
And now page 119:
And finally, here is the two page spread that appears on pages 122 & 123, also drawn by the lovely Ms. Severin:
As hopefully you can see from the small image above, the professors from various schools are featured here, rather than students. Note up at the top, the guy with the sword that looks like a brown-haired Roy Thomas, is a professor from the University of Michigan, Frithjof Bergmann, teaching Philosophy. I wonder if he was there in the late seventies when I attended? Out paths never crossed, but then again my degree was in Biology, not Philosophy!
Sorry, but I don’t have enlarged scans of these two pages. And in fact, Ms. Severin, did another full page illustration on page 125, that I also do not have a scan of, but it features “the Draft Reject”. So use your imagination, why don’t you!
Stan Lee manages to get quoted in the first section and that’s just about it. Not to much information, but still coverage from a major newsstand periodical was nothing to sneeze at in 1966! Marvel was definitely on the move and poised to win over college campuses even as early as 1966, as this article proves!
That’s all for this Fabulous Find, but return next week for a new RETRO REVIEW. Be seeing you …