Archive for the ‘Advertisements’ Category

Posted Tuesday, December 29th, 2020 by Barry

Holiday Savings From Santa Paws

As we prepare to say goodbye to one year, let’s look back to when we said goodbye to not only the previous year, but decade.

Heathcliff, Alf, Count Duckula and Police Academy were the lone holdovers from Marvel’s Star Comics imprint. The spinoff started in 1984 had run its course by 1989. The last Star branded issue hit newsstands in December 1988.

The first title to bear the banner was issue one of The Muppets Take Manhattan in 1984. The remainder the Star Comics Magazine line were not released until five months later with more licensed properties. Those included Fraggle Rock, Heathcliff, Planet Terry, Strawberry Shortcake, The Ewoks, Get Along Gang, Muppet Babies, Royal Roy and Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham.

Royal Roy was the first casualty. Harvey Comics slapped an infringement suit against the title claiming it bore too close a resemblance to their Ritchie Rich. Roy was cancelled after six issues.

Droids was the second Star Wars title to come under the Star brand. It ran eight issues.

Holiday Savings From Santa Paws

Holiday Savings From Santa Paws

Though their initial imprint was defunct, the featured four continued under Marvel’s regular umbrella title. Other books offered in this deep discount of 50-percent off – after the purchase of one regular title – are Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Tales (featuring Spider-Man), Spectacular Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man, Captain America, G.I. Joe, Incredible Hulk and Transformers.

To take advantage of the offer, subscribers had to meet the January 31, 1990 deadline. A bit late for us, but still fun to remember as we entered a new era. It was the decade of the Gregorian calendar, grunge, the first Democratic president in over 10 years and the invasion of the World Wide Web into homes.

The ’90s would also usher out a century.

And, the comic book industry would nearly collapse under corporate and private greed.

Hopefully our incoming year will be a little calmer.

Posted Saturday, October 24th, 2020 by Barry

You Can’t Beat This Halloween Treat!

DC rolled out the red carpet for Halloween 1979.

Featured in the house advertisement are Secrets of Haunted House 20, House of Mystery 276, Weird War Tales 83 and Ghosts 84. Showcased was Super Friends 28 touted as a “Hair Raising Chiller!”

According to the hype, “The Super Friends Battle 5-Fearsome Foes…and their Mysterious Master!”

To learn more about the issue, tune in tomorrow for the full synopsis.

In the meantime, continue to dig out DC’s anthology House books and Marvel’s serialized monster soaps with Universally-recognized names. Let them take you back to the days of Ben Cooper costumes, plastic Jack o’ Lantern candy buckets and gobs of sugary candies.

You Can’t Beat This Halloween Treat!

You Can’t Beat This Halloween Treat!

Posted Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 by Barry

Time is Running Out

Okay, time ran out.

A long time ago.

January 31, 1986, to be exact.

No matter, this in-house ad is still a time capsule. First of all, this baker’s dozen issues for $6.50 – “only 50-cents an issue” – when on-stand prices were $.65 is amazing. As of this writing, fans are paying at least four bucks a pop for their favorite heroes.

Secondly, the artwork takes us back to a time when the Hobgoblin was still a mystery to most of the Marvel U. First introduced in Amazing Spider-Man 238, March 1983, no one was privy to his private identity for years. It was unveiled in AMS 289.

Not only does it bring back memories of the Hobgoblin, but the Green Goblin, too. The illustration is a homage to Amazing Spider-Man issue 39, the issue that revealed the (original) Goblin was Norman Osborne.

The Hobgoblin is a derivative of the Green Goblin, anyway. He came about when one of the original Goblin’s hideouts was discovered. Guess it’s only fitting the advertisement resurrect one of Marvel’s best covers.

It also showcases the titles published in 1985; from Alpha Flight to X-Men. Special books, at varying prices, included Marvel Age, G.I. Joe, Sectaurs, Elf Quest, Transformers, Groo the Wanderer, Dreadstar, Alien Legion, Swashbucklers, Conan the King, Marvel Saga, Marvel Fanfare and Savage Sword of Conan.

The last book was the last of Marvel’s magazine line that played in the periphery of the 1970s.

Though time has run out for the ad, it doesn’t stop us from turning the hands of time back to relive comic book history.

Time is Running Out - 1985

Posted Monday, June 1st, 2020 by Barry

Summer’s Here and the Time is Right…

…for dancing in the streets.

At least, that’s how Martha and the Vandellas finished the line.

DC appropriated the lyric, finishing it with…”for DC comics.”

According to the ad, they’ve got “all the action this summer with hot titles like New Teen TitansSupermanHawkmanBooster GoldSwamp Thing.”

All for nine dollars a subscription. No deals for buying more than one.

This offer was available about the time David Bowie and Mick Jagger charted with their duet of ‘Dancing in the Streets’ shortly after Live Aid. Series like Hex and Adventures of the Outsiders were short lived as the DCU headed into its first crisis.

Though summer isn’t a holiday, the last day of school always seemed like one. So, no matter who sang your favorite version of Marvin Gaye, William Stevenson and Ivy Jo Hunter’s chart topper, enjoy the warm weather and take some time to relax.

‘Dancing in the Streets’ was also covered by the Mamas & the Papas, Van Halen, Grateful Dead and Black Oak Arkansas.

Summer's here...

Posted Thursday, May 7th, 2020 by Barry

Archie’s Christmas Specials

Archie Comics was ahead of its time. This advertisement, circa 1979, offered home shopping before the Internet.

Actually, this was a deal. Individual copies were $.35 each, but the thrifty buyer could net three for $1.00 or all four for $1.25 – postage and handling included.

Available were Archie’s Christmas Stockings, Betty and Veronica Christmas Spectacular, Archie’s Christmas Love-in and Sabrina’s Christmas Magic.

For those used to priority shipping and online payment options, these were the days of sending a check and/or money order and waiting for months for your item. Case in point, note the cutoff for orders: June 30, 1979.

Archie’s Christmas Specials

Posted Saturday, February 22nd, 2020 by Barry

Have a Merry Christmas – Marvel Style

A 1978 inhouse ad from the House of Ideas – and merchandising – showcased the beginning of the graphic novel and trade paperback era.

Aside from The Incredible Hulk 1979 calendar, the advertisement promoted the Fireside books published from 1974 to 1979.

Have a Merry Christmas – Marvel Style

Have a Merry Christmas – Marvel Style

Fireside was an imprint of publishing house Simon & Schuster. Stan Lee’s vision was to offer a more traditional format featuring Silver Age stories at affordable prices.

Fireside and Marvel teamed for 24 such books during the six-year association. Origins of Marvel Comics hit bookshelves in 1974 followed by Son of Origins of Marvel Comics in 1975. Bring on the Bad Guys and The Superhero Women were published in 1976.

The return of Jack Kirby to Marvel was heralded by The Silver Surfer The Ultimate Cosmic Experience. It also marked a reunion with collaborator Lee.

Other books included The Best of Spidey Super Stories, The Incredible Hulk, Marvel’s Greatest Battles, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Doctor Strange Master of the Mystic Arts, Captain America Sentinel of Liberty, The Mighty Marvel Superheroes Fun books one through five, The Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness Book, The Mighty Marvel Superheroes Cookbook, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, Marvel Mazes to Drive you Mad, The Mighty Marvel Pin-Up Book, Marvel Word Games and The Might Marvel Jumbo Fun Book.

All stocking stuffers to be sure.

Posted Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 by Barry

“Deck the Halls with Marvel Comics”

Before Black Friday was a thing, Marvel Comics Company tried to help the holiday shopper with this house ad for the perfect gift.

Apparently the thought of not having to fight holiday shoppers for the gifts is enough to set Magneto, Doc Ock and Dr. Doom caroling.

In addition to staying home, shoppers have the knowledge they may cancel their subscription at any time if not satisfied, orders are delivered right to their door, they will save a whopping $7.20 off newsstand prices and are offered the lowest price on renewals.

Santa Spidey continues to plug the ad by exhorting, “Your first two 12-issue subscriptions cost $6 each—or just $.50 per copy!

“Each additional 12-issue subscription you order for yourself or a friend costs only $4.50 each—or just $.38 per copy!”

This was a time when Marvel offered just 25-regular titles. Special titles included the Micronauts, Moon Knight, Ka-Zar, What If…?, King Conan and Marvel Fanfare.

Too bad the ad expired Jan. 31, 1983 considering what comic books cost today.

According to Wikipedia, Black Friday didn’t receive its name until recently even though the day after Thanksgiving has been considered the kick off for Christmas shopping since 1952.

“Deck the Halls with Marvel Comics”

Posted Sunday, April 7th, 2019 by Barry

The Mighty Marvel holiday Wish List (1990)

Comic book shops were common place by the beginning of the 1990s, but original graphic novels and trade paperbacks were not.

The Might Marvel holiday Wish List, sporting a caroling Spidey, Hulk and Cap, was a festive gift guide for the comic book fan. What could be simpler? Make a check beside the corresponding title, hand it to the gift giver and wait for Christmas morning.

Looking back at this pre-internet solicitation reminds me of how far the industry has come. Of course I forget this is 30 years ago.

The Mighty Marvel holiday Wish List (1990)

The Mighty Marvel holiday Wish List (1990)

The year 1990 doesn’t seem that long ago. Saying 30 years does.

Anyway, 30-years ago trades and collections were not the norm. Marvel had its high-end Masterworks and DC its Archive editions. Those were available in most comic book shops and retail book chains. They were just pricey for the day.

Trades were much more reasonable, but still a novelty. That’s why it’s so odd looking at the ad paper and seeing so few story arcs collected.

Readers must also remember this was a time when stories were written from beginning to end with no worries about how they would fit in a trade.

As much as I love Neil Gaiman and Sandman, I blame the wordsmith for the advent of trade-length story arcs. He invented the four- to six-issue story arc with a few one-and-dones in between that seem to have become the industry standard for trades.

So, sit back and check out the Mighty Marvel holiday Wish List – in full – courtesy ComicBookDaily.com. It’s a nostalgic look at the not-so-distant past.

Posted Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 by Barry

Vintage Superman Ad

Vintage Superman AdHaving conquered print and radio, the Man of Steel turned his attention to a new medium.

The Adventures of Superman, starring George Reeves, aired from 1952-58, prompting a plethora of merchandise. Even more than what came before. Madison Avenue was finding television was proving to be a very profitable medium.

National Periodicals allowed the Superman likeness and logo to be plastered on almost everything. Here is a comic book page from the 1950s advertising a gaggle of gifts any red-blooded youngster could want. Included are: a Superman watch, Superman Official Magic Kit, Superman Muscle Building set, Superman lunch box and a couple other items I can’t identify.

An odd collection of items especially the magic kit considering that’s one thing Superman is powerless against.

Posted Saturday, January 19th, 2019 by Barry

What’s Up is a Year-Long Subscription for a Buck

For most of us, our introduction to Bugs Bunny was in Saturday morning or after-school cartoons.

In the fall of 1960 the Bugs Bunny Show aired as prime-time programming. Featured were his earlier animated works dating back to 1948. After two seasons competing with network sitcoms and dramas the wascially wabbit was relegated to Saturday mornings where he would remain for 40 years.

Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies subscription ad

Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies subscription ad

In the 1970s Bugs appeared in seasonal specials such as Bugs Bunny’s Thanksgiving Diet airing Nov. 15, 1979. Bugs Bunny’s Easter Special predated that airing April 7, 1977. Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales first aired Nov. 27, 1979.

His comic book debut was long before that, appearing in Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies Comics issue one in 1941 a year after his debut in animated shorts. Dell spun Bugs off into his own book lasting 245 issues from 1952 through 1983. Bugs was further featured in several Dell-published Bugs Bunny entitled books outside of his vanity feature.

By the 1990s Warner Communications had control of Bugs and friends and published a long-running series of its own.

From 1942 through 1993 a Bugs Bunny comic strip was syndicated by Newspaper Enterprise Assocaition.

Here Santa Claus hawks the original Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies book. For a buck subscribers receive 12 “fun-packed” issues. In addition, subscribers will receive “five beautiful color pictures of the principal characters” featured in the title. All are suitable for framing.