Here's the story. In 1987, the Spider-Man balloon made it's first appearance in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The balloon was created thanks to the talent and efforts of Manford Bass, a specialist in crafting large-size inflatables, and John Romita Sr., famed comic artist who has been recognized as one of the premiere Spidey artists. The balloon was a staple of the parade for many years until the late 1990s when it vanished, seemingly without any explanation.
However, after meeting with John Romita Jr. at a recent comic book convention in NYC, I learned that the reason for the balloon's disappearance was tied into the bankruptcy incident that Marvel faced in the mid-90s, not because it caused an accident (which it did not), as many people have believed to be the reason. While Marvel was saved from bankruptcy after being bought out, the Spidey balloon was one of the things that didn't make the transition with the company. With no backing, the balloon was removed from the parade lineup. Needless to say, the parade has not been the same without the wall-crawler.
For years, this has bothered me, and recently, I have decided to do something about it. I have started a campaign to bring the Spider-Man balloon back into the parade, or, as a back-up plan, have a Marvel Comics-themed float in the parade. I have been been spreading the word around as best as I can, and both options have gotten a lot of support. Along the way, I have gotten support from some major names in the comic industry, including comic artists Frank Cho and Leinil Yu, and Marvel Comics editor Andy Schmidt. Recently, Matthew Atherton, aka Feedback, the winner on the first season of "Who Wants to be a Superhero?" on the Sci-fi channel, has just contributed his support to my cause as well!
Over time, I have also come to realize that this is not simply an effort to get a balloon back into a parade. This also serves, in a way, to give the comic book industry a little more public recognition. After all, with a character like Spider-Man being seen by so many individuals, it might encourage more people to read comic books. So if you are a comic book fan who wishes to see comics gain more recognition, it is my strongest recommendation that you show your support as soon as possible.
If you are interested, you can sign up at the following link:
(NOTE: That's a lower-case L before the 2 on the link. It's a reference to the Marvel 2099 comic line. I'm just afraid that some people would confuse it with the number 1.)
Also, to supplement my efforts, I have set up a letter-writing campaign over on ComicSpace, which can be found at:
If you are a Spider-Man fan, a Marvel Maniac, or if you just enjoy reading comic books in general, then I urge you to sign up today!!! I can't do this without your help!!!!