Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Comic Book Advertisements!

This time around, I'm looking at some ads from Charlton's Konga #11!

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And first up is this ad for some encyclopedias... That would be the "Made Simple" brand of encyclopedias, a brand that... well, frankly, I've never heard of! Anyone out there ever heard of this set before? I'm guessing that it probably wasn't such a great set...

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I've decided to present this one for two reasons, really... 1) Because it's yet another example of the body-building ads that used to be all over the comics, and 2) Because the guy bills himself as "Mike Marvel," like he's some long-lost member of the Marvel Family or something!

Believe it or not, you can still buy this bodybuilding method... click here if you really feel the urge!

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OK, maybe one or two more ads and then I'll wrap up this installment. Wow, this page here is just full of fail, isn't it? Let's start at the top... Let's say it's 1963, and you've been inspired to learn how to play the guitar (not an unusual thing to imagine, I'm sure that a lot of guys were deciding it was time to learn). Look at the photo on here... the dude's balding and has a mustache -- nobody cool in 1963 was balding and had a mustache (at least, nobody you wanted to learn guitar from, right?). But you know, this guy did actually know what he was doing, teaching guitar... he was a jazz guitarist starting in the 1940s, and had a regular gig in Redondo Beach, CA in the 1960s...

...but still, if I wasn't just two years old in '63, and I wanted to learn how to play the guitar, I can't say as I'd pick this guy as my instructor!

Let's move on to the animal cruelty portion of this page, shall we? It's hard to imagine in this day and age that live animals used to be shipped in the mail, isn't it? I recall hearing stories about animals arriving at someone's doorstep, only to be found dead in the package for whatever reason. I think it's amazing that some of the animals that were sold this way didn't end up on the protected species list!

Don't even get me started on that seashell thing... 50 shells for a buck? They're going to be tiny, I'll bet! I'd also imagine that most of the shells were collected for the company by severely underpaid workers (even for the era).

And this same company that was selling live animals and sea shells out of Miami was also selling a dance course! Well, naturally, it all fits together, doesn't it?

Oh, heck, let's get one more ad in, shall we?

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Yes, it's a Charlton Sweepstakes ad! AS you can see, there are four characters there, and all you have to do is figure out what the one missing letter in each name is to enter! What's particularly bad about this is how derivative the characters are... Timmy's just a knock-off of Casper, Li'l Genius is a knock-off of Dennis the Menace... Margie originated from TV ("My Little Margie"), but I'm guessing by this time, she was just Charlton's entry in the Archie/Millie the Model racket! Actually, the only real original idea there seems to be Hunk (I think that's his name), the caveboy... and even that might've been somewhat derivative of Alley Oop!

By the way, Hunk lasted all of 11 issues, My Little Margie lasted 55 issues (plus 16 issues total of two spin-offs -- lasting much longer than the TV series that ended in 1955), Li'l Genius had a total of 65 issues (the last two being reprints in '85 and '86), and Timmy the Timid Ghost had a total of 83 issues (including two all-reprint issues in '85 and '86). Pretty weird, eh? None of these have been heavily indexed in the Grand Comics Database.

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