Here's an ad you definitely wouldn't see outside a Charlton book... a house ad for their various western titles!
You know, Charlton really had their hand in just about every genre of comics... even at a time the "big two" were publishing fewer and fewer non-superhero titles. One of the neat things about this was that house ads like these seemed to appear only in the books fitting that genre! So, as you can guess, this one came from one of their western titles... Billy the Kid, to be precise!
Meant to post this with the entry of the Estes Rocket ad from the Charltons, but heck, I can make it a separate post!
As I said before, I used to be into the model rocket hobby... but I never got so much fun out of it as one time I was a spectator. How fun was that? Well, lemme 'splain.
I used to belong to a Star Trek club when I was a young lad, and one of the members was named Jim Crocker. He was in the Air Force or the Army (I forget which), based out of McCord AFB or Fort Lewis (I'm pretty sure it was the air force, and you'll see why as I go on with this story). I used to do a lot of stuff with this Star Trek club, and one day, Jim announced he had a very special rocket to launch. A bunch of his tagged along with him as we headed for his place on-base to collect his rocket, which had a clear plastic "payload" section in it. He'd picked up a battery and the brightest light he could connect to it, and put this in the payload section, and turned the light on for the night launching.
There used to be an empty field near McCord that these days is occupied by a gas station. Anyway, that night, we set out for the field, Jim set up his rocket launcher, and he fired that thing off into the night sky, the light blazing away. If I recall correctly, he was hoping the rocket would be seen on-base, and spark some reports of a UFO sighting near the base.
To the best of my knowledge, nothing ever developed of the sort... but it is still a fond memory, and was a lot of fun, feeling like I was part of this conspiracy to start a UFO report!
First, the top one, with the haunted house record. Unless I miss my guess, this one record got reissued over and over and over again... with artwork on the cover similar to that you see here! I even remember seeing that record on the shelves when I was a kid (among others).
The one below it is kind of fun, too... model rocketry is one of those hobbies which used to be pretty big back in the day -- I was into it myself in junior high school -- but it seems to have dropped off quite a bit in popularity.
Maybe it has something to do with fewer empty fields to launch them from these days?
Yep, it's two more standard ads... one for Grit (who must've had as many variations on their ads as Johnson Smith) and one for a Moon Monster!
Which I'm sure was another poster... just as I'm guessing the monster masks were probably cardboard cut-out masks. Here's the fine print under "Look What You Get!"
"��� Life size reproduction of a Movie Monster!" (italics mine) "��� 12 4x5 glossy photos of your favorite monsters! "��� Horror Fan Club membership card" (is it a Horror Fan Club, as it says here, or a Monster Fan Club, as it says three other times in this ad?) "��� Official Club Bulletin showing latest Monster films releases complete with pictures and stories!" The fine print on the monster masks reads, "Terrifying life-like reproductions of movie monsters. They're ghastly! They're frightening!"
Gotta laugh at myself here... because I'd just posted here mentioning how different the ads from Charltons were... and then I follow it up with this page from the same month with two ads you can find in any DC or Marvel mag of the time!
The top one... well, despite the name "Honor House," it's really the Johnson Smith Company again (I recognize the mailing address). Just to give you a head's up, sometime soon I'll be posting a major Johnson Smith-related item here!
The bottom one... well, I can't say this for an absolute certainty... but I'm pretty sure the "monster size monsters" were just big posters. As a kid, I saw this and thought that these were dummies of some kind, but I seem to remember reading somewhere they were door-size posters.
For my buddy Michael Ambrose (creator and editor of the Charlton Spotlight), it's time for more ads from Charlton Comics!
As I've noted before... a lot of the ads in the Charlton books tend to be a bit... well... different from those seen in DC and Marvel books. Atypically, this page here features two items you could find advertised in a book by the "big two" (if you looked long enough).
Seems like a pretty good deal on that 8mm projector, doesn't it? But I'd bet it's silent, and runs on batteries... assuming it works at all. I remember seeing an ad in a DC or Marvel book for a projector that was a bit pricier, and came with a screen, too!
The binoculars... well, I don't have much to say about them, so enjoy them for yourself!
(Note: I wish I still had some of my late 50s/early 60s Charlton books, when they had their own products for sale in the comics... some of that stuff was pretty funky!)
And this will be the last ad from the comics I'll post... at least, until I get more scanned in!
So here we have an ad for Marvel-Con 1976, which sounds like it would've been one helluva show... I don't recall reading much about this con, but one would think that there'd be photos and so on out there on the web somewhere!
Here's an ad that shows the collectors market for comics was starting to make its presence known in the 1970s... comic book savers, indeed!
Now, I never got these... but the impression I have is that this is a three-ring binder with page protector sheets (the kind you can insert a letter-sized sheet of paper in without punching holes in it)... but hey, add some stickers, and they're Comic Book Savers!
Of course, I could be entirely wrong about that...
Here's another of those ads you used to see so often... I wonder how many kids fell for this one? Probably quite a few, given how many ads like this used to run in the comics.
Yep... sell greeting cards to friends and family, and make money and earn prizes... I used to pore over the ads that listed different prizes, and how many boxes you had to sell to earn that prize... these days I get the feeling selling that many cards was nearly impossible to manage!
Here's an inside front cover Johnson Smith full page ad... did I mention already that this company is still around? You can find their current website at this URL, and while they don't carry all of this kind of stuff anymore, they still have a lot of cool merchandise for sale!
Here's another great house ad... and really, it promotes the entire line of comics!
I do have to admit to being amused by how many of the titles pictured here either didn't last much longer after this ad ran, or were cancelled eventually... which would be almost all of 'em... except for Superman (which continues these days as Adventures of Superman) and Batman, all the others are gone!
Ah, house ads... a lost art these days, I think. Let's take this house ad for an issue of DC Special, for example... just looking at it makes me interested in reading this book -- although I know it's "just" a reprint title, and that the stories aren't likely to be all that scary! DC and Marvel used to do great house ads, but these days... well... most of them leave me kind of flat, you know?
The top was an interesting approach to selling bicycles in comics format...
But it's the bottom half that really interested me the most! A lot of people in my age group remember these coupons fondly, seeing them in DC Silver Age comics, and wondering if we'd ever get a chance to use these coupons ourselves... of course, most of us lived way too far away from Palisades Park that we never got our chance!
OK, I'm already breaking a "rule" here, by posting ads from comics with cover dates before the 1970-1979 arbitrary "rule"... but what the hey... it's my blog, and I had a coverless issue of "Anthro" to pull these from!
This was one of those "slotless" slot car sets that was so popular for a while in the late 60s or so... although better known was probably the Motorific line. These were, in many ways, the precursors of the Hot Wheels' Sizzlers line (which seems to be deader than a doornail these days).
If you don't know what Sizzlers were... well, they were Hot Wheels with motors in 'em. You charged them up from a power source that was designed to look like a gas pump, and instead of a nozzle, it had a 1/8" plug that you plugged into the car. I think the charger was powered by 4 "D" or "C" batteries, but I could be misremembering.
Anyway, after charging up the cars, you could send them careening down the same track standard Hot Wheels used.
For kids with regular Hot Wheels, there was a way to keep them going, too (most of us just set up a long track that went downhill, making them more like Pinewood Derby toys than anything else)... I forget what it was called, but you could set up a track going through this gadget that kind of looked like a gas station, but which had double sets of revolving wheels that would push the cars around each lap (this was also powered by "D" batteries).
Ah, these ads are definitely a thing of the past, aren't they? I'm not referring to the stamp ad in the middle, but to the one on top advertising monkeys and the one on the bottom advertising baby raccoons!
I've heard a few horror stories about companies like these, with animals arriving starved and diseased, or even dead! Fortunately for the animals, I don't believe this practice is allowed any longer (well, aside from Sea-Monkeys and ants for ant farms).
Here's an ad I know I've seen in DC and Marvel comics, as well... and this used to be a entire sub-industry for a while, wasn't it? All these different companies promising to teach you how to draw comics. If I recall correctly, it wasn't much longer after this that Charlton (with a lot of work from Tom Sutton) did their own book on how to draw comics... and once that happened, it seemed that the floodgates were opened, especially after "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way" (a book I still have in my collection, among other books on how to draw comics).
Still with ads from Charlton, these next few ads are actually blown up a bit... just because I've noticed that there's some interesting stuff on those pages where the whole page is full of different, smaller ads... and I should've been doing some of those with the issues I've already posted here!
Anyway... here's one ad promoting the stamp collecting hobby... sheesh, there are a lot of hobbies that used to be advertised in comics that have seen better days, aren't there? I mean, model building, slot car racing, stamp collecting... one wonders how many more I'll come across!
I tried to get into stamp collecting once, when I was in junior high school, but got bored with it rather easily... I thought maybe it would be an interesting hobby, but it was just boring (and expensive). You mileage, of course, may vary!
OK, I've posted ads from mostly DC and Marvel books, plus ads from a month of Gold Key... time to give Charlton its due!
Like Gold Key, Charlton's ads tended to be a bit different than those seen in the DC and Marvel books... as is evidenced by this one, from the inside front cover of a July 1971 book.
It's interesting to me to see how this ad is specifically directed towards the military readers... especially since it's selling jewelry. Why is that? Well, I'll tell ya.
Way back in my Navy days, I was a journalist, and served on the aircraft carrier USS Constellation. One day, we received a few boxes of comics -- and all of them were rather on the old side. I seem to recall they were mostly Gold Key, but there were also about 50 copies of Heroes, Inc. #1 Starring Cannon by Wally Wood.
Now, I'm as patriotic as the next guy, but seeing those comics -- and being the Wood fan that I am -- I have to confess that I absconded with all of those, and later made some nice money selling them for about $7 a pop!
So where am I going with this? Well, inside every one of those comics was a four-color, four-page ad for rings and other jewelry... and it wouldn't surprise me if it was the same company involved here!
Aagh... having a bit of a sleepless night, so may as well catch you faithful readers of this blog (both of ya!) up on the latest developments here!
First of all, let's get the commercial out of the way... I just listed a bunch of comics posters (including two that didn't sell the last time) on ebay... but this time, there's a difference... I've put a "buy it now" price on all of them, and they're only running for 5 days (any that don't sell I'll likely relist for 7 without the BIN). You can get the listing of these items for sale by clicking here!
Next up... Thursday morning, Krypto gets to go to the vet again! This is a routine stop, a heartworm exam, although I'm also going to have the vet look at a rash that he and KO got after a walk at the Lacey Community Center... it doesn't seem to bother the dogs, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
Wednesday morning, I had my first check-up myself in at least 15 years... overall, the doc said I was in good health (thank you, Weight Watchers), but there were two disturbing developments... the first of which was they measured my height at 6'4", instead of the 6'6" I've been for the longest time... at 42, I shouldn't start shrinking! Perhaps I wasn't standing as straight as I could've been.
Even more disturbing was the result of the hearing test... seems I've started experiencing some hearing loss at the upper end of the scale.... news I honestly could've done without receiving.
They also took some blood, as well as a urine sample... and I'm supposed to do some other samples and mail them in over the next week (have to wait three days after eating certain kinds of foods). Hopefully, nothing will come of those.
I've had issues with doctors ever since my wife, Barbara, passed away, and I've probably mentioned that before... or if not, I'll mention it again, and possibly go into more detail.
So, maybe you're wondering why I'm still up at 2 am? Well... I had gone to sleep at a decent hour... but was awakened at 1 with the news that Krypto had an accident in the bedroom that needed cleaning up... so I probably got a bit stressed over that (plus I was a bit stressed when I was putting up what would've been the 13th poster, except that the wireless network suddenly stopped working... it's just now that it's up and running again). I suppose, too, I'm still feeling a bit stressed over the whole check-up thing.
Thursday evening, I may put up more eBay auctions, again with the buy it now option... originally, I started these to get the much-needed funds for Jessi and I to take our vacation next month, but it's turning out so far that I've needed the money for other matters (like the two birthday, graduation, and fathers day presents for this coming weekend... sheesh). I still have no idea what I'm getting my dad for Father's Day... and really need more of a present for my nephew's graduation than the gag gift I already got him.
So... while I'm This 'n That-ing... what's the consensus on the comics ads I've run intermittently here (okay, sometimes that's been about all I've posted)? I haven't had any feedback on those, and I do like to know whether or not you readers are enjoying what I'm posting! You can write me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know.
One final note: On my Cover Stories column at WF Comics? I'm so far ahead on writing columns now that the next one I write will be for December!
Here's an ad for another hobby that's seen better days... slot car racing! I know that all the kids in my neighborhood were interested in them, and my family used to have a pretty neat slot car track with loop-the-loops and all!
I can only imagine that the hobby became less popular when video games became more popular, especially racing games. Let's face it, the modern video racing games offer a much more realistic experience than slot cars, eh?
Still, you never know... things may turn around for the hobby, if someone comes up with a new variation on slot cars that appeals to the kids... perhaps something that uses these mini RC cars, with a track that can be reconfigured in different ways?
As the ad says, dig these! As I've noted before, there were a fair number of model ads in comics of the 1970s... and I do remember buying some models because of seeing them advertised in the comics, to be honest.
But not these hot-rod/construction vehicle kits! They just seemed rather odd to me.
Here's one of those kinds of ads you used to see all the time in comics... although the Charles Atlas ads were much more common.
It's kind of funny, when you think about it... all those body-building ads in comic books... I mean, let's be honest, most comics fans tend to be either skinny or (like myself) overweight... it's only been in recent years we've seen more comics readers who are in fairly good shape. I wonder how many skinny/heavy comics readers sent off for any of these offers? I know I didn't, nor did I have any interest in them (then again, when I was a kid, I was one of the skinny ones... where the heck did I go wrong?).
Would've done these last night, but those ebay auctions were ending... anyway, here we go!
JLA #115 -- Star Sapphire (the one from the old Secret Society of Super-Villains book) is made all better, Red Tornado is damaged... the members of the 70s JLA line-up is arguing... a very cool Batman/Catwoman scene... and the Secret Society kicks a lot of JLA butt. It was an enjoyable issue, for the most part... better than the usual first part of a multi-part storyline these days.
JSA #74 -- I'm feeling a bit let down with this issue, which does a lot of retread over old ground in this Day of Vengeance tie-in. Nice to see Lyta Trevor (Infinity Inc.'s Fury) in this book, though!
JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED #10 -- This book never disappoints me, and this issue doesn't break that trend!
INCREDIBLE HULK #82 -- Peter David is the master of done-in-one with this very well-written and well-illustrated story. I hope he's able to stay back on Hulk for a very long time!
RANN-THANAGAR WAR #2 -- Lots of fighting, lots of tie-ins to the Adam Strange mini-series... and Hawkman and Hawkgirl are in the midst of this. I wonder when DC will let us know what order their appearances in this mini, Day of Vengeance, and Villains United storylines fit with what's going on in their own title?
ZATANNA #2 -- Still very much enjoying this mini, and will be sad to see the final issue when it comes out!
FANTASTIC FOUR: FOES #5 -- As this mini gets closer to its final issue, things really start happening! Yeah, I've been enjoying it.
BLOOD OF THE DEMON #4 -- I really want to enjoy this series... I really do... but we're in the 4th issue already, and I'm still trying to figure out what the heck is going on. It may take re-reading the series to date to get a handle on things.
SUPERMAN #218 -- What's up with the Man of Steel? He pretty much goes all out of control in this issue, trying to defeat Blackrock while causing all kinds of collateral damage. The Superman I know wouldn't go off like this, no matter what else was happening... he doesn't take out his frustrations on villains!
NEW THUNDERBOLTS #9 -- I was concerned that when Busiek went off this book, it would go astray... but Nicieza is doing a good job with it. Besides, I'm a sucker for stories featuring Namor, and he's in the whole thing, practically!
LEX LUTHOR: MAN OF STEEL #4 -- OK, this is the penultimate issue of this mini, and it seems like each issue has nothing to do with the previous one. Is there supposed to be a continuing storyline here or what?
VILLAINS UNITED #2 -- This is my favorite of the Countdown titles, and I think Gail Simone's to thank for it... she sets you up thinking things will go a certain way, and then pulls the rug out from under you! Nothing predictable about this one!
NEW WARRIORS #1 -- The New Warriors are back, and they're a realty tv show! Not quite sure what to think here... they're being rendered in a pseudo-Manga style (think DC's TEEN TITANS GO!), and this series is obviously to be taken a bit tongue-in-cheek... and what's up with Nova's re-designed costume?
SUPERMAN/BATMAN #20 -- Basic set-up of this storyline: Superman and Batman vs. the Avengers, and the first issue of the arc is throwing lots of cool stuff out there, and setting up a major mystery. This kind of style is so common these days that it's getting boring, frankly... there are other ways to tell stories!
ACTION COMICS #828 -- Superman needs Black Adam's help to deal with Doc Polaris (who's seriously whacked out here, but apparently gets under control in Villains United -- another case of stuff happening at different times, but printed simulataneously so we have no idea what the order is... although it seems this takes place before VU)
MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #4 -- I liked the "Marvel Age" version of these books, and I like the Marvel Adventures version just as much (I still don't know why they renamed them, except to start with new #1's).
SON OF VULCAN #1 -- Honestly, this book didn't surprise me a whole lot... but this first issue was an interesting read, and I'll stick with it.
BATMAN DARK DETECTIVE #3 -- If the regular Batman titles were this well-written, I'd buy them.
Well, let's see... what do I have to talk about today?
For starters, there's the latest edition of my weekly column, Cover Stories, which you can check out at the WF Comics website by clicking that link. New columns show up there every Sunday!
What else... hmmm... well, Saturday and Sunday have been rather busy days for us... Saturday was "Super Saturday" at Evergreen College... but I'm getting ahead of myself. A slow weight loss week for me this time, only .4 lbs lost according to the weigh-in at Weight Watchers... guess I need to be more careful about my eating!
After that, we had our Saturday walk with the dogs, then headed home for breakfast before heading off to "Super Saturday." That's the day after graduation, and it's kind of a festival/fair of sorts... lots of music, lots of vendors selling all kinds of unusual stuff. Evergreen is kind of a "hippie" college in many ways, so there were lots of rather off-beat merchandise for sale... and to be honest, I found a lot of it overpriced. We did, however, enjoy some roasted corn on the cob, which was very tasty!
Back home after that to do a bit of additional cleaning up from the party, then we were off to Larry and Sibyl's house. Larry and Sibyl are sort of Jessi's "adopted Washington parents," and we brought over some leftover pizza and pie for dinner. They're a great couple, and I always enjoy spending time with them!
Sunday... well, we had kind of a rough night, it seems... Jessi woke up at 3 am, having been nearly pushed off the bed thanks to the dogs, and slept the rest of the night on the couch (I was still so tired from preparing for the party I never noticed). We got up about 8, and were off to the Sunday walk, then back home for breakfast again, and then... well, hmm... we sort of hung around the house for a bit, then went to Jessi's friend Tifney's house for a barbeque... then back home again! As I write this, she's watching "Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone" on the Canadian channel (even though we have it on tape or DVD, I forget which)!
Tomorrow, naturally, it's back to work for me... and sheesh, I still haven't done the mini-reviews of the comics I got on Thursday!
Next weekend will be a rather busy one for us, as well... Saturday, we're up to Tacoma for my sister Debi's birthday, as well as her daughter Christi's birthday, and a celebration of her son RJ's high school graduation. We'll probably also give my dad his Father's Day present at the same time! I don't know what the food plan is for then, but I'm guessing there will be too many bags of chips to eat.
Sunday will be our mid-month Boxer Meet-Up... we usually just have them on the first Sunday of each month, but this summer, for June, July and August, we're having additional ones on the third Sunday of each month!
I'm hoping this week will be a bit less busy... but we'll see! I do have my current eBay auctions ending Monday night, and I think I may post some new ones while I wait for those to close. This time around, there's what may be the last of my Alex Ross DC Heroes posters, plus a Justice League animated poster... and as I write this, only two of the posters have bids, so you stand a good chance at getting a bargain!
Anyway, that's all for now... I'll try to get those mini-reviews posted soon!
I am a former graphic designer turned medical assistant turned truck driver who's into comics, sf, tv, cartoons, monsters, oldies rock, and lots of other stuff.
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