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CSBG Archive

I Saw It Advertised One Day #3

This is the third in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of pieces looking at advertisements in comic books over the decades that amused me for whatever reason. In each installment, we’ll take a look at three ads!
Here is an archive of all installments of this feature.


Just so you didn’t think that companies were not STILL trying to sell crappy food as “energy fuel,” even to this day, check out this 2006 Lunchables ad.

I suppose we’re not that far removed from “Dextrose – real food energy”!

I like this Daisy BB gun ad from the mid-70s just because it looks as though it’s, like, a junior NRA ad…

No offense to the NRA – I just think the idea of a “junior NRA” ad is amusing.

Finally, I’m gonna mix things up a bit by showing an ad for a comic book! Namely, the last issue of Green Lantern to feature the Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams “Green Lantern/Green Arrow” team-up. The book was canceled with #89, but that issue tells us where to look for Green Lantern next.

What I love about this ad is the way Green Arrow is, like, the jilted lover in this ad. “You screwed me out of my own book, Green Arrow, now I’m going to talk about how great of a partner the FLASH is” and Green Arrow gets his little inset where he’s basically saying, “Hey guys, don’t forget about me!!!”

While I’m talking about Green Lantern #89, the COVER of the issue also, in a way, has an ad on it.

Check it out…

Note the price bit. That’s to counteract the fact that Marvel was charging 20 cents for a normal sized comic book while DC was charging 25 cents for a giant-sized comic. Marvel had also tried the 25 cent idea but quickly dumped it. Coincidentally or not, this was the point in history where Marvel officially passed DC as the #1 selling comic book company.

DC’s cover claim almost seems more desperate than anything – “Come on, people!! We have so many more pages!!!!”

That’s all for this installment! If you can think of some goofy comic book ads you’d like to see me feature here, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Do not make suggestions in the comment section, so that they can still be a surprise for future readers. In fact, I think I’ll just delete comments that contain future suggestions.


If DC started charging 25 cents for 52 page singles again, they could reclaim that top spot (before they went out of business two months later).

52 pages!? How much of that was primary story and how much was ads and backup stories? That seems like so many pages.

I want to know what happens in that issue

Haha. That awkward Green Arrow speech is THE BEST. Sooo desperate seeming.

Ah, Lunchables. What the hell are you even made of?

Ooh, I’ve got a shameless related lunchables link to share, back from my days of doing “journal comics”:


’52 pages’ means 48 pages + covers, which are another 4 pages.

A good chunk of the non-ad pages would be backup stories, which would be reprints.

The 100 Page Super Spectaculars of the past were really 96 pages + covers.

That used to make me mad back in the day.

The main story was roughly 24 pages and the back-up was roughly 13 pages. Two pages of letters. So that’s roughly 39 pages, leaving 8 for ads then 4 pages for the front and back covers (which IS cheesy, but that’s how DC did the math back then).

they still count the ads and cover don’t they?
I hate that.
Still, if I was getting 48 pages for just 25 cents I wouldn’t give a damn at all.

Yeah, I love Ollie’s little plea. “Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here eating dog food and seeing if I can convince Air Wave or the Creeper to team up with me.”

I love how the arrow in the “W” is pointing that the price bubble for even more effect.

Don’t overlook the obvious advert on that cover: Jesus.

iconic image of Green Lantern leading with the ring by Gil Kane. That’s actually another list, I guess.

I love that GL/GA ad. One of the issues of the Waid/Peyer Brave and the Bold miniseries was basically about the Barry/Hal/Ollie love triangle.

Is it just me, or does it look like Barry is caressing Hal’s face in that panel?

Is this e-mail address working?

You could do a whole series of posts just featuring those BB gun ads – they are alternatingly amusing and a bit disturbing.
Meanwhile, that GL feature has to be the funniest house ad, ever. And I agree with stealthwise: the image of Flash & GL looks it could have easily adorned the cover of some hypothetical bromance (or straight up men’s romance) title.

From what I’ve seen in reading Marvel Essential books, there’s a time when one issue the cover says “still 15 cents”, then the next issue was a giant sized one for 25 cents, then the next issue is 20 cents. So they, somewhat cleverly, boosted prices right after a giant size issue. Was this around the same time?

Wait, Lunchables are crappy food?

Yes, that’s it exactly, Travis. They raised the price to 25 cents, DC followed suit, then Marvel quickly went to 20 cents and DC was “stuck” at 25 cents for quite awhile.

Green Arrow – clingy much?

Flash’s arms look off in that ad – his back arm appears to be draped over Green Lantern…or his hand is sneaking around Hal’s neck as though to pull him in for a kiss.

Did that price increase also have to do with the inflation stuff you talked about in a CBLR? (I know, narrow it down with my precise description. Something about the companies couldn’t raise the prices too much at once or something. I’ll skim through the archive later and figure out what I’m talking about)

See, nowadays, one company will announce a different price, the other responds in hours, and yet don’t hold themselves to it ;)

There’s also a theory I’ve heard floated about the GL/GA title, that because it dealt with “hard hitting social issues”, lots of copies were either returned or never put on stands, so that it looked like the sales were low, when it was actually selling, let’s say average. I’m thinking I’ve heard it just from Neal Adams, though, so it might be in either the Cerebus Archive issue (9, I think) with a big Adams interview, or maybe in that Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked doc that the History Channel did several years back.

Or I could be nuts.

I’m remembering this story out of my head, from the Comics Journal or somesuch–maybe even the CBLR – that, with a price increase from 15 cents necessary, Marvel had announced it was going to add page count and jump to 25 cents. DC decided to do the same thing, and locked in new contracts with its paper suppliers at the standing price – the cost of paper being one of those factors in inflation for books and magazines. So DC started the “52 Big Pages! Don’t Take Less!” line, and once those 25¢ books hit the stands, Marvel dropped its price to 20¢. DC was obligated to keep putting out the 25¢ books or eat the cost of the paper it bought. So they lost the edge at newsstands by having higher priced books with reprints, and that was Marvel’s plan all along, to pass DC in total sales. That may have also been the time Marvel got out of its distribution deal with DC’s distributor system, which limited the number of books they could produce each month.

Wonder if DC was trying to use up the paper it had already bought after dropping their price to 20¢ by running all those odd one-shots in the 70’s: a “Sherlock Holmes” reprint book, the two-issue “Man-Bat” series, etc. Hey, maybe that was also the reason for the tabloid-sized “Famous First Editions!”

Is this e-mail address working?
^ Reposted.

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