Ira Schnapp’s DC Ads: 1960 Part 2

All images © DC Comics. From ACTION COMICS #266, July 1960

Continuing my look at the work of Ira Schnapp on DC Comics ads in the second half of 1960, this full page for the first issue of the revamped Green Lantern shows that DC had learned the value of these Silver Age launches from editor Julius Schwartz, and was now having Ira promote them in style. Also, rather than continue the numbering from the Golden Age version, they began this title with issue #1, though it didn’t appear on the cover. THIS IS IT is a rare example of dry brush lettering from Ira, though it’s hard to see behind the red coloring, and I think he strengthened the long edges with a black pen line. The enthusiasm of the design, lettering and text is clear.

From ACTION COMICS #266, July 1960

Four new blurbs were lettered by Schnapp for the July cover-dated titles, enough to call this one new house ad in my opinion.

From BATMAN #133, Aug 1960

Superman returns as instructor and United Nations promoter in this new public service ad lettered by Ira. Still relevant today, sadly.

From BATMAN #133, Aug 1960

DC was also happy to promote their new tryouts in SHOWCASE in hopes they would be popular enough to launch in a series. This one was. As always, Ira’s large display lettering and use of black draws attention. Note that the company is still named National Comics, though everyone knew it as DC Comics because of the bullet symbol.

From ACTION COMICS #267, Aug 1960

Another good idea from DC was this beginning of their Annual line, all reprints except the cover, but as back issues were hard to find at the time, eagerly sought by fans. Ira’s action lines radiating from a central point behind the cover adds movement to the otherwise static page. The book was a rare sell-out for DC.

From BATMAN #133, Aug 1960

With this ad design by Ira, DC had a generic third-page ad that could be used on any two titles without any further changes, and it was reused often.

From FALLING IN LOVE #36, Aug 1960

For the first half of 1960, the romance group reused ads from 1959. In the second half, Ira supplied many new ones like this fine generic ad with an appealing title and prominent use of his Romance bullet.

From ACTION COMICS #268, Aug 1960

DC was also happy to promote tryouts in their other book for them, THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. This one had a number of tryout issues but never landed a series. No fault of Ira Schnapp’s fine ad lettering and logo.

From ACTION COMICS #268, Sept 1960
From ADVENTURE COMICS #276, Sept 1960

Four new blurbs for this ad in September cover-dated issues.

From OUR ARMY AT WAR #98, Sept 1960

A new to DC war title, G.I. COMBAT, had been brought over from Quality Comics in 1957, and I think this is the first house ad for it. It ran only in other war titles.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #276, Sept 1960

This PSA is one of a growing number that tried to engage readers with a quiz. Ira sells it with his title.

From ACTION COMICS #269, Oct 1960
From ADVENTURE COMICS #277, Oct 1960

Four new blurbs by Ira for October cover-dated books. This seems to have settled into a regular plan.

From BATMAN #135, Oct 1960

A third-page ad promoting another issue of THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. Who could resist that Schnapp blurb on the left? Not me!

From ACTION COMICS #269, Oct 1960

If I had to pick one Ira Schnapp ad from the 1960s that most inflamed the imaginations and fired the desire to find and read a comic in me and my generation of readers, it’s this one. Such an exciting idea, and brilliantly presented! Perhaps the words were written by editor Julius Schwartz, but Ira’s design and lettering sold it. The cover is static, but the arrow and exclamation points add movement and excitement.

From DETECTIVE COMICS #284, Oct 1960

There were also third-page, half-page and two-third page versions of the ad, and it ran in some form in nearly every title except the romance ones. This is all new lettering by Ira, so I will count it and the other variants as one new ad. Just imagine indeed!

From ADVENTURE COMICS #277, Oct 1960

This is the kind of PSA I probably would have just skipped past as a reader.

From HOUSE OF MYSTERY #103, Oct 1960

Another fine Sea Devils ad by Schnapp.

From SUPERMAN #141, Nov 1960
From ACTION COMICS #270, Nov 1960
From LOIS LANE #21, Nov 1960

Six new blurbs and a new frame by Schnapp for the November version of this often-repeated ad. Editor Mort Weisinger loved making his stars fat, and Ira’s FAT BOY lettering for Jimmy is amusing.

From FALLING IN LOVE #38, Nov 1960

Ira’s lettering for the romance group ads is always handsome and well-designed. He seemed to have an affinity for the line. For the last two months of 1960 he created full-page ads for most of the romance books that ran only in other romance books, so likely never seen by readers of other DC titles.

From ACTION COMICS #270, Nov 1960

A bouncier title than usual by Ira on this PSA.

From SECRET HEARTS #67, Nov 1960
From GIRLS’ ROMANCES #72, Nov 1960

More Schnapp goodness on ads for the romance line. These black and white ones ran on the inside back covers.

From SHOWCASE #29, Nov/Dec 1960

In this year DC’s war titles only received third-page ads by Ira, but he put a lot of work into them. The lettering in the caption is meant to look roughly scrawled by a soldier, perhaps.

From HEART THROBS #68, Dec 1960

The figure and owl are probably not by Ira in this romance ad, but I think the rest is. I could be wrong about the owl.

From ACTION COMICS #271, Dec 1960
From ADVENTURE COMICS #279, Dec 1960

Four new blurbs by Schnapp for the December cover-dated version of this ad.

From BATMAN #136, Dec 1960

Another new third-pager from Ira for Cave Carson Inside Earth. I thought this was a great series idea, but apparently it didn’t sell well enough in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD to gain one. Ira’s scary lettering at upper left is pretty effective.

From ACTION COMICS #271, Dec 1960

The final new PSA of the year returns to the United Nations theme, a favorite of writer/editor Jack Schiff.

From ACTION COMICS #271, Dec 1960

The first Superman Annual sold out, so here DC was taking orders for the second one, or rather suggesting kids fill out the form and give it to their local comics retailer. I have no idea if that worked. I’m not absolutely sure Ira lettered all of this ad, but I think he did.

From GIRLS’ LOVE STORIES #75, Dec 1960

One more handsome romance ad to round out a very busy year for Ira Schnapp on DC ads. For the year I count 41 house ads by him and nine public service ads for a total of 50 new DC ads lettered by Ira. Quite a lot of work. Will this increasingly busy schedule continue in 1961? We’ll see.

Other articles like this are on the Comics Creation page of my blog.

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