2009-03-15

A Simple Life.

高倉 健 (Ken Takakura) is a 78-year old actor whose best roles in American films include Mr. Baseball, Black Rain & a movie I saw parts of yesterday, The Yakuza with Robert Mitchum. The reason I'm bringing him up right now, is because he's staring at me from the back cover of a 1978 Japanese Superman Comic. I'm going to get back to this comic from time to time, but for now I'll look at the ads. Apparently Ken did several commercials for Simple Life clothing line back in the late 70s (so did Ringo Starr in the early 80s!) as you can see here:













Surprisingly, the adverts in the comic seem to be marketed towards adults, whereas the letter column features a possibly younger crowd. I love the fan art, especially the manga-ized Supergirl & BRACK CANARY.

On the inside cover is a spunky celebrity who just hit a ball and the catchphrase is "まごころナイスキャッチ" (Magokoro Nice Catch), alas I can't decipher the lass's name nor the product!





The next ad is Red Riding Hood approaching her Grannie's house with a bag of goodies.
I thought this ad might be geared towards kids for it seems fairly innocent, until I checked out the website. Panel 1 has a rather lascivious-looking オオカミさん (ookami-san = Mr. Wolf) lying in wait for Little Red. Panel 2 shows 赤頭巾 (aka zukin = Red Hood) knocking on the door of おばあちゃん (Grannie). Next Panel: a rather forlorn looking Red hesitates before she enters. Panel 4-5: once she enters the startled wolf leaps up and runs away yelling, "たいへんだたいへんだ!" (Terrible, Terrible!) He returns to a resting Red and hands her some チャームナップミニ which turn out to be feminine mini-napkins. She really was red!


Next up is a comedian (looks familiar but I can't place him) shilling for Mame-tan Suzuki. I guess the reason for the asbestos suit is because the Hog is on fire!

A couple of nerdy kids practice to be the next J-pop wonder thanks to Sansui.







Apart from that, you then get a dozen glossy colour pages of a Superman story (later, be patient...) and 100 B&W pages on cheap newsprint with NO ads for under 3 bucks! The Japanese had it right back then, Comix are not for kids!

It ends with a Braun ad for an electric razor and I can't think of a good pun to end with...
That's a close shave for you!

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