A promise is a promise!

A promise is a promise!: "It was in a book he wrote in 1947 — called Secrets Behind the Comics — that the 24-year-old future head of Marvel, Stan Lee, offered readers a chance to have their comic book artwork reviewed for the price of $1. So imagine his surprise when, 25 years later in 1972, an aspiring artist named Russell Maheras attempted to take him up on his offer by sending Lee his Souperman spoof along with a fee, kindly doubled to take inflation into account, of $2. Lee's gracious response can be seen below.

Transcript follows. Image courtesy of Russ Mahera at The Comics Journal.


Marvel Comics Group

December 7, 1972

Mr. Russell Maheras


Dear Russ:

Okay, never let it be said that sweet ol' Stan ever reneged on an offer (even if it was made 25 years ago!) A promise is a promise! And besides, I can use the two bucks.

However, rates have gone up in 25 years, so all your buck and the buck for postage will buy you is a footnote! Hence footnote--

Do you have talent? Yeah, it seems that way. Have you a sense of humor? Apparently. Is your artwork of professional caliber? Not yet. Why not? Glad you asked--

Your anatomy is still weak-- practice it, study it, work on it. Don't worry too much about inking yet. That can come later. The pencilling is the important thing to begin with. Your layouts are good. You seem to have the ability to tell a story pictorially-- which is important in comics, obviously. But, if you really wanna become a pro, you're kidding around too much. Nobody's impressed with 'Souperman' takeoffs now. We were doing them 30 years ago. Do real serious stuff. For example, pick a character you think you could handle-- HULK for example. Then do a serious, no-kidding story about him-- using your own drawings and layouts (no swipes). That's the only way to really tell if you have the stuff or not. When you think your work is as good as what's already appearing in the mags, send it in to us-- or DC, or anybody. Till then, keep studying.

Worth $2.00?

(Signed, 'Stan')


P.S.-- Your backgrounds are pretty good, too.

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