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CSBG Archive

I Saw It Advertised One Day #4

This is the fourth 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.


All of today’s ads came from 1955-56 DC comics..

Man, Showcase? What a dumb idea…

This comic will never be of any note!

I don’t know if this game actually WAS cool or not (particularly by 1955 standards), but I can honestly say that I have absolutely no idea from looking at this ad how it is used.

That is one confusing-looking game (In the alternative, it might be a really simple game that is just being totally oversold to make it seem like there is something to it when it is just a typical electric game, like the traditional electric football game).

Jim Prentice invented the game when he was in high school in the 1930s (at the time it was battery operated) in Holyoke, Massachusetts, so it can’t be THAT complicated, right?

I am sure I will see more weird ones in the future, but so far, this is the most messed up ad that I’ve seen.

Just read it now…

Okay, a couple of notes…

1. Do they just think kids are INCREDIBLY stupid? They never say you actually get the dog!!! How were they even allowed to DO that?!?!

2. On that same “they must think kids are soooo dumb” note, how about the fact that they list two “different” studios on the same page while both are obviously the SAME studio, just using different names!!

This is the most messed up ad I’ve seen yet.

I’m sure you folks can send me better, though!

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.


Where is it?

Next you’ll be telling us they won’t really send me a monkey for two dollars.

(And is it just me, or is the CSBG frontpage all messed up?)

I love that in the Showcase ad, DC is referred to as “Superman-DC”.

Part of me started to feel bad for the crate-full of miniature dogs being used as part of Movyland/Dean Studios scheme, until it became clear there probably never were any dogs in the first place…

(And is it just me, or is the CSBG frontpage all messed up?)

Yeah, it is appearing oddly for me, as well. Most likely it is just a temporary issue.

(And is it just me, or is the CSBG frontpage all messed up?)

Yeah, it’s gone completely off the rails this morning. Dunno what’s up with that.

Something fun to look into, either here or for Legends revealed, would be Count Dante and his “death touch” martial arts school that was advertised at Marvel all through the mid-70s.

am i the only one this isn’t working for?

This isn’t working for me, either. (That’s what I meant with my first comment.)

Oh My God. That last one is brilliant! Better than live raccoons.

So what the heck was the ‘dog’? If it isn’t ‘real’ or ‘live’ then what the heck was it? And I love how the ‘At almost’ is so small that I missed it upon first read…

Love the baseball ‘game’…especially how you can plug it into a light socket – yes, let’s encourage children to play with light sockets…hey, here’s some lead paint to chew on while you wait…

I can’t see anything either. What’s going on?

I’m using Internet Explorer if that matters.

The Crazed Spruce

November 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I’ve refreshed three times, and it’s not working for me, either.

Nothing shows up for me either. I’m using Chrome.

Still nothing. I, too, am using Chrome.

Oh weird. I could see it fine on my work computer this morning, but now that I’m home (running Safari on a Mac), I see nothing after “Enjoy!”

Same issue here…

PC here, can’t see it with the Windows version of Safari or IE 8.

I believe I’ve fixed it.

I think it might have had something to do with the same stuff that was messing up the front page of the blog (but I have no idea for certain).

Man, those ads were so unbelievable, and yet, we WANTED them to be real, no? Like those Sea Monkeys that turned out to be shrimp, hah! :D

Btw, Fireman Farrell must be one of DC’s most obscure heroes, they say they have reused him in modern times but I can’t remember him. In the first Crisis, maybe? Even Mr. Attorney is not so hard to find.

Kids,pack your bags —– we’re going tp MOVYLAND!!!!!!!!

Yes, it’s fixed now!!

I think Fireman Farrell did show up in one panel in Showcase #100, along with everyone else from the first 99 issues, but I’m not sure if 1978 counts as modern times (in fact it’s actually farther away in time from us than Showcase #1 was from 1978)

Coincidentally, in a raffle this past weekend, I got Showcase #63, with The Inferior Five (it was at least their second appearance, as the lettercol made mention of people begging them to never show the I5 again)

Interesting enough that the name is an obvious jab at The Fantastic Four, but the villains of the comic were an even more obvious jab at Marvel.

Let’s see…

The cover “villain” was a boxer turned into a Hulk parody.

The arch-foes of the I5’s parents, returned to youth, were the following:

A sorceress
A speedster
An Archer (with wings, no less)
and, a Nazi villain with full armor, a shield he throws, and a glowing (electrified) sword. Not to mention, that he has a Namor-sized facial hair problem from the helmet being stuck on since WWII (Hitler didn’t want to be reminded that his super-soldier was a dead ringer for Napoleon).

I don’t think it’s too hard figure out who this assemblage is an amalgamation of….

Has DC ever reprinted the Inferior Five? I’ve heard good things about it, but never actually seen it. It seems like something they could do in those $40 HCs they’re doing. Or better, in one of those DC Comics Presents 8 dollar books. And Merryman was in Final Crisis, too. (Isn’t he also promoting his new movie You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger? Was Merryman SUPPOSED to look like Woody Allen?)

Showcase as advertised here — it’s a wonder it made 3 issues. Had Flash not been rebooted in #4, the book probably wouldn’t have continued, I’d guess. (Then again, it was the mid 50s, so maybe rockin’ firefighter action sold well…) Since it took them months to find out sales figures, it probably worked in Schwartz’s favor that way…

Now, I get that they aren’t really going to send the dog, but I would’ve been a dumb kid that believed it, because right under the “Miniature Dog”, it says “I’ll be happy to send you without you paying a penny, this lovable, young miniature DOG…” and in the last paragraph “I’m so anxious to send you a miniature dog…”. I get that it’s a scam to get kids to try to promote this photo thing, but I’m guessing that everyone that wrote “just happened” to not write in in time to get a dog. What a bunch of jerks.

There’s an early Mad Magazine (while still a comic) issue that has “comic book ads” parodied. I can’t remember what issue, but it might be interesting to look at that to see what they’re parodying and feature that stuff. (Also, did Mad have ads as a comic book? And if so, what? I remember when Mad magazine started having ads a few years back, the one I remember for Corn Nuts, or something, looked like it was a parody, and then I realized it was a real ad. Oy.)

That baseball game sounds like a variation on other early computer games (as in, all there is to it is blinking lights). Kinda cool.

I think you’re missing the big picture here, which is that Mrs. Ruth Long REALLY wants kids to send her pictures of themselves, then describe themselves in detail.

Should I be embarrassed that I’ve never heard of “Des Moines 2 (Des Moines Harder)?” Is Iowa so very dull that they don’t bother coming up with names for new cities, and just call them spinoffs? That’s the laziest thing since “West” Virginia!

I agree with EthanK that the most disturbing thing about the Miniature Dog ad is that it’s bascially an elaborate way to get children to send pictures of themselves to “Ruth Long”.

How much longer will I be denied my OJ Dingos ad featuring OJ Simpson pitching cowboy boots from 1980? That ad was MADE for this feature!

Yes, you are missing something. Prior to ZIP codes, there was a Zone postal code associated with large cities. It was written just after the city name, such as “Des Moines 2″. In 1963 a new process was started called the Zoning Improvement Plan, or ZIP codes, and the Zones got integrated into them (like a New York 17 would turn into 10017 ZIP code). See http://traislinge.blogspot.com/2007/11/history-of-postal-codes.html.

Turning to story page 9 (and its opposite ad page), of Showcase #63I notice some intresting “ads”.

First of all, the art on story page 9 is barely 2/3 page. The yearly Statement of Ownership, Management and Circluation is where the 3rd row of panels would be, and appears to be so large that it pushes the others up (looking through the book, each page has the top row of panels larger than the other two. The SOMC is the bottom of the page, but takes the size template of the large row).

The opposite ad page has something that would be sacriligious to modern collectors – actual CUT-OUT coupons for Palisades Park in NJ for free rides on the “Caterpillar” & “Jet Plane” rides (“Worth 85 cents!)”. The top of that page is an AMT models ad.

On the reverse of that ad page, is a full page environmental cleanup and responsibility ad that, well, goes overboard. The first parts are the usual outcry against the pollution of our land, but the third part seems to go after boaters, campers and skiers as an evil pox on the land, with the majority of the campers, the boats and the skiers gone in the “after” pic.

Direct Currents is located after page 16 (between parts 2 and 3 of the story), with ANOTHER item asking you to cut it out (this one a tip for painting models with spray paints, by using petroleum jelly to mask all the parts you don’t want painted) – and this one would of course, cut the actual story on the other side.

Opposite these are ads for 100 tiny magnets that you can use to sculpt things, for only 79 cents, and “238 magic tricks revealed” for 50 cents – both postpaid, and both apparently to a single organization (this one in Rockville Centre, NY), much like the photo scam ads.

And, looking at the ad for Scooter #2 on the inside of the cover, just what were people at DC smoking, when they came up with THAT comic?

@ Basara549
sacreligious to modern collectors indeed! There are CURRENT ads in Marvel books (famous footware I think) with cut out coupons

Uhm, wasn’t Showcase #8 the first appearance of the Silver Age Flash? That comic is worth thousands of dollars today.

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