Posted 5 years ago
There are several reasons for promotional comics. Some obvious, some not so.
Most obvious is brainwashing of young minds. Studies show the nefarious concept of "branding" starts at a shockingly young age, and once hooked the fish is in the boat. A four-year old McDonalds fan has a good chance of being a fifty-year old McDonald's fan if blood clots and high cholesterol doesn't get in the way.
Other uses are to sway young opinion. Nuclear power is fun and safe, Levi's are the only rough and tough real cowboy jeans, Remington BB-Guns let you kill small animals just like Dad kills big ones, etc.
Also prominent is what I call the "STFU" factor. That's right, they are to keep kids quiet on long trips. Hence crappy things like "Special Agent" above, a story which will keep junior occupied for that long rail haul through Texas (while he reads exciting tales of railroad cops tossing poor hobos off trains)
The most common are probably Big-Boy, which are seemingly even more common than a pack of antacids. Shoe companies also seemed to be big users of promotional comics. I really don't know why that is, but there are tons of them. Crapass "Blue Bird Comics" put out this transparent rip-off of Caspar here they called Timmy the Timid Ghost. The funniest is certainly the fake "Archie" here for Taste-Freez...My God, could the blatant theft be any more apparent. A fake Archie, a fake Reggie, a fake Bettie and a fake Jalopy! Plus a fake "extra guy" who probably gets killed off early in the story.
Are these colorful propaganda pulps worth anything? Nope, and they never were.
Jim Linderman DULL TOOL DIM BULB