How many of you guessed this pass to new worlds was a library card? As we begin the second half of Ira Schnapp’s ad work in 1962, I’ve cheated a bit by including this one from June cover dated issues. The public service ads were the project of editor and writer Jack Schiff, who must have loved books as much as I do.
I also wanted to show this ad from June because, even though I don’t think it was lettered by Ira, I like it. Someone was going for a 1950s advertising look on the display lettering, and it works for me.
I like this ad with the low-key approach, as if the characters were in a cop show. I also like the shape of the black area.
In the same issue is a letter column heading with a title by Schnapp based on his Hawkman logo. Letter columns had been around for a few years at DC, and were growing in popularity with fans. Here editor Julius Schwartz was getting a head start, as Hawkman didn’t even have his own title yet, but soon would. Not an ad, but close.
One more letter column heading by Ira for a new Schwartz title. Julie was obviously a fan of fan letters. He’d started out as a science fiction fan himself.
Another book edited by Schwartz, I love the amorphous shape of space in the background art by Schnapp, and I loved the title and character.
There are a few new small war ads that ran only in other war books for the most part. Others from the previous year were also used.
Two half-page annual ads that could be and were used separately, but here designed to work well together. I always thought Lois Lane was an odd choice for an annual, especially since her own title, and therefore reprints from it, were only a few years old, but there was more than one, so they must have sold. Counts as two ads.
Two ads together, one for a specific issue, and one more generic. DC and Ira are trying to make 2 BIG STORIES seem like a plus, though not long before there were three stories per issue.
Six new blurbs in July books. Editor Mort Weisinger is making someone fat again. Was this a personal obsession? He was overweight himself from photos I’ve seen.
I liked Hawkman, but remember thinking his “battle cry” in this ad by Ira was kind of silly. Nicely lettered, though.
Superman is back in this PSA. I know I was more likely to read them when a DC superhero was present.
Editor Robert Kanigher’s SEA DEVILS gained an ad in his war comics, and for once it was mostly great art with a small amount of lettering work for Ira.
I’ve only found this annual ad as a half-page, but there’s plenty of appealing lettering on it.
This generic annuals ad ran in most August titles.
This ad did also, promoting a new marketing idea: four bagged DC comics for 47 cents, a savings of one cent. And, if I recall correctly, it was hard to see which titles were in the there behind the first one. Ira did the logo used here and on the packaging. Ira’s ad lettering doesn’t really explain what it is, you have to read the small lettering on the package illustration, but it does emphasize they’re sold in supermarkets, which didn’t usually sell comics. They were probably more willing to take this sealed bag as it would cut down on shopper damage. Apparently they sold well for many years, probably more often to parents than kids.
Four new blurbs for the August issues on this ad.
A PSA encouraging kids to stay in school. I would think those who didn’t probably weren’t reading comics anyway, but maybe I’m wrong.
This generic third-page ad was used often over the next months with a variety of covers.
Lois Lane had become such a pain in her own title that fans were more interested in Lana, I guess, and this ad told you where to find her.
A fine full-pager for The Atom with appealing display lettering, fine use of black, and intriguing ideas.
I found no new blurbs for September issues, and just these three for October. Perhaps I missed some, or the ad may have been pushed out in favor of others.
An ad full of melodramatic copy from editor Mort Weisinger, and the first use in an ad of “Not a Hoax…” and so on, one that was often repeated on covers, and became kind of a mantra of the late Weisinger Superman titles. Here, it worked for me, I wanted to read that story!
Another full-pager for a Weisinger title heralding the dominance of the Legion of Super-Heroes in ADVENTURE. It’s funny to recall now that the team had so few members at the start. So, here we are in the 21st century, where are they, I’d like to know?
Two more titles getting a full page ad by Ira. He was certainly busy with these in 1962! Beautifully designed.
Four new blurbs by Ira in November titles.
Individual issues among DC’s non superhero titles weren’t getting much attention in 1962, but this ad bucks that trend.
Seems like useful information.
I found only these three new blurbs by Ira for December issues.
Even as a child of eleven in 1962 I knew that Johnny DC was a lame idea. Ira’s giant word balloon can’t improve it.
The final new PSA of the year returns to the United Nations and Unicef. This is not the same as the one from a few years earlier.
Editor Julius Schwartz tried hard to make this idea work, but it did not gain a series until a few years later, and then didn’t last long. Perhaps there weren’t enough sports fans reading DC comics, which had no other sports-related titles. Ira did his best to sell it.
What was working for DC were their annuals featuring reprints of stories many readers had missed the first time around. These were used separately and count as two ads.
As far as I’m concerned, the amount of space devoted to Johnny DC in this ad is wasted, it could have shown art from the issue or just a larger cover. The gray background is equally boring. Whose idea was this mascot, I wonder?
So, to sum up, I count 56 house ads lettered by Ira Schnapp in 1962 plus eight public service ads for an astounding total of 64 ads plus two letter-column headers. Can Ira and DC keep up this increase in ad volume? We’ll see!
More articles like this are on the Comics Creation page of my blog.
More about Comicpacs.
More about Johnny DC.