Fandom Before the Internet

This is what Red Sonja looked like back before the internet when comics were sold at newsstands and convenience stores, and the only way to see how comics were made was through obscure, mail-order magazines.

Such was the case with F.O.O.M. which stood for Friends Of Ol’ Marvel. F.O.O.M. was a fan publication published by Marvel, but it was only available by mail. It was a two-color pamphlet that gleefully trumpeted the past triumphs and shilled upcoming publications of Marvel Comics. Yeah, a lot of it was hype, but I loved it dearly.

If I remember correctly, it came out quarterly which made me the most persistent and annoying mailbox checker for most of the year. When it did arrive, it felt like Christmas. Christmas came four times a year! It was packed with interviews, articles and both published and unpublished illustrations. The unpublished illustrations were the real treat for me. I don’t remember seeing the sexy drawing of Red Sonja by Marshall Rogers anywhere else other than F.O.O.M. #14 which was published in 1976.

I’m not sure what happened to F.O.O.M. Other publications that covered comics came out, but I never really chased them down. Eventually these other magazines that covered comics would wither and die as the Internet took hold and the comics news sites grew. What I am seeing now is that these news sites are chasing eyeballs with trumped up controversies and endless clickbait. Now the comics they cover are withering away. It’s sad.

I miss F.O.O.M.

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