Are Half-Page Ads Half-Baked Ideas?

“Dear Doc Curmudgeon” is a column by Clint McElroy made up of completely fabricated responses to mostly fabricated questions. But you knew that due to your discerning nature and brilliant mind which would never fall for a columnist trying to butter you up…unless you’re into that.

Dear Doc Curmudgeon,

My sources tell me that this week, DC Comics will be featuring half page ads, sharing those pages with continuity. Great idea! Are you ready, skee-daddy?


“Mad Money” Host, Jim Cramer

I think it’s a ginormous testament to the importance of this column that our fake e-mailers are posing as celebrities as big as Jim Cramer, so I will happily give my opinion.

I do think it will have an impact. Any story-based art form relies on audience involvement. Samuel Taylor Coleridge called it “Willing Suspension of Disbelief”. That’s when an audience member (reader, consumer, etc.) wants so much to be part of the story they are reading or consuming or etcetera-ing, that they allow themselves to be pulled into that story. Look at me, Mr. Fancy-Pants laying a little S.T.C. up side o’ your head!

It’s why some playwrights stipulate that their works have to be done with no intermission. Intermission is a break and you have to work that much harder to get them back into your “reality” in the next act.

It’s the same reason really smart comic book creators carefully lay things out so something compelling happens in the last panel of a page, or they start a caption in the last panel…

…And continue it in the first panel of the next page.

Whaddaya know? It really does work.

Remember, print ads are designed to attract your attention. It’s their entire reason for being. You think publishers are making buttloads of moolah off the cover price? Negatory, good buddy. They gotta sell those ads.

So, I think it is going to make the reader’s job a little bit harder, therefore making the job of writers and artists a little bit harder. But we in the four-color world are a resilient bunch.

No, I have bigger fears than intrusiveness when it comes to ads in comics. As a matter of fact, I have ten of them. Listed here in a ten-point list I like to call:

“Doc’s Top Ten List of Things He Fears When It Comes To Ads in Comics”

Number Ten: The other member of 98 Degrees are going to want their own ads


Number Nine: There will be mass confusion due to all those people who can’t tell the difference between Howard the Duck and the AFLAC Duck (Hint: AFLAC Duck is Occasionally funny)

Number Eight: In today’s Economy, a trunk full of Army Men would cost thousands of dollars!


Number Seven: The mind boggles at the idea of a Cialis ad with Clark Kent and Lois Lane in side-by-side bathtubs, holding hands, on a cliff, over-looking the ocean.

Number Six: The comeback of those hideous Hostess Ads. We can’t survive the return of the Phoomie Goonies


Number Five: That moment when the CW buys ads for Arrow and the Flash, to run in books featuring Hawkeye and Quicksilver. Mass Hysteria!

Number Four: Open revolt when Marvel pulls the ultimate retrofit, by revealing that Black Widow’s new secret Identity is Flo.


Number Three: “Hi. I’m Rob Lowe.” “And I’m Comic-Con Attendee-Bending-Over-A-Four-For-A-Dollar Box Showing Way Too Much Butt-Crack Rob Lowe”

Number Two- Looking at an ad for Farmers Insurance, unable to figure out why J. Jonah Jameson shaved off his moustache.


And Number One: Having to repeat my Junior High Heartbreak of finding out the hard way, that X-Ray Specs don’t really work


If you loved what you just read, leave a comment, or better yet, send a message to [email protected]. If you didn’t like it, send a message to mxyzptlk@kltpzyxm. Or just follow him on Twitter @doccurm.

Clint McElroy
Clint McElroy

Clint McElroy is a/an (ADJECTIVE) writer with a God-given gift for (NOUN). His favorite activities include (ACTIVE VERB), (ACTIVE VERB), and twisting the heads off of (PLURAL NOUN). He is also rumored to possess an impressive (NOUN).

Articles: 139