Spider-Man And The Eclectic Company Circa 1974

Spider-Man And The Eclectic Company Circa 1974

Spidey Super Stories was a live-action, recurring skit on the PBS children’s television series The Electric Company. Episodes featured the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, provided to the Children’s Television Workshop free of charge. Spider-Man was played (always in costume) by puppeteer and dancer Danny Seagren. Spidey Super Stories premiered during The Electric Company’s fourth season (1974 – 1975).

These stories involved the masked superhero foiling mischievous characters who were involved in petty criminal activities (such as burglary or assault). The cast of The Electric Company played the roles of the various characters in each story, with another serving as narrator. In many of these sketches, viewers were addressed as “true believers.”

Unlike other live-action and cartoon productions of Spider-Man, this version of the web-slinging hero did not speak out loud, instead communicating only with word balloons (having a similar role to Clarabell the Clown of Howdy Doody), in order to encourage young viewers to practice their reading skills because he was drawn without a mouth. He also never appeared out of his costume as Peter Parker and, given the series’ budget limitations, used his web-shooters sparingly.

The theme song that plays at the beginning and end of the shorts was written by Gary William Friedman. The lyrics are as follows:

Spider-Man, where are you coming from?
Spider-Man, nobody knows who you are!
Spider-Man, you’ve got that Spidey touch!
Spider-Man, you are a web-slinging star!

From 1974 to 1982, Marvel Comics published a comic book called Spidey Super Stories, which was aimed at children ages 6–10. A total of 57 issues were produced, written by Jim Salicrup. During the early years, a comic book version of one of The Electric Company Spidey skits was included. A truncated version also appeared in The Electric Company Magazine. In contrast to the live-action segments on The Electric Company, Spidey often appeared out of costume as Peter Parker.

Every issue of Spidey Super Stories featured at least one story where Spidey would team up with an established Marvel Comics superhero and/or fight an established Marvel villain. This served to introduce other Marvel characters to new readers who were unfamiliar with the company’s characters prior to seeing Spider-Man on The Electric Company. Most of these stories would feature quick origins, usually taking up a single page or less, of both the featured hero and villain. Guest heroes included Iron Man, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Spider-Woman, Nova, and Ms Marvel. Guest villains included the Green Goblin, the Blizzard, Jack O’Lantern, and even Thanos.

Other stories in the issue would feature regular characters from The Electric Company, such as Easy Reader and detective Fargo North, with Spidey as a supporting character; conversely, The Electric Company characters would sometimes appear as supporting characters in the Spidey-centric stories. Supporting characters from other Spider-Man comics made regular appearances as well, such as Peter Parker’s girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson, and the staff of Parker’s workplace, the Daily Bugle, most notably editor J. Jonah Jameson.

Spidey Super Stories Vol.1 #1 is a part of The Museum Of UnCut Funk collection.

Source: Wikipedia

Comic Book Covers: http://www.comicvine.com/spidey-super-stories/49-2702/

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