Encyclopedias: The Pre-Internet!

September 1963

X-Men #1

Encyclopedias! Back in my day, when we had to look something up, this is where we turned – not that new-fangled internet! While I was growing up, we had a set of World Book encyclopedias – I think they were from 1967 or ’68, so not too far off from when this set was around!

The unique thing about these, though, is that rather than being organized alphabetically, they’re organized by subject. To me, that makes them seem more like textbooks than encyclopedias, so I’m not really sure what the distinction is.

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A few things strike me about this ad:

  1. All that white space at the bottom! Did someone fail to plan this very well?
  2. This is an educational product, yet they unnecessarily/incorrectly capitalize “School” in the blurb on the top right.
  3. In the section describing the different volumes, they start out giving a brief description of each one, and then halfway through it’s like they just said “Screw it – this is too much work!,” and started listing them all with no elaboration whatsoever.
  4. This set claims to free you from the hassle of “having to look in books to solve every problem”… Umm, maybe I’m missing something, but isn’t looking in books to solve your problems exactly the point of this set?
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Back When People Actually REPAIRED Stuff

September 1963

X-Men #1

Wait a minute – what’s this about repairing broken TVs and radios? You don’t repair broken electronics, you just buy new ones!

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Times have certainly changed! I wonder how many people are out there these days who could actually repair a TV – probably not a whole lot anymore!

Supplying the Never-Ending Need for Greeting Cards

December 1972

Jungle Action #2

Here’s yet another ad trying to tempt kids with fantastic prizes in exchange for hocking stuff to their friends and family.

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The thing that strikes me the most about this is the over-contoured faces of the kids – really, artist, I think you’ve got plenty of detail there!

16 Bits in an 8-Bit World

December 1989

Wonder Woman #37

Remember the TurboGrafx? More than likely, you don’t. But maybe you should! The TurboGrafx was a 16-bit game system on the market back when the 8-bit Nintendo was the hottest system out there. It had significantly better graphics, sound, processing, and just about everything else.

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So then what was it missing? Mario.

Yep, even with superior hardware, they only had a handful of games compared to the Nintendo, and no third-party support at all.

Fun fact – this was actually the first system to have an add-on CD component – in 1989!! The TurboGrafx was ahead of its time for hardware, and behind the times on games, leading to its demise.