"In the following pages, you will learn of the exciting adventures of two typical American youngsters, TEE and VEE CROSLEY in "Television-Land". We hope you will enjoy them but only as a prelude to the even more exciting and fascinating adventures you will enjoy when you have Crosley Television and Crosley Kitchen Appliances."
Indeed - what red-blooded American youngster could resist that pitch? Thus begins today's comic book excavation into a particularly dark and strange corner of 'corporate' comics, usually free magazines designed to instruct or sell products or both. This book is a really messed-up example of this type of advertising and goes deeper in the confidence in its own power of persuasion than anyone who reads it now will believe. The pitch within is not just HARD sell - it goes many an extra mile to hammer its points home over and over in the context of a cute funny animal kiddie comic book world populated with an excess of appliances and characters obsessed with gadgets and features of same.
Herein is a confusing mixture - were the children this was apparently aimed at really expected to be interested in the relentless intrusions of Crosley products for their post-war suburban home? Enough that they would nag Mom and Pop about said merchandise, using the comic book as a spiced-up candy-coated catalog / script to convince them and soften them up to the virtues of all things CROSLEY? It is indeed a very sick and desperate ploy, and one which I doubt really worked very well. On the plus side, though, the art and package itself is professional and attractive, clearly by a studio that already knew how to produce slick kiddie comics; and the interactive 'game / toy' feature pages are particularly well-done and look like they would be a lot of fun to actually cut out and assemble and play with.
Come along with Tee and Vee, our brother and sister protagonists, as they explore the excitement (and not in a dream sequence, either!) of the magical world built by Crosley. It's all right after the jump!
They start off with a typical gambit - work on the child's envy for a neighbor's TV, which works very well on their overly chipper parents! This will help Dad to deal with those sleepless nights when he finds himself back on the WWII battlefield doing and seeing unspeakable things.
I SO wanted the delivery man (above, left) to say his line to the wife instead of the husband, but the writer wisely avoided that trap!
Now, in this first adventure it is explained away as a dream, but in the next chapter no such explanation is used - the kids just start tripping hard on their own in Crosley-Land. Below is the first of the feature pages that go in between the 'story' chapters.
Appropriate - we start with a cowboy program, and then move on to a puppet show; your basic 1950s kiddie TV staples...
Nice sequence - I like how the cloud that holds Puppetland is itself held up by strings! And the concept of puppets making puppets, stripping logs and using a lathe, very bizarre and fun!
From Puppetland we head into outer space, and another kid-friendly genre...
That's a pretty nifty two-way wrist phone! I like the design.
Ahhh - you were wondering when we'd get back to the business of selling Crosley-?
Now, truly - what children would get excited, in ANY era, over a garbage disposal unit? Here the narrative really gets odd. These are obviously not normal kids. These are aliens. Or perhaps the kids were replaced at some point by Crosley-built lifelike androids? In any case - it just gets weirder from here on...
Ahhh, So their Mom does wake them up at the end...And they were sleeping six inches away from the darned set...it figures.
And there you have it - your new ugly white enameled steel kitchen, courtesy of the Avco Manufacturing Corporation. Whew! Can you believe how many times that they squeezed Crosley hype into the 'narrative'? Quite a piece of work.
And as the Old Woman from the Shoe said, "...I know every other mother of children would like to have a surprise like it..." That's right kids - no subtle hints here, just get on your parents backs right away and sell 'em on Crosley!" Yick -! What a world!
Join us here at the BOTB Comic Supplement again in two weeks for more bizarre comic book finds!
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