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Committed: Hunk of the Month

Lest we forget that comic books have always tended towards some socially awkward and sexually embarrassing behavior, I present the following “Bullpen Bulletin” found in the back of a 1985 issue of New Mutants (#23, which I scored at WonderCon the other week for only $1, proving that you can still buy great comic books cheap!) Anyway, we’ve come a long way since then… I’m not sure where, but we’ve come a long way to get here!

hunkofthemonth

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From an interview with John Romita Jr. for The Romita Legacy hardcover book (2010):

“They used to get a lot of letters about all the good-looking single guys working at Marvel at the time. In that level was me, and Bob Layton, and Bill Sienkiewicz. They wanted to do a ‘Hunk of the Month’. And I said as long as they do it tongue in cheek and purely goofy that’s fine. Well, I was the only one it was ever done for. And it was taken completely as a pretentious, cocky John Romita Jr.-thinks-he’s-hot-shit kind of thing.”

I do wonder how many times over the years at conventions people have brought up the whole “Marvel Hunk of the Month” thing to JR Jr? Probably lots and lots. I was kinda sorta tempted to jokingly mention it the two times I met him, but he seemed like a really nice guy, and he was doing sketches to raise money for charity, so I decided I ought to err on the side of discretion :)

LouReedRichards

April 30, 2014 at 10:34 am

If I recall correctly JR Jr said that was a gentle joke that the bullpen had at his expense. I think I heard it from his SideBar interview.

http://www.sidebarnation.com

I remember that Bullpen Bulletins page quite well, I was about 3 months into my obsession with comics at that point. Just reading the checklist brings back great memories. I’ll forever associate that page with Transformers #3!

Dang, he was hot, wasn’t he?

And in a few years he’d reach true Adonis status when he upgraded to a mullet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg3H9kY7a1w

The crazy thing for me looking at that checklist of books out that month is realizing that at the time I was buying almost everything Marvel was publishing.

The only books out that month that I didn’t buy were the licensed properties (except ROM, Micronauts and Red Sonja) and the higher-end stuff: the magazines and any Epic stuff other than Dreadstar and Coyote.

JRJr did a signing at Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find in the late 80s-early 90s (my Mom took me so I know it was before I got my drivers license). He was a real nice guy, but he did not think it was very funny when I mentioned he was a former Marvel Hunk Of The Month. I think he sighed and said ‘That was a joke’ through slightly gritted teeth.

Man, 1984: when men were hunks, and comics were awesome.

You know what? I miss “Bullpen Bulletins.” That was such a staple of the 80s. I guess the advent of the internet and comic-based websites kind of obviates your need for a page like that, but I still miss it. (Dark Horse still has a page like that in the back of their Star Wars comics, but that’ll be done come August.)

@buttler: I was buying almost all of them back then, too. Now I buy perhaps … six? I buy even less DC than that, though. Today my pull box was empty. That freaks me out.

Didn’t they also run one for Bill Sienkiewicz? Maybe that one only ran in Epic titles (or Marvel Age?), but I remember it only because he was always my favorite artist and I never knew what he looked like before, hot or not.

AverageJoeEveryman

May 1, 2014 at 10:08 am

Questprobe! I remember those ads being in everything. Did anybody ever get any of those?

Well, I did, but again, I bought pretty much everything at the time. Those were… not good.

I count 20 on-going Marvel Universe titles. 3 more if you count the Conans and Red Sonja. Plus 4 Limited Series.

They only ran one? So he’s still the reigning Marvel hunk? Almost 350 months in a row, undefeated.

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