Nearly a third of Marvel’s comic book characters have roots in a neighborhood of New York City known as Hell’s Kitchen. Nick Fury grew up there, as did the yarmulke sporting rock monster known as the Thing. Daredevil calls Hell’s Kitchen his home, as did Stiltman, Vermin and Ms. Lion.
That so many Marvel denizens live in the same neighborhood is understandable. Most of the Marvel stories take place in the city that never sleeps, and let’s face it… the rents in Williamsburg are astronomical right now. The fact that now-legendary comic book creator Jack Kirby grew up in Hell’s Kitchen probably didn’t hurt matters, either.
Maybe this “Hell’s Kitchen” connection can explain the curious artifact of comic’s past: The Marvel Comics Cookbook.
Stan Lee Presents the Mighty Marvel Superheroes Cookbook was published in 1977 by a division of Simon & Schuster called Fireside books. Fireside books also published the famous “How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way,” the indispensable book detailing Marvel comic secrets. Stan Lee Presents the Mighty Marvel Superheroes Cookbook was, how should we say, LESS indispensable?
Ostensibly written by Stan Lee (I mean, it says he wrote it right on the cover…that means that he wrote it, right?) with illustrations by Jack Kirby, John Romita and any other Marvel bullpen artist needing a pay check at the time, the book was packed with bizarre recipes, anecdotes and other forgettable food moments that you wouldn’t shake a Hostess Fruit Pie at. Continue reading