Life Magazine Comics Circa 1951

By | Friday, June 18, 2010 Leave a Comment
So I caught mention today of an article in the May 21, 1951 of Life entitled "Through the Interstellar Looking Glass" and how it presented a fair and accurate view of science fiction fans. I knew Google had posted all of those old issues online, so I went off in search of that issue. Sure enough, I found the article quickly and easily. And a lot more.

The issue features a number of ads, to no surprise, but I was immediately struck by how many of them used comics outright or relied on comic imagery to make their point. I've cobbled together a small selection for you...

I was particularly struck by the clever "panel" layout in the Pennzoil ad, and how that story is told with the text running as a corollary to it, not as part of the actual narrative.

I'll also note that the kid sister in the Colgate had is holding a Dell comic book.

What I additionally found interesting was the last page of the issue, which featured a study in child psychology by way of a series of photographs. Taken as a series, they clearly show a young boy becoming increasingly bored and disinterested in a feature that the other children around him remain engrossed in. Not a deliberate comic, I don't think, but presenting the pictures in a deliberate sequence like this makes it one.

In fact, all the comics in the magazine distracted me from reading the original article I had looked up the issue for in the first place!
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