1966 - ASM #43 - Astronaut Buff!

I've yet to find any of the classic Charles Atlas body-building ads, but this one is awesome in that it manages to attract boys by appealing to two of their aspirations - a muscle-bound hero, and an astronaut.

Incidentally, most ads of the time encouraged boys to use the program in order to gain weight (or muscle mass), not for the fatties to lose it.

Meanwhile,  now I know the astronauts were tough, but I dunno if they were kick-sand-at-the-bully's-face-tough. At the very least they're no longer top of the list for aspiring boys and overbearing parents... at this point I think people honestly do think it would be easier for your child to be president than be an astronaut.

Appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #43, December 1966.

1965 - ASM #21 - Hypno-Coin!

The top half is that old comic institution of pranks and jokes and novelties for ridiculously cheap. This one definitely resembles those of ads by the Johnson Smith Company, publisher of the "Things you never knew existed" catalog, which I loved as a kid.

The bottom half, of course, is that OTHER comic book mainstay, more ways for the average comic book reader to attract women... by hypnotizing them (so far as to get them to walk like zombies). Unlike the previous hypnosis ad I showcased, this one achieves hypnosis using the Hypno-coin, made famous once again as being a favorite weapon by Bartman.

From Amazing Spider-Man 21, February 1965

1964 - Avengers #11 - Hypnosis Tutor

The best part about this is the illustration showing the practical application of hypnosis... rape.

Somehow, the idea of creeping around exactly like the grotesque and otherwise cowardly villains in the very comic book in which these ads appeared is supposed to be attractive to its readers.

Well, apparently it was, because this wasn't nearly the only hypnosis ad appearing at the time, and they were all equally as creepy.

This one appeared in Avengers #11, December 1964.

1964 - ASM#16 - Yubiwaza!

This white guy from New Jersey wants to teach me Yubiwaza, a martial art that can drop a 200 pound guy with just one finger.

Wkipedia shows only one mention of Yubiwaza, and it's that a character from The Tick, Paul the Samurai, was a fuschia belt in it.

Amazingly, this website provides insight into this ad, revealing that Yubiwaza means "finger technique" and, while not being a martial art in and of itself, this Jersey guy seemed to have been an actual jiujitsu teacher:


The best part, of course, is the testimonial from the instructor's "Pretty Japanese wife."

This ad was taken from Amazing Spider Man #16, September 1964, but the ad might've appeared before that, and certainly appeared at least every other issue for a while.

1962 - AF #15 - Mike Marvel, Bodybuilder

Boys! Men! Are you ashamed of your body?

I can't tell to whom that word bubble calling for Boyz II Men belongs, the bodybuilder or the disembodied cartoon head of a female*. Regardless, Mike Marvel was apparently a bodybuilder from the early 1960's who capitalized on a then-revolutionary isometric bodybuilding system, and wanted you to learn it for just $1.98 (about 14 dollars in today-money).

Not only that, it also comes with 'Secrets of Attracting Girls,' a pamphlet that makes you a hit at dances, at parties, and at the beach. Given the awkward placing of the single quotation marks around the title, I can only assume that "Secrets," "Attracting," and "Girls" are not meant to be taken literally.

* I can only assume that women models had no desire to be photographed for an ad appearing in a horror anthology with a man-in-spider-tights-giving-a-businessman-a-wedgie-while-swinging-like-Tarzan, even if said ad featured a buff, greased up man in leopard-print underwear.

This ad appeared in the prestigious Amazing Fantasy #15, from September 1962, which debuted our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man with probably the second-most recognizable comic book cover of all time*. Semi-well-known-fact: this was the last issue of Amazing Fantasy published, after which it was retooled back to #1 as another Amazing-ly titled comic featuring our webbed friend here.

*The most recognizable, of course, clearly, is Dazzler #15. You know the one I'm talking about.