Hilarious Ads and Marv Wolfman in Spider-Woman #1
Posted October 15, 2009on:
I got to open a Christmas present in October this year; Rob picked up Spider-Woman #1 (Volume One, not the new Bendis run) for me at Long Beach Comic Con. (Thanks Rob!) I finally opened it tonight, thinking “This was written in 1978, it’ll be cheesy enough to lovingly mock, right?”
Turns out, not so much. This issue? Kind of great. Dated, yes, but dated by aesthetic rather than absurdity. I’d love to see this book redone, using the same script, with a modern artist against a modern backdrop. But can we keep the cheesy ads? Sometimes I get a little sick of “got milk?” and Honda getting up in my face every few pages.
What really gets me about this is the “Do Real Jobs” line. Really? Just who the hell sponsored this ad? Apparently, someone from New Jersey. Jeezus Marvel, were you so hard up you needed to let the mob buy adspace?
You know; Orange, CA is pretty much the next town over from me. I wonder if these guys are still in business? I think learning how to upholster my Saturn with some sweet velour or something is definitely the best idea I’ve had all week. I wonder if I could fit a disco ball in there…
Yeah, so your poem “Dinos are Awesome” is pure genius, kid. Now, if you’ll just send us $500 we’ll press it onto a record and you’ll be a star in NO TIME! But don’t worry, you can afford it!
“Loads of mystery & fun?” Actually, kids, this is a great way to meet your favorite superheroes! Just make lots and lots of bills with your super-awesome machine, then start using your REAL DOLLAR BILLS to buy stuff! (Allright, I know it’s just a magic trick, but still! If I were a little kid, I’d totally be thinking, “Oh man! I can turn all my shitty $1 bills into $5 bills! What a great machine!”)
Admit it, your mind went there. Pardon me while I go giggle uncontrollably.
When I was a kid comics still had a few ads like these, but by and large mail order scammers have moved onto baiting you over the internet with a THIRTY DAY FREE TRIAL that you’ll end up paying $49.99 a month for. Still, I seem to have given myself an artificial nostalgia for the comic book ads of yore, if for no other reason than the fact that they’re freaking hilarious.
The one thing I wish the Big Two would bring back? Features like this one by Marv Wolfman, who penned the issue. Click on it! I made it big enough for you to read, because it’s fascinating.
Of course, we’ve got the INTARWEBS now, and print is dead and blah blah blah, but there was just something about the fan mail and the columns from the authors and editors that made reading a single issue an experience, you know? Sure, I was only alive for the tail end of that era, but sometimes I wish my comics were a little more interactive offline. BOOM! has some great features in the back of their issues, James Robinson is doing some cool stuff with his essays in Cry for Justice, and of course there’s always DiDio’s “DC Nation” – but overall the industry has gotten away from engaging readers socially in print. Luckily, the trade off is that you get more STORY in any given issue, and I wouldn’t give that up for anything.