Video from 1976 Marvel Comics Convention

By James H. Burns: The other day I was amazed to see this interview with Archie Goodwin pop up on Facebook, from the 1976 Marvel Comics Convention…. (Archie, of course, was a legendary writer/editor who created or edited several science fiction and fantasy endeavors.) But I was even more amazed, because in two parts, here from YouTube, it’s part of a half hour show on comics, kind of hosted by Stan Lee, and featuring his daughter doing one of the interviews…

I became even more astonished, because I had been hired to put together much of the programming for that convention (and emcee some of the panel discussions)! But try as I might, I could nary see the very young me, among the crowd!  (Although, if the camera had just panned to the left during the Roy Thomas sequence, you would have seem the teenage me, interviewing him!)

(Thomas Sciacca, who’s also been around the comics world for ages, also helped put some of the programming together, and is now getting ready to rerelease his Astron Comics!)

There is a mystery here, of course: None of us knew, as far as I know, that Stan was involved with what seems like some kind of pilot on the world of comics…  (At first, I thought what makes that even more unusual, is that this is in black and white, in a very color video era…  But obviously, this might just be a black and white copy of a color master.) The title for the project was apparently Stan Lee’s Soapbox, taking its monicker from Lee’s monthly “column” in the Marvel comics line… One other fun note: Hollywood actor/director Jonathan Frakes actually played Captain America for a while, at public appearances in the 1970s…  That could well be him, behind the shield, in the video, talking to the kids!

There’s also, in Part Two, some lovely, if silent footage, of the great John Buscema drawing, during what was part of a “chalk talk.”

In any event, a neat rarity, and a mystery!

5 thoughts on “Video from 1976 Marvel Comics Convention

  1. Morris Keesan asked:
    > Wait … what’s Nero Wolfe’s legman doing at a comics convention?

    On the off chance that this is a serious question, the late Archie Goodwin in question was a major editorial player at Marvel Comics (and possibly at DC?) I’m sure that a simple look-up (or a focused probe of Tom Galloway’s little grey cells) will provide better deets than I can do a bad guess at.

  2. Archie made his first major mark, I believe, in the early 1960s, at Warren, trying to revive the quality and spirit of E.C. Comics, in CREEPY, and other black and white magazines…

    Archie also did SEVERAL projects with the great artist, Al Williamson, including renditions of Alex Raymond’s FLASH GORDON, and a long-time collaboration on the SECRET AGENT CORRIGAN newspaper strip (which was a continuation of Raymond’s and Dashiell Hammett’s SECRET AGENT X-9).

    I believe that they also worked on the STAR WARS comic strip.

    Archie was also the editor of Marvel’s EPIC ILLUSTRATED, the company’s science fiction illustrated magazine answer to HEAVY METAL…

    Most importantly, Archie was also legendary for being a gentleman.

    (And I’m certain that someone can fill in even some more biographical details!)

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  4. A great find, Jim! it’s amazing that you were there in the flesh way back in 1976.

    My favorite segments were the interviews with Roy Thomas and Archie Goodwin. Archie did some superb work as a writer and editor at Warren in the 1960s before moving to Marvel around 1968, where he notably worked on IRON MAN. I also recall him scripting several issues of THE FANTASTIC FOUR in the early 1970s when John Buscema (also seen in the video) was drawing the title.

    In 1972 Archie co-created Marvel’s LUKE CAGE, HERO FOR HIRE.

    Archie did indeed work on the STAR WARS strip with Al Williamson, and the pair collaborated on the SECRET AGENT CORRIGAN strip for something like 13 years. Prior to (and during) the STAR WARS strip Archie wrote for Marvel’s STAR WARS comic book, with art by Carmine Infantino.

    DC fans might remember his work on MANHUNTER with Walter Simonson starting in 1973. It was a back-up feature in DETECTIVE COMICS.

    Archie originally attended art school but soon discovered that writing, not drawing, was his forte.

    Archie Goodwin died in 1998 at the age of 60.

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