When I was a kid reading what I thought were the best comics ever printed (and which, looking back today, we actually not all that great), they all had the shittiest advertising. We all remember the Insult that Made a Man out of Mac (and how he sent away for a crappy book which probably came with the most basic of workout instructions and directions to a small shop in Tijuana that sold horse steroids), and the Sea Monkeys, and the 500-piece plastic army dude set.
I spent a whole summer trying to convince my mother that I'd be the best Grit salesman in the state, because I just had to have that Apollo 3-speed bike. In her wisdom, she explained to me that no one knew what, exactly, Grit was and as such, no one would buy it just so I could have a bike. (And it does sound like the worst name ever for anything that's not a really hardcore gay porn mag.)
But my favorite comic-book ad was for Megaforce. It was on the back cover of what seemed like every comic I bought for three straight years. And it was the perfect clarion call for a 12-year-old: Come see our movie featuring guys in slick jumpsuits with great Bee Gees hair as they ride their pimped-out, armed-to-the-teeth dirt bikes and dune buggies into battle against mysterious Arab bad guys! Are you, boy with nary a pube, man enough for this breed of adventure?
Bet your ass I was. I, too, wanted to be able to pop wheelies on my Schwinn and fire rockets from my handlebars, just like Barry Bostwick. (Naturally, me scotch-taping bottle rockets to my bike and lighting them ended badly.) I wanted to be able to lure Persis Khambatta, with her fresh new hair, into my Aqua-netted lair and make sweet pre-pubescent love to her.
I bought the comics, saw the movie, and lived the dream.
Now that I've got a comic on the way from the very same company that plastered those ads everywhere, I asked my editor if he could do me a solid and print the Megaforce ad on the back of our book. He barely laughed as he crushed my spirit.
Little does he know that I'm gonna find the best color printer than someone else's money can buy and mock up my own back cover. And then I'll be rolling like it's 1983, reading my own comic with the best ad ever on the back.
Because I am man enough.