Friday, November 19, 2010

Comic Book Advertisements!

Time to look at some more comic book ads!

First up, from DC's April, 1972 cover-dated books is this ad for DC's Korak, Son of Tarzan! One odd thing about this ad was how prominently featured the artists' names were - Alan Lee Weiss, Mike Kaluta, and Frank Thorne... and then there's Len Wein's writing credit! It's also odd that the cover image wasn't used in this ad! Best that I can figure is that the cover hadn't been designed yet? Given the cover date of the comic this ad appeared in, I can only guess this was for issue 46, and you can see the cover to the right here. As blurbed, it was DC's first issue, the numbering having been taken over from Gold Key.

Now, this brings up an interesting story I recall reading somewhere (although I don't recall where). When Gold Key's Tarzan license expired and DC picked it up, DC apparently only planned on doing the Tarzan book, and no others, even though Gold Key's Korak title had (obviously) 45 issues under its belt. If I recall the details correctly, the Burroughs agent asked DC if they were doing a Korak book, too, and when they were told they weren't, DC was informed that Gold Key's Korak book was one of their best-selling titles (maybe even better-selling than Tarzan?). So this prompted DC to suddenly add a Korak book to the roster, although as you can see, other Burroughs properties were put in there as well. DC also did a Weird Worlds book featuring Burroughs concepts, and both those titles eventually were folded together into Tarzan Family before DC's license expired, and Marvel picked up the ball (so far as I know, all Marvel did with the Burroughs stuff was Tarzan and John Carter books).

Next up, it's another house ad... for DC comics subscriptions! The art looks like it was probably done by Infantino, although the kid in the Superman sweater almost looks like he belongs in Kirby's Newsboy Legion! Three bucks for a one-year subscription sounds pretty cheap, doesn't it, when most comics these days are cover-priced way over that!

The word "Blockbuster" is used a lot in DC's house ads, but it certainly applied to the Kirby Fourth World books, even if sales didn't necessarily turn out that way. One thing you can't say is that DC didn't give the Kirby books a great push in their ads! Sometimes I wonder how it was that those titles didn't take off like rockets, and the best I can figure is that both DC and Marvel were producing so many new titles at the time in order to try to crowd each other off the racks (as well as Gold Key, Archie, Charlton, Harvey, and whoever else was around in '71) that the books just didn't have enough time to find the right audience! Of course, these days, all the titles are hailed as classics in comics!

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