The Origin of Stamp #101!

We first heard about Stamp #101 in an email from "Mojo" Mark O'English, one of the writers of the May 2006 Marvel Legacy: 1970s Handbook #1, a contributor to this site in the past, and the keeper of the great Marvel Two-in-One website, The Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Home Page.

Shortly thereafter, we heard from "Mellow" Mike Fichera, another of the writers of the Handbook -- and none other than the creator of the mysterious Stamp #101. Here's the inside scoop from Mike, himself:

"When we started working on the Marvel Legacy: 1970s Handbook, we were looking for things that captured the essence of '70s Marvel - the return of horror, some cheesy villains, there was glam, there was angst, there was F.O.O.M., there were the little boxes with the floating heads in the top left corner of the covers, and there were Marvel Value Stamps. Personally, I never was a page-snipper, but I certainly remember those little colorful squares. We also discussed using the little blurbs at the bottom left of each page that solicited some other Marvel comic, but that concept was dropped.

"We were down to the wire on our due date, focusing on our bios and bibliography data, when someone remembered the Marvel Value Stamp idea we discussed months before! Knowing the clock was ticking and it was too late to make a last minute request to the Bullpen artists, we figured the best way to help make this a reality was to draw it ourselves. So, I took the task to construct the new stamp.

"We knew we wanted a classic '70s character never previously profiled on a stamp. Handbook writer Michael Hoskin suggested we go with Stamp #101, and use Forbush Man. I went to for a quick reference of the historical series, and decided we should extend Series A. With a nod of approval from our Handbook Chief, Jeff Christiansen, Mr. Hoskin directed me to the cover of Not Brand Ecch #5.

"I did three backgrounds. First I tried a "faded 1970s comic book black" but it looked a bit drab. Next was purple to retain the nighttime moonlit mood. Still I tried one more tweak with a dot-pattern to resemble the primitive printing processes of past publishers! (Take that alliteration, Stan Lee!) Handbook editor Jennifer Grunwald found a home for it on the "Where are they now?" page, and the rest is history! I'm really proud of that stamp, and I hope everyone bought two copies of the book - one to preserve and one to read under the sheets at night by flashlight...with a little square snipped out of the back cover!"

--Mike Fichera, Writer: Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe
Thanks, Mike, for keeping the MVS flame alive! A Forbush Man stamp was the perfect way to end a handbook on Marvel of the 1970s. And it was a tribute within a tribute, since the artwork from the cover was by Marie Severin, one of the key people involved in the original Series A promotion!

And Stamp #101 was later followed by a brand new Stamp #102! Verily, thou art a True Believer!
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