In my Silver Age Reread, I’ve made use of my old comics, reprint comic books, TPB collections and most recently the DC and Marvel apps. Much as I prefer reading comics in print, the apps are more cost effective than shelling out for, say, Sgt. Fury or Hulk TPBs (plus some material isn’t TPB-available at all).
Part of the fun of rereading my own old comics, when that’s possible, is looking through the pages outside the main story. The BEM public interest strip. Seeing a sudden spurt of Lucky Charms ads in 1964 and realizing that yes, the cereal debuted that year. The Henry Boltinoff gag strips such as Moolah the Mystic, Super-Turtle and Casey the Cop. The letter columns, though I skip them if I’m pressed for time.
Then there are the toy ads, which didn’t grab me as a kid and don’t appeal to me any better now. Which is good, because I’m sure getting classic 1960s toys would probably take money I don’t have—but that’s not the point, is it?
Lionel Trains, for example. I’ve never understood the appeal of building a track and watching a toy train go round it. Nor Hot Wheels, though those are still a few years in the “future” (I’m only up to mid-1965; they started in 1968). I’ve only had a couple of toy cars and they were special ones, such as the Matchbox version of James Bond’s Goldfinger Aston Martin or the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.
Model kits, the same. DC 1960s comics are full of ads for things like Aurora’s monster model kits or the assorted car model kits of the day such as this one with the Kat from AMT (like him I’m jumping the gun as he didn’t appear in ads until late in 1965).Seriously, what was the point of building a tiny copy of a car? The monster model kits were way more interesting, just like King Kong and Frankenstein were more interesting than my family’s car—or, well, any family’s car. As a bonus, the kits came with backstories on the film characters—I’m fairly sure the King Kong kit is where I first learned Kong’s story.I had the Phantom of the Opera and King Kong kits and I think I may have put the Phantom kit together. But I never painted it. I didn’t see the point. I never felt the urge to buy more (the two I had were both gifts). I’m glad the kits were there for kids who were into them but I’d much sooner have spent the time reading or watching Doctor Who or the Richard Greene Robin Hood series than applying glue to bits of plastic.
Which, come to think of it, pretty sums up my priorities today.