Mail-Order Mysteries

Real Stuff from Old Comic Book Ads!













by Kirk Demarais. Insight Edition, San Rafael, CA. 2011. Large hardcover issued without jacket, colorful boards with raised red, black and blue lettering; blue spine with black and white lettering. 156 pages.

This book is a real hoot. It gives a page or two to each of about 150 common ads found in comic books. Each entry tells what the ad claimed was being sold, and then it went on to tell you what you actually received if you were gullible enough to buy the thing.

The X-Ray Glasses, for example, originally contained chicken feathers to diffuse the light. Ordering the seven-foot tall, glow-in-the-dark skeleton for a dollar got you a very thin plastic poster that folded into a standard envelope.

Believe it or not, some of these companies were legit, and one or two are actually still around today. You might recognize THIS one.

I obviously like the book a lot.