I’ve recently been getting back into comic books. It’s been a very long time since they’ve been a part of my life—mid 90s probably—and one of the most enjoyable things about me getting back into the hobby is going through my old books. Ok, that seems obvious, right? But it’s not for the reason you might expect.

scan bill tedWhile revisiting the death of Batman, the return of Superman…well, the various Supermen, and dozens of other awesome stories and characters, it’s actually the video game ads scattered throughout the old books that have been the most fun to see again.

It’s really cool seeing these old game ads, and not just for the games that I happen to have had at the time. It’s quite interesting to see an ad for Secret of Mana in an Uncanny X-men book from ’92, and then see a Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back ad for Atari in a Conan The Barbarian Movie Special #1 from the early 80s. Each game ad takes on the look and feel of the books, their art and design, and gives you a sense of what things “looked like” back in the day.  It’s like seeing the faded past.

Scan sewer sharksThere’s a timeless quality to comic books, due to the universes and characters that have been around for, in some cases, seventy-five years. They almost act as time capsules, some sort of “control group”, where these video game ads pop up through the decades. It’s interesting to see, when looked at in a loose chronological order, the evolution of video games through the ads. Being able to remember when Double Dragon came out for the NES, and seeing the ad, brings me back to that time in a way very few things can. I remember reading many of these books for the first time, seeing ads for various games, from NES to Genesis, and desperately wanting all of them.  It’s just an interesting little way to go back in time and relive one’s childhood through an evolution of multiple mediums at once.  Now, time to go read that issue #2 of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind I just picked up!

image source: [shitmoviefest]