Thursday, March 24, 2011

Marvel Bullpen photos from the 1970s: Roy Thomas, John Romita, Herb Trimpe, George Perez, John Byrne and more!

John Byrne, George Perez, Ralph Macchio at a 1978 con

As a kid, my biggest fantasy was to grow up and work in the Marvel Bullpen.  Probably my imagination made the Marvel offices even bigger and better that it actually was—most people say it was quite small and cramped.  However, here’s a look at some of our favorite creators from that mid 1970s!  The above photo of John Byrne, George Perez, and Ralph Macchio was taken at a 1978 convention.  Macchio, who most readers know as a long time editor, was a famous Marvel letter column writer.  I was so envious that he got more letters published than anyone, except for perhaps T.M. Maple.  Macchio realized the dream that so many of us had, rising from fan to writer to editor.  And he’s stayed at Marvel longer than almost anyone!

Mighty Marvel Comic Con 1975 cover

The next set of Bullpen photos come from this 1975 Mighty Marvel Convention booklet.  I believe this was the first ever convention designed especially for the Marvel fans.  I have a really snazzy poster that John Buscema did for the con over on Giant-Size Marvel.

Marvel Bullpen 1975 mug shots 1

Bullpen Unleashed: a photo guide to your favorite Marvel writers, artists, editors, and staffers!  Dan Adkins, John Verpoorten, Chris Claremont, Don McGregor, Irene Vartanoff, Glynis Wein, Roy Thomas, Marie Severin.   Interesting to see Verpoorten’s picture: the editorial pages were full of his threats against various creators for missing the Dreaded Deadline Doom.  McGregor probably hit that as much as anyone.  For a lady who made a lot jokes with a pencil, Marie Severin doesn’t look too happy there.

Marvel Bullpen 1975 mug shots 2

Paty Cockrum, Duffy Vohland, Scott Edelman, Marv Wolfman.  I had first known of Paty and Duffy from the pages of FOOM, so it was good to see them here.  Edelman I recognized from the Scarecrow, FOOM, and other credits.  Marv Wolfman, of course, was one of Marvel’s best writers.  Steve Englehart isn’t represented here, what a shame!

Marvel Bullpen 1975 mug shots 3

Bill Mantlo, Janice Cohen, Mike Esposito and Morrie Kuramoto, among others.  I feel sad every time I see Mantlo’s name and wish him well.  He was kind enough to send me a postcard after I wrote a fan letter.

Marvel Bullpen 1975 mug shots 4

Michele Wolfman, Gene Colan, Len Wein, Roger Slifer, Tony Mortellaro, John Romita Sr, and Sol Brodsky.  Love that hat on Len Wein and the bandana on Roger Slifer!  Gene Colan looks very rugged and dashing, I must say.  For more pics of Romita in the 1970s, see my FOOM article.

Marvel Bullpen 1975 mug shots 5

Jim Salicrup, Frank Giacio, Herb Trimpe, John Buscema, Billy Graham, Frank Robbins, Ron Wilson, Arvell Jones, Keith Pollard.  Herb Trimpe is a very nice guy—but in that picture, I’d be afraid to ask him for a Hulk sketch.  Frank Robbins seems a bit scattered in that photo—is there any relation to his drawing style?   For you Marvel Two-In-One fans, this one is the jackpot: Wilson, Jones, and Pollard each drew issues of that book.

Marvel Bullpen 1975 mug shots 6

Dave Cockrum, Dick Giordano, Doug Moench, Neal Adams, Russ Heath, Howard Bender, Archie Goodwin, Chic Stone, and Dick Ayers.  I had always pictured Moench with long hair, and this photo did not disappoint!  Interesting the Heath drew a self portrait—he was just mentioned on Twitter yesterday by Tom Brevoort.  And if you always wondered what Dick Ayers looked like, now you know the face behind those westerns and war comics.

Marvel Bullpen 1975 mug shots 7

Win Mortimer, Joe Sinnott, George Tuska, Frank Springer, Klaus Janson, Sal Trapani, and Joe Staton.  For some reason, Tuska looked exactly as I’d pictured him.  Klaus Janson was just starting out in his career back then.  Joe Staton was making the transition from Charlton to Marvel.

Marvel Bullpen 1975 mug shots 8

Jack Abel, Michele Brand, Tom Palmer, Frank Brunner, Bob McLeod, John Costanza, Sal Buscema.  Nice to see a letterer in this bunch with Costanza!  It is amazing how long Tom Palmer has been working in this business—you can see Palmer in the Kick-Ass Blu Ray extra content, where they show how he worked on Romita Jr’s pencils.

Hope you all dug this groovy look back at the past with the Marvel Bullpen.  Nuff Said!


  1. I never saw the Bullpen of the Seventies…but I worked at Marvel a decade after that convention, and a few faces here get me a little choked up.

    At the time Danny Crespi was head of the production department, so he was my boss. He was the most incredibly kind and patient guy you could imagine and everyone adored him. He could not have been nicer and more tolerant toward me, though I hardly deserved it! When he died in 1986, everyone was in shock. I had no clue he'd been sick and he never let on, but it turned out he'd had leukemia for years. All these years later I remember that day vividly, all of us walking around in a daze.

    Jack Abel was working as a proofreader then. Another of the most popular and beloved people at Marvel. I never told him what a huge fan of his inking I was, because I wanted him to think of me as one of the gang and not just some fan who was hanging around. Not because I thought he'd be disdainful, but because I was afraid he might be embarrassed. Now of course I wish I'd said something anyway...

  2. Richard, thank you so much for writing and sharing your memories of the 1980s Marvel Bullpen! I remember reading about Crespi, either in Marvel Age or the Bullpen Bulletins. Jack Abel, I remember his inks on Killraven, Hulk, and other titles. His style worked particularly well with Herb Trimpe.


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