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Archive for the ‘ICFAOCB’ Category

Sure, it may seem like a laughing matter (ha!) but the world is facing a Helium gas shortage. Did you know that there’s a Federal Helium Reserve operated by the US government? And that the Helium Privatization Act of 1996 puts NASA and the DoD at the top of the supply chain when it comes to Helium distribution?

So if you’d bought those Helium tanks from the back of a comic book for $1.98 back in the day, you’d be sitting pretty high (ha!) on a valuable commodity today.

(From Man-Thing #20, August 1975, Marvel Comics)

Kids, are you tired of walking everywhere? Why not just float on air instead?

All you need is:

a) an ordinary vacuum cleaner motor
b) $3 for plans
c) a father
d) a jacket or pair of jeans, for your astronaut iron-on, free with every order
e) did we mention $3 for “plans”?

You too can be floating around your school in the “lowest cost man size air car in the world”!

(from Man-Thing #20, Marvel Comics, August 1975)

Hey kids, want to pretend you’re a thug? A hoodlum? A gang member?

Also, do you have sideburns you need to comb? Well then, have we got the perfect gift for you!

“ORDER NOW WHILE THEY’RE STILL LEGAL!” Because you know it’s only a matter of time before those damn liberals come for our switchblades…combs!

(From Man-Thing #20, published by Marvel Comics, August, 1975.)

“No prior hypnotic training needed.” Well, thank goodness, because that would certainly limit their customer base.

From Man-Thing #20, published by Marvel Comics, August 1975.

Wait a minute! Television repairman…sexually suggestive female image…”man-thing”…is this an ad for an old 70s porno?

What’s happenin, cool cats? It’s the Cleveland Institute of Electronics, Inc. here with the word on the street. Can you dig?

Now let’s all boogey to the Electroman theme song:

Who’s that bustin through a pink brick wall?
Electroman! Electroman!
Who’s that with no eyes, but he can still see, y’all?
Electroman! Electroman!
Who’s got a giant fist in one panel, but in the next it’s small?
Electroman! Electroman!

Also, I love how the small print says “We will try to have a school representative contact you.” Wow, now that’s commitment.

(From Man-Thing #20, Marvel Comics, August 1975)

Things I’ve learned from this old G.I. Joe ad:

1) You should not settle for the disabled limbs you are born with.
2) Having just one atomic leg will allow your other normal leg to keep up as you run 200 MPH.
3) Atomic body parts will instantly promote you in military rank from civilian Mike Power to Major Mark Power.

(From Man-Thing #20, Marvel Comics, August 1975.)
Go Joe!

Those of you following our It Came From An Old Comic Book feature (ICFAOCB) here on the blog are familiar with the wacky, fun, nostalgic ads that used to run in the pages of your favorite comic books back in the day. Well, writer Kirk Demarais is another big fan of those types of ads, and he’s written a book about them called Mail Order Mysteries: Real Stuff from Old Comic Book Ads! Dig the awesome cover design:

Thanks to the review at the link above, I now know what the heck that “Over 7 feet tall” ghost that “Obeys your commands!” really was: a balloon, some string, and a plastic bag. I’m looking forward to picking up the book and reading about all the other fun junk that numerous kids were disappointed with.

Man, they had the right idea all the way back in 1973: survey your readers to find out where they buy your product, what they like about it, etc. You’d think with all the technology available today, the big publishers would do a similar survey online to get a better understanding of their marketplace. I mean, that’s just business 101, right?

This is from Marvel Spotlight #12, published in 1973. And dig those question…where did you buy your comic from, a stationary store? What else do you do in your free time, listen to records?

And to entice their readers to mail in the survey, Marvel threw in a preemptive No-Prize, free of charge. Those wacky Bullpeners.

OK, this isn’t exactly “old” old, but in video game years, it’s still fairly octogenarian. But dig the comic book connection:

“In a city only The Watchmen’s Dave Gibbons could create…”

This ad is from Shade the Changing Man #48, published by DC Comics, June 1994.

Check this out:

Action. Adventure. Intrigue. The trifecta of qualities I think of when I think of Prince.

So, yeah, it’s a comic book based on a story by Prince (and let’s not forget The New Power Generation). The bit that caught me by surprise was the actual writer: Dwayne McDuffie. I hope he got paid well for this obvious vanity project.

I came across this ad in Shade the Changing Man #48, Piranha Press (an imprint of DC Comics), June 1994.

Remember 1990? Remember Andrew Dice Clay? Remember his mega-hit movie, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane?

No? That’s weird, because he was a big comedian back in the day. And look at the powerhouse of actors in this flick: Vince Neil, Sheila E., Tone-Loc…wow, how could this “vehicle” fail? (see what I did there?) It makes me sad that Ed O’Neill had to play second fiddle to Clay in this movie.

Anyway, this obnoxious 2-page ad was inserted in every single DC comic (and as far as I know, Marvel Comic) in July of 1990 (I scanned this one from Atlantis Chronicles #5).

Oh, and you know what’s worse than a vanity project movie like this? A comic book tie in! Stupid Comics has a review of the equally atrocious comic.

It’s been a while since we’ve visited ICFAOCB, so let’s get to it:

That’s right, kids. You too could “lose up to 5 pounds overnight” with no pills and no exercise.

It’s called a lobotomy.

(from Adventure into Fear #12, Marvel Comics, February 1973)

OK, it’s that time again..time to look at those classic ads from the pages of comics books of yore:

I love the line “One of America’s favorite pets.” Wow, talk about balls. I mean, sure, if by “favorite” they mean “most troublesome” and by “pets” they mean “pests.” And then there’s the matter of delivery of your great new “pet.” Send us the address of your nearest airport!? At first I thought it was pretty cruel to box up baby raccoons and air mail them to people all over the country, but then I realized the real reason for wanting to know the location of their customers’ airport.

It’s so they could cash the check and then just send a letter with “go to this airport and hang out by the garbage dumpsters, and your new pet will be waiting for you.”

The above ad is from Adventure into Fear #12, published by Marvel Comics, February 1973.

Ah, back in the days where comic book ads were manly and publishers didn’t turn away advertisements just because of some unintended sexual innuendo…

Let’s see:

Buff, nearly-naked guy with ruffled hair? Check.
“Muscles” written across his crotch in a long text box, with a suggestive upwards thrust? Check.
A plea for 250 skinny, defenseless guys? Check.
Celebrity endorser with the word “Richard” in his name? Check.
A product called “Tensile Contraction”? Check.

Nope, nothing subliminal in this ad.

(from Adventure Into Fear #12, Marvel Comics, February 1973)

Time to look at another classic/weird ad from the good ol’ days when comic books were full of these types of ads:

Did you read the whole thing? Wow, talk about painful. Apparently some ad executive genius thought the best way to sell tennis shoes to kids was to beat them to death with shoe-related puns. Too bad there was never an AAU Shuperstar vs. Missile-Toe comic book, because watching the swift-footed superhero battle his arch enemy would have been foottastic!

“Begone, evil sole!”*

Oh, and in case you were wondering, this ad appeared in Shade the Changing Man #4, published by DC Comics, December 1977 (yep, the original Ditko book, not the Vertigo version from the 90s)

*Shoe-related puns copyright (C) and trademark (TM) Intermark Shoe Company, a division of International Seaway Trading Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio


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