Comics used to be full of ads for jobs that kids could do to make a little cash. Like learning electronics or selling subscriptions to something called Grit. But I think the ad below is unique in that I don’t remember ever seeing another ad urging kids to become local comic dealers before I stumbled across this 1974 gem in the Marvel Milestone Edition of The Incredible Hulk #181 (click for a closer look):
The basic idea is to get kids to buy a dozen comics for $2 and then sell them at cover price to their friends and family. If they sold them all at a quarter a piece, they’d make a whole buck. Having never heard of this, I can’t imagine it got a great response or inspired a generation of fans to get into the comics retailing business. But this was around the time the direct market was being formed. I wonder if Marvel thought they’d get a better deal from kids than from stores, which I’m sure got a greater discount than one third.
On another note, I always liked the Marvel Milestone Edition comics, which were reprints of a single comic that included all the original ads, letter cols, Bullpen pages, etc. The first ones came out in 1991 and were reprints of X-Men #1 (the 1963 version) and Giant-Size X-Men #1, both in honor of the release of X-Men #1 (the 1991 version). When they arrived in the shop, I was a bit disappointed these were printed on modern, glossy paper as I had imagined them being true reproductions of some kind on old-fashioned newsprint. But the owner of the store I frequented at the time said I was in the minority, and he had sold far more than he expected to sell because fans liked the slick production values.
Anyway, I wonder why Marvel doesn’t consider a special format for collectors, maybe a box set of fairly accurate reproductions of the original periodical comics on vintage style paper, perhaps oversize to set them apart from the originals. I recall seeing this idea done for some German-language reprints that made it over to Meltdown Comics a number of years back. I would be among the fans who would dig such an idea, should Marvel decide to reprint its classic comics in yet another format.