If you can guess who got a No-Prize…

…you win a No-Prize!

No, I kid. As most of you Cool Jerk readers probably know, a No-Prize is an award given to readers of Marvel Comics. You see, Marvel prides itself on having not only the best comics on the newsstands but also the best readers. If a reader spots a gaffe (continuity error, factual error, etc.) and can offer a reasonable explanation for that gaffe (i.e. giving the editor of the comic a plausible— or implausible— excuse), then he or she might win a No-Prize. I say “might” because they’re not just handed out to any jackball who points out “Hey, there were clouds in the sky and in the next panel there aren’t!” Oh, sure… Marvel used to hand them out by the truckload, but that diminished the importance… the value… of the No-Prize.

The joke is: a No-Prize is an empty envelope. As in “…no prizes will be awarded if you catch a goof.” But I’m telling you, a No-Prize is a frame-worthy trophy— a pop-culture badge of honor.

For several years, Marvel had a moratorium on dispensing No-Prizes. Probably due to the rising costs of postage. But recently, I noticed they were being reinstated.

I’ve been reading/collecting the Fantastic Four monthly since 1978, and over the decades I’ve spotted some mistakes. But when I noticed one on the cover of FF #16, I decided to chime in. I sent an email to Marvel with little hope of receiving a No-Prize. But a couple months after sending the email, I got a note from Marvel Entertainment SVP and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort (whom I worked with years ago on several infographics for the Union-Tribune). He informed me that A) I had indeed won a No-Prize, and B) my letter would be printed in Fantastic Four #608 and FF #20.

It’s a digital No-Prize, but a No-Prize nonetheless.

So I’m pretty stoked. Not only is this my first published letter for Marvel Comics (full disclosure: I think I’ve written maybe four letters total, the last being in the early 1980s), but it’s printed in Fantastic Four AND it earned me a coveted No-Prize. According to late-1960s Marvel propaganda, this makes me a Titanic True Believer AND a Quite ‘Nuff Sayer.

Here’s my letter in its entirety. (Yes, I’m geeking out. What do you expect from a cartoonist??)

Nerd cred

  1. Aurora says:

    Absolutely awesome!

  2. Kay Gore says:

    Congratulations! Framed, I hope!


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