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Tag Archives: Josie and the Pussy Cats

The Saturday Comics: Hostess Ads

19 Nov

November 19, 2011

There is something inherently wrong with a Hostess Fruit Pie. It isn’t a pie, it is a small square mass-produced pastry-like substance. It contains a bright unnaturally colored filling that in no way mimics any color found in nature and, no matter what it may be made out of, bears little to no resemblance to fruit. Instinctively we should avoid it at all costs. But we don’t. Whatever primitive part of our brains still exists to warn us of danger has been overcome by the simple fact that Hostess Fruit Pies taste so damn good.

When I was in my kiddy heyday of reading comic books (anywhere from age 8 to 38, really, but lets stick with the 1970’s) Hostess produced some of the best and most fondly remembered comic book ads of all time. They were full-page ads that ran in every comic from every publisher. They were comics within the comic, a full-page adventure of a major comic book star which would invariably end with a bad guy getting caught because when it came down it, robbing the bank of millions be damned, the money was not as attractive as a single fruit pie.

From the web:

From 1975 until 1982, Hostess ran an advertisement campaign in American comic books. These advertisements featured heroes from DC Comics and Marvel Comics like Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man in one-page adventures each resolved with Hostess products. For example, in the original ad, after being unable to subdue a mummy, Batman pacifies him by giving the mummy Twinkies. Other ads would have the protagonist outwitting the antagonist with the pastries, such as the Hulk preparing to strangle a trio of revolutionaries, but a little boy says that is too violent and instead recommends giving them Hostess Fruit Pies, or Batman outwitting a gourmet villain who is kidnapping chefs by paying a ransom in Hostess Cupcakes instead of money, which causes the villains to voluntarily surrender. Subsequent ads included myriad characters from various publishing houses including Casper the Friendly Ghost, Richie Rich, and various members of the Archie Comics gang as well as Gold Key and Whitman comics licensed characters such as Tweety and Sylvester and The Road Runner. The Archie Comics character Josie appeared in over 25 ads, frequently as a back-cover to many issues in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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