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CSBG Archive

I Saw It Advertised One Day #11

We continue a MONTH of I Saw It Advertised One Day! Each day this January you’ll get a piece 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.


Few things are quite as sad as the idea of “Would you believe?” flash cards.

Not even just, like, a book of “Would you believe?” jokes. That would be silly, but hey, at least Get Smart was popular, so I’d understand it. That would make sense, I wouldn’t even feature it here, because that wouldn’t amuse me as it’d be too normal (I’d say the vast majority of ads, by the way, I DON’T feature – most comic book ads were pretty normal stuff). But the idea of putting them on flash cards – that’s just too much.

I just love the notion of some kid getting these and showing one side to his parents and then flipping it over, triumphantly.

I know that the Kaballah Centre predates this comic book ad by a couple of years (the Centre started in 1965), but I still like to believe that this was the inspiration for the Kaballah Centre, and that Madonna follows this game…


Now, I understand that there might not have been QUITE as many things to do on the internet in 2002, but come on, would anyone actually go to Nabisco.com to play Oreo-themed GAMES?!?!

And yet, I’m sure lots of people did.

I think that’s actually sadder than the flash cards, now that I think about it…

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.


Any idea who did the Ka-Bala art? I’m guessing this came out AFTER Magic 8-Balls, but I could be wrong. Any idea about that?

I dunno, those flash cards are stupid from the little you see in the ad, and you had to send in a buck for the set. The Oreos thing, hey, at least you might win prizes. MMmm, oreos…

The “where everything is UP2U!” is pretty stupid, though…

How would you ‘stump your family’ with the would you believe cards? And how did they ‘work’, did you just show them to people as a joke? I’d rather own sea monkeys than those pieces of junk.

I always wanted a Ka-bala set though – the children looked quite alien to me though which freaked me out when I was younger.

Suggestion for an ad to feature: One of the two-page ads announcing the tv networks’ new Saturday morning lineup. They usually appeared in comics on sale around September in the late 60s.

I had one of those Ka-Bala games; got it for Christmas one year. It was just so exotic-looking and strange I couldn’t help but want one. The most memorable thing for me was the small 1/1-2 inch square monotone blue reproductions of the major arcana tarot cards, taken from the Rider deck.

Never got any urgent missives from the Spirit World, though…

I was going to point this out days ago, but I figured someone already had, but I decided to read all the comments of every column but didn’t see it. “We conrinue a MONTH…”?

“Material wealth”? Oh, Ka-Bala, you’re not really about spiritual realization at all, are you? ;)

Oh wait. Wrong Kabbalah.

I understand that the “Would you believe… ?” routine was part of Don Adams’ schtick from when he was a stand-up comedian.

The catchphrase (as well as others of his stand-up routines) was made use of in the Get Smart series when it began.

Would you believe… that ever since #6 these posts begin with the words “We conrinue …” and nobody has noticed it yet?

I know at least two people who would go online to play Oreo themed games: Peyton and Eli Manning.

When I was in middle school my friend and I played those Nabisco games. A lot.

Ka-Bala was, of course, a feature of Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol run, under the Pentagon!

My students used to play those Nabisco games all the time — or try to, when they were supposed to be doing work. I recall that a lot of the decent Flash games were ads for products back then, and unlike other game sites, they weren’t blocked by the school network.

“Would you believe… that ever since #6 these posts begin with the words “We conrinue …” and nobody has noticed it yet?”

Well, in fairness, Brodie did.


January 8, 2011 at 11:37 pm

I second Rob M’s suggestion about featuring the network’s two page spreads for their upcoming Saturday morning line up.

I still enjoy running across those ads when I’m looking through old comics.

Man, that Callahan guy brings up info about The Early Years of Grant Morrison any chance he gets. You’d think he wrote a book about it or something :)

Those Saturday morning cartoon 2 page previews continued into the ’80s, because I know there are a couple from shows that were out since I’ve been alive. I remember the one with Foofur in particular.

I see that it’s fixed now. In every column at that.

I believe the Ka-Bala ad art is by the great Bill Everett.

“I believe the Ka-Bala ad art is by the great Bill Everett.”

Whenever I think of Bill Everett art, I think, perhaps oddly, of large foreheads with sweeping lines on them – specifically, early Hulk issues and, of course, the Sub-Mariner. The first panel of this Ka-Bala ad has that tell-tale forehead line, which leads me to agree with you.

Pictures of Ka-Bala (because I know people want to see it): http://boardgamegeek.com/images/thing/5845/ka-bala

Matthew Johnson

January 10, 2011 at 9:12 am

I hate to tell you, but “advergames” sites like Candystand and Millsberry (the descendants of this Oreo Web site) are hugely popular among kids.

Here’s a link to the Saturday morning TV ads printed in DC comics through the years: http://www.dcindexes.com/saturday/

My favourite of the flash cards has to be, “Would you believe my mother kind of likes me?”


The problems of these cards are multifold, but one of the biggest is that a proper “Would you believe?” joke requires THREE parts. With two, the joke doesn’t work nearly as well!

A properly framed gag would be something like:
Would you believe I’m adored by millions?
Would you believe my fan club has 200 members?
Would you believe my mother kind of likes me?

Still lame, in this case, but the second “still exaggerating, but not QUITE as implausible” part is crucial to make the joke work.

That Ka-Balla thing was used by Grant Morrison in the issue of his Doom Patrol run that introduced Flex Mentallo.

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