Ad-dicting & En-LIFE-ening

We continue our look at comics-related ads that appeared in Life Magazine, previously begunĀ here. This time, just for fun, we’ll go in reverse-chronological order and start at the tag-end of the 1950s. I was but a wee bairn of two months and twenty-five days old (and Stevenson B. Canyon was once again crossing paths and trading barbs with “The Copperhead,” Copper Calhoon) when this ad for Teacher’s Scotch, starring the one-and-only Milton Caniff, appeared in Life‘s October 12, 1959 issue:

Not exactly a comic strip ad, but who doesn’t love Marge’s Little Lulu, especially as interpreted by John Stanley? I have the complete reprint run, can sing the theme song from her animated theatrical cartoons (“Little Lulu, Little Lulu / With freckles on her chin / Always in and out of trouble / But mostly always in …”), and know readers from eight to sixty-eight who are absolutely enchanted by her exploits. So forgive me a bit of license for including this personal favorite from the first day of November, 1954:

In our Li’l Abner volumes we have showcased a variety of ads featuring both the Dogpatch cast of characters and young Yokum’s personal favorite comical strip character, that bumbling flatfoot, Fearless Fosdick. Ol’ Fearless’s ads for Wildroot Cream-Oil are always fun, and this one, in full, glorious color, is enough to make any Abner fan cackle a gleeful “Yak-yak!” in true Al Capp style:

Here at LOAC, we delight in reading the exploits of Crockett Johnson’s Barnaby, a truly clever, intelligent comics series. We also delighted in finding this April 16, 1945 ad, in which Mr. O’Malley dares to dream of the day when men will not be faced with the threat of, ahh-h-h-h, flying open …

Finally, we end much as we began, with Bud Fisher dispensing invaluable health advice (this time, with his character Jeff offering it, and Jeff’s bosom buddy Mutt adopting it). This ad for All-Bran ran in the September 30, 1940 edition of Life.

Here’s hoping this little foray into the way comics helped sell all sorts of products tickled you as much as it tickled us!


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