Friday, December 18, 2009
I Was Totally Taken In
There are many ads which ran in comic books over the years. Some memorable ones- the countless offers for huge sets of army men for next to nothing (they were 1:72 scale- a fact which was not disclosed in the ad), offers to sell Grit newspapers and Olympic greeting cards, the ubiquitous X-ray specs and Giant Monster ads. But the one that will always be the most iconic ad campaign to run in comics has to be the Sea Monkeys.
Oh the wonders those ads promised! Look at that happy family of fantastic, aquatic creatures. And they do tricks! Sadly, the advertisers have colored the truth a little.
The example above is a latter-day ad which includes a close-up view of an actual "sea monkey", the lowly brine shrimp. The brine shrimp (commonly sold as fish food) is a life form so simple it can survive being dehydrated and then resume life upon contact with water (which makes them convenient to mail). They look nothing like the cute, pink, sea people depicted in the ad. As to tricks... well they do respond to certain stimuli by doing a sort of flip.
Although I never could bring myself to cut up a comic book, even as a kid, I really pity the poor kids who cut up their comic book and mailed in their hard-earned money just to get some plankton by mail.