Ira Schnapp’s DC Ads: 1962 Part 1

All images © DC Comics. From ACTION COMICS #284, Jan 1962

By 1962, house ads seem to have become a vital part of every DC title, and Ira Schnapp was lettering lots of them, even more than in 1961. The emphasis was on superheroes, but other genres got their share too, even if they didn’t appear in very many places. There were just eight new public service ads, all lettered by Ira, and four repeats from past years. In the romance group, many ads from 1961 were reused, and Ira did just one new one. Most of the full-pagers that ran in many titles, like the one above, promoted their long-time characters like Batman and Superman as well as newer heroes. These ads must have taken Ira a lot of time to do, and it shows in the work. Management must have felt they paid off in sales. Annuals received a lot of attention, so they must have sold well.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #72, Dec 1961/Jan 1962

Here’s an example of a half-page ad that appeared only in humor titles, and one that’s generic enough so they could repeat it several times with different covers. Many of the small Schnapp ads worked that way.

From BLACKHAWK #168, Jan 1962

This third-page ad worked in a similar way, except that Ira had to letter new story titles for later uses. I’m not going to call those new ads, just count the first one.

From ACTION COMICS #284, Jan 1962
From ADVENTURE COMICS #292, Jan 1962
From LOIS LANE #30, Jan 1962

The ever-present “Coming Super-Attractions” ad continued in this year. I found six new blurbs by Schnapp in January cover-dated issues, including the one for SUPERMAN, which had appeared in December 1961, but is here relettered. Perhaps even Ira couldn’t keep track of which ones he had done!

From WONDER WOMAN #127, Jan 1962

This is one of many small ads by Ira Schnapp that I found used in only one or two places, and there could be more that I missed. Some of the scans I have for this year’s books don’t include ad pages. Ira’s logo works well here.

From ACTION COMICS #284, Jan 1962

Annual ads continued to get wide coverage, and have lots of lettering.

From LOIS LANE #30, Jan 1962

This generic third-page ad continued through year with many different titles and three new words from Ira at the bottom. I don’t count it as a new ad. Others from the past year or two also were reused.

From ACTION COMICS #285, Feb 1962
From ADVENTURE COMICS #293, Feb 1962

Four new blurbs by Ira in February cover-dated books. As before, I’m counting each month as a new ad because of the large amount of new lettering.

From ACTION COMICS #285, Feb 1962

The first new public service ad of 1962 features upper and lower case lettering by Ira, something he did well, but it was rarely wanted.

From THE FOX AND THE CROW #72, Feb/March 1962

Another annuals ad that seems like new work from Schnapp at first glance, but I think it’s cobbled together from previous ones with a few new bits of lettering by someone else, probably a production person. The top two and last two lines look like someone imitating Ira but not well.

From ACTION COMICS #286, March 1962
From ADVENTURE COMICS #294, March 1962

Four new blurbs for March cover dates, lots of tiny lettering.

From WORLD’S FINEST #124, March 1962

The text for these ads was generally written by the editor of the books featured, Julius Schwartz in this case, but Ira was great at making it exciting with display lettering and design skills.

From ACTION COMICS #286, March 1962

While these ads appeared together, they were also used separately, and the Aquaman one is a repeat except for the story title, on sale date and cover. The JLA ad counts as a new one for Ira.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #294, March 1962

Many of the ideas expressed in these PSAs are still relevant today, though the specific facts may not be.

From BLACKHAWK #170, March 1962

In the 1950s, full page ads for specific titles other than first issues were rare. In 1962, they’re common. Ira’s title at the top is very stylish.

From ACTION COMICS #287, April 1962
From ADVENTURE COMICS #295, April 1962

Three new Schnapp blurbs for April, as Lois Lane’s is a repeat.

From WONDER WOMAN #129, April 1962

This seems like an ad that should have been used often, but I found it only in this one issue. Perhaps it was in titles where I don’t have ad pages.

From BLACKHAWK #171, April 1962

Ads like this were reused with other covers and just the release month changed. Ira was doing most of DC’s logos and covers too, so that made for a more cohesive ad look.

From ACTION COMICS #287, April 1962

This handsome ad is generic enough to reuse. After little attention for a decade, SUPERBOY was receiving an ad push perhaps because in ADVENTURE COMICS the boy of steel was often in the future with the Legion of Super-Heroes or replaced on covers by the Bizarros.

From WONDER WOMAN #129, April 1962

This ad appeared only once, and is essentially an elaborate “next issue” blurb with extra work for Schnapp.

From BLACKHAWK #172, May 1962

This ad, on the other hand, appeared in several titles, as house ads were intended to do. It’s also a good example of how silly Batman had become, but then Superman wasn’t far behind.

From ACTION COMICS #288, May 1962
From ADVENTURE COMICS #296, May 1962

Four new Schnapp blurbs for May titles, though the Superman one is minimal since the cover is shown. Note that Superman’s legs are not colored blue on the first one. These ads seem to have been recolored with every use, as the color schemes often differ.

From BLACKHAWK #172, May 1962

The Flash part of this ad is mostly reused from one in 1959, but the Green Lantern part is all new.

From WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #125, May 1962

A new generic ad for Detective. The generics generally had room for larger display lettering by Ira, and he made good use of it.

From ACTION COMICS #288, May 1962

One of Ira Schnapp’s most memorable line-wide ads, this appeared mainly on inside covers of many titles over a long span of time. Everything but the characters is his, and the large display lettering is elegant and appealing.

From FALLING IN LOVE #50, May 1962

This is the one new romance ad by Ira for the year, and it’s again a generic for the entire romance line, though that line is now branded with the same DC bullet as their other titles rather than a separate Romance Group one. Sorry to run it sideways, but that’s as it appeared, and if I turn it and reduce it, the resulting image is not very clear.

From WONDER WOMAN #130, May 1962

The top blurb and the story title are different but complementary open display styles by Ira in this ad. The bottom line is by someone else.

From ACTION COMICS #288, May 1962

No fighting, now, kids.

From LOIS LANE #33, May 1962

As I said, Superman-related titles were getting pretty silly too. Even Ira’s lettering couldn’t induce me to buy this issue.

From BLACKHAWK #172, May 1962

This generic ad could be and was used for many titles, and as long as the stories were book-length, only the on-sale dates had to be updated. Is that burst in the center meant to be an exclamation point, I wonder?

From ACTION COMICS #289, June 1962

Half the lettering in this ad is repeated from the full-page Atom in SHOWCASE one from 1961, the rest is new, so I’m going to count it as a new ad.

From ACTION COMICS #289, June 1962
From ADVENTURE COMICS #297, June 1962

Four new blurbs here in June issues. And with that, I’ll end this first half of 1962, presenting the rest and totals for the year in Part 2.

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

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