Ira Schnapp’s DC Ads: 1965 Part 1

All images © DC Comics. From CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN #41, Dec 1964/Jan 1965

In 1965 letterer/designer Ira Schnapp continued to produce a large number of ads with the main focus being on the company’s superheroes. War and romance titles continued to do well, but romance received little publicity and few house ads, only one new one from Ira. The war titles got more attention and ads. Humor titles were dwindling, and though they had new ads, they ran mostly in other humor titles and occasionally in the adventure/mystery ones, as above. This Bob Hope ad was reused with different covers and lettering through the year, Jerry Lewis had a similar one. Mystery, adventure and science fiction titles were handled much the same way, running new ads mostly in similar books. There were just seven new public service ads, all lettered by Ira. In this first part I’ll cover ads that ran in January to July titles.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #90, Dec 1964/Jan 1965

This VERY BEST ad has mostly reused lettering with just the word FUNNY added, though COMICS READING is redone. I hesitate to count it as a new ad, but it was used often through the year with different titles, so I guess I will.

From ACTION COMICS #320, Jan 1965

The first new public service ad of the year was a fine tribute to the late President Kennedy.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #329, Feb 1965
From LOIS LANE #55, Feb 1965

COMING SUPER-ATTRACTIONS continued in 1965, but I could not find any in some months, so it was more sporadic. There are six new blurbs by Ira here, which I will count as one new ad.

From DOOM PATROL #93, Feb 1965

Another of the Bob Hope ads with the same art but new lettering.

From DOOM PATROL #93, Feb 1965

This Challengers ad followed the same idea, the lettering at the top is reused, but the lower part with story titles and descriptions is new, and that’s enough to consider it a new ad in my opinion.

From ACTION COMICS #321, Feb 1965

This full page ad by Ira promotes the 80-Page Giant line, which the DC Annuals had morphed into. Not a pretty ad, lots of clip art, but also lots of lettering.

From BLACKHAWK #205, Feb 1965

This somewhat generic ad could be reused, but only for a few titles that involved the sea. Ira’s title is stylish, especially the G in Sagas.

From ACTION COMICS #322, March 1965

Here’s the only version of this ad I found in March titles.

From MYSTERY IN SPACE #98, March 1965

SHOWCASE had moved from a tryout title to a team-up one with each team lasting just an issue. Schnapp’s mini-logos in the caption mimic his actual ones, and he also did the larger logos below.

From ACTION COMICS #322, March 1965

Some of Ira’s ads in this year have considerably less copy or text than most in the past, allowing the art to sell the product.

From ACTION COMICS #322, March 1965

Editor Jack Schiff had been running public service ads supporting the United Nations for years, and this one reminds me that I took part in this program and had a French pen-pal for a year.

From BLACKHAWK #207, April 1965

A handsome new generic ad for any issue of AQUAMAN. Love the title.

From STRANGE ADVENTURES #175, April 1965

By contrast, this ad has lots of lettering, but it still works well.

From ACTION COMICS #323, April 1965
From JIMMY OLSEN #84, April 1965

Four new blurbs by Schnapp in April titles.

From THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #87, April 1965

This ad could be used with any DOOM PATROL cover. Only THE WORLD’S STRANGEST HEROES and the logo are picked up from the covers. I like the checklist.

From ACTION COMICS #323, April 1965

It’s likely that editor Julius Schwartz gave Ira a typed version of the text for this ad. Perhaps the words IF were emphasized, but it was Ira who made them monumental and thereby made the ad interesting and memorable.

From ACTION COMICS #323, April 1965

There’s some drama in this PSA, the kind most of us hope to avoid, but kudos to DC for presenting the right reaction to it.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #92, April/May 1965

This Jerry Lewis ad has reused art but new lettering and cover.

From GIRLS’ LOVE STORIES #111, May 1965

This new third-page ad for DC’s romance line was the only new one by Schnapp in 1965. It’s well done, but a far cry from his full-pagers of the past.

From ACTION COMICS #324, May 1965

Another example of a Schnapp ad with less copy, allowing him room to make large, interesting display lettering and letting the cover sell the product.

From THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS #88, June 1965

I don’t know if readers were sold by the copy in these ads, but Ira does his best with it.

From JIMMY OLSEN #85, June 1965

It seems like there must have been other uses of this ad in June titles, but I couldn’t find them.

From ACTION COMICS #325, June 1965

This handsome ad has great display lettering and layout by Schnapp, and shows how the focus at DC had narrowed to promote superheroes the most. These 80-Page Giants were all reprints except for the covers. New work in other titles got little attention.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #93, June/July 1965

Unlike the Bob Hope ads, some of the ones for Jerry Lewis actually sound a bit like him to me.

From ACTION COMICS #326, July 1965

My favorite thing here is the OF, so Art Deco and unusual.

From ACTION COMICS #326, July 1965

Finally an ad for something new! The Teen Titans would go on to a long and popular career at DC. Notice how the character names are on one continuous banner.

The rest from 1965 in Part 2, and I’ll have totals for the year there. More articles like this are on the Comics Creation page of my blog.

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