50 cent finds: Inexplicable

Ponytail #17 (Charlton, 1970) was a fun 50-cent find at the recent Friends of the Lawrence Public Library book sale. I hadn’t heard of it before, but Lee Holley‘s Ketcham-esque artwork looked like fun and crisp cartooning worth picking up. Turns out Holley had actually been an early Ketcham ghost (doing the Sunday strips), eventually graduating into “Ponytail”, his own feature that ran daily (eventually including Sundays)  from 1960-1989. During that time he (and/or his own ghost artists) also produced some comic books, published by both Dell and Charlton.

As entertaining as the comic was (and it was a fun little comic, nicely drawn with a number of short stories), I also got a kick out of the advertisements, so different from those of the boy-centric comics I grew up with. For instance, this comic had ads for hairpieces, brow liners, and nail care items that rarely shared space with the “moon monsters” and Charles Atlas ads I remembered.

But then there was also this ad, placed in a wholesome kids comic that readers of all ages would have known from their Sunday funnies. Its inclusion is, just, well… inexplicable:

3 thoughts on “50 cent finds: Inexplicable

  1. Ponytail sounds like one of those unusual but fun comics that were so common in the 60s and 70s, and for which there has really been no replacement since the grim-and-gritty era of the 90s and later.

    The doll ad is truly bizzare. This will be a bit risque, but it reminds me of the time when I was working for a McDonald’s franchisee, and for the owners birthday a bunch of us bought him a similar doll of an X-rated nature and dressed it in a McDonald’s uniform. Given that he owned the franchise and was a class-A jerk, the jokes just wrote themselves. I doubt that’s what this doll was – after all it suggests giving it to your daughter so she’ll have the biggest doll in town. But still, something just isn’t quite right about it. The $9.95 price – which would have bought 66 new comics at the time – would be roughtly comparable to about $197 today. I’m picturing a large batch of the “adult” dolls that were made defectively wholesome (or hole-less – [groan – bad pun, I know]) and the dealer had to find a way to recoup at least some of the money by finding or creating a market for the dolls. Given how long ago it was, we may never know the true story.


    1. Your thought that these might have been some sort of factory rejects has just restored my faith in humanity, Ivan! I guess I’ve been watching too much SVU lately…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.