Wednesday, 20 April 2016

KID KLASSICS: THE ADS THAT MADE AN ASS OUT OF ATLAS...


A genuine Ad

CHARLES ATLAS (real name Angelo Siciliano, born
1892) seems to have been around forever.  Practically everyone
remembers the ads from comicbooks throughout the '60s and '70s,
although they actually debuted back in the '40s.  He died in 1972,
aged 80, so he was an old man for much of the period that people
of my age group first became familiar with his athletic frame
and visage staring out from the comics of our youth.

The ads are so iconic that they have become a target for
affectionate lampooning in the pages of the selfsame publications
that the originals were printed in.  Here, for your amusement, are
just a few of the many parodies which have appeared - enjoy.
(And tell us your favourite in the comments section.)

A lampoon (as if you couldn't tell)







Click on image to enlarge, then click again for optimum size.

14 comments:

DeadSpiderEye said...

97lb, not quite seven stone, that's so tiny he'd have trouble fending off a angry squirrel.

paul Mcscotty said...

My favourite here is “The insult that made a man out of Mona” (nice cartooning looks like the guy that does Mini Marvels – I am not even attempting to spell his name) but my was favourite of this type was a parody strip (4 pages I think) in “Plop!” by Sergio Aragones (issue 2 ?).

Colin Jones said...

My favourite is the one where the bully becomes a wimp to please his girlfriend. I didn't know Charles Atlas died in 1972 - I bought my first Marvel comic in '74 which is where I first saw the famous advert so he was already dead by then. I suppose I just assumed the photo of him was recent. It's a bit odd when you think about it that a bodybuilding advert was in a comic for kids - I started reading Marvel when I was eight. Of course, nobody kicked sand in my face so I didn't need Charles Atlas's help :D

Kid said...

I like 'The Insult That Made A Corpse Out Of Mac', 'though they're all amusing.

Phil said...

Did anyone ever buy those ads? I wonder what he was selling. Was it equipment? A training program of some sort?
I recall one parody where Mac just turns up with a gun and sh

Phil said...

As I was saying .... I remember one parody as where Mac just buys a gun. Anyone remember that one?

Kid said...

I believe it was a training programme involving exercise instructions, Phil. Of course, I never needed anything like that, being a perfect physical specimen of mighty manhood. Don't remember the gun parody of the ad.

TC said...

The ads refer to a "method," and I always assumed it was a course of instructions for some kind of calisthenics or maybe isometric exercises.

My favorite is the one where the bully learns to be a wimp, but they are all pretty funny. Of course, to understand the parody, you would need to have seen the original, and, with some of them, you would have to be familiar with the comic book characters, too.

I never saw the one where the skinny guy buys a gun, but I seem to recall one where he takes the course and gets muscular, then goes back to the beach and punches the girlfriend who insulted him.

I remember also seeing the same ads in professional wrestling magazines. It does seem kind of odd to run them in comic books, but then, there were also ads for other body-building courses and martial arts courses, too. And ads for GED courses and vocational training. Locksmithing and electronics seemed to be the most common of that kind.

For years, I assumed that the ads were targeted to each magazine's readers. Maybe the body-building and kung fu training ads were aimed at nerdy kids who were being bullied, and the ads for job training were for unskilled adults who were unemployed. (Both of those would fit the stereotypical image of comic book fans.) Later, though, I read somewhere that the advertisers bought a certain amount of space each month, without regard for which magazines would carry which ads. So some of the ads in comics may have been a sort of spillover from the publishers' other magazines.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Here's an animated take on this!
https://vimeo.com/43907281

And another...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWG-TLaahtw

Kid said...

I think the publishers knew that comicbooks had an older readership too, TC. Kids would buy them, but older brothers and fathers would be bound to flick through them in idle moments. Although I believe there was a spillover element to some ads as well.

******

Thanks for the link, CS - took a look.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

I think the publishers knew that comicbooks had an older readership too, TC. Kids would buy them, but older brothers and fathers would be bound to flick through them in idle moments. Although I believe there was a spillover element to some ads as well.

A good example of this would be ads for all sorts of older/mature items like motocycle jacket patches, Nazi memorabilia, or correspondance courses such as the Famous Artists School "Talent Test".
http://www.printmag.com/wp-content/uploads/TestYourTalent-1954.jpg?85c8a3
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/arts/design/famous-artists-school-archives-go-to-norman-rockwell-museum.html?_r=0
http://crumb-brothers.tumblr.com/post/9579113389/charles-crumbs-famous-artists-talent-test-booklet
http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2008/01/famous-artist-s.html

Kid said...

Thanks for the links, CS, I'll have fun looking through them and refreshing my memory. Wish they included some of those ads in the Masterworks volumes.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Glad to help!

Kid said...

Good man.

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