Friday, August 30, 2013

365 Days of DC House Ads, Day 242: Jack Kirby DC House Ad Week, Day 6: Don't be chicken! Read about Jack Kirby's DC House Ads!




House ad for Jack Kirby's Fourth World titles (1972); printed in The Brave and the Bold #101 (April-May 1972)



House ad for Jimmy Olsen #138 (June 1971); printed in Superman #239 (June-July 1971)
Ad designed and lettered by Gaspar Saladino


That muddy reproduction above doesn't give you a good look at the cover of Jimmy Olsen #138, so here 'tis:


Cover of Jimmy Olsen #138 (June 1971); pencils and photomontage by Jack Kirby, inks by Neal Adams,
letters by Gaspar Saladino (?)

Now around this time the Duke boys were in a mess o' trouble the DC house ads start to look less stylized and frankly, a lot more rushed than the heyday of gorgeous ads by Ira Schnapp or the early Gaspar Saladino period. Typography is beginning to replace hand lettering in some cases (see the '72 Kamandi ad in my previous post). I'm not as impressed by most of the house ads of the early to mid-=seventies (which is why you're seeing so few of them on this feature). We're also at a point where the ads began to be oddly placed, putting a third-page ad where a half-page was needed, or only putting two of them where three would fit, resulting in a lot of uncomfortable-looking white space on the comic book page. Here's the two ads above, in context:


Tomorrow, I'll wrap up Jack Kirby DC House Ad Week with a look at ads for a couple of Kirby's final DC works! And remember...


5 comments:

Blam said...


I don't know what was up during this period, but you're right that the ads become less visually cohesive — not only is there odd spacing around them, which might be due to changing trim sizes or something, but there's odd negative space within them.

Gaspar definitely lettered that cover. All of the copy is in his style, or I should say all of it is in one of his styles or another. "The Big Bang" is lettered with the form he used for several of his more generic (yet still appealing) logos, like DC's Superboy, Supergirl, Legion of Super-Heroes, and Super-Team Family, as well as Marvel's more stylized Avengers and his reworking of the older Batman logo.

Blam said...

Meant to add that I have no idea who did that "Blockbusters" one, but it almost certainly wasn't Gaspar unless he drew a sloppy little sketch freehand that had to be used before he or anyone else could refine it.

Terrence O'Malley said...

Hi Bully, Thanks for this post. Just over a week ago, I was reading through your blog in the evening whilst waiting for my daughter to finish brushing her teeth. When she completed her nightly ablutions, she came and sat on my lap and we read your blog together. I was scrolling down the collection of Kirby cover ads and she was getting quite intrigued, trying to identify the characters she recognized. When she saw this post she said,"I want to read that!" Fortunately, I have this issue in my collection. I found, and a handful of other Kirby Olsen's and let her at them. (The next day, as it was bedtime when we did this.) She flipped. She wants to read more Jimmy Olsen books. Thanks, Bully. I've got a kid who doesn't care about the difference between Curt Swan and Jack Kirby, but she loves the stories regardless. How cool is that. Comics oughta be fun!

Bully said...

Terrence, that is amazing and wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing--it's comments like that which really make doing my blog so delightful! Hope you and your daughter continue to enjoy it!

Blam said...


Oops. I said "Bang" when I meant "Boom". Sorry.

Great story, Terrence! I haven't tried out any Kirby on the nieces and nephew yet, but maybe it's time.