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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Clark Bar Contest Ad - 1978

Remember this ad? You couldn't pick up a DC comic in 1978 and not see this beauty filling up the center of the book. Not only does the piece feature a gorgeous group shot by Dick Giordano, but it features one and a half pages of mouth-watering superhero merchandise, like toys, stickers, and posters.

I am curious as to why Aquaman is drawn as part of the group, when he's barely represented in the merchandise, instead of Captain Marvel, who's all over the stuff--thankful, but curious.

One other thing I'm curious about, ever since I was a kid and saw the ad for the first time--if you read the Third Prize description (
click here to see a bigger, readable version), you see that you can win a year's subscription to "your favorite DC or Marvel comic" like "The Incredible Hulk, Red Sonja, Thor, Green Lantern, Plastic Man, Captain America, Justice Society, Ms. Marvel, you name it. Even Little Lulu."
First up, those are curiously off-brand title selections from both companies. No mention of Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man...but Ms. Marvel? Justice Society?

And even more mysteriously, when the hell did Marvel or DC ever publish Little Lulu??


Rick L. Phillips said...

Perhaps Superman has a clause in his contract saying that he and Capt. Marvel can't appear in the same ad together.
I did some online research on Little Lulu. All I found was that Marvel Productions did some cels for a possible animated series on the character. Maybe it was around that time.

Plaidstallions said...

I did a tour of (bad) Canadian comic shows with William Messner Loebs one summer and he mentioned to me that DC still had some legal issues regarding the use of Captain Marvel right up until the 1990's.

I remember these ads well, can you imagine my frustration when I realized they don't sell Clarke bars in Canada? Well, can you?

Anonymous said...

Even as a kid I wonderd why this ad had better coloring than most comics.

Aquaman made it in on his Super Friends membership for sure with this one.

This ad is totally iconic to me. In the back of my head, THIS is the way these characters SHOULD look.


Damian said...

It's got to look better. Snag those yet to be comic book fans with glorious art and coloring

I would like to appear in an issue of Aquaman as a Devil Ray. Make it so.

Diabolu Frank said...

I was a Marvel kid, so this ad is far less familiar to me than the other version, with Hulk, Spider-Man, Cap, and another that escapes my memory...

Anonymous said...

Man this ad brings back memories! I seem to recall a third page with more weird chocolate (candy for the Americans) bars not avaliable in Canada, like Payday and Baby Ruth.
Wasn't there a Marvel version of this ad as well?

Chris Sobieniak said...

Although I don't think they ever sold Clark Bars in Japan, this famous ad was spoofed in the 1979 Lupin III film "The Mystery of Mamo", along with a caricature of Henry Kissinger reading the comic book it's in!


rob! said...


What. the. hell.

Chris Sobieniak said...

I'm glad to have blown your mind! Sadly this scene was excised in a previous DVD release of the film here, but it's probably available elsewhere.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Looking at the ad as well, I suppose Little Lulu was a joke they stuck in anyway. That comic itself was published at the time by rival Western Publishing under their Gold Key or Whitman label.

There was animated Little Lulu series produced in the 70's that was animated, though it was produced in Japan under the name "Little Lulu and Her Little Friends". Some episodes were dubbed in English and released on home video from Family Home Entertainment, but here's a sample of that...

Sean Phillips said...

What I'd like to know--who's the lucky kid who won? are there back issues of some Marvel or Dc comic with this kid (or possibly adult--there were no age restrictions that I could see) drawn in?
I remember this ad. I thought about what I'd do if I won--of course I figured there was no chance so I never entered. I remember wondering--what if your favorite comic was cancelled? My favorite comic was Ka-Zar, and was cancelled at this time. So how could I get drawn into it? I remember thinking maybe they could make a new issue of Ka-Zar for this purpose--but I doubted it.

Chris Sobieniak said...

I suppose we'll never know. I'm sure records of that nature have probably been discarded long ago.