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!