Sunday, July 10, 2011

Archie Goodwin and a great Lettercol Exchange

One of the great things about reading pre-2000s comics are the Letter Columns. They had awesome titles, dated vernacular and even their own culture and personalities. And while the internet brought us many great new things (like this blog) unfortunately, it also brought about the decline and eventual elimination of these forums where fans and casual readers alike got to write about their comics.

This past weekend, WGTB picked up a copy of an old sentimental favourite: Marvel’s Star Wars (#22 from April 1979). It was only 25 cents and we needed it for our library. The tale was an unremarkable pre-Empire Strikes Back story but when we arrived at the letter column any buyer’s remorse about departing with that shiny quarter was gone! In it, we were treated with a remarkable letter/response exchange between a thoughtful and polite fan and the great Archie Goodwin.

(Marvel Comics Star Wars #22, April 1979)

Goodwin is often cited as the "best-loved comic book editor" and it’s responses like this that justify the superlative. Goodwin takes the fan’s critical observations of science-fiction seriously and uses them as a ‘teaching moment’ about the creation and development of comic book stories and characters.


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