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Only 25¢!

Marvel Age was a promotional publication published by Marvel Comics between 1983 and 1994. It was originally sold for 25 cents an issue, but its price did rise over its publication run, although it was always cheaper than other comic books. The title was direct sales only, being found at comic book stores.

As a promotional magazine, it included a checklist of every Marvel comic published that month, articles about upcoming titles, interviews with creators, promotional artwork, and humorous comic strips, often drawn by and featuring Fred Hembeck. While the focus of Marvel Comics was monthly Super-Hero Comics, Marvel Age covered Marvel's creator owned Epic line, its Star line of titles for younger readers, various licensed titles, such as GI Joe, and graphic novels. Since Marvel Age was basically advertising, and was mostly text, it could be sold for a much cheaper price than other comic books. It also tended to accumulate in the clearance bins of comic book stores, long boxes full of old Marvel Age issues, sometimes selling below cover price.

Although Marvel Age followed in Marvel's tradition of shameless self-promotion, with many of the articles heavily promoting comic books that would be quickly forgotten, it also covered a lot of reporting on trends in the comic book world that I otherwise would have no access to. I remember, at some indistinct date in the 80s, reading about something called "Akira" in Marvel Age, and being surprised that Japan has comic books too. For a kid whose only knowledge of comic books was what was available at the grocery store, interspersed with occasional trips to a comic book store, getting to read articles in Marvel Age about even the glimmerings of manga or alternative comics was a realization for me.