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Progressive Bully #2: How to Get Ahead in Advertising.

§ June 7th, 2022 § Filed under advertising, Bully § 8 Comments

Hullo folks, Bully the Little Stuffed Bull here, continuing to fill in for Mike.

Have you ever been intrigued by ads you’ve seen in comic books? Sure, we all do! Who wouldn’t want to send away for exciting sea monkeys (brine shrimp), a gigantic monster (a paper poster), a real tank (a cardboard box), spooky ghosts (balloons) or lessons in how to kick sand in the face of bullies on the beach (instructions: kick sand, run like heck)? Why, the advertising section of a comic book, especially an old one, is a veritable 1,001 Nights bazaar of wonder, whimsy and enchantment, except with a six-to-eight week wait and more eventual disappointment.

But now that we’re older and wiser now, we don’t fall for comic book advertisements as easily. Or do we? Somebody has to have bought milk so the Dairy Council can say they “got milk,” joined the Army, or saw the film Kalifornia. But the glory days of gambling a stamp and half your piggy bank are gone. So of course, let’s revisit them!

I for one have always wanted to appear older and more sophisticated, so naturally this advertisement from “Man International” caught my eye. Mix and match any assortment of facial hair made “to exacting professional standards.” Useful for suave bachelors, confidence tricksters, or evil duplicates from a mirror universe. Remember: this is for international men only! Please, no domestic orders. (from Archie and Me #26, February 1969)

 

If the ‘tasche and van Dyke ain’t doin’ it for you, why not take on the fashion allure of an authentic cowboy with this “Texas Ranger Cowboy Outfit,” just like the real riders of justice down in the Long Star State wear, complete with sequined domino mask. Remember, you get the pair of western-style arm cuffs, chaps, cowboy boot tops, and “144 inches of cowboy-type rope,” that is, rope. Dress exactly like your heroes Chuck Norris and Tommy Lee Jones and you’ll be saying ‘howdy, partner,” to all sorts of new friends, acquaintances, and vicious, deadly desperados for whom life is cheap. (from Battlefield #1, Marvel/Atlas, April 1952)

 

Comics apparently aren’t just for kids anymore, as this ad implores you to throw away your truss! That’s all it’s an ad for; it’s not trying to sell you anything, just remind you to throw away your truss. It’s nice to have an advertisement without all that pressure to purchase a new… (reads fine print more carefully) Curse you, Brooks Appliance Co.! My old truss is just fine! (from Riot #3, Marvel/Atlas, August 1954)

 

Do you enjoy the comic strip Li’l Abner written and drawn by professional terrible human being Al Capp? Why, no fan of that backwoods hillbilly and his suspicious relationship with Daisy Mae can call their life complete without this authentic “Al Capps [sic] Shmoo Pen,” with which you can write fan letters to the despicable Mr. Capp and then turn it upside down to see the Shmoo’s clothing slowly fall off him. Scandalous! It’s great for fans not only of the comic strip but of the classic animated TV series Fred and Barney Meet the Shmoo, so you’ve got gift appeal for two entire generations! (from Pictorial Confessions #1, St. John, September 1949)

 

In the same vein as barbecue restaurants featuring a cute cartoon pig as a mascot, here’s national treasure Bugs Bunny endorsing a line of “lucky” rabbit’s foot keychains, of the same fine quality that you’d win at the county fair.

Ahem (clearing my throat):

Wasn’t very lucky for the rabbit, was it? (from Looney Tunes #167, Dell, September 1955)

 

Now you too can own an exact replica of the very same ring Elvis used to propose to Priscilla! “It is not a gimmick or a toy.” Geez, Elvis rings? What’s next,  Dick Clark jewelry? (from Miss America #92, Marvel/Atlas, September 1958)

 

D’OH (from My Own Romance #75, Marvel, May 1960)

 

Many of you have written to me asking if you could either lose ugly fat or, alternatively, eat spaghetti. Now you don’t have to choose. (from Patsy Walker #104, Marvel, December 1962)

 

And now, perhaps the most exciting, alluring, and exotic comic book ad of them all: FIVE TOWELS. Not three! Not four! FIVE TOWELS. Or, pay twice as much for ten towels! The world stretches out before you with glorious opportunity. (from Secrets of Young Brides #2, Charlton, September 1975)

 

Preserve objects in plastic for fun and profit! Coins! Shells! Popcorn! Grapes! Spider eggs! Your little sister’s saliva collection! PROFIT!

Sigh. I shouldn’t make fun. After all, what is comic book collecting but “preserving objects in plastic for fun and profit?” (from Strange Tales #179, Marvel, April 1975)

 

Well, I’d love to sit here and show you weird ads of yesteryear all day, but my order from “Man International” just came in.

If only it were cheap enough to put logos/UPCs/prices on an acetate overlay and leave the artwork alone for every comic.

§ May 18th, 2022 § Filed under advertising, marvel § 8 Comments


So I’ve been processing a lot of back issues lately, as I’ve had several collections (or several boxes from the same collection, in some cases) showing up at the shop. And as I do so, I’m flipping through books and checking conditions and making sure there are no missing pages and such, where occasionally I’ll find an image that amuses me. Out comes the phone, a picture is snapped, and I’ll throw it on Twitter or Instagram or whathaveyou.

Above is one of the pics that struck me, mostly in the ol’ nostalgia bone as I remember seeing that particular house ad in comics I was reading in the early 1980s. Specially 1983, and I think I saw it in the actual Thing series, and I presume the ad ran elsewhere but it was in The Thing where I’ve only seen it. I’m sure one of you kind folks out there will more early ’80s Marvels under your belt will let me know.

As I said when I posted this pic on Twitter, I was amused by the crosseyed, slightly-annoyed Blushin’ Ben Grimm in the smaller cover on the left, logo pushed down low on his brow. Also I wanted to note that it was a shame the actual image in the larger “more room” design was never used for a real cover. What a cheery face to have starring back at you from the racks.

Of course over the years Marvel found new ways to encroach on the available cover image space:

…including going back to the retro banner briefly in the late-ish ’90s:

But for the most part nothing was as bad as this early ’80s favorite:


I’m sure worst examples can be pulled from comics history, but boy that bicycle ad sure annoyed me as a kid.

Worse still is


…but I’ve already gone on about that.

Your 2020 Predictions, Part Three: Showdown on a Wasteland World!

§ January 15th, 2021 § Filed under advertising, predictions § 2 Comments

BEHOLD! Part Three of mumblety-mumble of looking back at your predictions for the 2020 comics industry! (Here are parts one and two.)

And here’s yet another reminder to contribute your predictions for 2021, a year that’s already going way too fast!

A correction first…last time I said the Warhammer 40,000 comic book was strictly based on the tabletop war game of the same name, and thus not exactly based on a role-playing game as predicted by reader Bruce. Well, Bruce corrects me, saying the comic does indeed incorporate elements from the role-playing versions of the Warhammer milieu. For the record, I do know of the Warhammer RPG line, as I sold it for years at the previous place of employment…I just didn’t think it was involved in this comic! I STAND CORRECTED, thanks Bruce!

Now to more predictions!

DK returns with these forecasts

[SPOILERS for Doomsday Clock and recent Daredevil abound]

“1) The Mime and the Marionette will be dead (well, comic book dead) by January 2021.”

I had to remind myself, as while I remember the broad strokes of the series, some of the details escaped me. One of those details was the fate of Mime and Marionette. I remember the fate of their son, but had to check online as to their own “endings” in the series. Anyway, they survived. At leaset until Doomsday Clock II: The Clockening.

“2) At least one Major Marvel Hero replaced by someone of a different gender/race/religion/species as a legacy hero with an all-new #1. Not a mutant or an Iron Man.

“I’m hoping for Daredevil.”

I’m going to say DING DING DING not only on the Major Marvel Hero being replaced, but on the specific character as well! We got Elektra in DD’s clothing in #25, causing one of those last-second speculator rushes that I love so much, he said sarcastically. No new first issue for Darelektra, but, you know, give Marvel time.

“3) The next DCEU Movie Phase will include Booster Gold. Like they should have from jump.”

No specific plans that I can see, but certainly lots of people hoping he’ll show up in one someday! Hey, I’d like to see it!

• • •

Brian’s a very naughty boy with

“1. With the new Phase of Marvel films and the arrival of the Disney+ shows (along with the end of Marvel Television as an entity), we’ll see the shift in how the MCU carries the story: the main sequential narrative will be done now in the shows, with the films becoming more stand-alone tent pole pieces adding large elements to the universe (since there reaches a tipping point of “you need to see 25 other movies first to understand this one). In an odd way, this will make Marvel and DC’s films more alike (where DC wanted to be like the early sequential Marvel films, Marvel will end up with oddball stand-alone films like DC).”

Well, as we’ve discovered time and again in looking back at predictions, anything involving “movies” is kind of up in the air given the pandemic’s affect on film distribution and presentation. The delayed Black Widow looks to be like one of those standalone films you’re mentioning, but I feel like things will continue as-is, with movies leading the charge and the TV shows providing support. Not sure what the new throughline for Marvel movie continuity will be, but that’s a formula Marvel had great success with, and nothing resists change like success. We’ll see (maybe this year!).

“2. The return of Young Justice on DC Universe and Clone Wars on Disney+ will only be the beginning of new seasons of old, cancelled cartoons — now re-emerging on streaming platforms. After the slow emergence of the old BTAS/STAS/JLU voice cast in recent DC Animated films, one of these will be an actual continuation in some manner of the beloved Bruce Timm DCAU.”

I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but now that the DC direct-to-video flicks have discarded the New 52-esque continuity they were maintaining, maybe a revival/continuation of the Timmiverse cartoons is a little more possible!

“3. After its purchases of Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Fox, Disney will next purchase Hasbro, during current negotiations over extension of their long term deal on Disney and Marvel toys. While this raises a number of possibilities over synergy in toys and games (as well as use of the Dungeons & Dragons game engine with a number of other Disney properties), folks will mainly care about having the old D&D cartoon on Disney+ and making Dungeon Master/Baby Yoda memes.”

I was nearly taken in by an April Fools article titled “Disney Buys Hasbro and Mattel” and I just about plotzed. “I would have heard about that, right?” I thought, until I saw the article’s day. Sigh.

It would be nice to have Dungeons and Dragons on demand, though, despite it likely causing a whole new generation to speculate about the non-existent “last episode.”

• • •

Adam Farrar goes too…well, you know, with

“Neil Gaiman. Mark Buckingham. New Miracleman comics. Whadda need, a road map?”

Keep those home fires burning, Adam.

“In an attempt to flood the market with Eternals comics, Marvel even reprints something with Blackwulf. The target audience of me, and only me, does not even buy the $1 True Believers book because it’s just a reprint of something I already paid $1.50 for 16 years ago.”

Couldn’t find any recent Blackwulf stuff…no comics, no cameos, no nothin’. But it was hardly necessary since Marvel flooded the Eternals with…like, thirty different covers of .

• • •

Scott Rowland heads for shore with

“1. DC will expand their 100 page super spectacular line to include more tie-ins to their TV shows. Star Girl will be the breakout hit.”

The $9.99 line continues, but no more tied into the TV shows than they ever were. Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t do more to tie into the Stargirl TV show (popular enough to get a second season, at least!) but I swear it feels like DC is afraid to make money, sometimes. Putting a photo cover on the Stargirl collection, and making those Crisis on Infinite Earths 80 page giants is something, but…man, I don’t know. Sooner or later someone’s going to take charge of DC who’s gonna say “we’re tossing all this nonsense out and just doing comics that look like the movies/TV shows.”

“2.Marvel and DC will enter into an agreement to make their crossover books like JLA/Avengers and the Amalgam titles available in special editions to benefit the Hero Initiative. (Ok, that may be a wish not a prediction.)”

Few things make me madder as a retailer than the fact that JLA/Avengers remains out of print. I could sell those like…a really hot thing that sold well. Look, it’s been a long day, the metaphor-makin’ part of my brain is tired.

“3. Saga will return, but to a much less enthusiastic audience in an example of the Miracleman effect.”

We remain Saga-single-issue-less, but the trades still sell relatively well. At least some audience will still be around when they return. I hope.

• • •

David Alexander McDonald farms out the following

“Marvel Studios will have a rough 2020 theatrically, but prove out on Disney+ resulting in more series announcements…though no Squirrel Girl live action do-over yet. Man-Thing, however, will get put into development, complete with the Giant Size tag. Marvel Comics will continue to be mostly inconsequential.”

Cramming a lot of predictions in there, David! But they’re all related, more or less, so I’ll give it a pass. And yes, Marvel did indeed have a rough time in the theaters last year…and so did every other movie studio, for obvious reasons. Disney’s focus on their streaming channel hasn’t included debuting their new Marvel mmovies there, but I imagine it’s only a matter of time. No word on Squirrel Girl or Man-Thing, but that’s make a good team up. And the comics themselves are, as usual, an afterthought.

“DC Universe will be mainly about the comics. The Snyder cut will not appear. DC will increase the numbers of Album-style comics but otherwise be generally inconsequential. There will be no 2020 crossover in the Berlantiverse. Dan DiDio will kill the remains of the Age series of omnibuses, disappointing the five remaining geriatric fans who buy them.”

DC did indeed announce the scaling back their streaming service to just comics (supposed to happen in February, I think). Snyder cut keeps getting teased, but not released yet. A few album came out last year, but it looks like it’s thinning down a bit for this year. We’ll see. No crossover for the CW shows (aside from the end of “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” which started in 2019). The Bronze/Silver Age books are still happening, slowly, but if they ever put out a “Copper Age” omnibus titled as such, I’m going to kick somebody.

“The indies have a bumper year due to Kirkman! and Lemire writing ten books a week apiece.”

Wait, that’s only one prediction in this section! Are you feeling well, David? Anyway, indies took a hit just like everyone else, but things seem to be recovering. Kirkman and Lemire seem to have kept their output down to a dull roar.

“Mike Sterling finally abandoned all hope of a Pogs revival and buries his slammers deep in the desert.”

Look, that’s four predictions (or, um, paragraphs of multiple predictions) and I don’t have to tell you what I may have done with my slammers. My beautiful, beautiful slammers.

• • •

Chris Gumprich cashes in these

“. Apparently DC has brought back Legion and the Justice Society. I predict these will be cancelled before the end of the year.”

Legion’s still a thing! Justice Society hasn’t yet received its new book, so it remains precancelled.

“2. DC will do yet another linewide reboot that will be a spectacular failure and lead to another reboot in 2021 (remind me I said this when it comes time for the 2021 predictions).”

They managed to stave that off a bit, unless you count the ending of Death Metal. Here’s hoping they keep away from rebootery for a while.

“3. We will see another issue of ASTRO CITY. (Kurt, I know you’re reading this.)”

Are you talking about my old customer Kurt? Because I’m pretty sure he does read this site. Not so sure about Astro City‘s creaetor Kurt Busiek, though. Regardless, no new Astro City yet (which is supposed to be in graphic novel form, versus the periodical format). I’m sure he’ll get to it when he gets to it, and it’ll be good.

• • •

That’s all for now…we’ll pick back up on Monday! Thanks for reading, pals.

I swear this isn’t just a commercial for my eBay store, but if you happened to go there and buy something, I would not disapprove of your selfless behavior.

§ September 11th, 2018 § Filed under advertising, how the sausage is made, promo, self-promotion, Uncategorized § 3 Comments

So here’s the thing: I’m still planning on an End of Civilization post, but I just haven’t had the time to start putting it together yet. I’ve barely even cracked open the new Previews…I have no idea if that deluxe hardcover edition of Swamp Thing Meets Jesus is finally announced, or if the last issues of the Sonic Distruptors mini-series have finally been solicited. Could be in there, I have no idea.

But anyway…usually when I’m having a lunch break at work, I’ll buzz through the Previews and pick out some likely suspects for my EoC post, and then write up the “humorous” “gags” at home. Alas, this month my lunch breaks have been less leisurely and more “cram this food down my throat so I can get back to processing these huge collections I have to process” and “oh Lordy I gotta get all these things on eBay” and…well, you know, actual work. So, no Previews perusal has occurred as of yet. But soon…soooooooon. Hopefully before the DC Universe streaming service starts up next weekend and I suddenly disappar into binge-watching the Constantine series at long last.

Soooooo…let’s shoot for next Monday for the new End of Civilization. Agreed? Agreed! (I totally spoke for you there, I hope you don’t mind.)

In the meantime, let me tell you about some of the stuff I’ve been working on and processing (and may eventually get to my eBay store, if it’s not there already, and if it’s ite> already sold). Basically, former boss Ralph (I’m trying not to call him “old boss Ralph,” y’know) broght me more boxes of promotional funnybook items from the Good Ol’ Days, back when there was only one (or two) X-Men series, when many titles still had triple-digit numbering, when the only “-gate” we had to worry about had “Water” in front of it. I’ve been digging though them, and within I found:

Malibu Sun #13 from 1992:


…featuring a preview of Spawn #1, back when Image and Malibu Comics were briefly iinked together. As others have commented when I posted a pic of this on the Twitters…”that’s some logo.” Anyway, there are some black and white pin-ups by McFarlane inside, and a short (very short, since it had barely existed at this point) history of Image Comics and where it came from and why, and boy howdy do these things go for a pretty penny on the eBay.

Valiant Comics loved its chromium, as evidenced by this wee little “Ninjak on Sale” display piece from 1994 (I presume):


Measures about 5 by 8 inches, and is basically just a miniature version of the cover to the first ossie drawm by future Marvel head honcho Joe Quesada.

“Hey, where’s the new issue of Thor Corps?” “Why, right below the Thor Corps ‘New Arrivals’ sign, of course!”


Dated 1992. Odd choice to represent Marvel’s publishing line for All Time on a sign that’d be posted about the new comics and left there ’til it sunfaded into nothingness, but who am I to judge?

Speaking of odd choices, please enjoy this unopened pack of First Comics stickers from 1983:

And a closer look at said stickers:


Now, I read and enjoyed Mars as it was coming out, but even I’m like “…what would I do with a bunch of Mars cover stickers?” But stickers featuring First Comics mascot Teddy Q — well, those have no end of uses!

My favorite piece so far is the one that’s in the worst condition (a lot of dings and creases, but somehow never actually displayed!)…this promo poster for the second issue of the original magazine series of Nexus, from 1982:


Never did buy all those original mag-sized Nexus issues…got the third one for the flexidisc, but was otherwise satisfied with the trade collection First released years later. Also, that’s Paul Gulacy art on that nice-lookin’ cover, which I misidentified as “Steve Rude” in my rush to get this thing listed. Ah, well…fixed now.

You know, every time I’m reminded of Nexus, it makes me want to go back and reread all the comics. Man, I don’t have time for that…I’m behind on the new comics as it is. Anyway, Nexus is a good comic, is what I’m trying to say.

Next time…more stuff!

And soon to be featured in a Disney film, no doubt.

§ December 18th, 2017 § Filed under advertising § 5 Comments

So in case you don’t follow me on the Twitterers (and I wouldn’t blame you…my Twitter is dumb) I recently put up some pics there of more items excavated from the Endless Stacks of Boxes of Promo Stuff from the Old Job. And, just for posterity’s sake, and due to the fact that once again blogging time is at a minimum, I thought I’d put ’em up here too.

First up is this 1984 Vortex Comics poster, advertising the Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez run on Mister X:


…and every time I’m reminded of the Mister X series by the Bros., I tell myself “I really need to get my hands on those comics” because (gasp!) I’ve never actually read them. I mean, I’m pretty sure I read a preview/interview about these comics in Amazing Heroes at the time, which got my interest up a bit, but never actually took that final step into purchasing them. Well, what can I tell you, I was a boneheaded teen…as opposed to the boneheaded adult I am now.

Next up is this 1984 poster promoting Marvel’s Doctor Who comics:


…that’s maybe drawn by Dave Gibbons, or maybe Steve Parkhouse, or…well, I’m not 100% sure. We had some back-and-forth on the topic on the aforementioned Twitter. I’m leaning toward Gibbons, personally, though the extra rendering on Tom Baker’s face there is throwing me off a bit. Perhaps one of you can set me straight.

And then there’s this 1992/3 poster pushing Neil Gaiman’s guest-writing gig in Spawn, with some very subtle references to his work on Sandman:


Huh, an Image poster poking fun at DC while advertising Marvel’s hot new character. Interesting.

“Occasionally?”

§ December 1st, 2017 § Filed under advertising, death of superman § 4 Comments

Yet another goodie found whilst digging through the piles of promo stuff…this 1993 flyer advertising the then-forthcoming indie comic release Tandra #12:


The flyer alarmed me at first…I’m not overly familiar with the title, though we did carry it at the time, so I thought at first maybe it was a memorial issue for a deceased creator. No, they’re talking about one of the characters in the book. But, if you read between the lines a bit there, and by “read between the lines” I mean “get ready for that incoming sledgehammer to the forehead,” you can probably spot the (cough) implied criticism of the Death of Superman storyline from just prior to Tandra #12’s release.

That last line of “we will not be throwing a party!” is stirring up some vague memories…did DC have some kind of “Death of Superman” memorial event to advertise the storyline? Or were there such events arranged at stores across the country? At our store the only event we had was “wall-to-wall people inside, a giant line down the block outside,” so having a “party” on top of that would have seemed…impractical. But I’m reasonably sure something of the sort happened to inspire that final line in the advertisement.

Well, okay, we did do one special thing at the store to commemorate the event, and that was to make a window display of comic covers from years past showing many different “deaths” of Superman. …We may have occasionally been smart-asses at times.

Anyway, this I think is an interesting artifact of that period showing how at least this smaller publisher reacted to the overwhelming marketplace blitz of the Death of Superman story. That event did bring lots of customers into stores…but I bet plenty of indie publishers probably felt lost in the shuffle.

Collectors edition Titans collectors comic for collectors.

§ November 29th, 2017 § Filed under advertising, collecting, dc comics, teen titans § 5 Comments

from DC Coming Attractions #81 (August 1983)

Some neat stuff I found.

§ November 21st, 2017 § Filed under advertising, pal plugging, self-promotion, swamp thing § 1 Comment

Here’s yet another installment of “what did Mike find in the boxes of old promo stuff from his previous job this time,” featuring this poster advertising the Marvel graphic novel Death of Captain Marvel by Jim Starlin:


Unlike a lot of the posters I’ve been seeing, this one was totally displayed, with pieces of tape still affixed to the back, and even a couple of tape tears noticeable on the front from where another poster with tape on its back was placed on top of it. Even still, it’s a nice piece of retail history from the very early 1980s.

From a couple of years later is, not a promo poster, but an odd piece of photocopier humor that was passed around in the wake of the release of Frank Miller’s mini-series Ronin:


You see, the joke is the comic is called Ronin, so the picture on the original cover has been replaced with an image of Marvel’s Red Ronin fighting Godzilla, and…well, look, this is what we had before Photoshop and image sharing on your Tumblrs and whathaveyou. Just eighth-generation Xerox copies of Xerox copies of gags being passed around by hand for everyone to enjoy. From the few examples of these I remember seeing way back when, at least this one wasn’t, like, purposefully offensive, which was a rarity in itself.

• • •

Hey, my friend Cathy, who does lots of medically-themed comics (some of which you can sample right here) has started up a Patreon of her very own. I know everyone’s got a Patreon right now and times are tough all over, but if you’ve got a dollar to spare, I bet she’d appreciate it.

And speaking of Patreons, I know I fell behind on mine and its exclusive content a bit, but I have started on the next Swamp Thing-a-Thon installment (covering original series #8, The Lovecraftian One). That should be up soon. I apologize, but sometimes real life gets in the way of doing fun stuff. I’m sure some of you can relate.

Oh, and on the topic of Swamp Thing, I did get a copy of the Bernie Wrightson Artifact Edition from IDW, featuring tons of original art for Swamp Thing another other DC horror comics. I’ll probably post a more extensive review of it soon, but in the meantime, let me assure you that it is sufficiently fantastic. I told myself a long time ago the only Artifact Edition book I’d personally get would be one that featured Wrightson’s Swamp Thing work, and I chose wisely. Not to say the other volumes don’t look great (and they do!) but Wrightson’s originals are the ones I felt I’d appreciate the most, and I wasn’t wrong. This book is printed in almost literally tear-inducing detail…I was comparing the original art in the IDW volume to the original printed comics from the ’70s and…sheesh, wotta revelation. And yes, the werewolf splash and these two covers are in there, too. …So go buy one already! Or order one from me! I won’t stop you!

Suddenly nostalgic for the Miraweb format.

§ November 13th, 2017 § Filed under advertising, swamp thing § 4 Comments

As the ongoing deep dive into the ancient trove of promo material continues, I found this Swamp Thing flyer from 1987:


…featuring small reproductions of pages from Swamp Thing #60 (May 1987) by Alan Moore and John Totleben. Here’s a better look at the retailer-specific info here:


As you can see in the scan, the top edge of the flyer is pretty crunched, but I suppose it’s too late at this point to try to get another copy. And, just so you know, the $1.00 price tag that starts with issue #61 goes up to $1.25 with issue #67, so start saving your pennies now. Actually, I kinda miss that “New Format” era…a little more upscale than the standard 75-cent comics of the time, not quite as dear as the $1.50 “Baxter” books like New Teen Titans. It was a nice middle-of-the-road format with reasonably good print quality.

Feeling a little bemused at how quickly I can still separate out the varying printing formats and price points from back then. Of course, there’s a bit more homogeneity to price points now from the Big Two or Four or Whatever, and not so much hairsplitting over the types of paper used, or cover stock. At least, it seems we don’t talk about it as much.

Had some great expectations for this item.

§ November 8th, 2017 § Filed under advertising § 5 Comments


This is a flyer sent out to comics retailers in the early 1990s advertising First Comics’s Classics Illustrated display rack. Not sure why my previous place of employment never got one…probably had enough shelves and racks and display units in a store already filled to the brim. Just didn’t have the room, I suspect.

However, at some point in the early 2000s, while perusing some of the downtown Ventura thrift shops, I found a store using one of these racks as a display for, I think, old hardcover novels. I asked the owner if she would be willing to sell the rack, but alas, she preferred to keep it to hold about $10 worth of used books.

Most of those downtown thrift shops have gone away now, and I don’t know what the owner of this now-defunct storefront did with this Classics Illustrated rack. Hopefully, once the time did come to close up the business, she eventually did sell it to someone who’d appreciate it, or that she took it home to, I don’t know, hold an array of magazines in the bathroom. I really hope she didn’t just toss it in a dumpster, to let it rot in some landfill.

Anyway, here’s a photo of one someone pulled off the eBay. The rack’s blue color was very striking. I wish I’d been able to talk that thrift store owner out of it.

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