Ira Schnapp’s DC Ads: 1964 Part 1

All images © DC Comics. From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #84, Dec 1963/Jan 1964

The high volume of DC ads continued in this year with a few shifts in placement. There was only one new ad in the romance titles, a subscription one not by Ira Schnapp, and almost no other house ads. The other genres DC was publishing all had some, but the ones for the adventure/mystery/science fiction and humor titles were generally small, like the one above and ran mostly in those titles. The emphasis was on superheroes, as DC continued to play to that successful area. There were just eight new public service ads, nearly all lettered by Schnapp, and he produced most of the house ads and lettered a few new paid ads too. I’ll cover the first half here and the second half in Part 2, with totals for the year there.

From ACTION COMICS #308, Jan 1964
From ADVENTURE COMICS #316, Jan 1964
From LOIS LANE #46, Jan 1964

This venerable ad continued in the frame from the previous year with five new blurbs for January cover-dates. As before, I consider each month a new ad because of the work involved for Ira Schnapp.

From AQUAMAN #13, Jan/Feb 1964

Here’s a lesson in how to create an effective ad for a third of a page, space often left at the end of a story or a chapter. The three open display words at upper left increasing in size as the descend tell a dramatic story themselves, and the amorphic black shape for the other text also pulls the reader inward, as does the shape of Ira’s logo.


Sales of this Hollywood humor title must have been slowing, and the editor was hoping a contest would spark interest.

From ACTION COMICS #309, Feb 1964

Though this was a war issue, a solo series tryout in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD was still being promoted well with a handsome full-page ad by Schnapp. Ira may also have done the background art.

From ACTION COMICS #310, March 1964
From METAL MEN #6, Feb/March 1964

Another rare push for a war title, this was the only war annual DC produced. Many full-page ads by Ira ran in more than one size, but usually the same lettering was used. Here the lettering is different on the smaller one.

From ACTION COMICS #310, March 1964

The first new public service ad of 1964 has a fine title and lettering by Schnapp.

From AQUAMAN #14, March/April 1964

This should have been a full page ad in my opinion, but the feature wasn’t considered important enough, I guess. I like the black burst.

From GREEN LANTERN #28, April 1964

I don’t know about the characters, but their Ira Schnapp logos work well together.

From WONDER WOMAN #145, April 1964

The text in this Bob Hope ad is as long as some of his monologues!

From BLACKHAWK #195, April 1964

I always thought this feature deserved its own series, but it didn’t get one.

From ACTION COMICS #311, April 1964
From ADVENTURE COMICS #319, April 1964
From JIMMY OLSEN #76, April 1964
From SUPERMAN #168, April 1964

I did not find this ad in February or March issues, but it returned with six new Schnapp blurbs in April ones.

From ACTION COMICS #311, April 1964

Now, this is how to announce a new series! It’s one of Ira’s best ads in my opinion, even if the character’s battle cry is silly. Also one of Ira’s best logos.

From ACTION COMICS #311, April 1964

I think this is the only PSA that utilized a Hollywood actor. Though he was appearing in a DC series, he’s drawn more realistically here, and he must have given permission for this admirable ad.

From HOUSE OF MYSTERY #142, April 1964

This generic ad could be used with almost any two covers, joining other previous generic third-page ads in the rotation.

From ACTION COMICS #312, May 1964

This is the first of several paid ads lettered by Schnapp in 1964. The client certainly got his money’s worth, half the ad is Ira’s work.

From DOOM PATROL #87, May 1964

BLACKHAWK had been cruising along for years with little attention other than a generic third-page ad that was often repeated. This new one is for a specific issue and I think quite effective thanks to Ira’s lettering.

From ACTION COMICS #312, May 1964

After little attention for a long time, DC’s war books were more in the spotlight in 1964. This new title did not last long, but Ira did a fine job of promoting it. There were smaller versions with the same lettering.

From ACTION COMICS #312, May 1964
From ADVENTURE COMICS #320, May 1964

Five new blurbs from Ira for this ad in May titles.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #320, May 1964

Another nice title by Ira on this PSA.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #320, May 1964

This letters page header began in the same issue with a title by Schnapp.

From STRANGE ADVENTURES #164, May 1964
From HOUSE OF MYSTERY #143, June 1964
From HOUSE OF SECRETS #66, May/June 1964

These three text page titles were designed by Schnapp in some of his familiar styles. The first one replaced a letters page when STRANGE ADVENTURES changed editors from Julius Schwartz to Jack Schiff, who apparently didn’t want to run one. He was also the editor of HOUSE OF MYSTERY and HOUSE OF SECRETS where these features replaced generic unconnected text pages. Both could have been used for reader letters, but in issues I looked at they were instead collections of random unusual facts and mysteries.

From BLACKHAWK #196, May 1964

The one remaining title at DC with at least some elements of a western, mainly Indians, gets some attention in this ad.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #321, June 1964

Another full-page paid ad lettered by Ira. I’m guessing that the client for these was the same unnamed company, as the mailing addresses are similar. I don’t recall seeing the toys from this one anywhere, I wonder if they were as cool as they look in the ad? Probably not is my guess.

From DOOM PATROL #88, June 1964

As always, when sales were slipping, DC tried shaking things up with gimmicks like new costumes, new logos and new internal strife, all in play here.

From BLACKHAWK #197, June 1964

The title display lettering at the top of this ad appeared previously, the rest is new. There are several others like this in coming months. Since most of the lettering is new, I will count them as separate ads.

From ACTION COMICS #313, June 1964
From ADVENTURE COMICS #321, June 1964

Four new Schnapp blurbs for June books.

From BLACKHAWK #197, June 1964

While the Doom Patrol did not get much love in DC in superhero titles, at least they were being promoted with ads like this elsewhere.

I’ll continue with the rest of the ads from 1964 in Part 2, coming up next. Other articles like this can be found on the Comics Creation page of my blog.

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