Classic Comic Ads (are awesome too)

I've been reading more "older" comics than newer ones, lately, digging into my longboxes for some serious nostalgia, and something I've (re)discovered are the awesome ads you could find in these comics--both the outside advertisements and the house ads. Couple that with the great "Comic Cover a Day" thread on here, and I thought it might be cool to have a place for sharing some of these ads. Hopefully you'll all join in, too.

The first one is a favorite of mine, a Mike Zeck-drawn ad for the Secret Wars toy line. It's special for two reasons. One, issue #4, with that great cover of the Incredible Hulk holding up a mountain so that it would not crush all the heroes, was my first Marvel Universe comic. Two, I believe there are 27 Trademarks in this ad. I've uploaded a copy where I circled all of them in red.

image

And here's an unadulterated copy:

image

-chris
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Comments

  • ZhurrieZhurrie Posts: 617
    edited April 2012
    I have been reading a bunch of older comics (mostly the 80's which was my childhood) and I have been enjoying the ads a great deal which I normally miss by going with trades. My favorites are the $0.88 novelty/joke/gag ads which used to be everywhere back in the day and I never could resist ordering from. I still have my snapping gum trick and it provided decades of enjoyment, and still does! The Fun Factory, The Johnson Smith Co. and the like with their disappearing ink, venus fly traps, fake dog poo (and that creepy/odd "dog" in the ad image), 1002 insult books, spy scopes, etc. They were the best!

    I also was fond of the GRIT Newspaper route ads and the live monkey with cage and leash ads for $14.95. I never knew anyone that had a GRIT route or even what was in those papers but I always dreamed of Trump-like fortunes if I could have had my shot or lived in a town with more than 50 households.
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,307
    edited April 2012
    image

    Crummy toys. Incredibly cool ad.
  • John_SteedJohn_Steed Posts: 2,087
    image

    Crummy toys. Incredibly cool ad.
    Also one of my favs.
    The illustration was penned by renowned comic book artist Russ Heath (Uncanny Tales, Frontline Combat). Ironically, this fifty-dollar art gig would become one of Heath's best-known works.
    (taken from the awesome book MAIL-ORDER MYSTERIES by Kirk Demarais - the book tells all you want to know about those classic ads - highly recommended)

  • ZhurrieZhurrie Posts: 617
    Awesome! I hadn't thought of actually linking the ads! I found mine:

    image

    @WetRats I never saw that one, I always saw the same type of ad for the green armymen that came in a "pasteboard" footlocker. They were the worst and smaller than even the normal crappy green army men. They were such a letdown, but they taught me the valuable lesson of not trusting advertisements!

    image
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,307
    @WetRats I never saw that one, I always saw the same type of ad for the green armymen that came in a "pasteboard" footlocker. They were the worst and smaller than even the normal crappy green army men. They were such a letdown, but they taught me the valuable lesson of not trusting advertisements!
    The Roman Soldiers were equally crummy, but that ad was gorgeous (Russ Heath, no wonder!) and was on the back of tons of my early favorites.
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,307
    @kfreeman: The Hostess ads are in a special league all their own. They epitomize Pure Comic-y Goodness (tm)!
  • GregGreg Posts: 1,902
    You have to have a special place in your heart for the ads from the late silver age and bronze age books. I had always wanted to do the GRIT newspaper route but never did. The Black Dragon Fighting Society ads that would teach you Dim Mak, the deadliest form of kung-fu!There were pages that were covered completely in small ad boxes, kind of like newspaper classifieds, those were always fun to read through.

    The only thing I ever ordered were iron on transfers that would wash off in just a couple of weeks.
  • John_SteedJohn_Steed Posts: 2,087
    Some of the ads made it into German publications. As a kid I desperately wanted those X-Ray Spex, or as we called them, Röntgenbrille. Never got them though.....

    But I had several bags of them SEA-MONKEYS.....
  • Love that 100 pc. Toy Soldier ad. A friend got them, and as I recall they were flat, and the box was about the size of a box of Pop Tarts. I always pictured a giant footlocker at the end of my bed, filled with army guys.

    I always wanted the 8ft. Frankenstein, which was probably a cut out, but I thought would look like a full size statue.

    I did buy quite a bit of superhero merch from those ads, and some of the old fluorescent iron-ons. Always seemed like it took a year to arrive.
  • ZhurrieZhurrie Posts: 617
    @BlackUmbrella, yep they were that bad and disappointing. Here is a quick pic I found showing these terrible toys: image

    In fairness they did state the size of the box so I guess the buyer could have figured out that 100 armymen could not have been crammed in there let alone tanks and planes and battleships (oh my!). But that is not the kind of clarity the average kid has when busting open their piggybank for $1.75 with dreams of a footlocker at the foot of their bed filled with a green plastic bounty of war machines and soldiers. That was my Little Orphan Annie decoder ring moment as a child.
  • Anyone remember ads selling used comics by a guy named Ken Mieno? He sent you a photocopied handwritten price list of every comic he had for sale. I ordered from him every few weeks for a stretch in middle school, and he'd send you an updated list. Unreal - he must have been on disability or something, because he was putting in full time hours just on that dumb list.

    He sold me the oldest comic I ever owned, from 1946. I think I paid six bucks, which was a fortune to me. It was probably in Fine condition:
    http://images.comiccollectorlive.com/covers/77d/77d9826d-cac9-438f-a738-947c872b925b.jpg
  • ToneboneTonebone Posts: 676
    When I was a kid, I sat down one Saturday, and cut the Hostess ads from EVERY comic I had, until I had one of each ad. I placed the ads in clear sleeves in a binder. And then I nearly wept as I came to my senses, and understood the destruction I had wrought.

    What was wrong with me? Guess I really liked those ads...especially the one with the living building. That one was the best.
  • TrevTrev Posts: 309
    edited April 2012
    My favorites were the Hostess ads and these Bill Willingham D&D ads. Bec. I was playing lots of D&D and other RPGs as a kid.

    image

    Also, I know I pimped this book on the old forums, but if you haven't read Mail Order Mysteries, check it out. Got it for christmas and it is a fun read.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mail-Order-Mysteries-Real-Stuff-Comic/dp/160887026X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335549287&sr=1-1
  • John_SteedJohn_Steed Posts: 2,087
    Also, I know I pimped this book on the old forums, but if you haven't read Mail Order Mysteries, check it out. Got it for christmas and it is a fun read.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mail-Order-Mysteries-Real-Stuff-Comic/dp/160887026X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335549287&sr=1-1
    @Trev : :D so it was YOU who did the recommend back then. Thanks for the hint. Love the book.
  • GregGreg Posts: 1,902
    Love those old D & D ads.
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,307
    @Trev: Willingham was the master of the scared dragon face!
  • dubbat138dubbat138 Posts: 3,083
    I have been reading a bunch of older comics (mostly the 80's which was my childhood) and I have been enjoying the ads a great deal which I normally miss by going with trades. My favorites are the $0.88 novelty/joke/gag ads which used to be everywhere back in the day and I never could resist ordering from. I still have my snapping gum trick and it provided decades of enjoyment, and still does! The Fun Factory, The Johnson Smith Co. and the like with their disappearing ink, venus fly traps, fake dog poo (and that creepy/odd "dog" in the ad image), 1002 insult books, spy scopes, etc. They were the best!

    I also was fond of the GRIT Newspaper route ads and the live monkey with cage and leash ads for $14.95. I never knew anyone that had a GRIT route or even what was in those papers but I always dreamed of Trump-like fortunes if I could have had my shot or lived in a town with more than 50 households.
    I have wondered for years if anyone actually sold GRIT or read an issue.

  • WebheadWebhead Posts: 448
    This and the one-man submarine were two things I wanted to order just to see what came in the mail


    image
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,307
    This and the one-man submarine were two things I wanted to order just to see what came in the mail


    image
    Wasn't there a tank, too?
  • ZhurrieZhurrie Posts: 617
    Jeebus, 2 D batteries... that is a lot of weight for a small fan to lift... my guess is that the 48" control line was the cord carrying the current from the batteries in the remote to a small fan in a super light/cheap plastic shell and there was zero control.

    That is the story I'd love to know, the kids that had bought these things back then. I want to find a single GRIT newspaper boy!
  • WebheadWebhead Posts: 448
    I think the tank was before my time .... :-\"
  • GregGreg Posts: 1,902
    I didn't know if GRIT was still published or not and it is. It's undergone some changes but's it's still around.
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,307
    I think the tank was before my time .... :-\"
    image
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,307
    edited April 2012
    Another favorite: (Russ Heath again!)
    image

    How could you not trust Helen of Toy?
  • WetRatsWetRats Posts: 6,307
    And again:
    image
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