Ira Schnapp’s DC Ads: 1961 Part 2

All images © DC Comics. From G.I. COMBAT #88, June/July 1961

Opening the second half of 1961 is this half-page ad that ran only in DC war titles. Ira’s ZOOM made of horizontal speed lines adds movement and interest. Perhaps he got the idea from Carmine Infantino’s speed lines in THE FLASH. The character is a more thoughtful role for a Native American than most of what came before at DC.

From ACTION COMICS #278, July 1961
From ADVENTURE COMICS #286, July 1961

Four new blurbs by Ira for July cover-dated issues, constituting one new house ad in my opinion.

From WONDER WOMAN #123, July 1961

This is the second new humor ad for the year. There aren’t many Schnapp house ads with word balloons in this period, and if you look closely you can see he does them in the same style as his cover lettering rather than the quicker style used on story pages.

From DETECTIVE COMICS #293, July 1961

A public service ad with children learning from their elders.

From BLACKHAWK #162, July 1961

Rip Hunter’s new title receives a third fine full-page ad by Ira with a typical background by him of clouds and stars. I was delighted to read these when I could find them.

From ACTION COMICS #278, July 1961

Two half-page ads that often ran together, as shown. I liked the DC annuals, but the annual-sized SECRET ORIGINS one-shot was even better! AT LAST is right! Notice that, even though they are separate ads, the cover angles and black areas work together for a pleasing whole. Counts as two ads.

From ACTION COMICS #278, July 1961

Another Annual ad with one of Ira’s strangest arrows and fine display lettering. More secrets revealed!

From ACTION COMICS #279, Aug 1961
From LOIS LANE #27, Aug 1961

Four new blurbs for August cover dates.

From BATMAN #141, Aug 1961

I don’t know that this PSA would have worked for me, but then I wasn’t the target audience, I guess.

From ACTION COMICS #280, Sept 1961
From ADVENTURE COMICS #288, Sept 1961

Changing things up a bit, the September versions of this repeating ad were half-page size, giving more space for each of Ira’s four new blurbs. Sadly, the amount of text also increased, so it’s still quite small in places.

From BATMAN #142, Sept 1961

From a time when “being different” could mean you collected rocks rather than going swimming with your pals.

From ACTION COMICS #281, Oct 1961
From ADVENTURE COMICS #289, Oct 1961

Four new blurbs, now back to third-page size.

From BATMAN #143, Oct 1961

This PSA addresses fears that computers would take jobs from people, a common theme from then to now. Is Otto short for Otto Matic?

From ACTION COMICS #282, Nov 1961
From ADVENTURE COMICS #290, Nov 1961

Four new blurbs by Ira for November titles.

From ACTION COMICS #282, Nov 1961

Bus safety is certainly a good topic for kids. How many learned it from this PSA is unknown, but it was a worthy idea.

From ACTION COMICS #282, Nov 1961

While DC and editor Julius Schwartz were happy to promote this new Silver Age revamp of a Golden Age character, it was Ira Schnapp’s lettering that made the ad exciting to my eyes. The character didn’t appeal to me as much as the other revamps, but it had its moments. Traveling through telephone lines was certainly a cool idea. Note that the red color is missing from part of the A in ATOM.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #291, Dec 1961.

I can only find these three new blurbs in December issues, perhaps I missed one, or the fourth wasn’t used.

From ACTION COMICS #283, Dec 1961

Another United Nations PSA, and it’s amazing and sad how many of them are still relevant today.

From BLACKHAWK #167, Dec 1961

One more grand full-pager for Rip Hunter with enough new lettering to consider it a separate ad by Ira.

From MYSTERY IN SPACE #72, Dec 1961

In MYSTERY IN SPACE, the letter column title changed from Wonders of Space set in type to Via Rocket Mail, I believe by Ira. Both titles were used briefly before dropping the earlier one. Not sure if Ira did just the lettering, that seems likely.

From ACTION COMICS #283, Dec 1961

And here’s a surprise to finish out the year, an appealing full page ad for Superboy, the first one he’s had since soon after his own title began more than ten years earlier. The text above and below the Superman logo is type, everything else is by Schnapp.

To sum up, I count 36 house ads lettered by Ira and twelve public service ads for a total of 48 in all, just a few less than the previous year, plus one letter column header. Clearly DC was still happy to utilize the talents of their staff letterer on ads, and in doing so, Schnapp enticed readers to buy many comics.

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

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