Monday, May 29, 2006

Another Letter From DC



Awhile back, I ran a piece on the form letters DC Comics sent fans in response to letters sent to their comics back in the sixties. More recently, I ran a letter I received from DC inviting me to join a new fan club. Well, today I ran across this forgotten missive from DC’s advertising department received in 1993. You know, sometimes it seems like DC was writing me more than I was writing them!
This time, they wanted me to take a survey. Apparently they wanted me to take it so badly that they were willing to pay me to do so! The letter contained one crisp new dollar bill (and no, it didn’t have Perry White’s face on it) as an enticement to return the survey. This was followed by the suggestion that it be used to go toward buying my next comic book.
The really bizarre part of this is that the back of the stationary contains this marvelous cheerleader move by seven of the most well-known superheroes with Wonder Woman clearly meant to be holding up the DC logo…but it’s on the other side! Was the letter printed on the wrong side? Was the illustration meant to be a lighter, background thing? What’s the deal? Oh, and who did the artwork? Wonder Woman and Robin almost look like friend Michael Netzer. Mike? Oh, and why the John Stewart Green Lantern, I wonder? Just sneaking in a little diversity?
Anyway, I did return the survey but they appear to have ignored anything and everything I said as I have spent the last 13 years since then buying less and less current DC books and, more recently, paying less and less attention to them altogether. I just never thought that would happen but I guess the lesson learned is that nothing lasts forever. I used the dollar to buy a large candy bar and split it with my wife.

6 comments:

Dulaney said...

I always thought DC's stationary with the heroes on the back serving as watermark was cool. Have a letter from Dick Giordano from 87-88 with a similar line-up of heroes. (Not having it in front of me, I'd have to assume the main difference between our letters would be the change to Robin's costume.) IIRC, John Stewart would've been "active" in the GREEN LANTERN: MOSAIC title around that time. (He was also "THE" GL around the time of CRISIS so he might have been on my letter.)

As to the artist, I'd say it would be Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez as he was the main style guide artist and I think I recall seeing the line art in a recent book about his work. That said, I wouldn't rule out other hands doing touch ups over time.

Michael Netzer said...

I'm innocent of this one, Steve. The back image was produced entirely by Neal Adams at his Continuity Studios. In the fall of 1991.

I remember this well because I was working at Continuity at the time, producing storyboard work, and watched him put this commission together for DC.

Although I worked on many such pieces with Neal, for ads, record album art and many such things Continuity produced for DC in the late Seventies, this wasn't the case with this particular piece he produced 1991.

Michael Netzer said...

Oh, and to answer the first part of the question. The letter is printed exactly as intended. The paper chosen was purposely transtlucent enough for the image to be seen from the back (and vice versa). Notice how perfectly situated it is. Superman stands on the fine-print info bottom line (though slighly hovering over it.) and Wonder Woman's hands land directly under the logo to appear as if she's holding it. That was the gimmick.

Now, as I remember, this was DC's production dept. idea and Neal had some reservations about how well the whole thing would work. I'd suppose the idea had enough merit for him to do it anyway.

BUT.. taking your comment as an indication, it is a little lacking and somewhat confusing. Perhaps if they'd printed the DC logo (backwards?) on the back also, the intent would've been more clear.

Michael Netzer said...

One more thought. We can see from Robin, Shazam, Flash and Superman, that the image on the back is printed backwards. Their emblems, which aren't symetrical like the others, are mirror imaged so as to be correct when seen from the front.

I'm now convinced they should've also printed the DC logo, also backwards, on the back.

Booksteve said...

Thanks, Michael. I can't believe I missed the backwards logo clue!
Yeah, it must have seemed like a good idea but it sure as heck confused me. At least I got a buck out of it!

Anonymous said...

I have one of these letters also in mint condition and I still HAVE THE DOLLAR BILL that was included.

It's quite crisp.

Alan Bryan
aka JettBlackBerryX
alan.bryan1@us.army.mil