Spidey in the Papers

Today was the first day a free Spider-Man comic began appearing in some Sunday newspapers.

It’s a reprint of Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-Man’s first appearance, and it’s labeled across the top “Spider-Man Collectible Series Volume 1″. That suggests more to it than there is, though.

It’s a flimsy insert, 16 pages including the covers. (Regardless of what you think about the politics behind the phrase, this comic is truly a “pamphlet”.) The front is blazoned “Not for Resale” and “Also in this issue: An important message to you from the editor — about the new Amazing”, a leftover blurb from the original that should have been removed, since there’s no such thing inside.

Aside from the story, there are also four full-page ads: for GoGurt portable yogurt, a Spider-Man train set, the Ultimate Avengers 2 DVD, and some kind of text messaging win-a-car contest that looks like a scam to me. The package, flipping pages, looks colorful but amateurish.

I’ll be interested in seeing reaction to this effort, since mine was a big shrug… but I have the Masterworks.


16 Responses to “Spidey in the Papers”

  1. Michael G Says:

    There are already a handful of copies for sale on eBay, of course, ranging from $1.50 to $9.99. Many even come with the actual newspaper.

  2. John Platt Says:

    For somethingt that probably landed in ten million peoples’ newspapers this morning, this was a complete waste of any marketing potential. No “this is a repint from…” statement? No info on current Marvel comics? Not even a link to Marvel.com? Bad works, folks. This is the first of a weekly effort, though, so who knows, maybe they’ll do a better job. (But why do I have doubts?)

  3. Pitzer Says:

    I actually enjoyed the issue. I thought the newsprintish paper worked perfectly. And while the advertisements were “weird”, my biggest reaction was the the page count. It made me really wonder if AF#15 was this small in that regard. Were there other stories, were there more ads, or were comics that small back then.

    Anyway.. it’s a free comic that will hopefully spark some interest in other comics. And, I would hope someone at Marvel will come along and put some additional information about the direct market or libraries in there.

  4. James Moar Says:

    Pitzer —

    The original Amazing Fantasy 15 had backup stories. The pagecount of the standard comic book was about the same then as now (though it got down to 17 pages of story for a while during the 70s).

  5. ~chris Says:

    The kid in me thinks it’s cool. Flimsy, yes, but c’mon what do you want for free (other than a page of info/background)? It should be treated as something to be passed around until it falls apart, not as a collectible. The true test is what actual kids are going to think.

    Amazing Adult Fantasy #7-14 and Amazing Fantasy #15 were anthologies of multiple Twilight-Zone-ish twisty-ending stories. According to samruby.com/AmazingFantasy/amazing_fantasy_15.htm, the other stories were:
    “The Bell-Ringer!” – 3 Pages
    “Man In The Mummy Case!” – 5 Pages
    “There Are Martians Among Us!” – 5 Pages

    I too thought the “the new Amazing” blurb would confuse people. They did eliminate the original 12 cent price logo, but that was on a plain brown area at the top and easier to change.

  6. Dave Mahlin Says:

    >The true test is what actual kids are going to think.

  7. Dave Mahlin Says:

    Let’s try that again, shall we?

    >The true test is what actual kids are going to think.

  8. Dave Mahlin Says:

    Hmmm….. something not working here….
    oh… probably an HTML error… anyway….

    I was going to say…

    They’ll probably think what I thought when I was 10: Who the heck wears a tie and suit to school? No wonder he gets picked on.

  9. Johanna Says:

    John, I’ve heard that there will be some changes made in future issues. I hope it’s true, cause I had some of the same questions.

    And yeah, the comments about “quityerbitchin, it’s free” are well-taken.

    I’d love to know what actual kids thought about it, but I don’t have any in the immediate vicinity.

  10. Brian Hughes Says:

    “Aside from the story, there are also four full-page ads: for GoGurt portable yogurt, a Spider-Man train set, the Ultimate Avengers 2 DVD, and some kind of text messaging win-a-car contest that looks like a scam to me.”

    Whatever they do, Marvel must never let the world in on their dirty little secret: that they publish comic books.

  11. John Says:

    It seems they’ve failed to cross-market in either direction. I can’t find a list of the 122 newspapers. I don’t subscribe to my daily paper since I get most of my news online, but if I knew there would be a free spidey insert on Sundays for awhile, I might consider subscribing to just the Sunday paper.

    I’ll find someone who does get the paper, and ask, but I shouldn’t have to. I should be able to find the list easily.

  12. Johanna Says:

    The marketing I’ve seen has been very traditional (and cheap) — in the papers themselves or on locations they already control, like the newspaper boxes. You’re right, it seems as though they could have gotten the word out more widely. I couldn’t even find mention of the effort on my paper’s website, which is ok otherwise.

  13. Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Yesterday, the second Spider-Man Sunday newspaper insert appeared, and there have been a couple of changes for the better. This issue reprints part of The Amazing Spider-Man #1, cover-dated March 1963. […]

  14. Richard Ellis Jr Says:

    I collected the spider man comics from the newspaper when they were put in the sunday paper. I just now noticed that issue #7 Im missing after 2 yrs. How would I go about getting my missing issue so I can finally complete my set in which I thought I did along time ago. If someone can help I would greatly appreciate it. I save all kinds of collectables for my 1 and only daughter who is now just 18 months. I would love for her to have the whole set so when it is time for her to receive her college education everything I’ve been saving for her can possibly go to another family for the same reasons. Anyhow, thank you for taking time to read and If someone can find the missing link god bless you and If not, well god bless you still. richard.ellisjr@yahoo.com

  15. Wendy Says:

    I collected these items and now in 2012, I am wondering if they are worth anything. I am missing a few issues but not really worried about that, just want to sell the ones I have.

    ANyone have any insight on these now?
    value, interest, worth as a comic?

  16. Johanna Says:

    Oh, I have no idea. I’d forgotten about these, and since they’re reprints of stories that are more easily available, you’d have to find a dedicated collector who wanted this specific version.




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