An Ad From the Past...

March 20, 2009

One of the great benefits of reading comic books is that you get the added bonus of great advertising. From Sea Monkeys to newspapers, the ads were always great to see and read. For example, say you were trapped in a Dentist's office, waiting for a filling and unable to concentrate - you could always lose yourself in a terrific ad for just a brief minute. A great one was on the back cover of a February 1966 Justice League of America.

The ads in comic books were always slightly different than the regular ads in the open marketplace. To comic crazed fans, they were a spectacular promise of things to come. To others, they seemed to be a peek into an unknown mythology, a world they could only join through dedicated research and study.

Knowing nothing about the industry, you could look at this 1966 ad for Aurora model kits and easily assume that each character portrayed on this page somehow interacted, or belonged, with the others. It seems to be fairly simple. From the swinging Batman to the wall-climbing secret agents and the Web-Slinger, the mere grouping together of so many different types implies a union of sorts.

What a world you could create if this was true. Batman, pursuing some crazed jewel thief who happens to be on the same cruise ship as Bruce Wayne, hops a ride on the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea submarine, only to find that the agents of U.N.C.L.E. are already on top of the case.

Pursuing the villain to land, the heroes are joined by Zorro, who leads them to strange western land where a giant one-eyed monster attempts to destroy all he sees with the largest rock possible. At the last second, Hulk and Captain America join the battle and they all fly home in the Batplane.

That was the promise of Aurora model kits. That everything you liked in 1966 could sit on top of a shelf, perfectly painted and assembled, ready for action at any time.

The reality was slightly different in my case. For me, it meant glue on my pants and paint on my sister and parts getting lost and the sudden call of an unexpected baseball game in the backyard. Eventually, several semi-completed secret agents and super vehicles were hauled out to the storage room of the garage when I joined the Army.

What are the chances of getting such a wide crossover of company properties in one place today?

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