Marvel Fireside Books

Marvel Fireside Books were a series of full-color trade paperbacks featuring Marvel Comics stories and characters co-published by Marvel and the Simon & Schuster division Fireside Books from 1974 to 1979.

These books enabled fans of the old comic books to have access to the stories without having to pay exorbitant prices for the original back issues. It introduced new readers to the work of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and other Marvel creators, and packaged the material in a traditional book format that carried more cachet than the flimsy pamphlet style of a typical comic book. Many of the books featured painted covers illustrated by such artists as Bob Larkin,[1] John Romita Sr., and Earl Norem. In this way, the series was an antecedent to the now common practice of packaging "classic" stories into archival editions and trade paperback collections including Marvel's 1998 book Grandson of Origins of Marvel Comics.

Publishing history

The Silver Surfer (1978), the only Marvel Fireside edition featuring original material. Cover art by Earl Norem.

Marvel Publisher Stan Lee came up with the idea of compiling the origins of some of their most popular characters in a book format similar to Jules Feiffer's 1965 book The Great Comic Book Heroes. Teaming up with Fireside, the paperback imprint of Simon & Schuster, Marvel initially produced Origins of Marvel Comics in 1974,[2] featuring the origins of the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, and Doctor Strange. Like the books to follow, Origins featured a foreword by Lee, and short introductions to each section, which followed the format of presenting the character's origin followed by a contemporary story by current Marvel contributors.

Origins of Marvel Comics was followed in 1975 with Son of Origins of Marvel Comics, featuring the origins of the X-Men, Iron Man, the Avengers, Daredevil, Nick Fury, the Watcher, and the Silver Surfer.

The two Origins books were followed by Bring on the Bad Guys, origins of a selection of Marvel villains; and The Superhero Women, featuring some of Marvel's most popular female superheroes. Eventually, the series moved away from origin stories and published collections of classic stories with individual characters such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Captain America, and Doctor Strange.[3]

One of the Marvel Fireside Books superhero story editions was not a reprint but an original story. The Silver Surfer (1978) by Stan Lee, with art by Kirby and Joe Sinnott, was a new take on the late 1960s icon; and is considered by many to be one of the first true "graphic novels".[4]

In conjunction with their reprint collections, Marvel and Fireside also produced a number of activity and game books by Owen McCarron, how-to books, and even a cookbook, again all featuring Marvel characters. The most well-known and popular book of this kind was 1978's How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, which is still in print.

Marvel/Fireside published 24 different books, many with multiple printings in both hardcover and paperback.

Original graphic novels

  • The Silver Surfer: The Ultimate Cosmic Experience,[5] 114 pages, September 1978, ISBN 978-0671242251

Reprint collections

  • Origins of Marvel Comics collects Fantastic Four #1 and #55, The Incredible Hulk #1 and #118, Amazing Fantasy #15, The Amazing Spider-Man #72, Journey into Mystery #83, Thor #143, and Strange Tales #110, #115, and #155,[6] 254 pages, September 1974, ISBN 978-0671218638
  • Son of Origins of Marvel Comics collects X-Men #1, Tales of Suspense #39 and #97, The Avengers #1, Daredevil #1 and #47, Strange Tales #135, and The Silver Surfer #1,[7] 249 pages, October 1975, ISBN 978-0671221669
  • Bring on the Bad Guys: Origins of the Marvel Comics Villains collects Fantastic Four #5, Fantastic Four Annual #2, Strange Tales #126–127, Journey into Mystery #112–113, and 115, Tales of Suspense #66–68, The Amazing Spider-Man #40, Tales to Astonish #90–91, and The Silver Surfer #3,[8] 253 pages, October 1976, ISBN 978-0671223557
  • The Superhero Women: Featuring the Fabulous Females of Marvel Comics collects The Amazing Spider-Man #62 and #86, Marvel Feature vol. 2 #4, Fantastic Four #22, Ms. Marvel #1, Thor #189–190, The Cat #1, Tales to Astonish #44, Savage Tales #1, and Shanna the She-Devil #2,[9] 254 pages, November 1977, ISBN 978-0671229283
  • The Best of Spidey Super Stories collects Spidey Super Stories #2, 4, 9–10, 16, 18–19, and 22,[10] 128 pages, January 1978, ISBN 9780671242206
  • The Incredible Hulk collects The Incredible Hulk #3, Fantastic Four #12, The Avengers #3, Tales to Astonish #60–74 and #88,[11] 253 pages, July 1978, ISBN 978-0671242244
  • Marvel's Greatest Superhero Battles collects Fantastic Four #25–26, Daredevil #7, X-Men #3, The Silver Surfer #4, Tales of Suspense#79–80, Tales to Astonish #82, Strange Tales #139–141, and The Amazing Spider-Man #69,[12] 253 pages, November 1978, ISBN 978-0671243913
  • The Amazing Spider-Man collects The Amazing Spider-Man #42–43, 82, and 96–98,[13] 128 pages, May 1979, ISBN 978-0671248130
  • The Fantastic Four collects Fantastic Four #4, 48–50, and 87,[14] 128 pages, September 1979, ISBN 978-0671248123
  • Doctor Strange Master of the Mystic Arts collects Strange Tales #111, 116, 119–120, 123, 131–133, The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2, and Marvel Premiere #3,[15] 132 pages, October 1979, ISBN 9780671248147
  • Captain America Sentinel of Liberty collects Captain America Comics #3, Tales of Suspense #59, 63, 79–81, The Avengers #4, and Captain America #110 and 122,[16] 128 pages, October 1979, ISBN 978-0671252328

Activity and how-to titles

  • The Mighty Marvel Superheroes Fun Book 128 pages, June 1976, ISBN 978-0671223106
  • The Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness Book 128 pages, September 1976, ISBN 978-0671223120
  • The Mighty Marvel Superheroes Fun Book #2 128 pages, June 1977, ISBN 978-0671227586
  • The Mighty Marvel Superheroes Cookbook 95 pages, September 1977, ISBN 978-0671225599
  • The Mighty Marvel Fun Book #3 128 pages, July 1978, ISBN 978-0671242237
  • How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way 192 pages, September 1978, ISBN 978-0671530778
  • Marvel Mazes to Drive You Mad October 1978, ISBN 978-0671243388
  • The Mighty Marvel Pin-Up Book 45 pages, November 1978, ISBN 978-0671243906
  • The Mighty Marvel Fun Book #4 (January 1979), ISBN 9780671243890
  • The Mighty Marvel Fun Book #5 (October 1979), ISBN 9780671248154
  • Marvel Word Games August 1979, ISBN 978-0671248086
  • The Mighty Marvel Jumbo Fun Book 352 pages, 1979, ISBN 9780671248109

See also


  1. ^ Lawrence, Chris (2016). "Artist Profile: Bob Larkin". The Art of Painted Comics. Mount Laurel, New Jersey: Dynamite Entertainment. p. 100. ISBN 978-1606903537.
  2. ^ Saffel, Steve (2007). "A Novel Approach". Spider-Man the Icon: The Life and Times of a Pop Culture Phenomenon. London, United Kingdom: Titan Books. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-84576-324-4. It was Simon and Shuster's trade division Fireside Books that published some of the most influential comic book collections of all time, beginning with Stan Lee's Origins of Marvel Comics, released in 1974.
  3. ^ Fredt, Stephan (February 2016). "The Other Marvel Team-Up: Simon & Schuster (Fireside) and Marvel". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (86): 61–70.
  4. ^ Sanderson, Peter; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1970s". Marvel Chronicle: A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 187. ISBN 978-0756641238. [In 1978], Simon & Shuster's Fireside Books published a paperback book titled The Silver Surfer by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby...This book was later recognized as Marvel's first true graphic novel.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "The Silver Surfer". Grand Comics Database.
  6. ^ "Origins of Marvel Comics". Grand Comics Database.
  7. ^ "Son of Origins of Marvel Comics". Grand Comics Database.
  8. ^ "Bring on the Bad Guys: Origins of the Marvel Comics Villains". Grand Comics Database.
  9. ^ "The Superhero Women". Grand Comics Database.
  10. ^ "The Best of Spidey Super Stories". Grand Comics Database.
  11. ^ "The Incredible Hulk". Grand Comics Database.
  12. ^ "Marvel's Greatest Superhero Battles". Grand Comics Database.
  13. ^ "The Amazing Spider-Man". Grand Comics Database.
  14. ^ "The Fantastic Four". Grand Comics Database.
  15. ^ "Doctor Strange Master of the Mystic Arts". Grand Comics Database.
  16. ^ "Captain America Sentinel of Liberty". Grand Comics Database.

External links

1974 in comics

Notable events of 1974 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

Bob Larkin

Bob Larkin (born July 10, 1949) is an American comics artist primarily known for his painted covers for Marvel Comics' magazine-format titles Marvel Magazines in the 1970s and early 1980s and for his 32 painted covers on the Bantam Books paperback reissues series of the Doc Savage pulp novels.

Bruce Banner (Marvel Cinematic Universe)

Bruce Banner is a character portrayed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film franchise first by Edward Norton and currently by Mark Ruffalo, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name and known commonly by his alter ego, Hulk. In the films, Dr. Banner, is a renowned physicist who subjected himself to a gamma radiation experiment designed to replicate a World War II-era "super soldier" program. The experiment failed, and now causes Banner to transform into a green, hulking beast whenever his heart rate goes above 200 bpm or if he is placed in mortal danger. The Hulk is incredibly strong and acts largely on the instinct of self-preservation, attacking anything that he perceives as a threat. Banner has demonstrated an increasing ability to control the transformation, calling the Hulk at will, but is generally not able to recall events during the time he is in that form. The Hulk, conversely, has become increasingly aware of Banner and able to stall the transformation back - one time staying in Hulk form for two years, becoming able to speak with others and control his destructive rage. As of 2019, the character is one of the central figures of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having appeared in five films of the series, one uncredited cameo in Iron Man 3, and will appear in the upcoming film Avengers: Endgame.


As a noun, fireside may refer to:

A fireside, the area near a domestic fireplace or a fire ring

A Fireside (LDS Church), an evening meeting in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)

an apple cultivar, see Fireside (apple)As a title, Fireside may refer to:

Fireside Chats, evening radio talks given by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression

Fireside Poets, group of 19th-century U.S. poets from New England

Fireside Books, publishing imprint of Simon & Schuster

Fireside (band), Swedish rock band

The Fireside Bowl, concert venue in Chicago, Illinois

The Fireside Girls, a group of female protagonists in the TV cartoon Phineas and Ferb

Fireside, British Columbia, a community in Canada

Fireside, Ohio, a community in the United States

Forbush Man

Forbush Man (spelled Forbush-Man in his early appearances) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Originally the mascot of Marvel's Not Brand Echh, he is the alter-ego of Irving Forbush, a fictional employee of "Marble Comics" (a parody of Marvel). Forbush was devised in 1955 by Marvel editor Stan Lee to refer to an imaginary low-grade colleague who was often the butt of Lee's jokes. In his guise of Forbush-Man, he first appeared in 1967.

According to Marvel Comics' Alternate Universes 2005, Forbush Man is a native of Earth 665, as opposed to Marvel's regular Earth-616.

How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way

How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way is a book by Stan Lee and John Buscema. The book teaches the aspiring comic book artist how to draw and create comic books. The examples are from Marvel Comics and Buscema artwork. It was first published in 1978 by Marvel Fireside Books and has been reprinted regularly. The book created a generation of cartoonists who learned there was a "Marvel way to draw and a wrong way to draw". It is considered "one of the best instruction books on creating comics ever produced."Some believe the "exercises in the book are silly with its stick figures, cylinders, cubes, and storytelling." Scott McCloud has cited the book as a good reference for teaching the process of making comic books.Lee and Buscema also created a video version of the book which is now on DVD.


The Hulk is a fictional superhero appearing in publications by the American publisher Marvel Comics. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in the debut issue of The Incredible Hulk (May 1962). In his comic book appearances, the character is both the Hulk, a green-skinned, hulking and muscular humanoid possessing a vast degree of physical strength, and his alter ego Dr. Robert Bruce Banner, a physically weak, socially withdrawn, and emotionally reserved physicist, the two existing as independent personalities and resenting of the other.

Following his accidental exposure to gamma rays during the detonation of an experimental bomb, Banner is physically transformed into the Hulk when subjected to emotional stress, at or against his will, often leading to destructive rampages and conflicts that complicate Banner's civilian life. The Hulk's level of strength is normally conveyed as proportionate to his level of anger. Commonly portrayed as a raging savage, the Hulk has been represented with other personalities based on Banner's fractured psyche, from a mindless, destructive force, to a brilliant warrior, or genius scientist in his own right. Despite both Hulk and Banner's desire for solitude, the character has a large supporting cast, including Banner's lover Betty Ross, his friend Rick Jones, his cousin She-Hulk, sons Hiro-Kala and Skaar, and his co-founders of the superhero team the Avengers. However, his uncontrollable power has brought him into conflict with his fellow heroes and others.

Lee stated that the Hulk's creation was inspired by a combination of Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Although the Hulk's coloration has varied throughout the character's publication history, the most usual color is green. He has two main catchphrases: "Hulk is strongest one there is!" and the better-known "Hulk smash!", which has founded the basis for numerous pop culture memes.

One of the most iconic characters in popular culture, the character has appeared on a variety of merchandise, such as clothing and collectable items, inspired real-world structures (such as theme park attractions), and been referenced in a number of media. Banner and the Hulk have been adapted in live-action, animated, and video game incarnations. The most notable of these were the 1970s The Incredible Hulk television series, in which the character was portrayed by Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. The character was first played in a live-action feature film by Eric Bana, with Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo portraying the character in the films The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Jack Kirby

Jack "King" Kirby (born Jacob Kurtzberg ; August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994) was an American comic book artist, writer, and editor, widely regarded as one of the medium's major innovators and one of its most prolific and influential creators. He grew up in New York City, and learned to draw cartoon figures by tracing characters from comic strips and editorial cartoons. He entered the nascent comics industry in the 1930s, drawing various comics features under different pen names, including Jack Curtiss, before ultimately settling on Jack Kirby. In 1940, he and writer-editor Joe Simon created the highly successful superhero character Captain America for Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel Comics. During the 1940s Kirby regularly teamed with Simon, creating numerous characters for that company and for National Comics Publications, later to become DC Comics.

After serving in the European Theater in World War II, Kirby produced work for DC, Harvey Comics, Hillman Periodicals, and other publishers. At Crestwood Publications, he and Simon created the genre of romance comics and later founded their own short-lived comic company, Mainline Publications. Kirby was involved in Timely's 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics, which in the next decade became Marvel. There, in the 1960s, Kirby, under writer-editor Stan Lee, created many of the company's major characters, including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Hulk. The Lee–Kirby titles garnered high sales and critical acclaim, but in 1970, feeling he had been treated unfairly, largely in the realm of authorship credit and creators' rights, Kirby left the company for rival DC.

At DC, Kirby created his Fourth World saga, which spanned several comics titles. While these series proved commercially unsuccessful and were canceled, the Fourth World's New Gods have continued as a significant part of the DC Universe. Kirby returned to Marvel briefly in the mid-to-late 1970s, then ventured into television animation and independent comics. In his later years, Kirby, who has been called "the William Blake of comics", began receiving great recognition in the mainstream press for his career accomplishments, and in 1987 he was one of the three inaugural inductees of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. In 2017, Kirby was posthumously named a Disney Legend with Lee for their co-creations not only in the field of publishing, but also because those creations formed the basis for The Walt Disney Company's financially and critically successful media franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Kirby was married to Rosalind Goldstein in 1942. They had four children, and remained married until his death from heart failure in 1994, at the age of 76. The Jack Kirby Awards and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame were named in his honor, and he is known as "The King" among comics fans for his many influential contributions to the medium.

Jack Kirby bibliography

Jack Kirby was a prolific comics creator who created a large number of American comic books and characters, particularly for Marvel Comics and DC Comics.

John Buscema

John Buscema (; Italian: [buʃˈʃɛːma]; born Giovanni Natale Buscema, December 11, 1927 – January 10, 2002) was an American comic book artist and one of the mainstays of Marvel Comics during its 1960s and 1970s ascendancy into an industry leader and its subsequent expansion to a major pop culture conglomerate. His younger brother Sal Buscema is also a comic book artist.

Buscema is best known for his run on the series The Avengers and The Silver Surfer, and for over 200 stories featuring the sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian. In addition, he pencilled at least one issue of nearly every major Marvel title, including long runs on two of the company's top magazines, Fantastic Four and Thor.

He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2002.

Ken Mora

Kenneth Oscar "Ken" Mora (born December 17, 1960) is an American screenplay writer, director, producer, publisher, and voice actor. He is best known for creating the computer-animated short films Magnum Farce: A Shot in the Park (2009) and Magnum Farce: Along Came a Sniper (2011). He is currently producing the feature film Magnum Farce under the aegis of his production company Bella Fe Films, in cooperation with Light Row Pictures. Mora is also executive producer of Adventures in Plymptoons (2012) the official biographical documentary of animator Bill Plympton, and associate producer of Revengeance (2017) the feature animated film by Plympton and Jim Lujan.

Marvel Books

Marvel Books refers to prose books licensed by Marvel Entertainment or its division in the 1980s that published coloring books and sticker books. Marvel Publishing/Worldwide also twice launched its Marvel Press prose novel imprint, in 2004 and in 2011.

Silver Surfer

The Silver Surfer is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character also appears in a number of movies, television, and video game adaptations. The character was created by Jack Kirby, and first appeared in the comic book Fantastic Four #48, published in 1966.

The Silver Surfer is a humanoid with metallic skin who can travel through space with the aid of his surfboard-like craft. Originally a young astronomer named Norrin Radd on the planet Zenn-La, he saved his homeworld from the planet devourer, Galactus, by serving as his herald. Imbued in return with a tiny portion of Galactus's Power Cosmic, Radd acquired vast power, a new body and a surfboard-like craft on which he could travel faster than light. Now known as the Silver Surfer, Radd roamed the cosmos searching for planets for Galactus to consume. When his travels took him to Earth, he met the Fantastic Four, who helped him rediscover his humanity and nobility of spirit. Betraying Galactus, the Surfer saved Earth but was exiled there as punishment.In 2011, IGN ranked Silver Surfer 41st in its "Top 100 Comic Heroes" list. He was portrayed by Doug Jones and voiced by Laurence Fishburne in the 2007 film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

Silver Surfer (comic book)

Silver Surfer, or The Silver Surfer, is the title of several series of comic books published by Marvel Comics featuring the Silver Surfer.

Stan Lee

Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber ; December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018) was an American comic book writer, editor, publisher, and producer. He rose through the ranks of a family-run business to become Marvel Comics' primary creative leader for two decades, leading its expansion from a small division of a publishing house to a multimedia corporation that dominated the comics industry.

In collaboration with others at Marvel—particularly co-writer/artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko—he co-created numerous popular fictional characters, including superheroes Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch and Ant-Man. In doing so, he pioneered a more naturalistic approach to writing superhero comics in the 1960s, and in the 1970s he challenged the restrictions of the Comics Code Authority, indirectly leading to changes in its policies. In the 1980s he pursued development of Marvel properties in other media, with mixed results. Following his retirement from Marvel in the 1990s, he remained a public figurehead for the company, and frequently made cameo appearances in films and television shows based on Marvel characters, on which he received an executive producer credit. Meanwhile, he continued independent creative ventures into his 90s, until his death in 2018.

Lee was inducted into the comic book industry's Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995. He received the NEA's National Medal of Arts in 2008.

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