iFanboy Mini Video Podcast

iFanboy Mini #19 – Vintage Comic Book Ads

Show Notes

Josh Flanagan cracks open a Marvel Comic from way back in 1991, and while we usually spend a lot of time talking about story, art, and all that stuff, this time let’s take a trip back to see what kinds of ads they had in comic books back then.

Oh man, this one brings us back…


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  1. So when do we get the show about syphilis? 🙂

  2. Now i’m dating myself very badly, but i remember all those old hostess twinkie and cupcake ads and the Spalding ads with Dr. J and Larry Bird… and the old Atari and Colecovision video game ads…


    Where’s a sea monkey or 100 Revolutionary War Soldiers for $1.00 when you need them? Read any Grit lately?

    Nostalgically yours,

    T. Scott Benefield, MD, official IFanboy pediatrician

  3. Hostess cupcakes and twinkies, Nintendo games, ads for the Batman movies, and those subscriptions.  I always wanted a subscription but I thought it would get ruined in the mail like my Nintendo Power did sometimes all rolled up in the mail box.  You know aids and other sicknesses are a prominent thing in comics you should do a show or mini on diseased characters. 

  4. Its funny that you joke about AIDS and Comic book Ads (just wait, I have an explanation) because my friend just showed me an ad in an old Green Lantern where it was Jon Stewart informing a mob of people ABOUT AIDS and how its not just gay people that get it and that its not something you can get through daily contact. No joke, and it was definitely an ad, not a part of the comic.

    It was awesome.

  5. That’s not an ad, that’s a PSA.

  6. Such a strict taskmaster.

  7. Damn that 10 cent Icee coupon I cut out of the Spider-man issue where Captain Stacy dies.

  8. I loved those ads back in the day. If I’m reading an older book, I’ll sometimes spend more time on the ads than the actual book.

    A few favorites:

    The Madballs (I think) ad that ran on the back of Marvel books for about a month or so – it had some big green Hulk-looking guy with orange hair throwing a Madball at the reader.

    The "classified" looking pages where, in addition to x-ray specs, there would be ads for comic conventions. Did you know that it was once no big deal for Frank Miller or Jack Kirby to be at a comic book show? Or the ads for the "20-page comic book catalogue – with pictures!!!!"? Awesome.

  9. The Hostess fruit pie ads from the eighties. Those were the best. I also like old video game ads. "Now You’re Playing with Power." Oh really?

    Does anybody subscribe to comics nowadays? I may have to look in to that. 

  10. There’s gotta be an old AZT ad out there somewhere. No? How about Viagra?

  11. Too far?

  12. That was a great show about AIDS. You guys need to make a long show about Ads in comics. I know I was one of the guys buying cards at  the same time  comics maybe because my best friend was more into the cards and comics. Anyway I love when you get a old comic for when you where a kid and you see one of the Ads. I know a few years back I got Batman # 368 first appearance of Jason Todd aka Robin II and in the back there is a ad for Powers Lords Toys. I use to play for hours with those toys. So it made me happy seeing that ad.  

  13. Here’s a link to all the old Hostess ads – Who knew you could defeat super-villains by throwing snack cakes at them?  The NYPD could sure save money and lives if they were armed with Twinkies instead of guns.


  14. Now those are comics! Straight to the point.

  15. LOL. The cosmic cube likes twinkies!

  16. Haha, "taskmaster".

  17. Possibly the best episode of iFanboy so far. The only other competitor may be the interview you had with the Marvel PR/editorial staff guy

    Fantastic job!

  18. I was reading an X-Factor comic from 1991 recently, and it stopped me short.  Because I wasn’t buying comics in the early 90s but I *did* have that Derrick Coleman rookie card they were advertising.  And, seriously, I don’t know why; I didn’t collect sports cards and I don’t follow the NBA, but I distinctly remember owning some of the premium NBA cards (Skybox, I think?) because I thought they looked cool.

    Don’t ask me.

    The other ads that jumped out at me were for the ‘Columbia records & tape club.’  It occurred to me, what with the Internet, kids today miss out on the experience of building their music collection by getting 12 cassette tapes for a penny, then trying to come up with ingenious ways to get out of actually paying for the rest of their order.  Or maybe that was just me.   

  19. I love how Josh uses an example that I remember when it came out as "Vintage" thanks for making me feel old.  I instantly remembered the 3 Musketeers ad, because it in fact did not make sense and was in every freaking book that I had around then.

  20. I now know I’m too old when I tune in to see a ‘vintage comic’ segment and it’s something from the early 90’s.  Is it too old and crumudgeonly of me to say the 90’s are far from vintage?

  21. @ Hawkboy

     I would say not. I remember buying the Infinity Gauntlet. I was 13 at the time. I wouldn’t exactly call them vintage. I concider vintage to be stuff from the 60’s or 70’s.

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