Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The wonderful world of comic book advertisements

I could do an entire blog on the wacky and wonderful world of old comic book advertisements, but:

1. I would get bored and want to touch on other fascinating topics, such as Henry K. Wampole & Company and its attempts to sell pharmaceuticals in Argentina using images of the Virgin Mary.

2. More importantly, other bloggers have already done great work on the topic of comic book advertisements. There's not much new that I could bring to the party.

A case in point is today's piece of ephemera. This full-page advertisement for the Monster Fan Club and its "ABSOLUTELY FREE! GIANT LIFE SIZE MOON MONSTER" comes from the March 1971 issue of Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen.

When I went to do some research on the Monster Fan Club, I quickly discovered that Scott Saavedra's Comic Book Heaven (and his commenters) have already hit this topic out of the park. You really need to go read the entry, which, among other things, blows the lid off the mail-order scam that was Monster Fan Club. One small excerpt from a commenter that I loved:
"That ad goes back at least as far as 1963 or -4, when I saw it in Strange Planets, a pirated EC comic that had been reprinted. My friend and I were enormously excited over the prospect of an actual six-foot moon monster--plus masks!--until his father warned us that they'd only be made of paper. It wasn't often that an adult was right about anything in those days (no day passed without five or six assertions that I'd outgrow comic books, for example), but he sure called that one right!"
So I think that, for the most part, I'm going to leave the comic book advertisements to other great websites. Here's a rundown of places you can visit to get your fix of "authentic" submarines, X-ray specs, Hostess ads1, frontier cabins, toy soldiers, joy buzzers, sea monkeys, Charles Atlas, and much more.

Finally, here's a great recent article on (one of my favorite geeky sites) titled "In praise of the totally lunatic comic book advertisement."

There's a Meatloaf advertisement mentioned in that io9 post and, in closing, I'll be darned if I'm going to miss an opportunity to post an image of a comic-version of Meatloaf on Papergreat (view the full advertisement here):

Unrelated addendum
Elizabeth Taylor died today at age 79. Her 1963 big-screen spectacle "Cleopatra" is mentioned in this old Papergreat post.

1. To get meta-geeky, here's Alan Moore discussing parodies of the Hostess advertisements, using his Watchmen characters.


  1. I LOVE comic book ads - they're a breed all their own. I used to pore over these when I was a kid! Thanks for rekindling those memories, Chris! :D

  2. I remember the Meatloaf ad and not knowing who the hell he was, or why he would be referred to thus.