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A Fanboy In New York, Part 1: Marvel Comics

What do you think of when you think of New York? Going to the museums? A Broadway show? Maybe that big green statue in the harbor? Nah, if you’re a real fanboy, you think about two things: This is the home of Marvel and DC comics. So when I recently decided to vacation in Manhattan, we immediately asked these prestigious bullpens to let Fanboy Planet drop by for a visit, and they both made time for us last Thursday.

I arrived at the Marvel Offices at 417 Fifth Ave on a rainy Thursday morning, signed the guest book in the lobby and took the elevator to the 11th floor, where I was met by Arune Singh, sales coordinator for Marvel. Arune has only been with Marvel for a few weeks, having previously written for Comic Book Resources.

Arune has a very cool Iron Fist tattoo, and I wish we had a photo of it. However, once we were inside the Marvel offices there was no photography allowed. There were simply too many “secrets” lying around.

Seriously Arune was a terrific host who walked me around the offices showing off all the highpoints, such as:

• Walls of years and years worth Marvel action figures (including variants). These just seemed to go on forever. All still in the card of course.

• The Danger Room – no, seriously, they have a Danger Room. Unfortunately it was occupied by a bunch of folks having a meeting so I couldn’t go in and see what crazy death traps were in play that day. Might have been just a conference room, though.

• Tons of cubicle offices, all laden with an amazing array of Marvel memorabilia. We did go into the current incarnation of “the Bullpen” which is primarily occupied by Marketing and Sales Publications, but surrounded by exterior offices of the editorial staff.

• A new talking Spider-Man toy in the Black costume. Probably 12” inches, was being demoed in the display box as we passed by.

We talked for a bit about the upcoming Spider-Man week in New York. Starting April 30th through May 6th, this event is heavily advertised all over the island. It’s composed of more than two dozen separate events taking place at the Museum of Natural History, the Bronx Zoo and even a Gray Line bus tour of locations made famous by Spider-Man. The closing event is a spider-rap-showdown at the Apollo Theatre. This week is packed with Spidey events, sure to be a great time. Find out more online.

Of course, the most enjoyable part of visiting the House of Ideas was talking to the editors. We sat down for long chat with Editor Bill Rosemann. (editor's note: Ric's full interview with Bill Rosemann coming soon)

Bill is a terrific guy, who makes no attempt to hide his love of his work. He’s in charge of the “Varsity Team” of Marvel heroes, almost anything without an X in its name. He shared his thoughts with us on

the psychological basis behind the Fallen Son series and the reasons and ramifications of the death of Captain America

• the subtle appeal of Ms. Marvel, her history and motivations

• Marvel’s adaptation of Steven King’s Dark Tower series

• Our mutual appreciation for the cover work of Greg Horn, and much more!

We were also fortunate enough to a few minutes with Editor Mark Paniccia. Mark was fighting as cold, but still gave us a briefing on the upcoming World War Hulk and its cast of characters. Mark and Bill’s interviews are included in their entirety in this week’s Fanboy Planet Podcast, so make sure to listen!

After we'd left the offices, we received mysterious Marvel emails with several cover images from upcoming events...take a look at what happens when Hulk meets Iron Man...

To be continued in Fanboy In New York - Part II: DC

Ric Bretschneider


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