House ads and public service ads were again lower in 1956, but Ira Schnapp lettering appeared for the first time in two paid ads, this being the first one, covering two pages. The ad was probably prepared by DC for their toy clients, who each might have contributed a small fee, but that’s just a guess. In addition to the title, word balloon and lower right caption, Ira probably also did lettering on the package art. Meanwhile, DC reused several house ads and PSAs from previous years, and there was also a 5000 prize slogan contest that took up four or more pages of every DC title, cutting back room for house ads. The contest pages were all set in type. Ira did have ads to letter, but the only book that got a major promotional push was the new title SHOWCASE, with ads for each of the first three issues.
The first new public service ad of the year features some Ira Schnapp handwriting captions, which are probably close to his own regular script. Buzzy and Binky again dominated the new PSAs.
Binky’s ad promotes tooth care for kids and their pets, an unusual topic.
DC clearly had high hopes for their new tryout series SHOWCASE. It would become very successful, but not in the way they expected, when issue #4 featured a revamped version of The Flash. Prior to that, the subjects were more mundane, but Ira Schnapp was selling them with all his skill.
Binky and friends on joining up to have fun.
It had been a while since DC’s titles featuring Superman had any promotion in house ads, and Ira did that nicely here. Notice how the black semicircle at the bottom and lines radiating from it holds things together.
May titles saw the first appearance of another paid ad designed by Ira Schnapp, one that would run for years in many variations, often with Schnapp lettering additions, sometimes with work by others. This was a half-page size, some were third-pages. Other versions in 1956 used the same lettering. The fancy coupon border is new, though similar to the one he did for the Guarantee ad in 1955. Though I grew up in New Jersey, I never got to this amusement park. I guess my parents weren’t enticed by the 25 cent coupon. The park had opened in 1898 and remained open and popular until 1971. It was close to New York City, but actually not close to where I lived.
It didn’t take Superman to get me into libraries, they were some of my favorite places, or would be in a year or two. I was just five when this ad ran.
I think editor Robert Kanigher wrote this clever ad for the second issue of SHOWCASE, one he edited. The title had rotating features and editors. The idea of a trail of animal tracks was perfect for Schnapp’s drawing skills, and as always his design and selling points were excellent.
Showing his versatility, look at the different styles Ira used for this new humor title, and they all work well together.
Ira Schnapp did not letter this PSA, I don’t know who did.
Ira’s ad for this new Hollywood humor title is full of great lettering and design. His logo fits right in, too.
I think Binky narrates this PSA, though he’s not named. Ira’s lettering on the posters is meant to look a bit amateurish, done by children, but I’m not convinced.
The third SHOWCASE AD, perhaps again written by Kanigher, adds interest with an Ira Schnapp explosion.
The first of only two new Schnapp romance ads for 1956. It’s generic enough to be reused later with different covers, but the musical theme is memorable and well-drawn.
There’s no dialogue in this PSA, but Ira ads a nice title and some signs. Unlike the one from 1949 that used Smokey the Bear with permission, this one simply has a similar but more cartoony bear.
Here’s a PSA about getting out the vote that couldn’t be more relevant today.
The other new romance ad is also generic. Perhaps DC had told the editors to make them easier to repeat if necessary, and not just about one particular issue. The title on this one uses deep perspective to add depth.
The last new PSA for this year again promotes the United Nations. I visited the U.N. as a child, and would have enjoyed reading this ad lettered by Ira.
For 1956 I count two paid ads, eight house ads and eight public service ads for a total of 18 lettered by Ira Schnapp. We’ll see if that number increases in the future.
More articles like this are on the Comics Creation page of my blog.
Palisades Amusement Park on Wikipedia.
Ira Schnapp’s other work on SHOWCASE.