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  1. #1
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    Default What was "Brand I" (circa 1966)?

    Reading some Superman comics from the 1960s and in the letter columns the readers and the editor refer to "Brand I," in a pejorative fashion. But what the heck is a "Brand I?" I assume they are referring to Marvel Comics, but why would it be an "I" brand? I know that Marvel sometimes called itself "The House of Ideas" (but National Periodicals would use the same slogan)--it seems like a real stretch to go from "House of Ideas" to "Brand I." Maybe the "I" refers to how ego-centric Stan Lee was in his promotion of Marvel back then--as it was all about him. Or is it "I" for Irving Forbush? As a derogatory label it seems awfully strained. I usually can remember all the hip 1960s lingo, but this "Brand I" has got me stumped.
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  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Dispenser Of Truth's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dispenser Of Truth View Post
    Thanks for that. You relieved a lot of pressure on my brain. It is curious the subtle distinction between Marvel and D.C. I remember someone in AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS [maybe Elliot Maggin or Cary Bates] pointing out the difference between National Periodicals and their competitor--they'd have a title like A.W.O.D.C.C. whereas the Marvelous Competition would have a title like F.O.O.M.

    Pat Curley's comment in that link--

    I'm amused that he thinks that DC was being more courteous by referring to Marvel as Brand I. In fact, that stemmed from a letter in Action Comics #332, when a Howard Berger wrote in mentioning the Brand Echh nickname Stan used and suggested that Marvel be known as Brand I for the editor's "I Complex" for "How great I am and how great are my stories." He also suggested that Marvels were "Imitations". He closed by asking the editor what he thought of the suggestion, and Weisinger replied, "Marvelous!"
    --explains the inside joke, but it's hardly a "sick burn." It's the kind of cerebral wisecrack that you would find from D.C.--their comics were more ironic than ribald in their humour (at least before Bat-Mania imposed broad camp comedy on some comic books). The joke in "Brand Echh!" is obvious from Marvel, the joke in "Brand I" depends on a near Masonic knowledge to get it.

    I actually think that is courteous, of a fashion. The National Periodical editors were above street fighting--they practiced the gentlemanly art of word play--like courtiers from the ancien régime.
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