Thursday, February 12, 2015

Never To Be A Fearless Front-Facer

How many of you knew ye these?

I don't recall seeing or hearing of any kid bragging about holding one or more of these Marvel "ranks," so I can only assume those in my neighborhood who qualified for them kept it on the down-low (or whatever passed for that term back in the early '70s). Except when it came to writing letters to Marvel mags. For a letter-writer, those ranks were worn proudly:

(Hey, it's Alan Kupperberg!)

As you can see, several of these fans held only the P.M.M. rank--but keep in mind that, unlike military rank, you're not necessarily higher up in Marvel rank by the number of stripes or stars you're wearing. In fact, since P.M.M. means that you're a holder of all four of the previous titles, you're as high as you can get on your own in Marvel rank, unless Marvel itself awards you the exalted F.F.F. title. Gosh, I don't remember anyone slapping the F.F.F. designation next to their name and address in a letter. I certainly slapped enough cash down on the counter for purchasing Marvel's comics (including a F.O.O.M. membership, darn it!)--you'd think that would qualify me for the F.F.F.

I can only claim the ranks of R.F.O., T.T.B., and Q.N.S. I may or may not have merited the K.O.F.--if I recruited anyone as a Marvel reader back then, it was done unintentionally (and probably unknowingly), so I have no real proof. Drat it--no P.M.M. for me.

As for where this promotional idea came from, a Bullpen Bulletins notice gives that information while taking the opportunity to promote Marvel's newest fan club:

ITEM! Just thought you'd like to know--the outspoken young fan who gave us the idea for the Ranks of Marveldom a few years ago (R.F.O.'s, F.F.F.'s, etc.) is now a full-fledged editor, turning out possibly the greatest fan mag of all for our own MARVELMANIA INTERNATIONAL! His name's MARK EVANIER, and he and his assistant editor, STURDY STEVEY SHERMAN, came to visit us the other day from sunny California where Marvelmania has its headquarters. They're a couple of young, zingy, with-it guys, and after yakkin' it up with 'em for a while it's easy to see why MARVELMANIA has become the toast of fandom! They were in town to attend the famous ComiCon '70, and speaking of conventions--

Yes, that Marvelmania, which came to an undignified end after just two years in operation. We can probably assume that, like Marvelmania itself, whatever rank these gentlemen formerly held with Marvel was no longer recognized.


Anonymous said...

I'm only a RFO and QNS, C.F, so I guess you technically outrank me. m.p.

Comicsfan said...

Well, since these ranks are long since defunct, m.p., I'd say we're both going to have start from the ground up again. :)

Colin Jones said...

If I remember correctly, to get an R.F.O. from Marvel UK you had to buy ALL the weeklies which at the peak was seven - so that meant buying 28 comics a month which I'd say qualified for an FFF !

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