Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mystic lights, dinosaur bones, free things for 50¢, and a HE-MAN voice

There's never a bad time to delve back into the groovy world of comic-book advertisements. Here is a small collection of them from the January 1968 issue of Marvel Tales.

Some notes and thoughts:
  • You're probably wondering what the heck the "Flashedelic Mystic Light 'Turn-On' Tibetan Green" is? I am, too. But I'm also, in my convoluted mind, connecting this advertisement to "The Great Gatsby."

    The Bardo Co. is based in Great Neck, New York. And Great Neck served as the model for the novel's West Egg, where nouveau riche Jay Gatsby lives. Meanwhile, Tom and Daisy Buchanan live over in East Egg (Sands Point, New York). And the Buchanans have the dock with the ... wait for it ... green light.

    What if F. Scott Fitzgerald had described that much-discussed green light in a bit more detail? What if the final passage of the novel went something like this?
    "And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the flashedelic Tibetan green turn-on mystic light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

    "Gatsby believed in the flashedelic Tibetan green turn-on mystic light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning——

    "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
    See how the writing sparkles just a bit more? You're welcome.

  • Moving on, does anyone else see the irony in paying 50 cents for a list of 1,001 things you can get for free?
  • He-Man1 voice instructor Eugene Feuchtinger was fairly famous, and his methods are still available and taught to aspiring singers today through Perfect Voice.2
  • How much of a rip-off and disappointment do you want to bet those "genuine dinosaur bones" were? Do you believe their statement "We send you actual remains of the life that lived over 400 million years ago"?
  • On the other hand, it appears that Lavoptik eye wash is a legitimate product that can still be purchased today! The price has gone up a bit. It's now $96 for 24 four-ounce bottles. Oof.

Here are some previous Papergreat posts involving comic books:

1. He-Man of Masters of the Universe fame didn't come into existence until around 1980. But the word he-man, indicating a strong and virile man, dates to around 1825.
2. In the advertisement, there's an unfortunate typo and it's listed as the PREFECT VOICE INSTITUTE. Perhaps they could teach you to speak like Ford Prefect.

3. There is no Footnote No. 3. What are you still doing here? Go read something educational. Like "The Great Gatsby."

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