Ask Your Father

Ma, it says right here that they’ll send ya ‘ONE PREGNANT MALE who will give birth to as many as 25 babies!’ How can that be, Ma? How can that be?

This was an advertisement that regularly appeared in comic books, and it was the sort of thing that always made me wonder how the heck they managed to ship living animals through the mail. When junior came home from school, did he delight at the frolicsome fun of his mail-order sea creatures getting used to their new surroundings or was his hopes to be a seahorse rancher dashed by a ham-fisted postal employee? Is there somebody out there continuing to raise generations of sea horses in captivity from his original purchased pair?

The sea horse ad ran in All Star Comics No. 65 published by DC Comics in 1977. As you can see, this comic had it’s title cut off. Back when comics were sold on newsstands, unsold comics were returnable to the distributor for credit. Rather than ship the whole comic back, all that was required of the newsstand operator was to strip the title off and send that back as proof of the books he couldn’t sell. Comics were considered disposable so the rest of the comic was supposed to be trashed. Of course, that didn’t stop unscrupulous vendors from hanging onto the stripped comics and selling them to kids of more modest means for a nickel or even a penny! It was a common practice and some stores used to have piles of these less-than-mint-condition comics that kids would sift through. I used to turn my nose up at these torn up treasures finding destroying a comic as an act of barbarism, but there was a number of times I couldn’t resist. Stripped of it’s collectability, the comic could be enjoyed for the simple trash entertainment it is. I just read this before I started writing this post, and it was a hoot!

The price was right and Wally Wood sure could draw Superman’s cousin Power Girl!

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