Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Comic Book Advertisements!

About time I returned to doing these again, eh? Last time I did any of these kind of posts was back in 2008! So, let's see what kind of cool (or not so cool) stuff was being advertised back when, shall we?

First up, from the October, 1966 cover-dated Marvel Comics is this ad for this extremely cool Thing sweatshirt! In case you can't read the back of Ben's shorts, they read "If you can read this, you're too darn close!" $3.15 plus a quarter for postage sure sounds cheap these days, doesn't it? You probably can't even just mail a sweatshirt for that kind of money these days! I think the front side of this sweatshirt has been reissued as a t-shirt in the recent past.

More ads after the jump!

Those of you who read this blog who aren't that familiar with comics before, say, the 1980s might be surprised to see this ad for a model kit by Monogram! It appeared on the inside front cover of the January 1970 Marvel Comics. Back in the day, most toy stores (as well as department stores with a toy department) used to have shelves and shelves of plastic model kits, some of them licensed properties, some of them not. Car models were very popular for a while, and in my youth I even purchased and built (badly) more than a couple of them, although my main interest in models was dinosaurs, superheroes, and spaceships!

Another interesting thing about this ad was it being in black and white. Black and white advertising is always cheaper to purchase than color ads, and I'd imagine that Mattel figured the trade-off of color vs. positioning was a no-brainer!

You might also notice that this ad is all art and copy, no photos! Photos weren't used too often for model ads, probably because the printing processes didn't print them too well in comics!

Monogram was founded in 1945, and purchased by Mattel in the early 1970s (according to Wikipedia, although obviously the purchase had to have taken place no later than 1969). Monogram was bought from Mattel in 1986 by Odyssey Partners of New York, shortly followed by Odyssey's acquisition of Revell (Monogram's biggest competitor). Revell-Monogram was purchased by Hobbico, Inc. in 2007.

Our next ad is also from the January 1970 cover-dated Marvel Comics, and as you can see, this was an advertisement for Lee Jeans! Yes, there were comic book ads for clothing that didn't feature comic book characters on them! I don't recall if the Jim Driscoll character appeared in other ads or not. Incidentally, Jim Driscoll was also the name of a boxer who died in 1925, but I'm guessing there's absolutely no connection!

The Lee company, on the other hand, was formed in 1889 as the Lee Mercantile Company, and was acquired by the VF Corporation in 1969. It's possible that the corporate takeover was one of the reasons for the comic book advertising to start!

Another ad from the January 1970 cover-dated Marvels here, promoting Marvelmania Magazine! That looks like a Marie Severin Hulk to me, a Kirby Captain America, and probably a Romita Spidey. Marvelmania International lasted from 1969 to 1971, absorbing the Merry Marvel Marching Society. There were six issues of Marvelmania Magazine, and sometime in the near future, I'll be presenting at least one issue of this here!

Mark Evanier was one of those who worked for Marvelmania, and noted that he quit because the person who ran it was "...not the most honest guy in the world. I worked there for a while and quit when the full magnitude of his duplicity became apparent. Many of us were either never paid, or paid way less than we were owed." You can read more about what Evanier had to say about it here and here.

That will do it for this installment! But there'll be more coming your way soon!

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