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CSBG Archive

I Saw It Advertised One Day #21

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.


It’s interesting to see:

A. How quickly they started doing house ads for Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing


B. How old school the first house ad was…

What’s also interesting is to see another house ad where the writer (I wonder who wrote house ads at the time?) tried to come up with something that sounds like Alan Moore’s style, but really doesn’t…


Graeme Burk sent in this suggestion (others have suggested it, as well, Graeme sent in a scan, though), the Marvel rock album from the mid-70s!


I just love the idea of making up something like “Super Yum.” “Yeah, this gum is SUPER yum!”

And all the claims are so vague. “It’s smoother!!”

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.


“…your fingertips would brush with something wet, something supple and resilient” – yes, it’s SUPER YUM!

Those Bubble Yum ads only got worse – there was a whole series where people appeared to be tripping out while chewing the vile stuff, going “YUM!” all over the place.

I love ol’ Stan’s hard sell on the album COVER – evidently to distract you from the dreck that actually lay within (a tactic Marvel recycled many years later for X-Men #1, if I’m not mistaken… *winks*)

I’ve a copy of “Rock Reflections of a Super-Hero.” It’s… odd.

I think that ad copy may have come from the DC Sampler two page ad for Swamp Thing. I believe that may actually have been written by Moore, if my memory is not totally faulty. Bissette and Totleben did new art for it, so it seems likely the writing was by Moore.

Fascinating, Patrick, thanks.

I wonder why Moore went with such a different style for the house ad.

I’m pretty sure that the artwork for the BubbleYum ad was by Jack Davis, Anyone know?

Interesting choice for the “Reflections of a Rock Super-hero” ad – I don’t think I’ve ever seen this one. The one I remember seeing the most in my early comic reading days had Peter Parker standing in front of a full-length mirror. I think the entire album is posted on YouTube now. I’ve listened to a few tracks, and for lack of a better word, I’ll go with Michael P’s “…odd” as the most apt description.

I remember those Bubble Yum ads were all over the place at the time – not just comic books. It heralded the revolutionary age of “soft bubble gum”, which I understand was a major breakthrough in chewing gum technology at the time. No more hurting your teeth on those hard, tough bieces of chewing gum kids! And it didn’t just stop with Bubble Yum. There was Hubba Bubba, Super Bubble, . . . and a few others I can’t even remember right now., including that vile stuff that smelled like rotting vegetation when you chewed it.

This also bring back memories of the “urban legend” that was going around which claimed that the secret ingredient used by the gum manufacturers to make this new line of gum so soft and chewable was, wait for it . . . spider eggs!!! It turned out to be totally false but I remember everybody talking about it at the time (and it didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm for chewing the stuff, either).

I think that later there was a half-page ad for the Rock Reflections album, with the full Romita cover and without Stan’s hyperbole. And in the corner of the ad was a blurb advising that you could STILL order copies of “Nobody Loves the Hulk”

You can see the famous three-page Swamp Thing ad at http://tinyurl.com/readswampthing
(click on “Related Works” at the top)
It appeared in DC Sampler #3 and part of the text was used on the back cover in the first trade paperback of Moore’s run.
Although it is shown at that website as one long triptych, it was not a fold-out. You read the first page, then turned the page to read the next two. Yet it clearly is designed to be a three-page fold-out. I wonder what the story is with that?

Those Swamp Thing covers are legendary.

Note that the songs on the album are Super Songs! Super Yum Songs might have even sold it better!

Please tell me that the last day will feature SOME kind of live animal. That’s the Sistine Chapel Ceiling of bad comic book ads, and I’m worried that I haven’t seen it yet.

I’m pretty sure that gum ad is Jack Davis art.

I think what everyone’s missing with Swamp Thing is 12 issues for 6 bucks! Ah, if only I hadn’t been, like 4, when those issues came out.

Actually, there was one of those 3 pack comics for some cheap amount that I found within the last few years that had ST 31 in it. I think I found another with 34 in it (the sexy time issue). Odd that whoever packaged those 3 packs had Swamp Thing issues laying around…

I just looked around that Swamp Thing blog that Greg linked to, and there’s actually a video of Moore talking about Swamp Thing from 1985… It was a bit odd, because I’ve been a diehard Moore fan since I was about 14, but this is the first time I’d ever heard the man’s voice. Bizarrely disorienting, and it didn’t sound at all like I expected.

Here’s a more direct look at the text piece Moore wrote for the DC sampler


The ad for it just uses the last sentence or two, which is why it looks so odd. It really is a gorgeous stirring piece and it actually ran even longer, Dick Giordano included the cut bits in a Meanwhile column around that time.

Oh, and you can listen to Rock Reflections of a Superhero (or samples of it) on Amazon:

Honestly, I almost wish they went with this for a Spider-Man musical rather than Bono…

Thanks, Graeme. I was inaccurate. The text and illustration from “DC Sampler” #2 (which you linked to) were used on the back cover of the 1987 Saga of the Swamp Thing trade paperback. Not the triptych from “DC Sampler” #3. For those who weren’t around, “DC Sampler” was a free book promoting various DC Comics series. A page or two were devoted each of the featured series.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but since “DC Sampler” #2 came out before “Swamp Thing” #37, it marks the second published appearance of John Constantine, (albeit in an ad, not in a story.) We all know where John’s first appearance was, right?

Sorry. I meant “DC Sampler” #3 (not 2) came out before “Swamp Thing” #37, and marks the second published appearance of John Constantine.

NICE! I remember fondly the Bubble Yum one that was 9 panels and had a kid chewing grape gum. Makes me want a piece just thinking about it!

The gum ad is Jack Davis art. He did lots of advertising work in the 70’s/80’s that ironically ended up in comcs where he could no longer get work.

I got the Spider-Man “Rockcomic”, “From Beyond the Grave” with music by Ron Dante of the Archies when it came out just before the Rock Reflections , but only about 10 years ago did I pick up a copy of the CD of the latter. It has the artwork of Peter seeing his reflection as Spider-Man in the mirror on the cover. It was layed out by Romita, but painted by Nick Cardy who happily signed it for me at a con a few years ago. He said that album cover and some B/W magazines were the only work he ever did for Marvel.

The Spider-Man “Rockcomic” (a.k.a. “From Beyond the Grave”) was fantastic! From bits I’ve heard from the later “Reflections” album, it was rather goofy, but “From Beyond the Grave” was a serious dramatic presentation. The voice casting was perfect (Spidey was young Rene Auberjonois, who played Odo on Deep Space 9) and it was a professional production. In terms of quality, it ranks up there with the best radio dramas. Yes, the songs are definitely grooving to the 1970s, but for that era it was a class act.

Recap: In a dream sequence (ripped off from Amazing Spider-Man #100) Spidey briefly encounters the Lizard, the Vulture, and the Green Goblin, while a mysterious voice calls out to him. Peter is awakened by a call from the Kingpin who is holding Aunt May hostage. The Kingpin figures that Peter is always able to get close enough to Spidey to get photos of him, so he orders Peter find and assassinate Spidey. A depressed Peter flashes back to his origin story and remembers his Uncle Ben’s words about power & responsibility. Dr. Strange was contacted by the voice in Peter’s dream (Uncle Ben – hence the title) and arrives to help Spidey find the Kingpin and Aunt May. Then all hell breaks loose (literally?)

” No one has a crush on Peter” Well, who wants a crushed peter? I sure don’t.

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