Instant Life? Is That for All the Losers Out There?

September 1963

X-Men #1

This ad actually turned out to be more educational for me than I was expecting! With the headline “INSTANT LIVE SEA ANIMALS” I initially assumed it was some generic knockoff of Sea-Monkeys… but then I noticed that it actually used the term “sea-monkeys” in the description. So that left me wondering – if these are genuine Sea-Monkeys, then why is the term only mentioned once in the text rather than in the headline and repeatedly throughout the ad?


Upon doing a little research, I discovered that these creatures weren’t officially rebranded as Sea-Monkeys until 1962, and before that, they were known as “Instant Life.” Although this ad was printed in 1963, maybe it just hadn’t been updated yet – at least, that’s my best guess.

And if you’d like to learn more about the fascinating history of Sea-Monkeys, check out this article!



Battle of the Sea-Monkeys

I’m attempting to get back into the swing of things and start posting on my regular schedule again. So here’s a semi-post to get things started – not actually a comic book ad, but a fascinating article about the comic book ad mainstay, Sea-Monkeys, and what has happened to the creator’s widow in recent years. Thanks, Lura, for sharing this with me!

The Battle Over the Sea-Monkey Fortune

Monkey Sea, Monkey Do! (Or Not…)

April 1980 (1978)

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century #7

You knew it had to happen sooner or later, so here they are – Sea-Monkeys! (As a professional grammar nerd, I just want to state that I have no idea why that’s hyphenated, but since that’s how it is in the ad, that’s what I’m going with.) If you asked any random smattering of people to name a product advertised in classic comics, Sea-Monkeys would undoubtedly be the #1 answer! (Hey, are you thinking what I’m thinking? Comic book-themed Family Feud! Or better yet, comic book AD-themed Family Feud! Quick, someone get Richard Dawson on the phone! Wait, he did? In 2012? Oh, nevermind, I guess…)

Just look at how happy and friendly they are! But wait a minute – “Caricatures shown not intended to represent Artemia”?? I wonder just how much disappointment had to happen before they finally added that disclaimer.


Even though this was published in 1980, you’ll notice that the copyright on this ad is from 1978 – I guess a classic never goes out of style!