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The Roots of Fanboy



It may not seem so at first, but this long post is indeed on-topic. Keep 
reading and you'll see how this relates to the world of Groo?

As mentioned in a previous post, I was born in 1961. There are a few specific 
issues of comic books from my early childhood that I have crystal clear 
memories of. While strolling through Midtown Comics this evening, I happened 
upon THE FLASH!!! 

What I mean by THE FLASH typed in capital letters like that is there is ONE 
very specific issue of The Flash that I have vivid childhood memories of. It 
was an issue with so devastating a cover that I HAD to buy it, I just had to 
? and I found it again today! You guessed it, I HAD to buy it!

The issue in question was cover date March 1969, issue # 186. Someone stamped 
on the cover January 15, 1969, which I guess is when it hit the stands. I 
would have been only seven years old at the time (born in November, so I 
wouldn't turn 8 till then)

The cover featured two kids looking into a hole, the bottom of which held a 
skeleton in The Flash's costume, with a bony knee poking through the shredded 
costume. Ooooh, SCARY! 

I just casually glanced at the Flash-grams letter page, appearing about a 
quarter-way through the book, and what name did I see printed at the bottom 
of a letter but:

MARK EVANIER, Los Angeles, Cal.

I think (hope) in this case I'll be forgiven by both ME and National 
Periodical Publications, AKA DC Comics (a misnomer, actually, since the DC 
stands for Detective Comics, making them Detective Comics Comics) if JUST 
THIS ONCE I play fast and loose with copyright laws and recreate his letter 
below:

Dear Editor:
"The Flash's Dead Ringer" marked one year of Andru-Esposito art on the RED 
RUNNER. Eight Infantino-less issues are a long time. The issue in question 
was additional proof (as if any were needed) that the new age of FLASH is 
here to stay. You've found your groove, so to speak.

Andru and Esposito really showed their worth this issue. They cut out the 
"sensationalism" in their layouts (i.e., people sticking out of panels, and 
all of the other artists' tricks designed to remove the field of illustration 
from skill and place it in a "how weird can we make it?" vein). This issue, 
everyone stayed within the panel borders. Thank you!

As for the past year's stories, you have embarked on a more "unrealistic" 
vein, a bit of abstraction, no? Well, for the first time, it was really easy 
to read. Frank Robbins has also proved his worth in the scripting end (a 
worth which was in doubt ever since Robbins' two-part Oriental farce). Barry 
Allen - as well as Iris - are becoming more mature and realistic. 
-MARK EVANIER, Los Angeles, Cal.

Now, I know many future comic creator's names can be found in the lettercols 
if you look long and hard enough, but I'm not actively "collecting", I just 
happened to come across the most memorable Flash issue of my childhood and 
this one just happened to have a letter, not from a Marv Wolfman or a John 
Ostrander, but our own Mark Evanier! Sorry if I'm getting a bit carried away, 
but it just blew my mind, that's all. 

Do you recall this letter, Mark, or is this just one of a very many that were 
published? If you don't mind giving us a little perspective, and if it's not 
too rude, how old were you at the time? By your mature voice and adult 
analysis I'd guess you were probably college age, but I suspect it's more 
like early high school. 

So Groop, is someone someday gonna come across one of YOUR names in the 
lettercol of an old issue of Groo (obviously a number one, two three or four 
issue) and remark "Hey! Isn't that...?

-Larry S. AKA The Fanboy of Entropy