Marvel Comics is home to such legendary super-heroes as
Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, all of whom
have spun box office gold in the 21st century. But Marvel Comics
has a secret history hidden in the shadows of these well-known
The Secret History of Marvel Comics digs back to the 1930s when
Marvel Comics wasn't just a comic-book producing company. Marvel
Comics owner Martin Goodman had tentacles into a publishing world
that might have made that era s conservative American parents lynch
him on his front porch. Marvel was but a small part of Goodman s
publishing empire, which had begun years before he published his
first comic book. Goodman mostly published lurid and
sensationalistic story books (known as pulps ) and magazines,
featuring sexually-charged detective and romance short fiction, and
celebrity gossip scandal sheets. And artists like Jack Kirby, who
was producing Captain America for eight-year-olds, were
simultaneously dipping their toes in both ponds.
The Secret History of Marvel Comics tells this parallel story of
1930s/40s Marvel Comics sharing offices with those Goodman
publications not quite fit for children. The book also features a
comprehensive display of the artwork produced for Goodman s other
enterprises by Marvel Comics artists such as Jack Kirby and Joe
Simon, Alex Schomburg, Bill Everett, Al Jaffee, and Dan DeCarlo,
plus the very best pulp artists in the field, including Norman
Saunders, John Walter Scott, Hans Wesso, L.F. Bjorklund, and Marvel
Comics #1 cover artist Frank R. Paul. Goodman s magazines also
featured cover stories on celebrities such as Jackie Gleason,
Elizabeth Taylor, Liberace, and Sophia Loren, as well as
contributions from famous literary and social figures such as Isaac
Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, and L. Ron Hubbard.
These rare pieces of comic art, pulp and magazine history will
open the door to Marvel Comics unseen history."
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