I just picked up a couple of vintage Marvel ‘holy grails’ this past week: a 1965 Merry Marvel Marching Society Fan Club kit and a coveted Marvel No-Prize -from 1968. When I brought them home I went online as I thought it might be interesting to enter the original owner’s name into a Google search to see what might come up and was flabbergasted to discover that they originally belonged to a very important local Minneapolis collector who passed away in 2010 and left behind what is now considered to be one of the finest Silver Age collections in the country. His name is Gary Dahlberg and you can find multiple articles on the web about him and his comic collection. By all accounts, he seemed to be a true fan of comics and the MMMS Kit and Marvel No-Prize are in beautiful condition. I feel so lucky to have found both of these and I just can’t stop looking at them – simply amazing!
It got me thinking – especially about the Marvel No-Prize: In what issue, exactly, is Gary’s letter to Marvel Comics published? The post date on the No-Prize envelope is dated February 12th, 1968 and by doing a little ‘comic-dating’ math I’ve come up with a region of months where I think it might have been published. Now, I don’t know how long it took Marvel to mail out a No-Prize letter and exactly how soon they would have done it – I’m guessing it went out about the same time the letters page for the issue was typed up so that whomever was in charge had it fresh in mind…I don’t know. My guess works like this: Let’s say the letter might have been published in the May or June 1968 issue (which, as comics are published, would most likely carry the cover date of 2 to 3 months earlier -February or March 1968. I suppose it could have also been in the February or March 1968 issue (cover date November or December 1967). So, to be safe, I’ve included all Marvel comics issues cover dated from October 1967 through June 1968. I’m hoping that makes sense and if I’ve missed something in my logic, let me know.
The list of possible books has been whittled down to the following – do you have any? Can you check for a letter by Dahlberg that might have merited a No Prize?
Avengers #46 [11/67], 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52 [5/68]
Captain Savage #1 [1/68], 2, 3 [5/68]
Marvel Super Heroes #12 [12/67], 13, 14, 15 [6/58]
Submariner #1 [5/68]
Tales to Astonish #98 [12/67], 100 [2/68]
Thor #145 [10/67], 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 153 [6/68]