What Were They Thinking? #4: Head Scratching BACK Covers

by Peter Daddone

Head-Scratching-300x157 What Were They Thinking? #4: Head Scratching BACK CoversSilver Age Comics are RED HOT right now!  Nothing better than looking at a classic cover of a high-grade Silver Aged issue in your hand; especially when the comic has that high gloss finish, white background, popping colors, and no chipping! Flip the comic over, and you have…wait…what!  Ever stop to really look at some of those Golden, Bronze, or Silver Age back cover advertisements?  Well, this WWTT columnist has, and they are interesting!

Hypnotize Someone in Just One Day!

unnamed-2-204x300 What Were They Thinking? #4: Head Scratching BACK CoversNeed a raise?  Trying to get a date with that girl you see at the coffee shop all the time?  Want to convince a bunch of random people that you are cool? Ok, maybe I’m projecting, but apparently, during the Silver Age, you could send away for a copy on how to hypnotize anyone in just one day. So cool!  This advertisement appears on the backs of MANY Silver Aged Comics. It is the back cover advertisement for Journey Into Mystery #99.  If you give this guy just ONE evening, he’ll teach you how to hypnotize.  The sub-headline is really catchy.  “Exert your Hypnotic Power over others-Be POPULAR and WANTED!”  No more self-esteem problems after just one night?  Sign me up!  But, wait!  This offer even comes with a no-risk free trial, what!?

Look, I know this is an old issue, but I have to send away for this.  Can’t at least try.  Imagine after fifty-plus years this guy is STILL sending out his “25 Miracle Lessons?”  Definitely a great first back cover advertisement edition to the WWTT column!

Get Rich Just By Selling People You Know Cards!

IMG_6876-212x300 What Were They Thinking? #4: Head Scratching BACK CoversSo, after I have gained the all-important powers of Hypnotism and I am brimming with being both POPULAR and WANTED, I can sell these Christmas cards!  Since I can add 20 people to my friends list and I can convince them to buy these cards with my new powers of hypnotic suggestion, I’ll be rich!  This back cover advertisement can be found on many Silver Aged comics as well.  It appears on the back of Fantastic Four #31.  Once you digest the volumes of print advertisement on this page, you are all set to get out there and sell, sell, sell!  With millions of copies in print, I wonder if kids went to the SAME person more than once?  I have to say that I fell for this type of advertisement, but that is a story for another WWTT post soon!

But Wait!  Selling Cards Just Got Better!

IMG_6877-216x300 What Were They Thinking? #4: Head Scratching BACK CoversLess than a year later, you only needed to know TEN people in order to be rich.  Well, now who needs the power of Hypnotic Suggestion?  Surely you can find ten people to sell cards to and become wealthy, right?  This back cover advertisement can be found on the back of Fantastic Four #43.  Did the economy heat up?  How is it possible that the number of people needed to be profitable on this venture was CUT IN HALF?  Seriously, this is another one I should send out just to see what happens.  I can sell just ten and I’m set. Sweet!

Hypnosis and sell just ten things and you make some money.  Silver age sounds like it has a silver lining in the clouds.  Simpler times.  It’s so easy to overlook these whacky advertisements on the backs of our beloved issues.  Now, start looking at the back of your books.  I’m sure there are plenty of advertisements to talk about.  Don’t worry, a few more of them will appear in future WWTT posts!

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