Rushville Republican


November 19, 2013

The prize in the bottom of the box


Comic books were a dime each and there was a huge variety available at the local drug store or grocery. The stores would have racks of comics and those racks would be changed on a weekly basis with new and even better product. Later on in my youth a new comic came about, Classic Comics. These publications took what was considered classic books and put them to the cartoon genre. Many at the time, at the start of the Classic books any way, decided they would be great for making book reports. The teachers caught on rapidly and that great idea was rapidly discarded by the young scholars. Even though they did do one thing, get the interest of the younger set to actually read the book itself.

Comics always had some sort of advertisement on the back. One of the most popular, particularly in the spring, was garden seeds. At the time many still had their own gardens and a lot purchased seeds yearly. The comic spiel was you could buy seeds and then sell them and make lots of money. You had to order what you wanted, pay for them, get them and then peddle them. Not always did you get what you wanted, you got what the seed company wanted you to get. Then the seeds you got were few per package and compared to the local hardware store expensive. So usually you ended up with a lot of unused and unsold seeds to figure out what to do with.

BB guns were also popular for comic book advertising. Every young boy wanted a Daisy Red Rider BB gun. I know I sure did and it took a great deal of wangling with dad before I finally did get one. Another popular advertisement for the back of comic books was for a body building program of some sort. Those comics that were of interest to young boys whose hormones were about to kick in were great ways to get your product out and sold. One of the more popular ads showed a very curvy, lovely young lady on the beach along with a skinny young man her friend. Another young man with muscles galore was running by and kicked sand into the face of the young lady and skinny young man. Then they would tell you if you purchased their product you too could have muscles and win the attention and friendship of a young lady. Blatant but usually effective advertising many young preteens spent a couple of bucks on a program that was generally ineffective, yes I was one of them.

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