Category Archives: Super Tuesday

Comic book house ads.

Super Tuesday: A Doll By Any Other Name

This week’s Super Tuesday flashback is another Heroes World ad (from the era before they destroyed the comics business). This offer is trying real hard not to use the word “doll” in describing the toys on offer, settling on “collectible miniatures” to describe what we’d later come to call “action figures.”

I am far from an expert in this field but this seems an especially odd lot of figures, mixing Marvel and DC mainstays with has-beens (Battlestar Galactica), evergreens (Star Wars), and never-weres (CHiPs!).

(Though of all the figures offered here, it is the CHiPs set that would likely rank first with today’s ironic hipsters).

Join me tomorrow here at Longbox Graveyard for toy action and mayhem of a more murderous kind, when we journey to a mad toymaker’s paradise for some Kung Fu adventure!

TOMORROW AT LONGBOX GRAVEYARD: Master of Kung Fu: Mordillo’s Island

Super Tuesday: Get Down, America!

As one of the more Mickey Mouse campaigns in American Presidential history thankfully concludes today, Super Tuesday looks back on an era offering real choice (and a real animal!), with the 1976 White House run of Steve Gerber‘s Howard the Duck.

Howard’s campaign was a genuine grassroots effort. I don’t recall Marvel running house ads for the campaign, but it got play in the letters column of Howard the Duck. An energetic and entrepreneurial Steve Gerber spearheaded the creation and fulfillment of Howard campaign packages for fans sending a few bucks to his address.

It’s hard to imagine today’s Marvel comics allowing a creator to run their own licensing program through the pages of one of their comics (and it is doubly ironic in the case of Howard the Duck, who would later become the subject of a bitter legal battle between Marvel and Steve Gerber).

But in 1976 it was a different world, and Howard invited us to “Get Down, America,” with a platform that offered little in specifics but was still attractive when contrasted with the Carter and Ford campaigns. Alas, Howard’s run came up short (though opinions differ on whether he received a few write-in votes), and America, as history has recorded, did indeed fail to Get Down.

To my international readers … please pardon this partisan interruption, and rest assured we Americans will be even happier than you when this whole thing is over. And to my domestic readers, get out there and vote, early and often!

TOMORROW AT LONGBOX GRAVEYARD: Panel Gallery: Nick Fury By Steranko

Super Tuesday: Trick Or Treat

Halloween wasn’t always an eight billion dollar holiday. There was a time when Halloween decorations didn’t appear on shelves after the 4th of July and holiday specialty shops didn’t spring up like mushrooms in the haunted ruins of desolate shopping centers. In prior decades, you’d pick out your costume the week of Halloween, usually from a rack of cheap, cellophane-boxed outfits on display at a local dime store, and they were all the same — an uncomfortable plastic mask (showcased in that cellophane window), and a cloth or plastic gown of some kind. Sometimes they were licensed outfits but just as often they’d be a generic wolfman or ghost (and if you were late to the store you’d be happy to get either). Not a one of these costumes was likely to survive past Halloween night, with the elastic strap securing your horror mask practically guaranteed to snap before you got to the end of your block. And for all that the masks were supposedly “ventilated” you could count on your face getting spunky with sweat the moment you donned one of these plastic horrors.

Marvel maniacs organized enough to “allow 4 weeks for delivery” could enjoy a few more options in the 1970s, and in this week’s Super Tuesday ad they are invited to “Hulk It For Halloween” with costumes no less cheap but at least vaguely recognizable as their favorite superheroes. It always bugged me when one of these costumes has a picture of the character on the tunic, but no matter — these costumes were licensed, official, and flame retardant for safety!

Any memories of dressing as a superhero for Halloween when you were a kid? Share your stories in comments, below.

Happy Halloween, everyone! Thanks for reading Longbox Graveyard!


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