Monday, November 28, 2011
My Lex Luthor Baldy Award no-show
A while ago I wrote about the time I won Marvel's No-Prize (and managed to misspell my own name in the process); at the end of the post, I briefly mentioned DC's Baldy Award, given out to "letter writers of the week", or something to that effect, in the back of Superman-related titles. My comic book organizing has finally made it down to the "S" boxes, so when I flipped to the short-lived Superman: Man of Tomorrow, I made sure to grab a few issues and search for the one in which I had a letter published and managed to win that week's Baldy Award (please, no jokes about how prophetic that title would soon become).
Above I've posted a scan of the letters page from Superman: Man of Tomorrow #11, in which my letter is published regarding issue #9. Even though I hadn't read the letter in 13 years, I remembered that it was pretty embarrassing as all I did was give effusive praise to a book that, honestly, didn't have much of a purpose over its publishing history. But looking back at it now, holy cow was it sycophantic, to say the least. I should have just wrote in and said "I love you! Give me a prize!" They did, though, at least in print, and I suppose I accomplished my goal in that regard.
At the end of the letters column, Superman editor Mike McAvennie writes "And because you were such a trooper for waiting 20 weeks and listening to this long-winded explanation, we hereby grant you this month's Baldy award, guaranteed to show up pretty quick!" And then he writes something about Mike Piazza, which in hindsight is pretty funny. If I remember correctly, he had a really good year in 1998 but was traded twice before winding up with the Mets (who will never, ever win the World Series again, much like the Pirates).
Anyway, perhaps McAvennie's guarantee was meant to be ironic, because I NEVER received any Baldy Award, to the point that for a long time I assumed that it was an award in name only, and not something that people actually received. The advent of, well, Google, has taught me otherwise: the Lex Luthor Baldy Award is a handwritten postcard "from" and signed by Lex Luthor, congratulating you on the achievement. A quick image search provides a look at the front of the card:
I can only say that while this award is merely a mass produced postcard, an inexpensive marketing stunt on DC's part, it is also something that, as a comic book fan, would be so awesome to have. So winning the award is a notch in any Superman fan's belt, but MAN, I wish that I had the physical prize for my stupid letter to go along with it. Mike McAvennie, if you happen to read this post and just have stacks of these lying around, it's not too late to correct a 13-year-old omission.