This week we take a look at some of the attempts made upon the allowances of America's youth via that most venerable institution, the comic book ad.
Apparently the target audience for this piece of merchandise is defined as "annoying jerks with easily duped friends". Use this amazingly lifelike mask to hide your identity as you grope and fondle with abandon! "Monkey-Shines", huh. I bet the judge calls it something else.
Learn to be pretty with "Young 'N Free". Because being pretty is something that you can be taught, like math or French. Well, whatever, let's move on to our Archie story.
And here's Jughead and Archie running a pizza delivery service, and WAIT A MINUTE WHAT'S THAT IN THE BACKGROUND.
Holy crap, a giant wall-sized display poster for Young 'N Free. Just photostatted in there. So I wonder if Hartley was just feelin' lazy on this one, or was somebody in the Archie home office getting some product placement kickbacks?
Yes, I want to join in the psychedelic happenings with Davy. Which in real life means waking up with a hangover just in time to make the set of your cameo "Brady Bunch" appearance. This amazingly illegible advertisement, complete with Lovecraftian floating eyeballs, is probably responsible for destroying any chance Davy might have had a post-Monkees career.
Here we have a prime example of how in-touch comic book advertisers were with their audience. This detail shows peace signs, anti-war posters, druggy hippy love-brother decor, and op-art motifs that would blow anybody's mind. Trouble is, it's from a 1975 issue of Uncle Scrooge. Hey, "Gandalf Products" didn't care, they had a warehouse full of this crap to unload on SOMEBODY. Wait 20 years and you can dump it all at Urban Outfitters, it's now "retro"!
Twenty-five years earlier, hippy kid's parents were preparing to get the living crap bombed out of them by the Luftwaffe. What if they gave a war and you were in it whether you liked it or not? Put that in your hash pipe and smoke it, you beardo cowards! Trouble with THIS ad is that it's a shameless attempt to cash in on the fear and desperation felt as America found itself faced with the mechanized military might of Japan and Germany and to a lesser extent Italy. I'm sure the youth of Britian didn't smile happily as the Heinkels loomed overhead. NOT INCLUDED IN KIT: bucket of sand for pouring on incendaries, shovel for excavating bodies of relatives from rubble, new house to live in after yours is bombed flat.
But comic ads weren't all looming death from above. What were kids REALLY concerned about? Keeping up with "Gloria" and her special pen-pencil combination! That stuck up teacher's pet is begging for an inkwell dipping, lemme tell ya.
The smug self-satisfaction is actually visible radiating out from the Spoiled Brat centers of her brain. Thirty years later, after a bankruptcy, two failed marraiges and a child in the Moonies, Gloria will remember The Pen-Pencil Show And Tell as being the last time she was truly happy.
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