OFF THE RACK COMICS: Marvel Fun and Games Magazine (1979-1980)

In September of 1979, Marvel Comics tried something new with their characters. They produced a line called “Fun and Games Magazine.” Despite it’s name, it was still the size of a standard comic book. Since I had been a fan of the “Mighty Marvel Fun Book” from earlier in the 1970s, I was instantly drawn to these issues. Make sure to check out my coverage of the “Mighty Marvel Fun Book.”

The “Fun and Games Magazine” ran for thirteen issues. I could not wait for each monthly copy to come out. They were written, drawn and edited by Owen McCarron. The games and puzzles were quick clever, and a lot of fun. To me this was a valuable series as it asked the reader to use their mind to complete each task. Though a knowledge of the Marvel characters was useful, it was certainly not needed to enjoy each and every issue.

I am guessing that mint copies are hard to come by as most people did the puzzles inside. The only downside to doing these puzzles was that if you messed up on something, it was hard to erase it with the newsprint paper. With Marvel reprinting so many of their older series in paperback and hardcover books, I would love to see “Fun and Games Magazine” get the same treatment.

It seems that today, comic books are more geared towards adults. Today’s kids are too busy playing videogames to take the time to get lost in the stories of comic books. They don’t realize that their videogames and movies oftentimes originated from the comic books they are no longer reading. I originally read comic books as a teen and have started re-reading them now, some 40 years later. To be honest, I am enjoying them more now than I ever did.

I am glad that I grew up when I did, before the age of video games. I love the fact that I got to read comic books and become immersed in the characters and storylines. Reading these stories back now, make me realize just how in depth these characters and storylines are. The writers and artists are so talented. Whether they are writing the next issue of the Avengers or making puzzles based on the Avengers, these creators deserve so much praise. The “Fun and Games Magazine” is another classic from Marvel, one that today’s fans should be able to appreciate.

~David Albaugh

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