I have no idea where I got this book.  I was looking for something in my horribly and shamefully disorganized comic book closet the other day and found this in a stack of random books.  Someone probably gave this to me.  I have not had a chance to read it yet but the front and back cover seemed interesting so I thought I would post them here.

I need to pick up more of these comics because they really are fascinating.  You are taking a character like Superman or Supergirl and instead of telling an adventure story that furthers that character’s development or just telling a kick ass story in general you have to frame a story around some company’s product or a particular buzz issue of the time.  The messages are many and varied and have included anti-smoking comics, anti-drug comics, tell an adult if another adult tries to touch you in the bad place comics or, in this case, buckle up or you are going to die.

If I am sounding a bit cynical…well, it’s because I am a bit cynical.  At the same time I can’t fault an organization or a company wanting to use a super-hero (especially Superman or Supergirl) to get their message out to the kids of the world because that character has a certain level of recognizably.  In the case of Tandy Computers, for example, I am assuming that using a known property is just basic marketing.  In the case of this “buckle up or you are going to die” comic or the Spider-Man fueled “don’t let people touch you inappropriately” comic I’d like to think that those involved thought that kids would listen to Supergirl or Spider-Man over some random adult telling them about the given subject.

So this sort of comic has a lot going for it.  Mainly I just think they’re cool.  I try to pick them up when I find them in fifty cent boxes though I do feel like I shouldn’t have to pay anything because these things were originally supposed to be free.  I try not to gripe too much, though.  Beyond being a crass commercial use of a property or an attempt to reach kids with familiar characters these things are collectibles, so fifty cents isn’t that high a price to pay.

I draw the line at a dollar, though.  A man has to have principles.

More to follow…

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  1. I think they handed these out at my elementary school around 1986 or 87. I had a copy at one time, but it is looooong gone.

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