A few days ago, I posted about an old Superman ad I’d found; it was a fairly harmless post, I thought, looking at a fairly harmless old advert.
One reader, however, took exception to that and posted a comment which just emphasised why I use comment moderation these days:
As you can see, the point the commenter was trying to make was that Superman sucks. The image above, though, was just the snippet I could grab of what was on screen; if I scrolled down, there was a lot more. A lot more:
That’s my screen zoomed out to 50%, the only way I could get his entire post to display without needing to scroll.
But you know what, Mr firstname.lastname@example.org?
You can become a Star Warrior for just “Ten 1977 US Earth dollars” and get the answer to the question of whether Obi-Wan Kenobi will “return as promised”
Well, they were new in 1995, anyhow.
Ah, the early days of the internet when it was still referred to as “the Information Superhighway” and was a world where people got together to discuss things they liked, well before the days of people getting together to call each other names even if they liked the same thing, and threaten rape and death to those who didn’t like the same thing. (Twitter, I’m looking at you.)
DC Online was run through America Online (remember that?) and was set up as a series of chatrooms where fans and DC staff could talk with each other:
Here we are, twenty years on from this and I can’t help look at that and think “Aww, how cute!”
And look, for the newbies (was that even a word in ’95?) they produced a handy guide to “some computer shorthand symbols that will help you understand what some of the AOL cyberjocks are chatting about:”
While they clearly wanted people to log on and join in – remember, all you need is “a computer (IBM compatible or Macintosh, either one)” – reading that ad I can’t help but get the sense of older guys trying to appeal to a younger audience by using buzzwords like “cyberjock” and “surfing the waves” and being “buzzed about this leap” but instead just coming across as . . . well . . . older guys trying to sound young.
And it’s not like they did that before, is it?
When he can’t get hold of his favourite DC Comics titles?
He just heads over to see Carol Fein at DC, who tells him to subscribe to save himself the disappointment of his “favorite newsstand” selling out.
Reading this, I had to wonder – why don’t DC just give him the titles? He’s the most iconic character they have, the one that all other super-heroes spring from, and yet they force him to buy – potentially – the same titles that he’s actually appearing in! And sure, getting 38% off the price is a much better deal than a five minute pre-paid phone card, but come on, DC, this is Superman. Are you really going to make him pay for those comics?
Man . . . and Alan Moore thought he was treated poorly.
By the way, in the very next issue of Justice League of America after the one I’d found the above ad in, contained a similar ad with Batman which I was going to feature . . . and then found that snell over at Slay, Monstrobot had beaten me to it . . . by about six years . . .