It’s been nearly three years since the last edition of Vintage Comic Book Ads. Odd, considering how much I love the subject. I’d say I’ve been busy, but I haven’t left the house since Underwater was in theaters.
I’ve always been obsessed with comic ads, to the point where my main motivation in buying old books from a store’s quarter bin was a shot of seeing that blue-skinned Reese’s Pieces alien.
Some things never change: Below are five comic book ads from the ‘80s and ‘90s, rescued from books that I would not have purchased had they been ad-free.
Alf Spring Special #1 (1989)
Candilicious fruit chews were a short-lived Bubblicious spinoff. Picture Bonkers technology applied to Bubblicious flavors, and you’re in the zone. It’s one of those things that’s impossible to Google without getting a thousand unrelated matches, so I’m not surprised that I’ve been asked to ID it more than once.
Though Candilicious had a few catchy TV commercials, I think it was more famous for its comic book ads. In the late ‘80s, every comic on the spinning rack had a full-pager for Candilicious, usually starring this psychedelic snake with a wad of candy lodged in its liver.
The ads’ simplicity was deceptively clever. Full-page comic book ads didn’t come cheap, so companies generally made the most of every square inch. That there was so much empty space in Candlicious’s ads really made ‘em pop!
Mario Bros. for the Atari!
Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner (Dec. 1984)
I barely remember the Atari game, but me and my childhood pals got massive mileage out of the NES version of Mario Bros. — a title that you should never end a sentence with, because trying to figure out what to do with the period can fry brains forever.
The kids across the street had the Nintendo game, and we kept playing it even into periods where there were much fancier games at our disposal. I think it was because it was one of the still-few titles that let two people play on one team at the same time. It was camaraderie through killer crabs, though I do remember a few fights over unapproved uses of the “pow” block.
Also: While Luigi eventually stepped out of Mario’s shadow, he certainly hadn’t by this point — and so this print ad was one of the first examples of Luigi getting the lead role. Course, the cynic in me believes Mario made him do it, because the gig just involved getting chased by monsters and probably dying. Read More…
I can’t believe it’s taken us this long, but it’s finally time. The latest episode of the Purple Stuff Podcast pays tribute to UNSOLVED MYSTERIES!
…meaning the classic TV series hosted by Robert Stack, of course. For me, this show was as important and soul-shaping as any other I could name. I grew up watching it — I mean religiously watching it — and no amount of late-night jitters ever got me to stop.
Unsolved Mysteries didn’t have a monopoly on such subjects, but the fact that I spent my childhood convinced that I was surrounded by ghosts, space aliens, sea monsters and satanists was still mostly its fault. It’s weird, but the world seemed so much more interesting that way.
Jay from Sludge Central had similar experiences with the series. On our latest pod, we’re diving deep into six of our favorite segments from the show’s bazillion-season run. Covers everything from UFOs to really mean ghosts!
The classic Unsolved Mysteries episodes are currently streaming on both Prime and YouTube, though I prefer the latter since you’re not inundated with so many randomly-placed ads. If you wanna watch the segments we talk about, just follow the links below: Read More…
If you’re already a Dino Drac Funpack subscriber, congratulations, you’re part of a currently maxed-out club!
Subscriptions are closed for February’s Funpack, though I do have a few spare boxes that I can sell on an individual basis. (Scroll to the bottom if interested, and be quick!)
UNITED STATES ONLY! LIMITED SUPPLY!
February is one of the dreariest months of the year, so I designed this box with weird winter cheer in mind. Weird winter cheer, and so much Batman. Keep scrolling to learn about everything in this month’s Funpack! Read More…
Yesterday, I visited the house from Spookies. Stood right in front of it with the old VHS tape, like a big dummy:
In real life, it’s the Peter Augustus Jay House, located in Rye, NY. It’s a preserved and protected landmark now, but it certainly wasn’t in the mid ‘80s, when Spookies was filmed. Back then, it was just a rundown mansion with moldy walls and busted electricity. Terrible for most purposes, but perfect for a low-budget horror movie:
Now, this place wasn’t just “in” the movie — it WAS the movie. Everything you see in Spookies was shot in that house, or in front of that house, or in back of that house. Hell, if I remember the story correctly, many in the cast and crew actually slept there during filming.
While inside tours are on hold due to Covid, I mainly just wanted to see the front of it, anyway. Turns out that I live just an hour away from the Jay House. (On a good day, at least. I have to take the GW Bridge to get there, which is often so stuffed with traffic, I’d get to Point B faster by mailing myself via UPS Ground.) Read More…