Super Tuesday: Greetings, Culture Lovers!

Welcome to a new regular feature here at Longbox GraveyardSuper Tuesday, where I take a look back at house ads and other oddities from ancient comics in my vast Accumulation.

I remember liking this June, 1980 ad when it ran, thinking it was a scream to see an erudite Hulk.

Looking closer, I see that Marvel’s line was limited to a quite-reasonable 31 books at this time — with this coupon, you could get every book Marvel made for a year for $125.00 (you could spend that much in a weekly trip to the comic store today). Hulk’s book-of-choice is Ayn Rand‘s Atlas Shrugged, which should certainly meet with Steve Ditko’s approval. The Hulk’s companion with her back to us reading the Wall Street Journal may or may not be the Savage She-Hulk, but of greater interest is the artist signature embroidered in the chair — “Severin.” Which Severin do we think did this illustration? John? Marie? Both?

(My money is on Marie, as she was a fixture in the Marvel offices and renown for her charactertures).

Make your case in the comments, below!



Posted on August 7, 2012, in Super Tuesday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Paul,

    Great topic!

    Things like house ads, the letters section, the Bullpen Bulletins and the Hostess Cup Cake and Twinky ads are a big reason why I ALWAYS prefer the original comic books to the trade paperbacks. I always saw these things as cool little extras within the books.

    The house ad you cite above is definitely memorable. The sophisticated Hulk and the neat artwork. Looks like Marie Severin penciled and inked it. I wonder who lettered it?


    • I was going to do a couple Twinkie ads, but they’ve been covered really well at other sites. Maybe I’ll do the one where Captain Marvel and Nitro slug it out over delicious, cream-stuffed rubber angel food cake.

      And trying to identify the LETTERER? Once again, Horace, you’ve taken things to a whole different level!


  2. Marie Severin drew the cover to Hulk #102. The face of that Hulk looks a lot like the one in the house ad.


  3. that is definitely Marie Severin’s humorous art style – she did a lot of humor art for various publishers over the years.


    • Thanks for reading and posting, Jim. The book I’m reading right now — “Marvel Comics: The Untold Story” by Sean Howe — notes that Marie was well-known for her cartoons of Marvel staffers, and that her best work was unpublished (but well-circulated inside the industry). I agree that Marie’s fingerprints are all over this particular piece.


  4. I’d say Marie. They were both similar in style and often worked together, but John’s linework was usually much more definitive. Mind you he did his fair share of humor artwork too – as any fan of “Mad” or “Cracked” can tell you.


    • Hey, Chuck, groovy to hear from you!

      Yep, ninety-nine percent that’s Ms. Severin, and not Mister.


      • Hi Paul, great to hear from you too! Love what you are doing with the Graveyard! I have the same weakness for Bronze age books, especially Marvel, that you do. I’m not sure that DC ever got fully on the Bronze Age train considering how many of their books in the 70s contained stories from the Gold and Siver ages.

        I traded in my books some time back so it’s mostly catch and release buying these days.


        • Old comics don’t fade away, they just wind up at the Longbox Graveyard.

          Actually, they do fade away. Half these scans would be invisible if I didn’t boost the color. Another advantage to going digital, though that robs us of little gems like the Hulk sipping his tea and hawking cut-rate comics subscriptions. Alas, the future will not be denied.


  5. While I love the convenience of the trade paperback, and they often look beautiful and are generally more economical, overall I do prefer the original comics for many of the reasons cited. Some of the ads (especially for Star Wars action figures!) really bring back memories. I love the Hostess ads, and those cheesy villains created specifically for the ads. I guess they couldn’t cut it in the regular features since they were foiled by snack cakes! Also, in re-reading old comics, I usually find myself reading letter columns. Not only is it interesting to read other fans’ thoughts (including such luminaries as Kurt Busiek, whose letters I read in several old comics) but oftentimes the reply from the writer or editor is very illuminated. I have to admit I don’t read the Bullpen Bulletins very often, but that’s mostly because I’m trying to save time rather than that they have no interest at all for me. Finally, I love the smell of the old comics!


    • Letters columns are an interesting case. They often appear in the Marvel Omnibuses, but they are almost always omitted from digital reprints. When reading an Omnibus or a back issue I’ll usually scan the letters page looking for a significant editorial reply or the name of a correspondent — you are right that quite a number of comics pros show up as letter hacks, sometimes complaining about the crankiest things. It’s small wonder that Marvel evolved into some kind of continuity vortex after their letter column generation came of age and started running the place.

      I agree that for the most part, editorial columns haven’t aged well. It’s kind of amusing to read old Stan Lee propaganda pieces, particularly when he’s trumpeting immanent move and TV deals that never came together, or stumping for something strange like a radio show or a LP album.

      When going though some early 1980s Batman issues I found the editorial page introducing Frank Miller’s Dark Knight; I wish I’d scanned that one, because the language used made it clear that DC thought they had something special, but they didn’t know HOW special — it sound like a superior Elseworlds, not the paradigm-changing event that it turned out to be.


  6. Since we’re talking about Marie Severin, it should be mentioned that the book MARIE SEVERIN: THE MIRTHFUL MISTRESS OF COMICS was recently published. It’s available on the TwoMorrows Publishing website. Just bought my copy!


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