Monday, 5 September 2011

Like one of those bricks they made you rescue in swimming lessons, Steve Does Comics heads straight to the bottom. Unlike those bricks, it stays there - because it likes it there.

Marvel Spotlight #12, the Son of Satan
We all know the biggest crime ever committed against humanity was when Marvel Comics stopped putting those one-line ads at the bottom of their pages - the ones that used to tell you what was going on in their other releases of that month.

"But even so," I hear you cry, "what kind of fool would be so sad as to have a favourite set of those ads?"

This fool would.

In Steve Does Comics' tireless endeavour to sink ever further into the quagmire of futility, I bring you my favourite set of Marvel's one-line ads. They come from Marvel Spotlight #12, featuring the debut of the Son of Satan.

Why they're my favourites, I don't know. I suspect a quick check would tell me they're neither better nor worse than the ones that could be found in any randomly selected comic. It strikes me that, rhythmically, these particular ones're mostly ungainly - and the last quote in particular seems especially clumsy in its execution.

In the end I think it's down to mere association, the fact that they appear in conjunction with the Son of Satan, the man I've modelled myself so closely on for all these years.

So, to compound my madness further, here they are:

"Who'd ever believe the Miracle Man could destroy the world? Not the Fantastic Four- till they face the truth in ish #139!"

"Dracula Lives - in three terror fraught tales, no less!"

"How can Conan stand against - the Shadow in the Tomb?"

"Special battle issue! Ka-Zar vs the Super-Soldier --- all waiting for you, in Astonishing Tales #20, right now!"

"Who is Memorax? Learn his startling secret - in Warlock #8!"

"Crazy magazine! First explosive issue - now on sale!"

"Kraven the Hunter's back in town! But this time, the town is Frisco --- and the victim is Daredevil! Don't miss the wall-to-wall action!"

This is where I now ask you which Marvel comic featured your favourite one-line ads.

This is where I suspect I'm not going to get any answers.


Kid said...

Marvel did the same thing back in the early '60s, with lines like "Who is The Hulk?" at the bottom of the page. The only difference was that those were hand-lettered, whereas the ones in the '70s were typeset. I've got a large Fireside softcover reprint book of the Hulk from towards the late '70s, and some of the stories have those typeset lines - meaning Marvel were printing reprints from proofs of fairly recent reprints.

I always felt compelled to read those lines, which interrupted the flow of the story - so I was quite glad when they eventually stopped printing them.

Steve W. said...

I was very disappointed, when I briefly re-started buying comics in the early 1990s, to discover those ads weren't there anymore, and neither was Stan's Soapbox.

HannibalCat said...

I loved those ads. One of the joys of rereading old comics is looking at them and seeing which stories Marvel was putting out at the same time. I'd have to go and find some to see which ones I loved the best, though...I may be some time.

B Smith said...

I hated those ads - they broke one's concentration reading the story, and in a medium that was supposedly trying to get people to take it seriously, seemed like cheap hucksterism.

Imagining you're reading Macbeth - he's just about to murder Duncan, when you get to the bottom of the page and..."To Be - or not to be? That's the question in Hamlet!"

Or "Othello goes wild - and Desdemona will never be the same again!"

Or "What is the secret of Titania's Bottom? It's all in a Midsummer Night's Dream!"

Steve W. said...

Who'd have thought those ads could prove to be so controversial? And there was me thinking I was the only one who cared about them one way or the other.

@B Smith. You have just sold me completely on the idea of having those ads at the bottom of Shakespeare plays. :)

Dougie said...

"Is music the food of love- or death? Orsino must know in Twelfth Night#1!"

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