Anyone that lived through collecting comics in the early ’90s (or listened to the Knightquest coverage over at Hey Kids, Comics! hosted by Andrew and Micheal Leyland) will be familiar with the mail order ad that appeared in just about every super-hero book I have ever seen from that era. The company’s name changed over the years but by the time Doomsday rolled around it was called American Entertainment and its “job” was to get you to buy the latest “hot” comic.
The Superman books hardly ever appeared in this ad. For the bulk of 1989 the company promoted the Batman titles and then moved on to the X-Men and Spider-Man when Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane soared to near rock star status. By the time this particular ad saw print American Entertainment was still big on the X-Men but were promoting Image and Valiant Comics as well because those were the previously mentioned “hot” comics and by “hot” comics they really meant, “these are comics that will (supposedly) be worth money some day so you really should buy them now because you can then sell them later for a huge mark up like we plan on doing!”
Ah the speculators. One part of why the comics industry crashed in 1993. Not the sole reason but an important ingredient in that messed up stew.
It took Superman dying for him to actually make it into an ad and here is what that looked like.
With the exception of Superman: The Man of Steel #17 those prices aren’t that bad. Two of them are fifty cents above cover price while the others are only twenty-five cents more than you would pay on the stands, which isn’t much of a mark-up. Also you get twenty percent off, so they are slightly less than cover price. Then again you have to factor in shipping costs so the final price goes back above what you would pay at the shops or on the newsstands
Wow, I just talked myself out of thinking that these prices were decent. And you got to see it happen.
Whatever the case the prices, now that I really look at them, are not unreasonable and if you lived in an area that didn’t have a comic shop close by this may be the only way you would be able to get any of these comics. Then again I remember Chase, former co-host of 2 in 1 Showcase, telling a story about his experiences with American Entertainment, which you can here all the way back in their fourth episode.
Be warned…the story is a bit heart breaking.
Next time: Something really cool. Actually the start of something really cool because it is going to take me a few days to post everything. It is awesome though so stay tuned.
More to follow…