Return to Showcase

As usual these days, needs for writing are driving my comic book reading apart from the regular titles. I was interested in firefighting stories today and I remembered that the first story in Showcase back in 1957 was based on firefighting, so I decided to track down the collection of Showcase's first 20 or so issues and to have a look at the story for inspiration (which mostly was unsuccessful.) However, something in the first issue was interesting for me. I had always thought that Showcase was created with the idea of trying out new superheroes to see if the readers would be interested in them based on sales for individual issues. This is what Showcase became, but the earliest issues had a different concept, that of essentially giving the fans what they wanted. The very first issue with Firefighter Fred Farrel is exactly that as some fan had written to the publisher and basically asked for a comic based on firefighters, and that is what the fan eventually got. I don't know enough about the history of this series, if it was always planned as a way of introducing new heroes or if it just changed that way right away, but the very concept is quite interesting to me as it is something that the publishers very rarely do. While they do have market research we are long past the days when there was even a letter column let alone a place where people could expect to request to see something and then to later see it. In light of some of the criticisms of the newest wave in comics, perhaps it is time that the publishers consider a similar forum again and a similar attitude.

Panel explaining the early concept behind Showcase
Posted by RazzaTazz
@lykopis: I thought that too, perhaps some writers do check their own websites or the company message boards.  Still I would think that a lot actually use the board for nothing and just do what they want.  I think it would be nice to see the return of the letters pages, but that is certainly gone so that the companies can sell more ad space.