Here’s another vintage newspaper article on the burgeoning comic book fandom of the 1960s, this one a profile on a young pre-Marvel Roy Thomas. As most know, Roy went on to become one of the most popular and influential writers and editors of the 1960s and beyond–but at the time this piece saw print in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1965, he was still merely a teacher of English Literature at Fox High School. Though the closing paragraphs indicate that while this article was being worked on, Roy received the invitation from DC’s Mort Weisinger to come and work for him as his assistant editor in place of E. Nelson Bridwell. Roy would take that job, but it would go sour rapidly, within days, and he wound up instead jumping ship to Marvel when Stan Lee offered him a similar position. The whole history of comics would have been markedly different had Roy remained at DC and stuck the situation out.
3 thoughts on “A Serious Student of the Comic Books”
Thomas said in one interview that his thoughts after Lee’s offer were on the lines of “please don’t let it be for less money because I can’t live on less — but I’ll take it to get away from Mort!”
In a Comics Journal interview, Roy recalled that Stan asked him what he had to do to get Roy to move to Marvel. Roy replied that all he had to do was pay the $115/week that Mort had promised, which had mysteriously shrunk to $100 when he actually showed up.
Roy Thomas contributed much to comics, but for me, nothing compares to his decision to hire Steve Gerber at Marvel. Gerber was the first writer to show me that comics could be about something other than guys in tights punching each other. He was a talented, original writer that we lost much too soon.