"Hi Folks - Uncle Bernie wants all the children (and grown-ups too) to be happy! In this latest Novelty Mart catalog you will find fun galore and new excitement for the entire family, year-round entertainment and delights for all the children -- handy useful novelties to fascinate the grown-ups.
You will be thrilled with the magnificent assortment of exciting action toys, novelties, and housewares. You will be delighted with their fine quality and workmanship. You will be absolutely amazed at their rock bottom prices --- sensationally low priced because we're the largest mail order firm of its kind in the country. So just turn these pages for a remarkable PARADE OF VALUES. And feel perfectly safe in ordering any of them. Remember! Every item you choose has Novelty Mart's full unconditional guarantee..."
------ Uncle Bernie ------
Thus goes the pitch from Bernie himself opening up his 1953 catalog, issued from their regular address of 59 East Eighth Street, New York 3, NY. In my last post here at the Beware of the Blog Comic Supplement we briefly examined Uncle Bernie's mail order outfit and its possible tangential relationship to Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention which then dovetails into comic book ads in general and some other areas of folk Americana / arcana / ephemera that bubble and boil just beneath the surface of wide public consciousness. The comic book publishing business could be sketchy enough, but the folks that advertised in pulp magazines, digests and comics could run the gamut of flim-flammery. All harmless and good fun for the family, usually cheap, but sometimes with price-tags quite high for their day. Old junk that gives you a wistful feeling when you realize it was probably better manufactured junk in its day than one could find now.
Welcome to the comic book sideshow, my friends. Right this way - join me after the jump!