Bullpen Bulletins

News and information page that appeared in most regular monthly comic books from Marvel Comics / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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"Bullpen Bulletins" (originally titled "Marvel Bullpen Bulletins") was the news and information page that appeared in most regular monthly comic books from Marvel Comics. In various incarnations since its inception in 1965 until its demise in 2001, it included previews of upcoming Marvel publications (the "Mighty Marvel Checklist"), profiles of Marvel staff members, and a monthly column written by Stan Lee known as "Stan's Soapbox" or "Stan Lee's Soapbox".

The first official "Marvel Bullpen Bulletins" page, from The Amazing Spider-Man #31 (Dec. 1965).

With "Bullpen Bulletins", Lee created the friendly, chatty editorial voice of Marvel Comics — "a style that could be characterized as High Hipster — two parts Lord Buckley, one part Austin Powers",[1] putting "himself on a first-name basis with the readership at a time when the rival DC editors generally came across... as... stodgy adults".[2]

The "Bullpen Bulletins" page was where Lee rhapsodized about the Marvel "bullpen", the stable of in-house creators who produced the company's comics. He often bestowed colorful sobriquets on Marvel staffers and creators; nicknames such as Stan "The Man" Lee and Jack "King" Kirby permeated into mass culture. The fictional Marvel staffer Irving Forbush also appeared regularly — as the butt of Lee's humor. Similarly, phrases like "Excelsior!", "'Nuff said", "True Believer", and "Make Mine Marvel", as well as other company mainstays like the No-Prize, were popularized there as well.

Lee often used "Marvel Bullpen Bulletins" and "Stan's Soapbox" to needle other comic book publishers,[3] which he referred to as the "Distinguished Competition" (i.e., DC) or, more disparagingly, "Brand Echh".[4] "Brand Echh" was a play on an advertising convention of the time, in which a competitor's product was not referred to by name, but simply as "Brand X".[5]