I miss ye olden times

In what’s going to be another irregularly updated column, I am going to reminisce about what I miss from ye olden times.  Will this be a nostalgia fueled romanticizing of the past, where I remember things as being much greater than they actually are?  Maybe, but I’m going to try to keep it from being that.  This entry focuses on the ads that appeared in older comics.  Today’s entry was inspired by the issues that were featured in this month’s Crossover Madness.  Admittedly, these ads were not something I paid a whole lot of attention to back then, but I find them greatly amusing reading them now.  Since they are a couple of big pictures, I’m putting them after the break.

Let’s take a look at the stuff featured in this ad.  The unsurprising things featured in this ad are the comic book shops wanting you to send money in order to get a catalog, and an ad promoting used video games.  Those things seem quite normal.  There’s also a couple ads on learning how to draw.  Seems reasonable to me.  Now, let’s move on to the interesting stuff.  Starting at the top and working our way down.

  • There’s an ad for a Batwing water blaster.  It’s only $6.95, plush $1.50 for shipping and handling.  For context, this comic was released in early 1990, and according to this handy dandy inflation calculator I found on the Internet, that would be $11.96 today.  Personally, I think that much is too much to pay for a water gun that will only squirt 20 feet.  Wait, they say it’s a must for collectors?  Nope, still an awful idea.
  • Or, for a dollar less I can get a set of dog tags and a chain.  I don’t get the allure.  Did other kids get so into playing soldier, they they wanted their parents to be able to identify their unidentifiable remains when they were finished playing soldier?
  • Learn to play the piano in an hour for only $5?!  You get a song book, instructions, and a mini electric piano?  Wow, that Batwing water blaster is looking like a terrible deal now.
  • By advertising a correspondence GED program in a comic book, are these people assuming that the only people reading comics at this time were kids and high school drop outs?
  • I can learn 7 magic spells?  Sweet.  The ad even mentions learning how to pull things from hat.  I assume it’s more complicated than:  1) hide thing in hat before show, 2) put hand in hat during show, 3) remove thing from hat.
  • Not one, not two, but 3 exercise ads.  Let’s see, do I want Hercules sized arms, or an Atlas body?  Personally, I’d have to go with the Atlas body.  Hercules sized arms would be great and all, but what’s the point of having freakishly large arms and a scrawny body.  Or, with the middle ad, you can go for whatever after you’ve learned how to build your own gym.  Because the weight lifting area at a public gym is no place for people trying to build muscle mass.
  • I don’t even know what to say about the WAD-O-DOUGH.

So yes, I wish we saw ads like that in today’s comics instead of the usual ads for other comics.  And oh yeah, more of these types of ads.

HA!  The ape is named Hairy Harry.  Silly girl, you can’t call a taxi in the jungle.  Wait a second.  That girl’s name is Dora, and she’s exploring.  Mere coincidence, or did Nickelodeon totally rip-off this add to create a popular children’s show.  And personally, I’d rather have a large diamond than a cooler of Capri Sun.  I wonder if any of my back issues have parts 1 and 3 in them.  If so, you may see a collection coming in the future.


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