Sunday, September 25, 2011

Comic Ads

For me, as a kid, the enjoyment of reading comics was in perusing the ads at the back of the book. I never sent away for anything, and I certainly never new what "Grit" was or how on Earth anyone could sell it. What they did teach me was a healthy consumer skepticism that still serves me to this day. I should send away for my own submarine that fires a polaris missile! But wait, something in that picture doesn't look right....that's too small to be a real polaris missile!! Buy 500 toy soldiers in their own foot locker? Waitaminit... what would I do with a foot locker??? here's some of my faves (pictured)

Look Fellows!! The clarion call of of the "Grit kid", urging young entrepeneurs to win cool prizes like baseball gloves and polaris missiles if only, oh Lord if only, they could sell something called "Grit". I've never seena a copy of "Grit", though I have to admit I was occasionally tempted by the picture of the obviously prosperous and contemporary-looking chap in the photo. Unfortunately, my appetite to win pocket knives and bicyle lamps that looked like half-asleep eyes wasn't enough for me to send the coupon.

48" Talking Monster from Outer Space. I have to admit, the pricey $1.00 fee was certainly an obsticle to the purchase of this beast, but what really turned me off was the fact he had a prominant navel, which I felt no self-respecting space monster would ever display. That, plus what I later learned were called it's "jazz hands", soured the deal for me big time.

X-Ray Specs. Certainly the greatest invention of all time! I never bought these through the comics, but i did eventualy get a pair in a novelty shop years later. Who cares if their effective range was from your face to your hand (if you held your hand up to a high-intensity lamp), those hypno-spiral paper "lenses" makes wearing these the fashion coup of any social event or church function!

Monster-size monsters. For a buck a piece, another expensive prospect. These didn't talk, but their glow-in-the-dark feature was an almost irresistable hook. The Frankenstein monster looked intriguing, but that skeleton kept on truckin'! I always pictured him, strutting through my room like Mick Jagger, eyes glowing and "altertness lines" radiating from his skull, as if to say "I know what's going on...and I'm a skeleton!" Luckily for me, I never had the dollar to send away for skellie or his friends, or I would have learned he was only a poster, and unable to display the funkiness his ad promised. Sometimes consumer lessons are best learned from a distance.

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