Joe Ferrara of Atlantis Fantasyworld in Santa Cruz, CA read Robert Scott’s Talk Back on Marvel’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (see “Robert Scott of Comickaze Comics on Marvel's Prostate Cancer Awareness Month”) and had this to say:

Robert Scott is not happy with the way Marvel is promoting Prostate Cancer Awareness month in September. Here is my rebuttal:

Marvel is the first global company actually doing something to call attention to Prostate Cancer awareness. We all see the pink bats Major League Baseball uses on Mother's Day and the pink ribbons the NFL players wear in October. My inquiries to those groups fell on deaf ears.

No one except Marvel was willing to work with me to talk about Prostate Cancer. When I approached David Gabriel last year he said "Let's do it."

Point 1.   Marvel chose to work with the American Cancer Society because of their past relationship with their Breast Cancer awareness campaign four years ago. The message about PC on the cover of this year's comics was provided solely by the ACS. Neither Marvel nor any other group had input on construction of the message. Could it have been more specific to PC? Sure. Prostate Cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in the U.S.   However, a stronger message about mortality rates on every comic may not have been appropriate. My hope is this will open the door to future discussions with organizations more dedicated to PC awareness like US Too and the National Alliance of State Prostate Coalitions.

Points 2 & 3. Why variants only with restrictions? I was told that Marvel didn't want to hurt the sales of the regular covers. This may seem like a specious argument but I am not privy to the language of contracts and royalties. I will take them at their word. Besides, Marvel did change the ordering terms from the original limit of 1 in 5 to an "all you want" if you match a previous issue. This makes it easier for some retailers and harder for others to get the books they want. I hope that retailers who have the desire to help will consider it a small price to pay if they have to order a few extra copies. The first two covers are on FOC next Monday, August 15th.

Point 4. Money. This is an awareness campaign, not a fundraiser. Marvel cannot donate the proceeds of these covers for many legal reasons. That is up to the individual retailer. And yes, Robert, I can afford to eat the cost of a few extra comics and still donate the profits of these covers because I consider it a small price to pay if it saves one life.

This may not be the perfect campaign but it is a start. Thank you, Marvel. I am already talking with other publishers for next year and invite Robert and any other retailer who wants to help to join me.

Joe Ferrara
Atlantis Fantasyworld
12 year survivor of PC

The opinions expressed in this Talk Back are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of