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CSBG Archive

I Saw It Advertised One Day #16

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.


This 1960 signet ring scam is actually one of the lesser of these types of scams, as I sincerely doubt there’s any way of actively getting their $8 from the kids if they kids chose to ignore them.

Still, this is an interesting example in kid-scamming, making it seem like the price is due to the kids having to also pass a test. Heck, who’s to say that they didn’t just tell the kids, “Sorry, you were wrong.” It’s not like a kid in 1960 is going to make a copy of their answer sheet.


It’s interesting seeing this 1943 Wheaties ad ALSO go with the whole “food-power” term that usually was only used for stuff with a lot of sugar in it.

Pretty darn text-heavy ad, huh?

If the US knew that Wheaties worked this well, they never would have had to raze Dresden.

I just like knowing that even in 1976 people were obsessed with protecting their valuable comic books.

Check out the prices, too! This is not some cheap investment! That’s a lot of money to spend on a comic book protection album, especially when it appears not to hold that many comics. I love the vague “a year’s worth of comics” measurement. What does that mean? 12? Or 6 bi-monthly comics?

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.


the ring one was way before my time. the binders remember the add but never ordered them. or actully new any one who did.

“Even in 1976″? You make it sound like the Roaring Twenties. I attended conventions in 1976!

Actually in the 1940’s terms like “power food” and the like were in pretty common use for other than sugary foods. Sugar was hard to get. Wartime rationing made a lot of the best staple foods unavailable to civilian kitchens on a regular basis, and average workers were portrayed as “needing pep” and, if not malnourished, at least in need of a boost from certain advertised staple foods and supplements. If you listen to some of the old-time radio shows (grat podcasts!) from that era you hear all kinds of references to “power foods” and the like. The “Suspense” radio show was often sponsored by Ironized Yeast Tablets that would do everything from provide pep, increase appetite and promote a more healthful and restful sleep. “The Great Gildersleeve” was sponsored by Kraft Foods’ Parkay Margarine in particular (a cheap wartime butter substitute) which was called an “energy food” believe it or not! Yuk! And I think it was Wheaties (though which show it was on I forget) which used the slogan “Wheaties at 9 o clock means energy for 11 o clock”, unlike some other cereals I suppose.

There were obsessed collectors before 1976.

I went to school with a guy who bragged that he had the first issue of DC’s The Shadow.

Comic companies were hyping First issues.

DC’s tabloid Editions were called Limited Collectors’ Editions.

I think the first big boom in reprinting old comic stories in book form was during the 1970s (there were earlier “proto-graphic novels”, but I think in the ’70s was when they realized there was a potential market of collectors out there.)

Hey, they had to protect their valuable comics back then. I bet you could sell a Fantastic Four #1 for, like, a hundred bucks! You don’t just store that in an old bread bag, y’know?

Actually, I have seen ads from comics back then with “collector-type” products and I’m a bit surprised that they were appearing “back then”. But, given that comics store were starting to pop up around the country and the Direct Market was coming to fore, it makes sense.

I’m curious how the comics in that binder are readable without being removed…

Obviously it must mean you can read the cover without removing the comic, but it’s worded in such a way that it makes it sound like you can read the whole issue, page by page, without taking it out of the binder.

I wasn’t aware the P38 required “super fuel” – I thought it ran on plain ol’ avgas like every other piston-engine fighter. Beautiful machine, regardless. Also, at risk of descending into a complete aviation nerdgasm, the ‘wheatie bombers’ in the cartoon resemble nothing so much as A-W Whitleys – a British type that was well obsolete by 1943, but still kicking around on special duties…

I knew that binder ad would make an appearance sooner or later. I never got any, but they seemed like a great idea to me at the time because I only had 20 or so comics.

It also has a true sign of the 70s: offering “a full page of stickers”…someone was always pushing stickers or iron-ons.

Just to provide further context, they had individual comic book bags by the 1970s. (I remember being shocked by this when a friend showed us comics he bought from the Silver Snail in Toronto around ’78). Hell, they were talking about the benefits of Mylar sleeves by the end of the decade judging by old Overstreet Price Guides I’ve read

The signet ring thing is of particular interest to me. My dad read comics during his youth and a couple years ago he gave me an old ring that he had since he was young. He doesn’t remember how he got it. The weird thing is that it looks almost exactly like the signet ring pictured above.

I wonder how much one of those Comic Binders (in mint) would be worth right now….

I had that sticker set – my brother and I stuck them directly onto our dresser drawers. We didnt get the binders, though, so we must have gotten the stickers with something else.

I ordered the binders but ended up never using them. If I remember correctly, they did not actually come with the protective plastic sleeves that he see in the illustrations (or if they did, there was something wrong with them). I recall that the use of the binders would have required me to damage the comic books in some way in order to “bind” them into the binder. Also, they did not hold very many comics.

I ended up using the binders as three-ringed binders for school and, of course, the stickers were cool to have.

And, yes, by 1977 all of my comics were in plastic comic book bags that I bought at the shop–and mylar bags were the “new” thing by the early 80s (though they were so incredibly expensive that no one I knew was actually switching to mylar at that time.

Thanks Thom, great to have first hand knowledge of these things that I coveted so (Kiwi here and it was almost impossible to get American comics in New Zealand back then let alone order anything in them).

I never had the binders, but the stickers were also sold separately… and they were awesome!

They were legitimately cool stickers, well-made and durable, of varying sizes. Some were quite large. I remember a Neal Adams Green Arrow sticker decorating the side of a standard-sized wastebasket (and covering most of it, to give you an idea of the size) for many years.

The Wheaties cartoon, I wonder if it’s the first instance of the Hostess Fruit Pies paradigm (defeating the bad guys with tasty treats!)

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