Ira Schnapp’s DC Ads: 1964 Part 2

All images © DC Comics. From HOUSE OF MYSTERY #143, June 1964

To begin the second half of my look at DC ad work in 1964, this full-pager by Ira is full of drama enhanced by the black area at the top and the logo at the bottom, the only one I know of that used a double dash. This was actually reprints from many years earlier, perhaps prompted by the success of James Bond in theaters.

From MYSTERY IN SPACE #92, June 1964

I never saw any of this run of appearances by J’onn J’onzz, and I must say they don’t seem very appealing now, but Ira tries his best to sell this one.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #321, June 1964

With the Legion of Super-Heroes appearing regularly in ADVENTURE, a new letter-column header was created with a Schnapp title. Not an ad, of course, but I wanted to include things like this somewhere.

From ACTION COMICS #313, June 1964

When a public service ad like this one ran on an inside cover, only black ink was available, but gray tones were added. There was probably also a color version.

From STRANGE ADVENTURES #165, June 1964

After the departure of original editor Julius Schwartz, his science fiction titles were never the same. At least this one still had Adam Strange in it for a while. That’s a strange arrow from Ira.

From ACTION COMICS #313, June 1964

Lots of fine work from Schnapp on this annual ad for the first and only one featuring Superboy. Plus Lana Lang, of course!

From TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED #83, June/July 1964

A new generic ad for STRANGE ADVENTURES promotes two issues, even while this title begins to run off the rails in my opinion.

From ACTION COMICS #314, July 1964
From SUPERMAN #170, July 1964

Four new blurbs found in July titles for this ad. Possibly I missed one.

From JIMMY OLSEN #78, July 1964

This PSA is not lettered by Schnapp, except for the title. I don’t know who did the balloon lettering or why, perhaps Ira didn’t have time to finish it. I won’t count it as a Schnapp ad.

From ACTION COMICS #314, July 1964

Half page ads for annuals continued to be created by Schnapp, and were often used together, but also separately. The ad text, usually written by the editors, are often effective but made more so by Ira’s lettering. Counts as two ads.

From THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #54, July/Aug 1964

Batman’s new look touted here was idea of new editor Julius Schwartz. Batman and Robin were drawn more realistically and their adventures were also less fantasy-based. It was a change long overdue, and popular with fans.

From DOOM PATROL #89, Aug 1964

Another Challengers ad with mostly new lettering.

From ACTION COMICS #315, Aug 1964

While touted here as an annual, this was actually the second issue of a new series of 80-Page Giants that took over the role of annuals but came out monthly. On the actual book, the word Annual was removed from the title.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #323, Aug 1964

Somehow I found these PSAs more interesting when they took place in the great outdoors. Perhaps they reminded me of my time in the Boy Scouts.

From MYSTERY IN SPACE #92, Aug 1964

Another new text page header by Ira Schnapp for MYSTERY IN SPACE.

From WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #144, Oct 1964

And a new WORLD’S FINEST letter column header with lettering by Ira, though I don’t think he did the art.

From BLACKHAWK #201, Oct 1964

Again we see an ad for an 80-Page Giant that promotes it as an annual. They were, essentially, the same thing, just released more frequently.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #325, Oct 1964

This PSA was ahead of the curve on smoking, anti-smoking ads did not become common in the U.S. until 1967. Good for them. DC has also snuck in an ad for Palisades Amusement Park in panel 2, I wonder if it was a paid spot?

From LOIS LANE #52, Oct 1964

This has to be the strangest paid ad that Schnapp ever worked on! Images of the wax figures depicted can be found online. The museum was short-lived despite success at the New York World’s Fair of 1964-65. A planned relocation to California never happened.

From BLACKHAWK #202, Nov 1964

Memorable ad copy probably from editor Julius Schwartz is memorably handled by Ira Schnapp in this ad, one of his best of the year. This is another of the 80-Page Giant series. I particularly like the radiating lines around LISTEN.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #326, Nov 1964

Another earnest and well-meaning PSA that I probably skipped over.


DOOM PATROL was like the secret success that DC didn’t know what to do with. At least these small ads gave it some promotion.

From ACTION COMICS #319, Dec 1964

The quality of this scan is poor, but I like Ira’s lettering here, though only the top title is new.

From JIMMY OLSEN #81, Dec 1964

On this half-page version, Ira did all new lettering, so between the two versions I will count this as one new ad.

From DOOM PATROL #92, Dec 1964

Another of these ads with mostly new lettering. If you were a Challengers reader, you were probably also a Doom Patrol reader and vice versa.

From ACTION COMICS #319, Dec 1964
From JIMMY OLSEN #81, Dec 1964
From SUPERBOY #117, Dec 1964
From WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #146, Dec 1964

I found no versions of this ad in August through November titles. Did I miss them, or was the ad finally running out of steam? There are seven new blurbs by Ira here, possibly some appeared in November titles where I didn’t have the right pages to check or overlooked them.

From BLACKHAWK #203, Dec 1964

This new war tryout series ran only two issues and went no further, despite the hard sell and great logo by Schnapp seen in this ad. As far as I know it was not connected to the Hasbro toys, which also debuted in 1964, but I could be wrong. The title had been used in comics since 1942 by several publishers.

From MYSTERY IN SPACE #96, Dec 1964

A new hero that went on to a long career at DC began in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, artfully promoted by Ira. A third-page version had some different lettering, but not enough for me to call it a separate ad.

So, to sum up, I count 41 house ads created by Ira, also three paid ads and seven public service ads for a total of 50 ads, plus seven text page or letter column headers. Plenty of work, and he wasn’t finished yet. On to 1965!

More on Walter’s Wax Museum and Superman.

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

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