Monday, 4 May 2009

Be a happy, prosperous grit salesman

I dropped my son off at Will and Jane's so that he could play with their son as it is Bank Holiday Monday today. Will lent me a book called Big Morning Blues by Gordon Williams which uses the Jack Sheppard story as a linking device. It looks interesting - more of that later.

The advert above is from one of the Thor comics I picked up in Newcastle. The ads in these comics were both baffling and fascinating to me as a child. How I wished I could have sent away for the stuff they featured, but it was priced in dollars and had addresses in far away places. Though I was never tempted to be a Grit salesman. (Grit is a newspaper by the way - in case you were wondering).

It is hard to remember how unreachable America seemed in those days and how dull - crushingly dull - 1970s Britain felt. Comics were an escape for me. Opening those pages in my bedroom was like pulling open a raincloud and bathing in sunshine.

They clearly saw straight through their readership because so many of the ads were targeted at boys like me who fantasised about being more than we were. There are ads for getting taller, more muscular, learning karate and judo - even this one for a fake beard for all occasions. . .

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