Eagle Comic (4)

In Eagle Comic, the sponsored stories and advertisers’ contributions were  always very interesting.  Walls Ice Cream had their ordinary run-of-the-mill  adverts:

But they also had “Tommy Walls- the Wonder Boy”. The first stirrings of product placement. The perfect planting of a brand name in young, impressionable minds. I think that lots of the young readers actually thought that this story was part of the comic itself. I know I did:


The last one says “WHAT A WIZARD DESIGN” which is countered by “BUT LOOK

Clearly something has gone drastically wrong, but if you eat lots and lots and lots of Walls ice cream, you’ll be able to save the day:

It must take sacks and sacks of sugar consumed to have the strength to hold the wing and the fuselage of a jet airliner together as it flies to an airport and makes a normal landing. Where was Tommy Walls when the De Havilland Comet was crashing all over Europe?

Cadbury’s came a close second with their “Cadbury’s Corner Quiz”. Here’s the first question:And Question 2:And Question 3:

And the final question:

And, of course, there were the ordinary quarter page adverts. Television told our mothers not to forget the Rowntrees Fruit Gums. Only listen to this irritating tune if you have always wanted your brain reformatted :

As well as the commercial links between our mothers and Rowntrees Fruit Gums, ‘Eagle’ Comic also emphasised the point with a comic strip starring “Ronnie the Gumster” :


But what’s a “Gumster” ? Something you find in a Forrest? Like Forrest Gumster.



Filed under Aviation, Film & TV, History, Literature, Personal, Science, Writing

17 responses to “Eagle Comic (4)

  1. Another great nostalgic post, John. Just think, QEI could have saved us from the London smog

    • Thank you, Derrick. You’re right about Good Queen Bess. I just love these quirky facts which people find, and hopefully, don’t just make up on the spot!

  2. If I ate lots and lots of Walls, I wouldn’t fit in front of the computer!!
    Great post, John. I love seeing these trips back in time with you.

  3. More great memories. Thanks.

    • Glad you enjoyed them. I adore the old comics with their beautiful art work, their quirky old advertisements and that air of innocence that seems to permeate them.

      • I never really took a great deal of notice of the adverts I have to say, I only really noticed them when I bought the retro Eagle Annual that was published about ten years ago. I remember the adverts in the US Marvel comics and always wanted the 100 piece Civil war set of soldiers but I had no idea how to order them and thought that a ZIP code was something secret!

  4. So product placement is not a new thing. As a child I’m never really considered the subliminal advertising I was being subjected too. Maybe my naivety!

    • I don’t think anybody thought in such subtle terms back then. We were all very naïve and innocent in those days.
      On the other hand, subliminal advertising may quite simply have had very little impact. Monty Python used to flash things on screen subliminally but I don’t think I ever took much notice. And as for Wall’s adverts disguised as stories, we always used to buy the best combination of cheapest and biggest.

      • I think you’re right John, naivety and innocence were the words for time, a lot passed over my head certainly. I recall Monty python’s subliminal flashing and even though I use to watch for it, I can’t remember ever actually catching one!

  5. Chris Waller

    Reading this makes me sharply aware of just how much of the content of the Eagle I had forgotten, and I have always thought of myself as having a good memory. Is this just a consequence of age (surely not!) or does our memory edit itself? I remember only Dan Dare (and the Mekon) and the cutaway drawings. The advertising clearly failed in its aim of capturing my attention.

    • I think that there is an awful lot that we don’t remember. There are whole years at school where I can’t remember the Form Teacher, the room number, hardly anything. And it isn’t old age, because I’ve been trying since my early fifties for those particular details.
      At the moment, my memory chase is for the comic which had a Don Lawrence drawn comic strip that told the story of William, Harold and 1066 etc. When I think about it, all I can see is a brick wall. Perhaps it appeared in Builders’ Monthly?

      • Chris Waller

        Might it have been in ‘Look and Learn’? I also can remember precious little of the years I spent at school. I now have only a vague mental montage of my time at school, a patchwork of half-remembered events. I am relieved to hear that it’s the same for you. I feared I was in the early stages of senile decay.

  6. No John. I don’t remember any of that. We lived a quiet life out in the bush and miles from town. But I’m sure I would have liked the Eagle Comic if I’d had the chance.

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