Whatever happened to letters pages?

February 13, 2008

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It seems that most of the current comics don’t bother with letters pages. I suppose there are plenty of forums to post comments on.

I’m fascinated by the Letters pages of older comics where you often find letters from teenagers who are now current comicbook artists and writers.

Going even further back and you find letters pages like the one here from DCs Mystery in Space 75 from May 1962. Paul Gambaccini was a regular writer in the 1960s. It is believed to be Paul who first used the phrase “Brand Echh” to describe comic companies other than Marvel (perhaps ACG??)  in a letter to Stan Lee  enthusing about his company. Stan picked up on the phrase and used it regularly. “Not Brand Echh” became the title of a humour/parody comic from Marvel in the late 1960s.

In the 1970s Paul Gambaccini moved to the UK where he became a respected broadcaster at the BBC and elsewhere.

I can’t decide if the “Lord Hume” letter is a spoof or not. He begins by calling himself a “young man” and ends by saying that he has a son. Very strange. 

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Here is just one example of the many many letters that appeared in comics in the 1960s by people who would go on to make comic books their career.