Marvel becomes a septuagenarian today, and several bookstores and comics shops nationwide are presenting special guests and signings. Check out Marvel’s website for more info, and click on the jump for store locations:

To celebrate its 70th anniversary, Marvel Comics will commemorate the milestone event on Tuesday, August 11th with special anniversary parties taking place around the world! Over 500 comic shop retailers will be hosting parties to celebrate the comic book giant’s 70 year history from 1939 to today.  These events will be offering: early on sale release of The Marvels Project #1, an all new series detailing the origins of super heroes in the Marvel Universe by the creative team behind the worldwide sensation The Death Of Captain America; exclusive limited edition variants, a remastered version of the very first comic Marvel published, Marvel Comics #1, special sales, and more.   To download a full list of retailers participating in Marvel 70th Anniversary parties, visit www.marvel.com/70thparty!  All retailer parties begin at 9pm local time.
In addition, at 7:00 PM local time, Barnes & Noble will be hosting five in-store events in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Portland and Seattle, with appearances by some of the biggest names in the comic book world, hosting Q&A sessions and a chance to get your favorite comics autographed.  Also appearing at these events are some of the most beloved characters from the Marvel Universe.


Barnes & Noble locations include:
150 E 86TH Street
New York, NY
Joe Quesada Marvel Editor in Chief
Chris Claremont
Greg Pak
Klaus Janson
Fred Van Lente
2900 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
Daniel Way
Paul Jenkins
Mark Bagley
The Grove at Farmer’s Market
189 Grove Drive Suite K 30
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Jeph Loeb
Craig Kyle
Chris Yost
Mark Waid
Clackamas Towne Center Mall
2000 SE 82nd Avenue
Portland, OR 97266
Brian Michael Bendis
Jeff Parker
Rick Remender
2675 NE University Village Street.
Seattle, WA 98105
Ed Brubaker
Clayton Crain
And after you’re done at participating Barnes & Noble stores, follow your favorite heroes to participating local comic shops around the country for parties beginning at 9pm!
Midtown Comics Times Square
200 W 40th Street (Corner of 7th Avenue)
New York, NY 10018
Great Escape Comics & Games
1050 East Piedmont Road
Suite D
Marietta, GA 30062
Golden Apple
7018 Melrose Ave
LA, CA 90038
Cosmic Monkey Comics
5335 NE Sandy Blvd.
Portland, OR 97213
Comic Book Ink
1625 East 72nd and Portland ave.
Suite 800
Tacoma, WA 98404
For more information on Marvel’s 70th Anniversary, head over to www.marvel.com/70 .
All comic shop events start at 9:00 PM local time and will run from one to two hours.  To learn more about parties in your area, please visit www.marvel.com/70thparty  And remember—Make Mine ’39!


  1. The Barnes & Noble events are big time celebrity signings. The NYC event requires a wristband, handed out at Noon). Why 86th and not Union Square? Dunno. Maybe they want to publicize the new store.

    Kudos to Marvel’s mighty marketing staff!

  2. Didn’t know the NYC event required a wristband to be a part of the fun… or that they’re giving them out at noon. NOON? Guess that eliminates regular working guys like me, who can’t just leave our jobs to go get a freakin’ wristband.

    Not that I could go anyway… I already had tickets to tonight’s Yankee game… (but you know what I’m trying to say)

  3. I love how right before editors there’s a missing space! So much for editing…

    I recently wanted to complain to the editor of the Marvel Adventures line about some rather lackluster editing in that series and nowhere on the entire Internet could I find his contact info or even a way to write a letter (non snail mail to Marvel’s corporate HQ, anyway). I normally don’t complain but it stinks to be reading comics with your 8 year old son and have to stop to explain yet another typo or grammatical error or even poor storytelling that any competent editors should have sent back to the artist. So, I signed up at the Marvel.com site and posted a comment on the editor’s blog. It wasn’t nasty or mean. It was deleted. Despite signing up with my email I have never gotten a response either.

    By the way, Spurgeon had the best response to Marvel’s anniversary.

  4. And what’s with ignoring the Midwest/heartland? There are other states besides California, Washington, New York and Georgia. It’s not like all their talent lives in NYC anymore.

    And if they really want to thank the creators maybe they could provide them with retirement and health care (and even creator credit) instead of waiting to be shamed on an individual basis. It’s not hard to do an audit and see who did X amount of work and let them buy into Marvel’s current health care plan if they qualify.

  5. Geez… all this criticism on Marvel’s 70th birthday…

    Methinks this B&N event was created by Marvel to gain some cool publicity. B&N has the expertise and space to run an event which requires crowd control. (The info regarding wristbands was posted on the BN.com website. Go to Events, search for the store, and read. Also, each store publicizes restrictions when they schedule those events. Never hurts to call ahead a day or two to see if the event is still scheduled.)

    Brian… too bad they gave preferential treatment to the Direct Market with all those variant covers… }] (And you’re not participating in the birthday celebration? Were there certain obligations you objected to?)

    Joe… who and where would you suggest for the Midwest? Who is a big name like Bendis or Brubaker? Alex Ross? (And in case you missed it, there was a big comics convention in Chicago last weekend, with many Marvel creators in attendance, so Marvel isn’t ignoring the Midwest.)

    Also, Joe, what does Marvel currently offer? Can you show documentation regarding compensation, benefits, and other contractual concerns? I’d like to know.

  6. Gotta love a company that celebrated their 25th Anniversary in 1986 and now their 70th Anniversary in 2009.

    What ever you do, don’t allow anyone at Marvel help you with a math problem.

  7. It does seem like odd timing, so soon after the chicago show. Was today picked randomly or for a specific reason?

    Aren’t two of marvel’s rising stars (lf not stars already), fraction and aaron, in the midwest?

    I hope there’s a bn event in nebraska. It would prob make torstens day. :)

  8. “Gotta love a company that celebrated their 25th Anniversary in 1986 and now their 70th Anniversary in 2009.

    What ever you do, don’t allow anyone at Marvel help you with a math problem. ”

    One was celebrating the company from the first time they used the name, this one is celebrating the company from when it first started, before the name change to Marvel.

  9. It’s on some level gratifying to see Marvel itself proudly proclaim itself as 70 years old. Many long-lived businesses–particularly those that see themselves as dependent on young, hip customers–chose to de-emphazise their longevity, and let anniversaries pass with little fanfare…

  10. mark coale wrote: “It does seem like odd timing, so soon after the chicago show. Was today picked randomly or for a specific reason?”

    Can’t say why August 11th specifically was chosen, but it seems to be a reasonable guess that Marvel Comics #1 was originally supposed to go on sale sometime in August 1939, since the original cover date was October and (I’m guessing) back then comics were put on sale two months prior to the cover date… so that would mean Marvel Comics #1 went on sale 70 years ago this month.

    The only fly in the ointment, or spanner in the works, is that most of the copies of #1 had the October date blocked out, both on the cover and on the inside, and replaced with November, so the books presumably didn’t actually go on sale until a month later, or September 1939.

  11. No… Omaha is still a bit of a black hole in the middle of the (flyover) country in regards to events, although Krypton Comics does a good job…

    There are comicbook stores in Nebraska participating, which makes me happy.

    As for the math, back in ’86, Marvel hadn’t capitalized on their Golden Age heroes. (Aside from John Byrne doing a Human Torch I story in Namor, and the hardcover facsimile of the Marvel Comics #1.) Since the bankruptcy, Marvel has been quite active in relaunching and reusing older characters.

    And in two years, they can celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of Marvel Comics! (In June, of course. 616.)

  12. Variant covers? Are you shitting me, Torsten? That’s just a way to part suckers from their dollars…

    The issue, to me, is that Marvel got stores to commit to these parties WITHOUT TELLING THEM they were working with B&N, and that B&N was locking down availability for any significant guests.

    Further, Marvel is sending people primarily to B&N, while not giving DM stores any tools to promote their own stores (as was promised)

    Plus, the B&N events are scheduled to run BEFORE any DM events, effectively cock-blocking any DM interest.

    I’m not doing one of these “parties” because I couldn’t see the upside — and that was before the B&N info came out. REALLY glad I didn’t now…


  13. Unfortunately, while I feel for comic book specialty stores and their owners like Brian, I think it’s necessary for the growth of comic books again to rely on other outlets where more mainstream people can see their interesting nature.

  14. Of course I was jesting with you, Brian.
    After reading your comment, I wonder if the suckers are the ones running the stores?

    I know very little about book events. I do not know if publicists willingly tell one store or chain that the author will be appearing at another store or chain elsewhere in the country.

    As for Marvel communicating with retailers… ICV2 is littered with comments about that. Marvel did drop the ball on this. *I* didn’t know about this event until yesterday, when a co-worker asked me about it. Marvel should have promoted this like Free Comic Book Day (maybe even publish a free give-away), on a Saturday, with lots of advance hoopla, encouraging stores to host anyone who has worked for Marvel. I’m not attending because I’m not that interested in Marvel, and I’ve met most of those guys elsewhere. Were I in LA, yeah, I’d probably go.

    I’ve seen authors schedule two signings in the same town, the first at B&N, the second the next day at an indy bookstore, and have good crowds at both.

    I wonder, after these events, are the participating creators going to one of the parties?

  15. “i’m curious to know: How is Special Guest Ultimate Spider-man different from Special Guest Spider-Man?”

    As far as I know, Special Guest Ultimate Spider-Man never made a deal with the devil.

  16. Contrary to what it says on Marvel’s web-site, Flying Colors party will NOT be tonight, Tuesday August 11. Instead, the party at Flying Colors will be FRIDAY AUGUST 14 from 7PM-10PM.

    The party will feature a Marvel 70th Anniversary cake, plus beer, wine and other refreshments, along with the first-ever “COMIC SLAM”—in which FlyCo Retailing Brigade members will regale the party attendees with their dramatic interpretations of Marvel character soliloquies.

    And there will be a cool exclusive deal for party-goers at Flying Colors.

  17. ““Gotta love a company that celebrated their 25th Anniversary in 1986 and now their 70th Anniversary in 2009.

    What ever you do, don’t allow anyone at Marvel help you with a math problem. ”

    One was celebrating the company from the first time they used the name, this one is celebrating the company from when it first started, before the name change to Marvel.”

    Not to nit pick, but does this include the four year period, from 1957-1961 that the company was defunct?

  18. I hope part of these parties is an honoring of Heroes World and its many faux pas.

    (My old store was once shipping a statue box without the statue inside AND someone had drawn a moustache on the character on the box.)

  19. Torsten, The fact that there was a convention in Chicago makes it even more egregious that Chicago and the rest of the Midwest are being ignored. Not one guy could stay over Monday and Tuesday to attend one of these? I suppose since there “was just a convention” in San Diego the rest of the West Coast could have been ignored too? Besides, conventions are preaching to the converted while events like this should ostensibly be to gain exposure among the general public.

    Also, here’s what Heidi herself had to say about Marvel’s treatment of former creators they are pretending to celebrate with their 70th anniversary:

    “…when you drew comic books all your life, even comic books as lucrative as those drawn by Colan, like BLADE, you don’t get a pension or residuals or anything really.”
    “…with reports circulating that Marvel Studios has already made some $200 million from IRON MAN, the #1 movie two weeks running, you would HOPE that a little fund raising could be set aside for one of the five or six greatest Marvel artists of all times.”

  20. Joe Willy,

    Just ignore guys like Torsten. They think the entire MidWest is all one big place where we only understand God, guns, and country. Good point about SDCC, though. I think in light of SDCC, there should never be another promotion, ever, on the West Coast. (Sorry, Brian, using Torsten’s logic, you can never have another promotion again!)

  21. Ahem… Nate… I spent 24 years (1969-1994) growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, a state so red it is burgundy. While I grew up in the quiet suburbs of Omaha, I spent many summers in small town Iowa. If I could telecommute, I’d do it from Lake View, Iowa. (And Nate, it’s not all about God, guns, and country. It’s also about commodity prices, the local university sports teams, and weather.)

    I wish there were more comics events in the Midwest. When I started reading comics in 1984 (walking a mile to Dragon’s Lair, uphill both ways, sometimes in the snow), I would fantasize over those great conventions advertised in Marvel Mart. The only book signing I attended while living in Nebraska was the “Brief Lives” tour held at Cosmic Comics in Lincoln. Krypton Comics has done an incredible job of bringing in guests, especially for Free Comic Book Day. But where are the other conventions in the Midwest? Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis… huge cities, but not known for hosting comics conventions. Even Denver, home to Mile High, seems to be without a notable convention.

    As I said earlier, Marvel F’d up. They should have held a FCBD-style event on the weekend, offering “free” copies (party favors) to attendees, suggesting stores host signings or costume contests or parties.

    Yeah, I guess I’m saying that people in Chicago and San Diego and Boston and New York (where I now live) should shut up when they complain about being snubbed by Marvel for not hosting one of these events. Boo freakin’ hoo. Try living in a city like Omaha where the only “comics” convention is MAYBE a guest-of-honor at the local sci-fi con. Where people must drive eight hours to attend the nearest comic-con. Or further out, where people drive two hours to get to a comicbook store.

    Heidi, sorry for the rant… I’ll shut up now. (And for those in NYC, I shop at Forbidden Planet, which is near my office. Hanley’s and Midtown are also top notch retailers.)

  22. GARY: WRT the ship-date of Marvel Comics #1 — it’s highly unlikely, IMO, that comics shipped only two months before their cover dates because, well, the relationship between ship date and cover date has changed radically over time. For instance, until the cover-date shift in the very late-80’s, the Big Two and other newsstand comics publishers had cover dates that were *four* months ahead of the ship dates (ie: August-shipping books would have *December* cover dates).

    What I figure happened is this: Given that most copies of Marvel Comics #1 had their cover dates manually changed on the inside and outside covers, Marvel Comics #1 shipped extremely, extremely late. Kinda like the way that a substantial percentage of Marvel’s output during these Joe Quesada days have also shipped late. So, like, the current peeps at Marvel are only living down to the bad precedent set on the day Marvel was born.

    Interesting and extremely ironic aside: I got my copies of both of the regular Marvel Comics #1 70th Anniversary-and-Awkwardly-Titled Specials from my mail order service last Friday along with last week’s shipment. So I’m bemused that the 70th anniversary reprint of a comic book that originally shipped late actually came out a week ahead of time (or something like that) — and I’m also bemused that the 70th Anniversary edition of a book that originally shipped late but was released a week ahead of time this time shipped contrary to the company’s current practice of shipping about 45-50% or so of its product a week or more late versus their originally-solicited ship dates. Once the ship date is printed in Marvel Previews, if they move the ship date, it’s late. Period. (Note to Marvel peeps: I couldn’t care less that a late book still ships in the ship month in which it’s solicited — you move the ship date for any given book by even a week and it’s late. Yes, Stuff happens, but when even 25% of your books ship late, much less the around-50% of your books that have been shipping late for years on end, it’s not the fault of the Stuff that’s Happening — it’s editorial and management incompetence.

    MARK and TORSTEN: Mark asked, “Aren’t two of marvel’s rising stars (lf not stars already), fraction and aaron, in the midwest?”

    Yep. I live in Central MO and went to Planet Comicon in suburban Kansas City (Overland Park) at the end of March. Fraction and Aaron are part of what I can only describe as “The Kansas City Geek Mafia(TM)” that also includes Clay Moore and Jai Nitz (DC’s most recent EL DIABLO miniseries) — most of them hung around and/or worked at a specific comics store in KC that shares a name with SDCC’s redshirts. Phil Hester lives in I-Owe-Ay (bunch of money) and his inking partner-ish, Ande Parks grew up in Kansas City (setting of his graphic novel, UNION STATION).

    And those are all off the top of my head.

    Yeah, I’m originally from California (Bay Area), so I don’t feel particularly close to these flyover states and yeah, the people in the flyover states do have the disadvantage of being not so much rural as decentralized — a LOT of people, just spread out all over a lot more real estate. But yeah, it seems to me that Marvel dropped the ball in skipping the flyover states. Given that Fraction and Aaron live there, it’s just plain inexplicable that Marvel didn’t set up something there, even on their own. I mean, two places in Georgia and absolutely none anywhere at all in the Midwest. St. Louis, Dallas, Denver? Nada. I mean, come on!

    To make my migrane worse (and this rant even longer as a direct result) — the non-representation of Chicago is yet another glaring omission. I don’t count Chicago as the Midwest since a) it’s one of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation, practically its own state even, and b) given O’Hare Int’l, it’s not a flyover state, it’s a fly-to state. But still, even nothing happen there is ridonkulous given that it’s, like, the home town of the guy on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #583. Y’know — the guy not named Peter Parker.

    No wonder the Merry Marvel Marching Society is dead.

    — Rob

  23. They consulted with me on the potential original ship date a long time ago — I don’t remember the entirety of the discussion, but I remember that in addition to the cover date (and its manual change) I also looked at the dates marked on the Pay Copy, which were all late July 1939. That does not guarantee that the Jacquet Studio (which Marvel bought the art from) had the book in hand by that time — they could’ve been recording earlier dates of payment — but it could well mean the book was back from the printer then.

    As to ship day, I don’t think there is a single one. The distributors would have all shipped on different days. Even when we do have arrival stamps from comics in those days, multiple ones of the same book rarely agree. Comics were not regarded as having any timely (no pun intended) merit in those days, so the distributors would not have cared when they got the books to their stores (unlike, say, Life magazine). So there’s a pretty wide stretch of days available for this, I should think.

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