Monday, February 27, 2006

Join me in making fun of this stupid ad, won't you?

This ad is dumb as hell.

Remember this? (click to enlarge) It ran on the back of Marvel comics in 1987, and featured "humungous rock star of the universe" Meatloaf* trying to raise support for the Special Olympics with the help of the Marvel heroes... and YOU!

I don't know where to start. The art? As good a place as any. Check out the first panel: Meatloaf is rocking out like a Bat out of Hell and either a) crying or b) sweating like a pigman. Here's a tip, Meatloaf: stay cool at concerts by not dressing in turtlenecks and overcoats. And I'm no musician, but look how he's holding his guitar. Can you really play a guitar like that, or is that just a masturbation sight gag that the artist snuck in under the radar?

Plus, look at Meatloaf's dialogue in the first panel: "Special Olympians are the real heroes, etc" Clearly this is a thought balloon, meaning that Meatloaf is thinking this dialogue as he is jamming out to "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." It seems more likely that Meatloaf would be thinking about that bucket of fried chicken he's going to inhale after his gig, but let's not quibble. The point is, Meatloaf is thinking the dialogue, meaning nobody can hear him.

But in the next panel, he cries out: "But who's going to help me?" Help him do what? Wouldn't Meatloaf's question seem bizarrely out of context? Am I overthinking this?

OK, then the Marvel heroes and a bunch of kids arrive, because if there's one thing young kids dig on, it's the sweaty, passionate Broadway rock of Meatloaf. Sign these kids and superheroes up: they're going to help Meatloaf raise some $$$ for the Special Olympics! Yeah, like the gray Hulk gives a shit about the Special Olympics. If I were Iron Man, I'd just invent another death ray, sell it to Syria, and give the blood money to Meatloaf. Problem solved.

I'm done. Thanks for playing.

Next: Kraven's Last Hunt. Finally.

*I actually kind of like Meatloaf, I'll admit it. You ever see the trucker movie Black Dog, with Patrick Swayze? That movie fucking RULED. Meatloaf was in that.


Delance said...

Dammit, I remmeber that. I saw those... on some Transformers magazines I used to buy. Importend, mind you, I'm from Brazil. Our comic books used to be half the size of the american counterparts. Really, really small. But hey, what do you know.

Dan Coyle said...

I feel obligated to like Black Dog because IIRC Patrick Swayze fell off a truck during a stunt and broke both his legs. FUCKOWWWWWW!!!

I think Meatloaf was also drinking heavily during the era in which this ad was produced.

David said...

Man, what a flashback - I remember that on pretty much everything from the late 80's.

N.B. you can play guitar with your thumb on the far side of the neck, so that's not the problem - the problem with panel one is that the body of the guitar would have had to be subsumed inside meatloaf's giganticness, because guitars don't bend.

(also, a two-finger chord that high on the neck is likely to sound like total dog squat, but hey, who am I to rip on the Humongous Rock Star of the Universe himself?)

The funny thing is that I saw those ads before I had ever heard of Meatloaf the singer (I was sheltered. so sue me), so I thought he was some made-up Marvel creation, like "Dazzler does (too many) drive-ins" or something.

Scott said...

I like the way one or the other of his arms seems to appear and disappear randomly. Also, other than being sweaty and long-haired, it really looks nothing like Mr. Loaf.

Another opinion on this ad, from a few weeks back.

David Campbell said...

Oh, man, I feel like a turd now. Way to ride on Dr. Scott's coat tails...

philip said...

Leaving aside the physics-defying axe work and his "suburban kid trying to look menacing at the mall" wardrobe and his stopping of a concert that people paid at least $20 (1980s money) to see, when Mr. Loaf rails at the universe and is answered by Earth's mightiest mortals (or some such) and their pre-adolescent wards (?) the only thing he can think to ask them is to fill out a damn coupon? I did my fair share of narcotics in the '80s -- up to and including recreational consumption of cough syrup -- but nothing can help me make sense of this clusterfuck.


Alex said...

I like how all the other heroes are all smiley and up for helping out the special olympics, but Wolverine is just standing there like he's been guilt-tripped into doing the ad, on account of all the disabled kids going,
"please do it, Wolvey, you're my favourite. I wish I could heal like you *cough* "
and he agreed because he didn't want to look like a dick in front of the others, but deep down you can tell he's thinking "meh, screw 'em."

David C said...

" I thought he was some made-up Marvel creation...."

Which reminded me of *Nightcat*, a "genuine" made-up Marvel creation, who was also a real-life pop singer? Whatever happened with that? (I'm guessing not terribly much....)

Anonymous said...

I like how all the other heroes are all smiley and up for helping out the special olympics, but Wolverine is just standing there like he's been guilt-tripped into doing the ad, on account of all the disabled kids going,
"please do it, Wolvey, you're my favourite. I wish I could heal like you *cough* "
and he agreed because he didn't want to look like a dick in front of the others, but deep down you can tell he's thinking "meh, screw 'em."

That's hillarious! The ad was hillarious. Dave's post was hillarious!

Angry Android said...

don';t forget Meatloaf was in as Bob, the guy with bitch tits.

Tim Easy said...

Great post, Dave. Ice T will kick out a special jam for you in a minute, but first... it's probably worth mentioning that Meatloaf was (and still is?) a singer, but to my knowledge the dude was never a guitarist. Why he's playing guitar in this silly-ass full-page Special Olympics thing is really weird, but I digress.
Kick it, Iceberg!
"I'm loud and proud, well-endowed, with a big beat!"

Anonymous said...

I'm commenting solely to let everyone know that my word verification is "fatfbj"

The jokes just write themselves, don't they?

zailo said...

"I'll do anything for love...
or the Special Olympics."

I always thought that a large rocker would try to downplay his size not pick a name like "Meatloaf". Why not just rock out with "Backbacon"?

Word Verification "puiniw" which I believe is esperanto for "small" or "tiny"

Craigery said...

that ad was on every friggin' comic book Marvel put out that year, practically. every panel is burned into my mind.

those panels, and the Madballs ad.

Evan Waters said...

I particularly like how no attempt was made to make the character actually resemble Meatloaf apart from being pudgy.

Frankly, I'm just disappointed that the situation isn't resolved with Hostess Fruit Pies.

Scott said...

This album goes for a surprising amount on eBay, probably because only about 7 were made...

Sleestak said...

Eh, I just throw my vhs copy of "Roadie" in the VCR and rock out

Peter MacDonald said...

Is it just me, or is Mr. Loaf giving the finger in the first panel?

Oldsmoblogger said...

Roadie, mentioned by an actual Sleestak. How cool is that? This here Internet thing just might catch on....

"adpqelw", which was a short-lived alternate keyboard layout in 1892. QWERTY won, because, I mean, come on...adpqelw?

Anonymous said...

re: what dan coyle said...did the heavy drinking start right after they started running this ad? If so, I'd completely understand.

Adam Reck said...

This comic is as historically important as the Spider-Man, Power-Man and Storm anti-drug comics handed out in elementary schools. Belongs in the halls of history next to that scrawny kid getting kicked in the face with sand, or ordering Sea Monkeys. You're so right Dave, you can't play the guitar like that, and the gray Hulk wouldn't give a shit about Special Olympians. I see that other commentors have noted that this cartoon looks nothing like Meatloaf in the first place. What a classic. Next to the Dungeons and Dragons ads that consistently appeared in 90s books, this Meatload ad is memorable beyond compare.

Tyler said...

My friend John wrote some pretty excellent commentary on this very ad a few months ago:

jake saint said...

I distinctly remember the very odd effect this ad had on me:

Whenever it appeared in the middle of my reading, right after I turned the page, when I caught sight of the bottom left panel but before I processed all visuals, some trip in the back of my mind would switch, prompting the inquiry:
"Why the hell is there an awful drawing of Tom Baker in the middle of my comic?"

Every time.

Jim said...

I remember that ad, but I was only 7 years old at the time so it wasn't until now that I realized who Meatloaf is. Wow.

dwinn said...

I forgot Meatloaf's name one time and mistakenly referred to him as "Pot Roast."

Kelson said...

I always thought that a large rocker would try to downplay his size not pick a name like "Meatloaf".

Well, it seemed to work better than "Cous-cous."

John E Williams said...

Sorry to go off-topic, but I thought it the best way to get this link to you.

Via Tom Tomorrow, I give you: PEPSIMAN!

Augie De Blieck Jr. said...

Meat Loaf does occasionally pick up a guitar, but it's like when Billy Joel does the same -- the guy running the mixer board backstage quickly slides the volume all the way down.

Now, excuse me while I go back to anticipating the release of BAT OUT OF HELL 3. . .

plok said...

You guys are gonna feel guilty now...

I heard somewhere that Meat Loaf is called Meat Loaf because when he was growing up he had a bad relationship with his father, who used to torment him on account of his weight by calling him "Meat Loaf" all the time..."Meat Loaf, what makes you think you'll ever amount to anything? Now get me a beer or I'll whup you again." That kind of stuff, I guess. So when he ended up in the original production of Hair, he took the insult as his stage name as a way of saying "screw you" to the old bastard.

That's what I heard! Don't know if it's true, but it makes a great story, doesn't it? And now don't you feel guilty?

I know I do.

gwalla said...

His name is Robert Paulsen.

zailo said...

Robert "Bitch Tits" Paulsen.

ColossusHube said...

Dude, I just laughed my ass off reading this post. Every time I saw those ads I f***ing wondered just how in the hell someone could play a guitar like that. That is some of the WORST perspective in art I've ever seen -- and it's on the back of a MARVEL COMIC!

Daniel E. Renfer said...

I just love how The Grey Hulk and The Thing both have physics defying arms. I have no idea how The Thing would have to twist himself to hold that kid up in the air, yet have his arm nowhere visible. And, if The Grey Hulk (I'm assuming he was some sort of bizarro palate-swapped version of the green guy we know) were to ever take his hand off Spider-Man's shoulder, his arms would hang down past his knees.

(heh. past his knees...)

Mister Sinister said...

"Eddie" wants to be in the Special Olympics due to his "head problem"


its a Media Player plug

Steven G. Harms said...

All Loaf sins were absolved by playing Bitch-Tits Bob in Fight Club.

"Come on Cornelius, you can cry, just look at this ad I was on in 1987..."

Sinister said...

In a true act of charity, Former Rock-something MeatLoaf was killed by a transvestite w/ a pickaxe and had his corpulent body passed around to feed the poor of the world. He will probably not be missed.
We all know what happened to Eddie!
His only good roll...sigh.

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