Dinosaur Dracula!

Revenge of the Comic Book Ads!

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…

Scenes from a Comic Book Show.

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…

Six Snacks I Want Back, Volume 3!

Continuing the series, here are yet another six snacks that I want back.

You’ll notice in this edition that I’m really stretching the definition of “snack.” Please do not continue reading if you’re unable to accept two pound pitas and alcoholic beverages as “snacks.”


 Giggles Cookies! 

Resembling Oreos but with a flavor closer to E.L. Fudge, Nabisco’s Giggles were absolutely blessed. Available during the last half of the ‘80s, this was one of the defining snacks of my childhood.

With two cookies hiding a layer of double-flavored, double-colored cream, the top of each Giggle was made to look like a smiling face. I cannot overstate the entertainment value of cream-filled smiling cookies to six-year-olds of the ‘80s. Holy shit.

Nearly as unforgettable as the cookies are its old TV commercials, which usually featured small children submitting to uncontrollable fits of laughter in response to their preferred snack. It was as if the Joker passed on Axis Chemicals in favor of Nabisco HQ. Read More…

Six Snacks I Want Back, Volume 2!

I had so much fun writing Volume 1, I thought I’d dive right back in. Here are another six snacks that I want back, from chocolate-stuffed cookies to fries in juice boxes:


 Cheetos Paws! 

Chee-tos Paws (they didn’t drop the hyphen until later) was perhaps the snack of the early ‘9os. Meant to represent Chester Cheetah’s paws, something about their shape allowed for the kind of cheese dust attraction seen in no other Chee-to before or since. In effect, they were the cheesiest of all Chee-tos.

But that was only part of it. Paw shaped Chee-tos were just fun to eat. My favorite way was to chomp the individual fingers first, saving the hideously mutilated cheetah hands as a sort of main course. Alternatively, I’d start by sucking all of the cheese dust off, and eat the paws only after they were entirely robbed of flavor. I might delete that confession when I proofread this.

Much of our affinity had to do with the marketing, too. Chee-tos Paws were pitched as being extraordinarily hip and not-at-all for adults, packed in blazingly lime green bags that only a minor could feel comfortable eating from. After all, this was the era of anti-adult kiddy advertising, where every new snack came with a disclaimer that you had to be 11 or under to truly understand it.

Even so, people of all ages loved Chee-tos Paws, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Frito-Lay gave ‘em another try someday. Read More…