Tuesday, June 18, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 169: DC Radio/TV/Movie Comics House Ads Week, Day 3: Superman found a letter you wrote me / On the radio

Tonight: The Superman Radio Theatre...is on the air! With a whole Luthor-sized treasure-chest of house ads for The Adventures of Superman radio show!

Superman radio show ad from Superman #7 (November-December 1940). I'm 'specially fond on this one as it mentions WFBL, the radio station I grew up listening to! And they had the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre, too!

from Superman #7 (November-December 1940)

Click here to read more! >>

from Superman #10 (May-June 1941)

from Superman #11 (July-August 1941)

from Superman #12 (September-October 1941)

Superman was first sponsored by merchants local to the station which it was broadcast...

from Superman #15 (March-April 1942)

from Superman #16 (May-June 1942)

from Superman #19 (November-December 1942)

from Superman #21 (March-April 1943)

Later the show ran across the country on the Mutual Broadcasting System and was sponsored by Kellogg's defunct cereal, Pep (not to be confused with Archie's defunct comic Pep).

from Superman #22 (May-June 1943)

from Superman #24 (September-October 1943)

That was not only the Golden Age of comic books but the Golden Age of cereal box prizes. Look, authentic model WWII fighter planes!

from Superman #26 (January-February 1944)

from Superman #27 (March-April 1944)

from Superman #28 (May-June 1944)

from Superman #29 (July-August 1944)

Even when Pep ads changed post-war to the comic page format so popular with Golden Age advertisers (and remind me to tell you about Captain Tootsie one of these days), Superman still got a plug:

from Boy Commandos #22 (July-August 1947 )

But by far the most prized giveaway packed inside those boxes of Pep were their famous, ultra-collectible comic buttons, including all the big names from the comic strips, including Superman!

from Detective Comics #112 (June 1946)

Yep, you can still collect Pep comic pins today, but make sure you have plenty of moolah...

...and make sure they're the gen-u-ine article (they say "Kellogg's Pep" on the back!):

Yep, we all gotta agree...Pep cereal put out the best advertisements!


Here's an extensive history of the Superman radio show, and here's a 1954 Pep cereal commercial starring You-Know-Who-El!

And finally, here's some episodes of the radio show! If you want more, you can find 'em by hunting around on YouTube and the internet, and CD collections are available of some of the radio serials. Up in the sky! Look!


Andrew Leal said...

Huzzah! Thanks for the cavalcade of radio goodness, Bully (some of which I may borrow for the Superman Wiki). I've been meaning to start an article on the Yellow Mask, so now there's a picture, yay! Jackson Beck's narration was always a joy (as is pinpointing him as various henchies, bystanders, Irish cops, in one case a little person gangster pretending to be an orphan [of course], and so on), and I liked the oddball radio-only characters like Beany the adenoidal copy boy or the rhyming alien jester Poco.

And Pep, the super delicious cereal! Although listening to full Superman storylines without fastforwarding, one soon grows tired of Dan "Hey, fellows and girls" McCullough's Peppy spiel, especially for the "super keen" Pep comic buttons or "he-man" lucky pieces.

The radio show also on occasion featured former Scotland Yard inspector Herbert Calkins (counterpart to the funnybooks' Erskine Hawkins, who you've featured here; to date, though, I don't think anyone has determined which came first, since the radio staff did have access to comic book script materials, and vice versa; a comic book storyline in which Supes loses his memory and becomes a baseball player named "Bud" came straight from a subplot in one especialy labyrinthian Kryptonite storyline, but the comic version showed up six or seven years later, so there was no doubt there.)

Also, that "Yellow Mask" ad puzzles me, simultaneously saying it's coming in December but *also* that it starts October 7th. Make up your mind, house ad!

TB Tabby said...

How can you write an article about the Superman radio show without mentioning The Clan of the Fiery Cross, a miniseries with the KKK as the villains that actually helped to discredit them?

Bully said...

TB, I didn't mention it because I was focusing more on the house ads than the history of the show, but I DID include the first episode of that important serial--it's the very last YouTube clip in the post.

Blam said...

That ain't Luthor; it's Sivana.