George R.R. Martin on the History of Marvel Comics, Conventions, and Fandom
The legendary author joins the season finale of 'Marvel's Declassified'!
Marvel’s Declassified is a nonfiction narrative podcast that focuses on the rich, dynamic, and evolving history of Marvel Comics as told through a contemporary lens!
To close out this season of Marvel’s Declassified, your hosts Lorraine Cink and Evan Narcisse shift gears to tell the story of Marvel fandom through the years—through the voices of people who were there. From the glory days of the Merry Marvel Marching Society to the massive comic conventions of today, they look at how fandom has evolved since Marvel’s earliest days and what still holds true today. Fandom means different things to different people, so as Marvel continues to tell the story of the “world outside your window,” Lorraine and Evan reflect on how those windows are continuing to grow and multiply.
“There had never been a comic convention before," Martin recalls. "You've got to remember, that in these days, comic book fandom was mostly high school kids. And in some cases, even junior high school kids. We were young, so things like throwing a convention, renting a hotel ballroom, or negotiating rates for people to stay at hotels, that was way beyond the skill set of most 14-year-olds. So when they announced it, you know, I didn't know whether it would happen or not, but they were selling memberships, they were $1.50 I think. So I sent in my $1.50, probably I had a one-dollar bill and a quarter taped inside of it because I didn't have a checking account or anything in those days. And they put me on the list. And in fact, I was the first person that was member number one.”
"I’ve met a lot of adults who talk about how comics were their gateway to reading," adds Johnson. "At my store [Amalgam Comics in Philadelphia], anytime we're asked the question, I don't really know much about comics, but I want to get into comics, our first question is, 'Well, what do you like? What shows do you watch? What other books do you read?' You know, and that connection, being able to talk to someone as opposed to just pointing and clicking and checking out."
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