Writer. Creator. Large mammal.

Slight Delay

JayJay here. Jim is delayed and we will be posting the blog a bit later today. 


Submission Hold


A Jerry Rice Needs a Joe Montana


  1. Hi Jim,
    Thanks so much for the detailed answer. That kind of detail–and more importantly, your generosity in taking the time to share it– are two reasons I really love this blog. I hope it wasn't a persnickety question; I was really just curious to get a sense of time-frame on when the great work you were doing began to show up in the books. Thanks for a great blog!

  2. Dear Brian,

    Marvel comic books were cover dated three months ahead, as were most American comics. A book on sale in June would (usually) bear a September cover date. On an ideal schedule, a comic book issue would take six months to go from inception of the creative process through art production, separations, printing, shipping and distribution to on sale, on the newsstands. (The Direct Market was just starting to develop back then, and was insignificant.) That means that work on comics on sale in June, cover date September, should begin in January.

    The time frames for creating and producing a comic book could, and can be compressed to some extent. Distribution back then couldn't be. Distributors could not be rushed.

    In January 1978, when I started as Editor in Chief, we had books just being finished, still in the house that had been supposed to have been on sale three months earlier, in October. That means that, technically, those issues were about six months late. 45 color comics should have left Marvel's offices to begin the rest of their journey in January, but we managed to get only 26 out the door.

    By April, we were sending out the correct number of issues every month. By January 1979, we were on time.

    Not all books were equally late. Some got caught up faster than others.

    So, the answer is this: I had a ragged start to my tenure. At this point, I could not begin to tell you which issues were "mine" and which were done, or partly done under Archie Goodwin's watch. Any book that left the house after January 1, 1978 might have had my credit as EIC on it, but, more than likely, if a book was already lettered and Archie's credit was on it, it was left that way. No time to waste fooling around with credits.

  3. Thanks for the e-bay update. Fortunately I bought all the ones I wanted. £175 ($350) well spent on seven sets – Spider-Man, FF, Hulk, Iron Man, Cap America, Avengers & X-Men.

    I think the DVDs were a pleasant sideline after Marvel got someone to digitise the Marvel Library for reference and it dawned on them they could make some extra income.

    You know, there's a storage area network somewhere in the US with a (legitimate) scanned copy of every Marvel ever published. I'd buy that.

  4. Yes, and they created each PDF out of the left and right pages combined which makes for ideal viewing on a large monitor and preserves the original experience of reading the comic book as closely as possible. Of course it keeps any double-wide splash pages intact too. They did a real nice job making high quality scans too.

    They were certainly a real bargain when first offered. Almost too good a deal to be true, which is probably why they cancelled them. I don't really see the back issues becoming the driving force of an online subscription service. But maybe they wanted to avoid cutting into sales of the printed reprints they're doing.

    Some of them are still affordable on eBay and/or Amazon. Fantastic Four and Ghost Rider are basically still at the original price. Spider-Man and X-Men are trending just a little higher. Captain America and Iron Man are more like double original price, around $100 each. And Hulk and Avengers seem to be the "rares" which are getting closer to $200 each.

  5. I loved the GIT DVD-ROMs covering entire runs of Spider-Man, Avengers, X-Men and so on. It allowed me to own entire runs without breaking the bank. I worked it out as five shiny British pennies per comic. A bargain.

    It's a shame that Marvel stopped dealing with GIT as it moved from retail DVD-ROMs to an online subscription reading site. Why not have both? Sadly, the Daredevil and Thor GIT releases were cancelled.

    The entire comic was scanned including adverts & letters pages. They're just as fun to read as the stories. In Captain America #100 to #120, there were letters from Peter Sanderson, JM DeMatteis, Steve Gerber and Don McGregor.

  6. Well, at least I know now I'm not alone in this addiction… And it's great to read that the blog makes good reading, when Jim is absent! Cheers!

  7. Wow! Thanks for the research, Jedi! And thanks, too, Sanjiv. Really very nice of all of you!

  8. OK, guys, sorry about the red herring. I have the GIT Corp DVD-ROM collections and I'm checking Amazing now. The front page of #176 credits Len Wein as Writer/Editor. The Bullpen Bulletins says Archie Goodwin is Editor and Jim Shooter is Associate Editor with several Assistant and Consulting Editors following. I'm going through each issue to see where it changes. Irving Forbush is credited as Corporate Non-entity in one of these, LOL. Marv Wolfman's Editor on #181 and Bill Mantlo is Writer, but no change to the Bullpen Bulletins.

    In #182, Wolfman is Editor and Writer. And, aha, while there are no formal credits on the Bullpen Bulletins page, Stan announces in this edition that Archie Goodwin has stepped down as editor-in-chief and Jim "Trouble" Shooter will be stepping into his place, in a position that's "second only to Jimmy Carter's in power and prestige." LOL! That's quite an understatement in retrospect since we all know Jim lasted in the job at least twice as long as Carter did. The month is not shown on the cover but the fine print on page 1 indicates this is the July, 1978 issue.

  9. Sanjiv Purba

    Actually, I remember some comic books back then in which Jim introduced his new role as having taken Stan Lee's old position. That would be a definitive date. I'll try to find it.

  10. Czeskleba, my poking around the Marvel wiki (after Jedi posted that link) produced similar mixed results, as did looking through some Essentials volumes. So, I suspect your guess about July and the slow crediting across the line is correct. Anyway, no big deal, but thank you for looking. Hope you are doing well!

  11. Marvel.wikia.com is incorrect. Shooter was not EIC when Spider-Man #176 was produced. Back then comics hit the stands three months before the cover date, so that issue would have gone on sale in October of 1977, three months before Shooter took over.

    Based on a random check of comics.org, the earliest issue I can find with Shooter credited as EIC is Avengers #171, dated May 1978 (meaning it would have gone on sale in February). However, with Master of Kung Fu he is not credited as EIC until the June 1978 issue, and with Iron Man and Defenders he is not credited until the July issues. I would guess by July he is finally credited across the entire line, but I don't have the time/desire to check every issue to be sure.

  12. Thanks, Jedi! That's really helpful, and very kind of you to look up. Hope you (and everyone!) are doing well!

  13. Brian, I just checked marvel.wikia.com for your answer. I guesstimated Amazing Spider-Man #178, maybe because the year 1978 made me think of it, and I was pretty close. I backed up a couple issues and see that Archie Goodwin was EIC on #175 and Jim Shooter was EIC on #176. The cover date on #176 is January, 1978. I seem to remember back in the '80s, cover dates were 2 months off from when the issue actually hit stands. I think they were 2 months ahead, so a January issue would actually hit stands in November. I could be wrong about that though and it could have been different back in '78.

    If Jim's in the same situation we are in Pennsylvania right now, he might be busy trying to protect all his valuable documents from being flooded out of the basement.

  14. Mr. Shooter, JayJay, or anyone else here who wants to chime in– kind of an odd question, but…You mentioned in a post about your early days at Marvel that you began work as Editor-in-Chief in January 1978, but do you know when the issues that marked the beginning of your EIC tenure might have come out? I know that Marvel worked/works several months ahead (I think I read four months, somewhere?), so would it be safe to assume the issues with you as EIC might have come out in April or so? I'm just kind of curious, for the sake of a project, and a lot of my Marvel back issues from that period are buried in long boxes somewhere, making it harder to check. (: Thanks!

  15. I'm with Mark Luebker, Emergency post stockpile needs to be made in advance in case of Apocalypse!


  17. I'm thinking there ought to be an inventory post on hand to slap in at the last minute…

  18. ja

    I won't say that, as I put one on order about 24 years ago, and it never arrived in the mail.

  19. sanjiv purba

    just don't say 'get a life'

  20. ja

    Mean people suck.

  21. Anonymous


  22. Sanjiv purba

    So it's not just me.


  23. LOL

    I popped back here every half hour to check last night (I was on for about 3 hours). Last site I visited before logging off hoping the latest post had gone up.

    Will check back about 10pm tonight

  24. ja

    Jim Shooter has made a very powerful trap for himself. His blog is so compelling that he's now a slave to producing something on a daily basis, that he's not being paid for.

    It must suck to be so popular… =P

  25. I'm addicted, too. I am reading the early posts that I missed when first published.


  26. Anonymous

    Argh, the suspense is killing me! I kept refreshing the blog yesterday in hopes of a Labor Day entry, and now today.

  27. Anonymous

    I heard that he was over at Marvel making people cry.

  28. Which, if we're at a rock concert, would be expected… 🙂

  29. sanjiv purba

    it's like we're at a rock concert and the band is late.

  30. I'll second that!

  31. Sanjiv Purba

    Reading these blogs is becoming an addiction!

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