Sea Monkeys, X-Ray Specs, and the Twisted Secret Behind Vintage Ads from American Comic Books
American comics first came to Glasgow as ships’ ballast. In the sixties it seemed every other corner shop had a stash of these glossy-covered comics displayed on carousels or placed beside their tamer British counterparts like Beano, Topper, or Dandy. With comics like Thor, Hulk, Superman and co. it was difficult to keep collecting consecutive numbers as it was pot luck as to what arrived in the shop every month.
The clues were in the comic-book adverts for X-Ray specks, with which you could see the bones beneath your skin, or what was hidden under a layer of clothing; Sea Monkeys you could train who would entertain for hours; a mini-Polaris Nuclear Submarine with which to patrol local waterways; Aurora movie monster kits; and reinvent yourself like Charles Atlas or Arnold Schwarzenegger so no-one would kick sand in your face.