Long before George R.R. Martin was a successful author, known primarily for his A Song of Ice and Fire series which is the basis for HBO's Game of Thrones, he was just a hardcore nerd like the rest of us. In fact, Martin was a Marvel Comics fanboy going way back to the beginning of the Marvel age of comics in the early '60s, back when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were making history together, and creating books like The Avengers, Thor, The Incredible Hulk and The X-Men.
But the crown jewel of the publisher at the time was none other than The Fantastic Four, a comic which was the heart and soul of the Marvel Universe. Martin was such a huge fan--particularly of the Thing--that in 1963, at the age of 15, he wrote a fan letter to Marvel, which got printed in the letters column in the back of the book.
Back then, a reader's name and entire home address was published with the letter, a practice that was kept until the '90s (we once lived in more innocent times, kids). Decades later, eagle-eyed fans noticed that young George R. Martin of New Jersey was the same one who would go on to create magical worlds of his own. Only with an added 'R' to his name.
Martin’s letter originally showered tons of praises on Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's issue #17 of Fantasic Four from 1963. A scan of he letter has been turning up online a lot for the past few years, but now the famed author himself has brought it out again as part of an upcoming History Channel documentary about comic books called Superheroes Decoded. In the clip below, (via io9), you can listen to him re-read his own letter:
George was a pretty darn articulate kid...no wonder things turned out the way they did for him! You can see more of George R.R. Martin professing his love for comic book heroes in the documentary Superheroes Decoded, which airs Sunday, April 30, on the History Channel.
Did you ever have your letter published in the pages of a comic book back in the day? Let us know down below in the comments.
Images: History Channel / Marvel Comics
Let's check in on Mr. Martin's current output.