Sunday, October 25, 2009

Comic Book Ads

There are a lot of great comics- oriented blogs out there. My favorite, Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine is featured on my links list, along with several others.

When I was growing up, like many an avid comics reader, I was fascinated by the ads. I still remember my mother complaining way back in 1961 about the closet full of greeting cards that I was never going to sell, or the envy I felt toward my cousin Pierre when his collection of toy soldiers arrived for only $1.00!

Okay, so I never got a new Schwinn bike (at least not from selling greeting cars) and I certainly never developed my physique to the degree of Charles Atlas, whom I found to be a little creepy, but I paid attention nonetheless.

These are the glasses I'm wearing in my blog picture. It's important to point out that, much like many comic book ads, they don't do any of the things claimed in the ad. However, they do look cool.

A bizarre forerunner to the greeting card scam. What woman wouldn't want to buy stockings from a grown man who had acquired them through a comic book ad, this one, by the way, from Mad when it was still a comic. "Uh, I, uh, have to watch you try them on, ma'am. It's in the rules... [cough]."

The first ad, for the cowboy/ cowgirl outfits, with it's Henry Darger- like pseudo- innocence, leading directly to the mighty Daisy Carbine! Celebrate Xmas by wearing a mask and shooting your rifle, kids.

One year I got a shoulder holster and pistol. I think it was an FBI model, and of course, shot rolls of caps. (Ah, the smell of spent caps.) I went out on my street, R Street NW in Washington DC, armed to the teeth, the bulge of my police special under my arm, looking for at least three of the ten most wanted, whose pictures were plastered on the wall at the local post office. At least I didn't wear a mask.

What an amazing world we used to live in. This is the world that could have produced the anti- gravity belt and the invisibility ray! What happened?!?

It's a television and a bank! And, in case it gets broken, why here's a solution:
Naturally, any grown man that read comics would have the potential capabilities to fix radios and televisions.

And this one from the Nothing Ever Really Changes Department:

Here are two more contemporary ads, from my high school and college days respectively.
Frank Zappa's classic ad which ran in DC comics for We're Only In It For The Money, the Mothers' third LP.

And, of course, our entry into the muscle ads:"Hell-bent for Leather n' Lead" bracelets. I wonder if the governor still has his bracelets. Much like the fates of Ambrose Bierce and Judge Crater, we'll probably never know.

Comic book ads: they held out a promise of a better world where kids and fantasy- ridden adults ruled.


SueWho said...

hey, I think my great-grandmother bought that machine that claimed to take off excess weight, or at least something very similar to it. This was an extremely entertaining, and nostalgic, blog. Who among us baby boomers doesn't remember those wild and crazy comic book ads!

zebeckras said...

this stuff is crazy man, just crazy. Classic!

zebeckras said...

Hey, I had a thought. Since it's nearly Halloween, you should do a post with a collection of EVPs! I've been wasting time at work listening to them when I have a spare minute, and even though I don't particularly believe them, they are entertaining. I think you could do a really, really fun post with the best of what you find! That's assuming you have time in the next two or so days...