Sunday, June 05, 2011

In which Your Obedient Serpent must issue a retraction.

Oh, jeez.

io9 just published a column looking at the History of the X-Men, and how it becomes even more absurd when you compress it into the decade-and-a-half or so of Marvel's sliding timescale.

When I read the opening line, I was excited: someone invoked the Marvel 1:3 time ratio!

I know I read about that in a Stan's Soapbox from the '60s -- but I've never found any other official reference or verification from the House of Ideas; just that one, off-hand blurb, offered in the blurry sans-serif type of Stan the Man's stentorian prose. When the whole run of those columns was republished, once online and once in trade paperback from Marvel itself, I tried and tried to find that specific entry, to no avail.

It must have been in a letter column or something. I know I saw it.

But, lo! thought I, here's someone else referring to the same thing, as if they'd found the factoid from an authoritative source! Did they see the same Soapbox or lettercol that I did, in a dusty tome of ancient lore? Did Stan or some other Marvel exec ever repeat the proclamation? I hope the article doesn't just mention it in passing and breeze on by. I'll be really happy if they give a ref ...

... oh. Oh, my stars and garters.

The reference the article gives is to the Comic Book Time page on the TV Tropes Wiki:

In a "Stan's Soapbox" in the mid-1960s, Stan Lee stated that, as a general rule of thumb, they were trying to keep the then-new Marvel Universe on a one-to-three timeline - every three years that passed in the real world would be a year of Comic Book Time. Deliberately or otherwise, Marvel actually managed to stick pretty close to that right up until the early 1990s when, during one of the X-Men's 30th Anniversary comics, Professor Xavier mused about the things he'd been doing for the past 10 years - starting with the founding of the X-Men.

I know that TV Tropes passage well.

I wrote it.

... I think I need to do some editing. I am certain that I read that blurb about the 1:3 ratio in an old Marvel comic, but I'm no longer certain where.

One shouldn't leave dubious source material scattered 'round the net.

If you can't cite a source, you're just making it up.

Cross-posted to "On the Other Claw ..."

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Oh silly, of COURSE you can make it up! Politicians do it all the time! Facts are just inconvenient!