Continuing on with another look at old comic book ads, this time I’m focusing on the classifieds. These were smaller ads, often no taller than an inch, tossed by the dozens onto individual pages. For me, that was where the real magic happened.
These ads had to make an impression with few words and tiny photos, and they most often did so with wild exaggerations and impossible promises. If it sounded too good to be true, it was, but man did it sound good!
The classified ads in old comics were also where you’d find the trashiest stuff, or at least things that would never sail in 2015. A single page from 1980 may have given kids the chance to order everything from serious knives to live chickens, at prices they could afford.
By contrast, most of the ads I’m about to feature are pretty tame, but for one reason or another, they all excite me to pieces.
The Thing #20, February 1985
During the Transformers’ golden era, “lesser” transforming robot figure were sold by a variety of makers. Even aside from Gobots, I think everyone had a few Transformers that weren’t really Transformers.
This “Moto-Bot” fellow is more famous than a dingy comic book ad might suggest, having been sold by many companies, with his own special packaging and everything. $2.50 for a robot dump truck with motorized pull-back action seems like a sweet deal, even by 1985 standards. Read More…
I’ve been doing some spring cleaning, so before I shuffle parts of my old candy collection onto shelves that are too annoying to reach twice, I thought I’d pay tribute to them here. Turning crud into content makes me feel less bad about buying twenty-year-old Spider-Man gumballs, after all.
Candy Mouse Candy Tarts!
Just another of the endless parade of “computer-themed” candies from the late ‘90s, Amurol’s Candy Mouse blends a computer mouse with a real mouse into something so mousy, I don’t even know how to finish this sentence. Mmoouussee?
Filled with lame candy tarts, you were of course only buying this for the container. With a length of black cord that could be construed as a computer mouse’s wire or a real mouse’s tail, I’m simultaneously impressed and aggravated with Amurol’s insistence on serving two masters. Mousters? Read More…
Doritos Jacked 3D Jalapeño Pepper Jack tortilla snacks isn’t something I want to type twice, but my God are they delicious.
Some are heralding them as the return of 3D Doritos — that being the colloquial title of those airy Dorito “shells” that were all the rage over a decade ago. (And which are apparently still available in Mexico.) These new guys are part of the same 3D family, but I’d only consider them the most distant of cousins.
I discovered them in a hotel room last weekend, where a mix of tequila and more tequila dulled any reservations I might’ve had about devouring eight servings of crunchy shit in just under five minutes. No regrets. They’re DELICIOUS. Read More…
As mentioned in my previous post, I bought a pile of cheap comics books from the ‘80s and ‘90s specifically for the old advertisements, which never fail to remind me of a time when the stupidest stuff meant everything.
So, pulled from the pages of otherwise unremarkable issues of Excalibur and Doom Patrol, here are five ads that I’d love to get framed:
Marvel Universe Trading Cards: Series II!
Excalibur #40, August 1991
Thinking back to my ‘90s obsessions, few hit harder than Marvel Universe trading cards. It started with the first series but peaked with the second one, featured in this ad.
The special hologram cards from the first series stayed valuable for a long time, so I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid who “doubled my efforts” during Round 2… which of course featured more special hologram cards. Those things were as good as money at the time, and you could trade them for just about anything. (I remember “renting” my best friend’s Nintendo games for a week, for the cost of one hologram card per game.)
Pretty much everyone I ran with had multiple complete sets of the 2nd series. We’d use the standard baseball card binders to hold them, stuffing our doubles into the individual pockets until they could stand no more.
A neat byproduct of that was how much random Marvel trivia we picked up. I’ve never considered myself a comic “expert,” but those cards worked like CliffsNotes. You’d learn not only about the primary characters, but also about their primary feuds, as well as all of the big crossover events that happened before you were paying attention. If you studied the card-backs long enough, you could survive a conversation with true aficionados. Read More…
Over the weekend, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit found ourselves in a church, or maybe an event center, or perhaps some kind of school. I’m not exactly sure, but some building in Clifton NJ had been commandeered for a comic book convention.
A small comic book convention, I mean. This wasn’t NYCC, and it certainly wasn’t SDCC. No celebrities, no major press, no cosplayers and no freebies from Sony. Just a few dozen people selling comic books off of well-worn folding tables. It was exactly what I wanted it to be. Read More…