Comics Features

Is That a Rocket Poppeteer in Your Pocket?

As I posted here, I finally took some time to read a whole month’s worth of comics (approximately 75 books in my stack). When you read that many comics all at once, you start to notice a few things. I already documented in this week’s Comics Load the strange habit Superboy has of losing his shirt. Now, I’d like to talk about something else.

In an effort to make me never want to see Super 8, the folks at Paramount Pictures decided to put a Super 8 minicomic in the middle of every single DC title this month. Not at the end…in the middle. So that each and every time I was in the middle of a story, I would turn the page and suddenly find the stupid Super 8 minicomic. Then I’d have to thumb through it until I found the real book again. Admittedly, I probably wouldn’t have become so enraged if I were reading these books in moderation, instead of dozens and dozens all at once. But that’s not the real story here. At one point, while thumbing past the stupid Super 8 mini, I stopped before getting to the last page and found this glorious ad:


I may have a Lex Luthor-ish brain capacity, but not even I am immune to subliminal messaging. Having seen this ad dozens of times, however briefly, my mission became clear. I had to “Taste the Outer Space” and blow an astronaut.

The drive to Cape Canaveral was a long one, especially since I was still trying to read all my comics at the same time. And text. After only a minimal amount of accidents, I finally arrived. You’d think the security at NASA would be pretty intense, but as soon as I showed them the Rocket Poppeteers ad and explained I was there to blow astronauts, they let me right in. Apparently, word of my arrival spread quickly, because suddenly everyone was an astronaut. I was expecting three or four, not hundreds.

I showed the guys the ad and they agreed that my interpretation was 100% correct. They also agreed that the Super 8 minicomic was intrusive and annoying, even with cover art of an exploding space dog by Alex Ross. The astronauts didn’t like that one bit, let me tell you. We chatted for a while about whether the minicomic was probably JJ Abram‘s or Steven Spielberg‘s idea, or if it was all thought up by a committee in Marketing who’d never actually read a comic, nor had their comic-reading pleasure interrupted by a stupid advertisement mini. I could have gone on and on, but the boys reminded why I was there, pointing to the ad, then pointing to their own Rocket Poppeteers, so I put down my comics and got to work.

While I’m still not sure how providing oral gratification to astronauts helps promote Super 8 or 7-11, I am proud of my small contribution to the marketing campaign and to the space program. Now that NASA has been essentially grounded, I suppose we’re all earth-bound astronauts in our own way. A sad astronaut gazing up at the moon will probably even replace the crying clown as the seminal piece of American folk art. And speaking of seminal, I hope you’ll all join me in celebrating the arrival of Super 8, phallic popsicles at 7-11 and the brave work of the members of the space program as soon and as often as you can.


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