Here for your consideration is the six page story, "Follow the Bouncing Ball" from Archie Coimcs #126, with a publication date of March 1962. Produced by the peerless penciller, Harry Lucey, this story appeared on the stands five or six months before Amazing Fantasy #15 (AF15 had a cover date of August, but states September 1962 in the indicia).
This story involves the accidental introduction of radioactivity into a high schooler's life, with supernatural results. Not only that, but the throwaway gag panel that concludes the story introduces the concept of the so-gained supernatural power interfering with the teen's normal romantic life, which is a central theme to Spider-Man, and critical to the long lasting success of the character. And then there's the use of the word "tingling" which came to be associated with Spider-Man's "spidey-sense." It kinda of makes you wonder...
Zeitgeist? Coincidence? Or, perhaps, this story was read by Stan and/or Steve (if so, it was almost certainly Stan) during a lunchbreak, leading to the conscious or unconscious sparking of an idea. The timing is just right. We'll never know, of course, but it's something to ponder. Now's your chance to read it for yourself, and see what you think.
Copyright 1961, by Archie Comic Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This is truly wonderful news. Carl Barks is one of the true all time great comics creators, and arguably the single most influential of all. Walt Disney's Comics and Stories was read by more people – mostly, but certainly not exclusively, children – in the United States of America than any other comic book title in history, and it was the Donald Duck stories written and drawn by Carl Barks, month after month for twenty years, that was the highlight of every issue.
Read the story, along with a great interview with Fantagraphics Publisher, Gary Groth, here:
And here is Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter weighing in on this epic event:
THANK YOU FANTAGRAPHICS!
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