Saturday, 31 January 2015

THE TITANS! NO CONTEST - BUT HAVE A GO ANYWAY...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Here's another blast from the past.  Hands up if you entered this
contest from The TITANS #2 back in 1975.  I did, and out of 100
runners up, I was one of ten who were specially commended for their
efforts.  My prize of a Treasury Edition never reached me 'though,
so I'm still a bit miffed over it.  When MARVEL published some of the
entries, I noticed that someone had copied my GOGGLE-EYED GOON
OF GLOUCESTER which had appeared on the back page of SHIVER
SHAKE a couple of years earlier.  I bet they got their prize, the
thieving 'bar stewards'.  Why not print out a copy of this page and,
just for fun, have a go at it?  Go on - you know you want to!


Looking at the contest results issue, I note that it says that
Treasury Editions have been despatched to 90, not 100, runners-
up, none of whom are listed. The 10 'specially commended' entrants
are listed 'though (including me), suggesting that those 10 are the
'top 10' of runners-up.  So what happened?  Did my prize go missing
in the mail, did Marvel forget to send it, did they only receive 90
prizes from the U.S. to send out, or did they simply change their
   mind afterwards?  Whatever the reason, I wuz robbed! 

Another thing:  I fear I must've mixed up this competition with
another in regard to published runners-up as I can find no trace
of any in the comics.  Therefore, it must've been another contest
in another comic, but now I'm no longer sure whether it was even a
Marvel title.  (Probably was 'though.)  In fact, it was a competition
to design a baddie, and, as I said, someone submitted my Shiver &
Shake character  as a candidate.  If anyone can identify the com-
petition and the comic, please feel free to enlighten me.

17 comments:

baab said...

As I mentioned before,I drew but did not enter.
I will be downloading the page Kid and may find time to do it again.
Great idea by the way.

cerebus660 said...

I remember this issue and competition well: it was my first issue of The Titans as I missed #1. I did scrawl a doodle on the back page but didn't send it off. I was only 8 at the time and the artwork wasn't the best. I'll have to see if I can dig it out; I'm sure I've still got it.
By the way, I AM the Goggle-Eyed Goon of Gloucester :-)

SteveDoesComics said...

Sadly, I never had that issue of the Titans, so never got to enter it.

The only Marvel contest I ever entered was the one where you had to invent a super-hero. Bafflingly, my creation The Masked Manhunter failed to win, even though he had what looked like a Fray Bentos pie tin strapped to his leg. which is surely a useful thing for any super-hero to have.

Colin Jones said...

I haven't got a printer, Kid. So what's this "goggle-eyed goon of Gloucester" all about ?

Kid said...

Let me see what you do, Baab, once you've done it.

******

And I'd like to see that as well, Cer. I'd imagine you've improved a bit since you were 8.

******

Even better is TWO Fray Bentos tins, Steve - one strapped to EACH leg.

******

Say no more, CJ: http://kidr77.blogspot.com/2010/07/blog-post_6812.html

Christopher Nevell said...

A great competition in a great comic. Did you know that they printed two issues together and then sliced them. It must have helped to keep the costs under control. I know this because my No.1 has the very top of No.2 at the bottom of the front cover. What I don't know is whether Super Spider-Man then went on to be printed joined to the Titans. It would make sense to avoid storage costs.

Kid said...

I had noticed that, Chris - perhaps not with #1, but it was noticeable on a few issues. It was supposed to be their flagship title (according to Stan's editorial in #3, I think). but I always regarded MWOM as that. Other Marvelites must've thought the same because The Titans lasted for only 58 issues.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I've read that The Titans was cancelled because the format of double the amount of strips was getting through them too fast. I liked The Titans format but I never thought of it as Marvel UK's flagship title - that was always MWOM as you said. I loved drawing and I had The Titans No.2 but I don't remember this competition at all.

Kid said...

I've read that before, CJ, but I wonder if that was a retroactive rationalisation? When they caught up with current U.S. issues, they could simply have replaced the strips with others. I think it was mainly poor sales that killed it, because no one cancels a comic that's a best-seller. It was probably an 'after-the-fact' case of "Anyway, it was using up strips too fast!"

Colin Jones said...

Yes that's true and you have to wonder why they would create that format in the first place if they were concerned about it using too many strips. As you say, nobody would cancel a popular comic. I mainly liked it during the FF period and when they left to join the new Captain Britain comic I stopped getting The Titans.

Kid said...

Correct, CJ - that's something I meant to say, but forgot - that they'd have reckoned on it using up strips faster than normal when they first thought of the comic. And besides, not all strips were complete; they did divide some stories in half throughout its run, and redrew single splash pages to make double spreads.

Christopher Nevell said...

Probably as simple as maximise profit today and worry about the catch up tomorrow.

Kid said...

Possibly, Chris, but there was usually a bit more thought put into launching a comic mag than that, as there was never any guarantee that there would be any profit. It cost a lot of money to launch a new magazine back then (as it does now) and, in rival IPC's case, took about two years to recoup the expense. Although a Marvel reprint mag might not have taken as long as that (but who knowa?), the fact that The Titans lasted just over a year means they didn't get rich from it. Had it been a success, Marvel would've found a way to keep it going, even turning it into a non-landscape format, if necessary.

Christopher Nevell said...

I had no idea that it took so long to get payback on a launch. Thanks Kid. Someone must have got into hot water over Jet or Thunder!

Kid said...

I think the outlook back then (at least in IPC's and DCT's case), Chris, was bad luck, now on to the next one. Companies are a little more cautious nowadays.

Martin Gray said...

I ever entered that contest, couldn't draw for beans. Plus, I'd not have cut up the comic.

What a shame you never got your prize. I sent off a cheque for Origins of Marvel Comics/Son of Origins from an offer in the comics. Nothing.

Kid said...

I sent off for a copy and got an empty padded bag that hadn't been sealed properly. I contacted Marvel U.K. and was sent some goodies to tide me over until new copies arrived from the States.

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