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Friday, October 12, 2012

1963 BEN COOPER SPIDER-MAN HALLOWEEN COSTUME


THE 1963 BEN COOPER SPIDER-MAN HALLOWEEN COSTUME

An in-depth look at Marvel's very first and most mysterious collectible



By
John "THE MEGO STRETCH HULK" Cimino



A LEGEND IS BORN... BY ACCIDENT (OR MAYBE NOT)...

The Amazing Spider-man is without a doubt one of the most popular comic book characters ever created. A true icon of the industry that people of all ages and nationalities gravitate towards and adore. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and making his 1st appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962), Spider-man was an instant smash hit. How could any teenager not be able to relate to the quirky, adolescent nerd, Peter Parker was? Most of the readers were him in real life! They suffered from all the same everyday hang ups of teen angst that Peter did and they couldn't help but love him for it. But when Peter eventually donned the costume to become Spider-man, fans needed to have a costume to become him as well.


A legend was born on August 1962 and the comic world was never the same. 

Now enter the man and legend known as Ben Cooper...

Ben Cooper was born on the Lower East Side of New York City in 1906. Although his father was a restaurateur, Cooper studied accounting and briefly sought a career as a songwriter before founding a theatrical costume business in 1927. Cooper designed costumes and sets for the legendary Cotton Club in Harlem and several editions of the Ziegfeld Follies.

With live theater, becoming rarer in the 1930s due to the Great Depression and Halloween becoming a more popular holiday, Cooper established Ben Cooper, Inc. in BrooklynNew York, in 1937. The firm assumed control of A.S. Fishbach, Inc. which had a license to produce costumes based on characters owned by The Walt Disney Company such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Snow White in 1937 and began selling Disney costumes under Fishbach's "Spotlight" brand. The two companies formally merged and incorporated as Ben Cooper, Inc., on December 8, 1942.

By the late 1940s, Ben Cooper, Inc. was one of the largest and most prominent Halloween costume manufacturers in the United States. Its costumes were generally very thin fabric with a silkscreened image on the front that sold for less than $3.00. The company began selling its costumes through large retailers such as J. C. Penney, Sears, Woolworth's, and most five-and-dime stores. Costumes often sold for only $1.25 (about $11.35 today). At the time, the most popular costumes were traditional Halloween figures such as devils, ghosts, skeletons, and witches. But Ben Cooper constantly evolved and expanded its line with new characters and creations. In the 1950s, television characters such as Davy Crockett, Superman, and Zorro were very popular and all got costumes that sold immensely well. And as parents became more concerned about safety, the company responded by creating its "Glitter Glo" costumes, dresses and jumpsuits with large amounts of blue glitter glued to the front (which would reflect the headlights of oncoming automobiles). In the 1960s and 1970s, Ben Cooper, Inc., was one of the "big three" Halloween costume companies, along with Collegeville and the H. Halpern Company (Halco). But they became known for licensing popular film and television characters and getting their images onto store shelves much more quickly than the others.


Ben Cooper, Inc. was famous for licensing hundreds of characters much quicker than their competition. 

It was by accident that Ben Cooper, Inc. got introduced to a new character called The Amazing Spider-Man. As chance would have it, Ben Cooper had been already distributing a custom "Spider man" costume for years since 1954. And to make this story even more crazy there have been rumors that Jack Kirby himself was the creator of it! Yup, you read that right. Kirby is rumored to have freelanced for Ben Cooper in early 1954 when he and Joe Simon were having financial problems with their independent comic company, Mainline Publications (located at 1860 Broadway, just a few miles from the Cooper factory). Looking for work, Kirby submitted ideas for potential costumes for the upcoming Halloween season. One of those ideas was in fact a "Spider man" character loosely based on the Simon and Kirby Spiderman/Silver Spider/The Fly concept that they created the previous year in 1953. Whether this is true or not, we will never know, but in September of 1954 Ben Cooper, Inc. released a "Spider man" costume to retail outlets across the country. And ironically, the Marvel Comics character looked very similar to that design (makes you wonder why Kirby always said that he created the Spider-man costume, right?). But regardless of all this, Marvel now owned the legal rights to the name "Spider-man" when they published their character in 1962 and Ben Cooper, Inc., for whatever reason, simply stopped producing their "Spider man" costume and licensed the likeness of the Marvel character. In September of 1963, the very first licensed product of Marvel Comics was distributed to stores in the form of a Ben Cooper Spider-man costume. 


Ben Cooper catalog from 1954 advertising its very own original "Spider man" costume.

A close up of the Ben Cooper "Spider man" costume on the catalog that sold from 1954 until 1957 (it's rumored that this costume was designed by Jack Kirby himself but we'll never know for sure).

Was Marvel's Spider-man a knock off of Ben Cooper's Spider Man? You be the judge...

 
My daughter Bryn (with me) sporting the 1954 Ben Cooper Spider man costume. Walloping Web-snappers!

Any savvy businessman has to wonder why Ben Cooper (who was extremely business savvy) would simply let his idea go straight to Marvel without a hitch. I mean, somebody had to notice that the Stan Lee and Steve Ditko collaborative concept of Spider-man looked remarkably similar to the Ben Cooper costume design they made back in 1954 (a full 8 years prior to Amazing Fantasy #15). This accusation is not as far-fetched as one might think because Ben Cooper, Inc. ruled Halloween and New York at this time (their factory was only about 10 miles from Marvel), so their merchandise and costumes were everywhere you looked. Artist Steve Ditko also always had the habit of walking to Marvel to submit his work so he had to see the costume at one point or another in his travels. This leaves many to ponder if he might’ve taken/borrowed or was influenced by what Ben Cooper had already created when he got the assignment to design Spider-man. Not to discredit the genius of Ditko in any way, but it is possible. Who knows, maybe a private deal between Ben Cooper and Marvel's publisher Martin Goodman was made? Maybe Cooper didn't say anything because he saw an opportunity to make more money with a real comic book character because he had done well with Superman in the past? Maybe Cooper was simply blind to it all? Either way, there is a case here. When I personally asked Stan Lee about it he said;

"Martin never told me anything. I was in a little room writing the stories and nobody told me what was going on in the real world."  


I'm with Stan Lee discussing the significance of the 1963 Ben Cooper Spider-man costume... how awesome is this??

On November 29, 2014, I did the impossible and sent the reclusive Steve Ditko a letter about this mystery. I included pictures, clippings and a letter asking him if he was influenced by the 1954 Ben Cooper "Spider man" design in any way before he designed his Spider-man for Marvel. I also told him there might be some speculation that he did. Not thinking he would ever answer a question like that, I remarkably received a response on January 8, 2015. The legendary creator answered in typical "Ditko" fashion, leaving me wanting more...


HOLY MOLEY! Steve Ditko's hand-written letter to ME!!

"The burden of proof is on the person who makes the assertion, claim, charge. Some clipping, etc. are not rational proof of anything but some clippings, etc.

Sadly, with answers like this from Stan Lee and Steve Ditko the mystery just intensifies. Only Martin Goodman and Ben Cooper could truly answer, but both are long deceased. Even the company of Ben Cooper, Inc. is gone. Not that it would've mattered much because they had a habit of keeping bad records with all of them being lost to the ages. This story becomes yet another comic book mystery that fans will always speculate about and live in infamy.

Close up of the 1958 Ben Cooper "Spider man" costume updated with web-mask (so kids could see better) and orange body design which sold until 1962.

Close up of the 1958 Ben Cooper "Spider man" costume with web-mask and a different orange bodysuit design that sold until 1962. It wasn't uncommon for Ben Cooper, Inc. to make different variations of its costumes.

And if you think the 1958 Spider man mask has nothing to do with Lee and Ditko's Spider-man check out this close up of the mask with the Ditko design below.

Another incredible similarity if you ask me. Thwipp??

In 1963 an entirely new Ben Cooper "Spider man" costume came out during the Halloween season. Ben Cooper, Inc. licensed a virtually unknown character named Spider-man from Marvel Comics (for unknown reasons). Ironically, in just a few years this Spider-man would become one of the comic industries most popular characters and not to mention Ben Cooper's best selling super hero costume ever.

The web-slinging superhero may have sold well to kids who collected comic books, but to the mass-media in 1963, he was virtually an unknown character who was only on his 7th issue. While The Amazing Spider-man #7 had a cover date of December, it hit newsstands on September 10, 1963 and Ben Cooper, Inc. would release their costumes for the Halloween season to retailers in mid-September. Upon the Spidey costumes released to stores, it sold poorly to the general public. The costume managed to be re-released in 1964 with the same 1963 dated box due to all the overstock from the previous year and only sold marginally better. Finally in 1965, with Spider-man's popularity growing rapidly, the costume was released in 3 different new box designs and sold with much better results. 

Spider-man was only on his 7th issue and had a mere 11 total comic book appearances (if you include Amazing Fantasy #15, Fantastic Four Annual #1, Strange Tales Annual #2 and Strange Tales #115) when his costume was first released by Ben Cooper, Inc. in September of 1963. Although he was popular to comic readers, he was still unknown by the majority of the mass-media. His costume wasn't a big seller at first, but that would change as super heroes began to get more popular throughout the years.

When the live-action Batman series in 1966 starring Adam West and Burt Ward became a national phenomenon and catapulted superheroes into the limelight, Ben Cooper wisely secured the licenses to the most popular comic book characters in the industry (they even quietly trademarked the word "Super Hero" that same year for only $35.00 which surprisingly neither DC and Marvel opposed the registration possibly due to not even noticing it). Now with costumes made for over 30 heroes and villains and every child in America wanting to be a comic character, their Spider-man costume easily became one of the highest sellers. After the Batman hysteria died down the following year in 1967, so did the popularity of all superheroes. Only Spider-man, Batman (who got his first Ben Cooper costume in 1964), Superman and Wonder Woman sold well enough to remain consistent in stores every Halloween as many of the other characters disappeared from Ben Cooper's costume line-up after 1969. 

An early Ben Cooper costume ad from Woolworth in 1967. Spider-man is among the most popular costumes for kids and it clearly shows here.

A year later in 1968, superhero costumes were still a hot commodity for kids to be on Halloween and there is no doubt that the Spider-man costume was the biggest seller of the bunch. You have to love how the John Romita Spidey image is colored to match the Ben Cooper costume. It looks, well... weird (and that's why I love it!).

This Ben Cooper, Inc. catalog from 1968 shows just how popular Spider-man and the rest of the Marvel Heroes costumes were for their company.


Spider-man is still prominent in the Ben Cooper, Inc. catalog from 1973 although many of the other super hero costumes had disappeared from the company's line.

In this Ben Cooper, Inc. costume catalog ad from 1980, the Spider-man costume is still  prominently advertised and shown to be among the top selling costumes for the company.

Ben Cooper, Inc. was also famous for selling all types of products for Halloween other than costumes such as jigglers (shown here), playsuits, make up, props, rubber masks, etc. Spider-man was so popular that he was included in just about everything they did.

The increasing sales in the mid '70s that went on until the late '80s (with superheroes making another triumphant comeback to Ben Cooper's Halloween costume line-up) were not enough to stave off bankruptcy, however. Ben Cooper, Inc.'s financial problems became so severe in 1988 that many customers left the firm and diverted licenses and business to its biggest competitor, Collegeville. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 13, 1988. As a privately held company, little financial data was available on its profit margins (remember when I said they kept bad records?). However, one press report estimated the firm's profit margin below 10 percent in 1989. On January 6, 1989, the company's facility in Georgia burned to the ground, destroying (the company said) $2 million to $3 million in inventory. Cooper's two insurance companies canceled coverage of the firm and refused to pay, citing inaccuracies in the insurance policy. The bankruptcy court refused to consider Cooper's claims against the insurance companies. Cooper appealed the court's ruling.

Throughout the years the Spider-man costume itself got a few upgrades by Ben Cooper as well as many different boxes distributed to various retailers. It was such a huge seller for the company that it even got its very own box that separated it from the others (shown here from 1976). The Spider-man costume lasted until Ben Cooper, Inc. lost the licenses due to bankruptcy in the late '80s. The only other super hero character to have a longer stint as a Ben Cooper costume was Superman.

Ben Cooper, Inc. emerged from bankruptcy in April 1989 after paying all its creditors in full. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit determined in February 1990 that the issue of the insurance coverage was "core" and thus should be heard by the bankruptcy court. One of the insurance companies appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. In a per curium decision, the Supreme Court held that a serious jurisdictional issue had been brought to the court's attention by legal briefs, forcing it to vacate the appellate court's decision, remanding the case back to the appellate court, and asking the appellate court to consider the jurisdictional issue. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals considered the jurisdictional issue, found in Cooper's favor, and reinstated its original ruling in January 1991.

Just days after the appellate court's second ruling, executives of Ben Cooper, Inc. announced they were moving the company to Greensboro, North Carolina. The company said at this time that it had 35 permanent employees, and manufactured and supplied more than 4 million costumes in the previous year. It said it controlled 70 to 80 percent of the licensed costume character costume business, and was partnered with companies such as Children's Television Workshop (producers of Sesame Street), DC ComicsMattel, and Walt Disney Studios. It said the reason for the move was to be closer to Southern textile factories and cutting shops, so that it could move away from the environmentally harmful vinyl costumes it had obtained from Asia and toward more acceptable natural fabrics. The company hoped to invest $6 million in building its new Greensboro facility, and said it would apply for a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant to help defray costs and provide jobs to low-income workers in the area.

But on October 30, 1991, Ben Cooper, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yet again. The company's chief executive officer said the cause of the second bankruptcy was due to relocation expenses, the early 1990s recession, and delays in obtaining bank loans. The company was not able to survive as an independent firm, however, and was bought by Rubie's Costume Co. in 1992.

With the end of Ben Cooper, Inc. came the end of its legend and prestige. Throughout the rest of the '90s, many of their costumes had been forgotten with very little interest in the collectors market (other than the ones of John, Paul, George, and Ringo; The Beatles). Most of their items were thought of as a novelty, so collectors had no idea that a Spider-man costume from 1963 existed. Sure, the Spider-man costumes from the '70s were famous, semi-valuable and easy to obtain, but who knew that its first incarnation was the very first Marvel collectible ever? Most experts thought Marvel's "Merry Marvel Marching Society" membership kit (famously known as the M.M.M.S.) that was advertised in the comic books in late 1964 and released to the public in 1965 was believed to be the very first retail item for the company. And it was also thought that the Marvel Heroes wind-up train by the Marx Company that was available in 1967 was the "Holy Grail" of vintage Marvel items. But in 2007 it was all proven false with the release of The Guide to Marvel Silver Age Collectibles by J. Ballman. This guide showed collectors that there was a Ben Cooper Spider-man Halloween costume that demanded instant respect and recognition. This costume is easily the earliest and one of the most valuable Marvel products from the Silver Age. It was listed at a value of $5,000 to $10,000 (much more today as I was offered more than 20k for mine by a few crazy collectors) and the actual 1963 copyrighted costume is incredibly rare with only a small handful of them known to exist -- Thwippp!!!!

J. Ballmann's Full-Color Guide to Marvel Silver Age Collectibles (2007) showed collectors Marvel's very first (and most obscure) retail piece ever... the 1963 Ben Cooper Spider-man Halloween Costume!

With only a few actual 1963 Spider-man costumes known to exist, this Spider-man item is the most rare and one of the most valuable Marvel collectible to come out of the Silver Age. The historic significance of this costume alone is simply... AMAZING!!!


J. Ballmann's Full-Color Guide to Marvel Silver Age Collectibles 2nd Edition (2014) with more info based on this very blog!



THE NEED TO KNOW


Getting the actual 1963 Spider-man costume is also a mystery in itself. Collector's need to understand a few key elements if they are in the market to invest in this item. The first version of this costume has the 1963 copyright on the box and on the costume.
 

A look at the 1963 copyright on the side of the box.


The "first-edition" 1963 Spider-man Costume 
It has an all yellow collar with blue dots around the Spider-man name. The 1963 copyright imprint can be seen in the lower right-hand corner near the waist and the costume is made of cotton/rayon fabric. This costume is very difficult to locate and considered the true "Holy Grail" of  Silver Age collectibles.


The 1963 Spider-man costume copyright imprint close up.


The "second-edition" 1964 Spider-man Costume
This has a different variation in design (with the yellow just around the name near the collar and no blue dots) and is without the copyright imprint in the lower right-hand corner. It is also made with the same cotton/rayon fabric that the 1963 costume has. Collectors must be weary of this and the fact that this costume is found in 1963 boxes. Ben Cooper always used, overstock from the previous year to save money.


The "third-edition" 1965 Spider-man Costume
  This costume comes in both variations of the 1963 and 1964 designs, but with a 1965 copyright imprint in the lower right-hand corner. It also came in cotton/rayon, rayon/cotton, rayon/vinyl and all rayon fabrics. Believe it or not, Ben Cooper, Inc. sometimes intentionally didn't put the copyright imprint on late releases of this costume because they were trying to keep costs down on black ink towards the end of the Halloween season (yup, you read that right). It can easily be mistaken for a 1964 costume; the only way you can tell is from the fabric. And early releases of the 1965 costume came in overstock 1963 boxes as well (I'm sure all this will make collecting even more difficult). There was a lot of overstock because the costume didn't sell well in 1963 and 1964. Spidey's popularity really began to grow in 1965 (the reason this costume came in 3 new different box designs) and especially 1966 when the Batman/superhero craze took over the nation. Ben Cooper, Inc. was very inconsistent in packaging costumes, especially late in the season. They were just pumping them out as fast as possible to make the sale. It was not uncommon to find any costume in overstock boxes and sometimes even with different dates. It should be noted that in 1966 the Spider-man costume's design was upgraded with a different look and it basically stayed that way until the 1980s.


SUMMARY/VALUE: 

*Vintage costume 1954 (hooded version, all variations): 8,000 to 10,000

*Vintage costume 1958 (web-mask version, all variations): 300 to 500

*Costume marked 1963 (first-edition): 8,000 to 10,000 

*Costume with no copyright (second-edition, different design but same fabric as 1963 costume, sold in 1964): 100 to 200

*Costume marked 1965 (third-edition, came in same designs as 1963 and 1964 costumes with a variety of different fabrics, some have no copyright imprint): 50 to 100 

*Box marked 1963 (sold in 1963, 1964 and early 1965): 800 to 1,000

 *1963 box and first-edition costume: 15,000 to 20,000

*1963 box and second-edition costume: 900 to 1,000

*1963 box and third-edition costume: 800 to 1,000


While there are ten 1963 Spider-man boxes known to exist, 
there have only been three "first-edition" 1963 Spider-man costumes found.


Here is a side-by-side comparison of each costume (from left to right): 1954 Vintage "Spider Man" costume with 1950s box, 1958 Vintage "Spider Man" costume with 1950s box, 1963 "first-edition" Spider-man costume with 1963 box (signed by Stan Lee), 1964 "second-edition" Spider-man costume with 1963 box, and 1965 "third-edition" Spider-man costume (one of many variations with different fabrics) with 1963 box.



THE LEGACY 


THE HOLY GRAIL OF "THWIPP!"

The Merry Marvel Marching Society Membership kit came out in early 1965 and was believed to be the first Marvel product ever made... collectors were wrong.

The Marvel Wind-up train from Marx Company from 1967 was considered the "Holy Grail" of all the early Marvel memorabilia items. That was until the Ben Cooper Spider-man costume was discovered to exist.

Who could've ever predicted that this costume would be such a mystery on so many levels? Who really created Spider-man's look? Did Jack Kirby really freelance for Ben Cooper in early 1954? Why would Ben Cooper take the risk and license an unknown character in Spider-man for a costume when there were more popular superheroes at the time? What the hell went down in those meetings between Ben Cooper and Martin Goodman? How many variations of this costume are out there? Why did Ben Cooper, Inc. distribute their costumes so erratically? If I'm a collector, how do I get the actual 1963 box and costume? It's all the stuff of legend! I guess we need Batman or Sherlock Holmes on the case because so much will never truly be answered. Hopefully this blog will shed some light on a few of these lingering questions.

But we do know that the Ben Cooper Spider-man costume will always be remembered as a fixture in Halloween during the '60s throughout the early '90s. You couldn't go a "spooky" night without seeing at least one in the neighborhood. I was honored to wear the costume in 1981 (I was the Hulk in 1979 and 1980 and both split down the middle before I could finish Trick or Treating... UGH). I felt like a superhero ready to take on all the ghosts and ghouls that were roaming the streets on that night. It was always a blast and the reason why I will always love All Hallows Eve every year.

As I got older, I became a major fanboy of the Ben Cooper costumes because I loved the cheap designs and crappy art on the boxes. I also loved all the other stuff they put out because of how ugly they were. Now you might think that I'm putting down Ben Cooper, Inc. products and--you're... well.... right!!! That's why I loved it so much!! I got obsessed, so I collected everything Ben Cooper and then I wanted to know everything Ben Cooper (there really isn't much out there on the man and his company)! So when I discovered about this ever-elusive and obscure Spider-man costume, that just so happened to be Marvel's very first licensed product ever, I went ballistic!! I couldn't believe it!! And I had to have it!! It took me years to find, and years of persuasion to convince a big-time Spider-man collector (I'm still grateful my friend) to sell it to me (for a TON of web-fluid)... and it was well worth it. So this write up is made in honor of the magic of Halloween, super heroes, weird costumes, crappy art, cheap materials and to one of the true geniuses that has ever lived, the man who could well be the "original" creator of Spider-man... Ben Cooper! Thanks for the memories big guy!


I'm dressed as the Ben Cooper Spider-man during Halloween 1981 with my brother as Dracula and our cousin as a Ben Cooper Bugs Bunny!

My baby Bryn with the 1963 Ben Cooper Spider-man Halloween Costume... priceless.

Here is my daughter Bryn (rocking a 1964 Ben Cooper Spider-man costume) with Robo collector Dave Keymont. Dave is a proud owner of a 1963 Ben Cooper Spider-man box (not the costume unfortunately). Yup, that's mine in the background... truly an historical moment having two Spider-man costume boxes under the same roof.

 
 Steve Savino from TOY HUNTER

Jerry "The King" Lawler

My idol and mentor "Rascally" Roy Thomas

Comic historian and writer Mark Waid.

On the Ming and Mike podcast talking Ben Cooper magic.

Mega collector Robert Bruce

Here is Stan Lee's 90th Birthday Bash in 2012, where he signed my Spider-man costume. It was truly an historic moment (jump to 38:53 to see it). I do make the error and tell him that the costume came out when Spider-man #5 was out (hey, I was nervous), but it was a great event so watch it all! THWIPP!!





 SPIDER-MAN'S CREATOR CONTROVERSY?

So who really created Spider-man; Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby or Ben Cooper?

"I did a mess of things. The only book I didn't work on was Spider-man, which Steve Ditko did. But Spider-man was my creation."

-Jack Kirby from Comic Scene #2 (March 1982)

"I created Spider-Man. We decided to give it to Steve Ditko. I drew the first Spider-Man cover. I created the character. I created the costume. I created all those books, but I couldn't draw them all. We decided to give the book to Steve Ditko who was the right man for the job. He did a wonderful job on that."

-Jack Kirby from The Comics Journal #134 (February 1990)







WILL THE REAL SPIDER-MAN PLEASE STAND UP?


"Spider Man" (Ed Wheelan, Sunday Comics 1934)
"Spider Man" (Otto Binder and Kurt Schaffenberger 1947)


 "Anansi the Spider Man" (West African folklore, Philip M. Sherlock and Marcia Brown 1954)
From left to right: "The Spider Man" (Ger Apeldoorn and Jim Vadeboncoeur [Editor: Stan Lee] 1954), "Spiderman/The Silver Spider/The Fly" (Joe Simon and Jack Kirby 1953), "Spider Man" (Ben Cooper 1954), "The Amazing Spider-Man" (Stan Lee and Steve Ditko 1962)

In the Dennis the Menace episode called "Mr. Wilson's Safe" (first broadcast 10/22/61), Dennis tells Mr. Wilson about his favorite TV star called "Spider-Man" who climbs up walls and hypnotizes crooks. This episode aired almost a full year before Marvel's Amazing Fantasy #15 hit the newsstands.


BEN COOPER TRADEMARK ARTICLE I WROTE FOR BACK ISSUE #92 

 Click here to order
http://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_54&products_id=1246


LINKS TO MY STORY ON THE BEN COOPER SPIDER-MAN COSTUME


NEW YORK POST
http://nypost.com/2015/07/14/did-stan-lee-steal-spider-man-from-a-brooklyn-costume-shop/

MING AND MIKE: I SELL COMICS SMODCAST #205
 http://www.smodcast.com/channel/isellcomics?audio=205

ON COMICS
http://oncomics.tumblr.com/post/124232741810/proto-spidey-comic-enthusiast-john-cimino-found-a 

NOTEY.COM 
http://www.notey.com/external/5212076/spiderman-might-have-actually-been-invented-by-a-brooklyn-costume-maker-in-the-1950s-spiderman-stan-lee-brooklyn-steve-ditko-brooklyn-abridged-john-cimino-ben-cooper-inc.html

ETHIOGRIO.COM
http://www.ethiogrio.com/news/world-news/27710-did-marvel-rip-off-spider-man-from-a-50s-hallowe-en-costume.html

CRITICAL BLAST
http://www.criticalblast.com/articles/2015/07/15/was-spider-man-created-10-years-he-first-appeared-comics 

PRESS READER 
http://www.pressreader.com/usa/new-york-post/20150715/282475707508566/TextView

  DAILY MAIL U.K
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3163066/Did-Marvel-RIP-Spider-Man-50s-Hallowe-en-costume-Questions-raised-YELLOW-suit-1954-eight-years-web-slinger-s-comic-book.html

MIRROR U.K.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/spider-man-suit-discovery-throws-6154204

 METRO U.K.
http://metro.co.uk/2015/07/28/is-this-the-inspiration-for-spider-man-comic-book-dealer-discovers-yellow-spider-man-suit-produced-eight-years-before-characters-debut-5316468/

SPIDERMAN SNYR AFTUR
http://eimreidin.is/spiderman-snyr-aftur/

SON OF A SPIDER
http://bennypdrinnon.blogspot.com/2015/01/son-of-spider.html

1963 BEN COOPER SPIDER-MAN HALLOWEEN COSTUME
http://www.hedgefundsblog.com/article/9348135/1963-ben-cooper-spider-man-halloween-costume/

HOOPER COMIC ART BLOG
http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.com/2016/02/have-you-heard-about-billion-dollar.html  

COMICBOOK.COM (article 1)
 http://comicbook.com/blog/2012/11/20/stan-lee-does-a-qa-at-his-own-birthday-party-video/

   COMICBOOK.COM (article 2)
http://comicbook.com/2015/07/30/did-a-fifties-halloween-costume-inspire-spider-man-costume-desig/?utm_source=Comicbook.com&utm_campaign=3abe4655a0-2015_07_30%3A16%3A24%3A51Comicbook.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_7a2d10cb6e-3abe4655a0-269552633

COMIC BITS ONLINE
https://hoopercomicart.blogspot.com/2016/02/have-you-heard-about-billion-dollar.html?m=0

GEEK STYLE GUIDE
http://www.geekstyleguide.com/did-a-brooklyn-costume-shop-create-spider-man-8-years-before-marvel/ 

 WICKED LOCAL
http://weston.wickedlocal.com/news/20160915/spider-man-theory-revealed-in-weston

  NEWSARAMA.COM
http://www.newsarama.com/25232-was-marvel-s-spider-man-swiped-from-a-1950s-halloween-costume.html 

BREAKING NEWS! SPIDER-MAN DISCOVERED IN THE 1950'S
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiDCxKqD5Mo

FAN ART FRIDAY WITH ARTIST SCOTT SERKLAND
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL7a9eiLiLk

SPIDERMAN VS SPIDERMAN THE MOVIE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_s6HO9H9TI 

SPIDERMAN COSTUME IN 1954
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCpDdcNc5ZQ 

DIAL B FOR BLOG #679 
http://www.dialbforblog.com/archives/679/index2.html

COMIC BOOK LEGENDS REVEALED #547 

   John "The Mego Stretch Hulk" Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John still thinks he's really Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at johnstretch@live.com or follow on twitter at @Elastic_Hulk and have some fun.

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