Sean Howe’s forthcoming book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story promises to disclose all sorts of fascinating stories about the history of the publisher, but perhaps the most revealing detail arrived earlier today, courtesy of the book’s associated Tumblr: A circa 1983 nude photo of Stan Lee, with only a copy of the Treasury-sized Batman vs. Incredible Hulk comic covering his, uh, midsection.
According to a quoted section from the book, Howe relates that the photo originated from a comic that “consisted wholly of photos of intra-office hijinks.” Though the then-60-year-old Lee was eager to drop trou for the photo, shot by Eliot R. Brown, his assistant phoned the Marvel office to tell them not to use the photo, and a Hulk costume was subsequently superimposed onto the photo.
The Marvel Comics: The Untold Story Tumblr page, just launched earlier this week, is full of equally compelling (albeit less naked) bits of history; old photos, panels and house ads . Also, there’s a shirtless photo of Jack Kirby at his drawing board. The book is scheduled for release on Oct. 9.