Friday, October 3, 2014

Top 5 Fridays: Top 5 Gimmicks In DC Comics History

Who doesn't love a good gimmick every now and then?  The problem is there really are quite few "good" gimmicks out there, but that doesn't matter because even the bad ones have their own charm that allows us to nudge our friend and point and laugh at the hilarity of it all.  As most of you comic book fans are aware, the 90's were rife with gimmicks and even though it almost killed our beloved industry, it seems we always have fond memories when talking about the days of pop up and hologram covers.  It's simple nostalgia that people who weren't there will never understand and since we're a bunch of snobs for the most part, we like to lord it over those people and get a brief sense of pride for merely being born in the right decade.  Yeah I know, I'm making us sound awful, but I know what I am and I won't be ashamed of it anymore.  I'm a awful fanboy jerk and it's okay.  Probably not and I'm losing my point here.  Anyway let's look at some of my favorite gimmicks that DC has used over the years to try and get me and others like me to buy more comics.  I say try and we all know those bastards succeeded.  Let's check it out.

#5.  Harley's Rub and Smell

There isn't really an order for worst to best with this list, but I put this one as #5 because I have mixed feelings about it.  You see with Harley's Annual coming up we get the age old gimmick of Scratch N' Sniff, but I guess that's a trademarked term so DC's going with Rub and Smell, which makes sense because it's funny and since it's a Harley book it's out of the norm and works.  But here's the thing that bothers me, the smells include leather, suntan lotion, pizza......... and cannabis.  Now I'm no prude or anything, but one of the greatest things in my life as a child and obviously still today are comics and I have to assume that kids today still enjoy their picture stories, so does marijuana really have a place in a medium that's so easily accessed by children?  God I sound like Nancy Reagan and I really didn't want that.  I know that America is becoming very cavalier with their stance on marijuana, but I just don't think this is appropriate even for a book that's aimed more for adults.  Okay I'll get off my soapbox now and tell you that for the international release of the book the pot will be replaced with the smell of grass clippings, as to avoid all the trouble with drug sniffing dogs.  It's the new millennium people and now gimmicks have become drugs, hell wait another fifty years and it just might include it with the sale.

#4.  Die Cut Covers

I don't know about you but when Death of The Family was going on last year and I saw these die cut covers in my comic shop, I might have let loose a small squeal.  I'm not proud of it and I expect all of you to keep that to yourself.  I'm sure you can understand when looking at how cool this cover is and if you think back to when you first saw these covers every week as the story unfolded.  In staying with my apparent full disclosure of my embarrassing traits, I'll also let you know that I was prone to opening these covers, putting it in front of my face and staring in the mirror in an almost Buffalo Bill from the Silence of The Lambs impersonation........... sans the tuck.   Maybe I've told you too much, but I just really enjoyed these covers when they came out and I don't know if anyone bought these books purely do to the die cut cover gimmick, but it certainly made the book feel like the event it was.  I'm going back to reread this because it's just stirred up a bunch of fond memories...... again sans tuck.

#3.  3-D Covers

Yeah we got all fancy with last year's September event, Villains month and boy was it hard keeping these 3-D covers in stock at my buddy's comic shop.  It was a really fun gimmick and I'm sure that it didn't hurt making them all about people's favorite characters in comics.......  You know the villains.  I myself bought a a 3-D cover of each and a regular cover, because obviously I'm a sucker.  But as much fun as it might have been last year, I think that fans got a little tired of the concept when it came to this years event; Futures End.  Is it that we just don't like heroes as much?  Are we that jaded or is because we had that whole "Been there done that" attitude towards shelling out an extra buck to get the same story?  Either way if the September events continue each year I think that DC is going to have to come up with another gimmick because even looking at the theater scene, 3-D's getting a little old.  Plus my one eye is almost dead and I don't see 3-D all that well anyway.  You guys know too much about me, knock it off.

#2.  Glow In The Dark Covers

Now in the 90's I was a teenager with the mind of a nine year old and you know I loved me some glow in the dark covers.  Besides for Marvel's hologram covers, this was the shit you wanted when it came to gimmicky covers.  Now I show these two to you because these were the ones that I personally had as a kid before I got rid of them because I thought it was maybe time I started trying to get laid.  Yeah, yeah, it's the classic tale I know, but it's the truth for a lot of us fanboys out there and possibly fan girls, I'm sorry I don't have the experience to explain on your behalf.  It was a cool idea that grabbed the child in all of us (not in a creepy way) and pulled it to the forefront as we stared at these covers and drooled.  Now obviously like our waning desire for 3-D covers, this wouldn't work today, but if you were there when it happened you'll remember just handing the clerk behind the counter assorted dollar bills with that blank stare in your eye as you daydreamed about taking it home and making it real dark.  Good times.

#1.  The Superman Poly Bag

Like most things in life, you needed to be there to understand, but whether you've watched documentaries, scoured Youtube for clips or actually remember the news reports and the lines to shops, you can't deny the impact that the Death of Superman had on all of us.  The black poly bag was something to covet at the time of it's release.  It gave us the demise of the world's greatest superhero........... Plus a lot of fun things too.  We got a armband that we could wear to commemorate our fallen hero and then get completely ridiculed for it............  I hope all you young fanboys and fangirls know how good you have it today.  God I sound old.  We got a poster to keep to ourselves as to not get ridiculed, stamps because people still used them back then, I'm looking at you DC and a Daily Planet Obituary that made the whole thing feel real and disturbing.  It was really quite the event and as most of you know it almost killed comics in general, or at least comic book collecting as a means of investment.  This is #1 because it really had an impact on me as a kid and even though you can still find these hanging in comic book shops across the country, it was a great gimmick and will never be rivaled.................. in it's gimmickry.   As for the white poly bag, yeah no one really cared.

That's it for this week's Top 5 Fridays, and I hope you saw a gimmick that totally worked on you and whether you're cursing it now or having fond memories, it seems that true gimmicks are a thing of the past and will never be the spectacle they once were......... Except for marijuana for some reason.  So have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you in seven.  Boosh!

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