Thursday, July 18, 2013

Goodwill Graphic Content: Old 80's (and Early 90's) Comics!!!

Hey there Goodwill Geek fans! Today I want to feature some comic books I picked up a while back. First up is the three issue run of the first appearance of the "New Fantastic Four"!

This was published back in 1990, and featured the original Fantastic Four being taken out by a particularly wiley, telepathic Skrull chick who sneaks into the Baxter building and picks them all off one by one. I remember looking at the issues in stores when it came out, and desperately loving the idea and WANTING this story, but I never actually buying any of the issues. Then lo and behold, I find all three of the issues tucked in with the kids books at Goodwill just a few weeks ago for .99 cents apiece. I'll tkae it for .99 cents! I've paid more for sooo much less, comic book-wise

They even got their own "rookie" card!

Of course upon reading this mini-event at home, I was struck by some observations: The story is... not... good. The humor is... not... humorous. The characters do... not... come off as cool together. And the Art Adams art? Kind of... garbled and... confusing in places. I was genuinely disappointed. But I feel like I own a coveted piece of comic book history, even if it's just because I REALLY wanted these issues as a youngin'. 

The next two sets of comics I picked up at a thrift store in Ellsworth, ME called Nice Twice. They have a small corner dvoted to piles of children's ephemera, including toys, books, and sometimes comics. I felt like a handful of issues based on some 80's toys properties were worth the .50 cents apiece they were asking. I was never a Centurions fan, and these comics haven't really changed my mind. What I remember from when I was a kid was that the figures all seemed really awkward and clunky, and had all these little pieces to lose. I remember the villain looking kind of weird and... wide? I guess? Like he'd be really easy to push over. 

Can we fight later?
I just really need to... lean... right now.

Again, these comics did nothing to disabuse this notion. Still, a fun set of old 80's comics based on toys... who can complain? 

I was 100% sure I had never heard of AniMax before the day I found these comic books. The comics were completely INSANE and the character designs were just amazing. I just didn't remember this toy line one bit. Then I did some research online and found this:

Images courtesy of: 

And suddenly some bells started ringing. I never owned a single one of these toys but I think I remember the commercials for them or something. I KNOW I would have LOVED a set of the villain action figures. I was never a serious vehicle collector as a kid, and that's probably why this collection eluded me. 

The real fun began as I started flipping through the books to look at the old ads included. Here's a couple of back-cover ads for Popples. I never wanted a Popple myself but absolutely every little girl my age that I knew had one. 

Remember Bonkers? I do! I would BEG for these things every time we went to the grocery store. Know how many times I got them? Exactly zero times. Zero. I never got any. Yeah. And then on the right side there we have an ad for the Kideo TV series of cartoons, all based on American Greetings properties. I remember seeing exaclty ONE of these cartoons: The Get Along Gang, which I LOVED. 

Here are some ads for Lazer Tag and the Madballs comic book. Two of the most ubiquitous properties of the 80's here immortalized in comic book form. I was such a Mad-Ball zombie that I owned ALL the comics, a LOT of the Madballs, and then the complete set of Madballs action figures and the Madball Roller-Cycle. I didn't own lazer-tag but DESPERATELY wanted to. 


Here are some great comic-strip style advertisements starring Spider-Man v.s the Soggies for Cap'N Crunch, and Gumbi and Pokey for Brach's lollipops. In the same vein as the famous Hostess ads starring ridiculous villains just crazy for pie, these tell some semi-exciting stories involving famous characters and food. 

I loved Madballs but was TERRIFIED of the Ugly Balls in this print ad. You could get one mail-order from Bonkers candy. And The Flintstones kids!!! Check out all of the semi-mediocre crap you could get back then that had the Flintstones on it!!!

I do not remember a movie called Thrashin' featuring Josh Brolin. But I wish I had LIVED it. It looks amazing. And oh my heavens STRIPED Chips Ahoy! I DO remember those. 

And finally a couple of fun ads depicting the 80's social scene. This geeky kid is getting all KINDS of tail thanks to his... model car kits? I'm... I'm not sure about that. That can't be right can it? And there on the right is an OXY ad featuring teenagers so disfigured by acne that they cannot show their faces in public. Plus a couple of new Webster's terms for the types of acne they are suffering from. 

Well. That's it for me tonight kiddos! I'll be back real soon with more Geeky Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Hunting! 


  1. Great post.

    As much as I love old comics, the ads can be just as fun to check out and I am intimately familiar with each and every one you've posted here. Especially Spidey "battling" The Sog-Master to try and rescue Cap'n Crunch.

    I remember it being a contest and there was a hot-line you could call with a pre-recorded message from the Cap'n himself thanking you for saving him from the Soggies.

    1. I just need to start using my scanner on these instead of taking photos of them.

      I NEED to go back through my collection and see what other kinds of crazy old retro ads I can find.

      I think I remember actually being allowed to CALL that Cap'n crunch number!

    2. Nearly all the photos on my blog were taken with the camera on my phone [and it -shows-], but I'm okay with that. I like when things have a personal aesthetic to it, even if it's lo-fi in execution. It's your stuff and you're showing it off, so it shouldn't look like a stock photo.

    3. I genuinely appreciate you saying that, kind sir.

      I feel bad now for threatening to gut you like the non-Jaws shark from Jaws.

  2. My friend and I actually found a Popple at a Goodwill.

    1. That is awesome! I'm always tempted to pick up any retro 80's stuff I see at Goodwill.

      I would have said in the past that I would probably have turned down a Popple in the wild... but I've bought My Little Ponies for my wife, and a Punky Brewster Doll just within the last year. So... I'm all kids of random.

  3. I think had those fantastic 4 ones at one point or another.

    1. They were pretty memorable for me as a kid... and I WISHED I'd had them back then.

      I'm glad I own them now if only so I don't go to my grave wishing I had but never did.

  4. I always loved the adverts from comics, but being in the UK they were nothing more but strange portals into American culture. For example, I thought a Sega Mega Drive and a Sega Genesis were different consoles for a long time, until I figured out they had too many of the same games to be seperate. Eye-opening, I tell you...

    I was a big reader of the Fantastic Four around this time, and the New Fantastic Four story led in to their return, and Wolverine's subsequent defacing of Ben Grimm. Yes, I have no doubt that these issues are rubbish now, but as a kid... That was incredible.

    1. I totally agree! I think my rose-colored glasses of childhood have been pulled off and my adult-mind just can't appreciate the awesome-ness that my kid-self would have gotten from this.

      I have been getting way more enjoyment from the old ads from my childhood, and that's not such a bad thing.

  5. Wow. You caught me off guard with that caption under the lopsided villain... the best laughs are the unexpected ones ;)
    Your blog delivers, it truly does. I buy so much crap that doesn't do a darn thing for me, just on that one premise, too...that I once wanted one or had one. It may be hoarding, it may just be sentiment...
    And yes, we had Popples.

    1. Ahhh... you are of my people.

      Thank you so much for the kind comment! I was just responding to another comment the other day where I'm still trying to really "develop my voice" as a blogger... and somedays I just feel like I fall sooo flat.

      I also kind of worry that me just getting on here and posting a bunch of crap that I'm buying secondhand would be incredibly boring. And some days I find that when I think it's boring, you guys reading this will think it's boring too. Hence the bizarre picture captions. I have to admit I'm always hoping SOMEONE will find me as hilarious as I do.

      And I was just about to say you looked like Popples people.

    2. I find that bloggers posting interesting crap about relevant issues is incredibly boring.
      It takes all kinds, Mr. Geek.
      I'm tellin you, this blog hits the spot.


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