dellad dellad

Cool Vintage Cartoon Ads

Ahhh… once upon a time! This pretty much sums up my childhood (except my hair was longer). Reader Billie Towser sent in these 1940s-50s magazine ads (below) and I couldn’t resist posting them. The images are great.

Click thumbnails below to see full-size image.

  • Oh my god… Kleenex in color??


  • Russell H

    By a coincidence, HOGAN’S ALLEY #16 (the latest issue) has a lengthy and fascinating article on the licensing of LITTLE LULU in the 1940s, including much about the development of those Kleenex ads. Lulu’s creator, Marge Buell, was a very savvy businessperson, and was arguably the first woman cartoonist to take such an active role in merchandising her creations.

    Here is a link to some “web extras” connected to the article, including letters and more pictures about the ads (and the issue itself can be ordered on the website):

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Yeah, that’s me in the chair too! What happened? :-)

  • Brouhaha

    Tyler, colored Kleenex is nothing. Alcoa once made a complete spectrum of COLORED ALUMINUM FOILS in the early 1960’s. Not to suggest that those were the days or anything. I’m just sayin’.

  • Katella Gate

    Who are these people?

    The characters are obviously placed by popularity. Once you get past the first and second tier of celebrity, who are these guys like the spaceman and the “white native” on the cloud, and all those cowboys at the top?

    And I never knew the Cluckin Chicken was originally Andy Panda’s sidekick. I guess we know what they do with worn out old cartoon characters…

  • I’m guessing that the Dell Comics ad dates from 1948-49, not long after Dr. Fredric Wertham arrived on the scene with his landmark article, “The Comics… Very Funny” (Saturday Review of Literature, May 29, 1948).

    Katella, the cowboys are (l-r): The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Gene Autry, The Cisco Kid, Roy Rogers, and Red Ryder and Little Beaver. As for the “white native” and the spaceman, I’m stumped.

  • Oops! Just noticed Peter Pan, which puts it into the 1950’s, around the time of Wertham’s book, “Seduction of the Innocent.” Either way, the ad is a response to Wertham-generated hysteria.

  • Disney Gremlins?

  • Jody Morgan

    Thank you for sharing these ads; they’re great! I’m particularly intrigued by the Life Savers ad featuring Disney’s Gremlins; can anyone tell for certain whether that was drawn by Walt Kelly?

  • Ryan

    Soes anyone else find it odd that popeye isnt featured in the Dell Comics ad?

  • At the time, Wertham had expressed concerns about the homosexual undertones in Popeye’s relationship with Bluto.

  • This ad appeared in the Saturday Evening Post for January 10, 1953. Dell ran a similar ad in the Post the previous October. I’d seen this ad only in black and white on microfilm, so I’m delighted to see it in color (even though the drawings of the characters are so poor, for reasons I can’t imagine). That’s Tarzan and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet sharing a cloud.

  • Ryan

    s.w.a.c., is that some kind of joke? I never heard anything even remotely like this. Can anyone elaborate?

  • s.w.a.c. may have confused Popeye with Batman. Wertham famously made such claims regarding Robin and the Caped Crusader…