Saturday, August 27, 2016

1970s summer comics nostalgia with Thing and Vision, Episode IX

Is there anyone out there who found their lifelong career thanks to an advertisement in a comic book? I'd love to hear your story. Heaven knows that comic books of yore loved to pitch, in tiny type, careers of all sorts to the readers. Today's dive back into the May 1978 issue of "Marvel Two-in-One" looks at three of the ads that wanted to help people find permanent work (as opposed to part-time first jobs, such as being Gritboy).

The Police Sciences Training Institute of Newport Beach, California, wanted to help you learn law enforcement from scratch:
"Criminal investigation, rules of evidence, fingerprinting, traffic control, court procedures — these are just a few of the fascinating subjects covered in this home-study course that explains everything from arrest procedures to disaster control. Burglary, narcotics, homicide, sex offenders ... learn the methods of the professional law officer."
These advertisements also ran in Popular Mechanics, Ebony and Black Belt magazines at generally the same time. In those, it was just called the Police Sciences Institute (because you paid for your ad by the word).

I'm guessing the "Institute" was a PO Box or perhaps, at best, a single room in a business park. My guess is that, for X dollars, they were willing to sell you a book or series of booklets containing information that you could purchase for less than X dollars elsewhere.

At one point in the early 1980s, there was a Police Sciences Institute based in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Not sure if it was related to this, but it does mention "home study instruction." Here is one of its "diplomas" (with the name removed by me) ...

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If being like Starsky or Hutch wasn't your thing, perhaps you were interested in the great outdoors.

The North American School of Conservation — also, stunningly, based in Newport Beach, California — wanted to help you "Wear the Badge of the Future in Conservation"...
"Don't be chained to desk, share counter or factory machine. Enjoy an outdoor life with the extra rewards of hard muscles, bronzed skin, vibrant good health. Sleep under pines! Catch breakfast from icy streams! Feel like a million and look like it, too! Step-by-step home study program gives you valuable 'know-how' about this exciting outdoor life."
Hey, can real-life conservation officers out there who currently sleep under pines and catch breakfast from icy streams please raise their hands?

WorldCat lists a "North American School of Conservation basic text," authored by Douglas B. Jester and published in 1964. Its three volumes are described as "a correspondence training program covering game management, fish management, forest and park management, soil conservation and employment opportunities." A different edition of the book that's likely from that same series is pictured at right.

Other advertisements for the North American School of Conservation indicate that it existed as early as 1960.

Read about another advertisement for this "school" in this 2009 post from The Amazing Spider-Ads blog.

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This final advertisement is better geared toward the target audience of comic readers, right? If you like reading comics, you might like to someday create comics, like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. The ad simply states:
Make Money at home with simple drawings!! Fun!! Big-Free Book!! Send 35¢ for postage/handling: Cartoon-E. Box 40614, Detroit, MI 48240."
There must be some of those Big-Free Books still floating around out there. It would be great to see one. I"m sure we could devote a whole post to it.

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