4th Floor Interlude

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Bullpen Down!

Someone… with a wildly extravagant imagination… decided the Marvel Comics Offices needed a facelift. The reason was never made clear to me. I can only think it had something to do with the relatively new owners – at the time, Ron Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated—who may have thought that the old offices (the ones at 387 Park Avenue South) were, at some 10 years old, a bit tatty. Perhaps the new tippy-top cream of the executive crop needed to re-work the place in order to make the boss-men feel more bossier. Whatever…

What it meant was that both floors of Marvel, the 10th and 11th, would be packed up and shipped down to the 4th Flr (at this late remove, I am not sure how both floors were stuffed into one—either the entirety of 4 was open or everybody was told not to inhale too deeply! Marvel did not make use of the entire floors of 387 Park, only half the building floors!). And the books still had to get out on time… Oh yes! No matter how crazy it sounds, the breakneck pace of editing dozens of comics, making hundreds o9f corrections for each one and keeping track of all that plus all those pesky freelancers mooching around looking for lunch… ALL that had to be picked up and moved down to 4.

According to the magnificent Gruenwaldian Desk Calendar – this time read more carefully (–Carl! And thanks!) – everybody started packing up everything around May 20-22, 1992. The move, as carefully worked out as any military operation, was on Monday/Tuesday, June 1-2, 92.

I was out of the office at that point, free as a lark and about as feathery. I came in with some freelance as often as need be—I was well along in my Punisher Armory delirium. In fact, during the stay down on 4, I had pitched me and my writing partner R. F. Sharp’s The Cold War Of Nick Fury. It was accepted by none other than Mike Rockwitz, who was already doing a Fury book. This was a limited series (again, to those who are not comic nerds, a limited series was a thing… a dozen books, 4; I was aiming for 6) chronicling Fury between his time during WWII and the mid-60s start of S.H.I.E.L.D. Obviously, dog-face Sgt. Fury had to come a long way to becoming Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.  But that, as they say, is a story best left under the rock where it sits nowadays.

I came in a couple of times with my super-wide angle camera lens and took a bunch of pictures of the destruction of the Bullpen, the Interregnum of Marvel on 4 and the glorious rebirth!

 

This is Part 1 showing the near-total devastation on 10. The stat-room and pretty much everything west (toward Park Ave for those who remember…) was left rather intact. Eventually there would be some cosmetic stuff done but nothing like the “down to the concrete” scraping in the Bullpen area.

 

387 10th Destroyed_1 387 10th Destroyed_2 387 10th Destroyed_3 387 10th Destroyed_4 387 10th Destroyed_5 387 10th Destroyed_6 387 10th Destroyed_7 387 10th Destroyed_8 387 10th Destroyed_9

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  • Cat Schu Gru says:

    Is that when Mark had Rob Tokar pop out of the carpet like some denizen who was living in the rug? Rob risked life and lung to execute that stunt for ol’ Gru. Thus was around the time when Mark filmed a mock game show for his pal Dave Lofler in Florida. Dave had yet to meet meet me and Mark had Rob host a la To Tell the Truth parody with Rob doing his best Monty Hall or Bob Barker, Mark’s version of “Guess that Girlfriend” with Lisa Trusiani and another good sport – Nancy(?) And me playing the possible candidates.