Monday, July 28, 2008
Attention Shoppers Spider-Man Special in Aisle 3!
I had these scans laying around from when Plaid Stallion's Brian Heller asked for submissions for his mall appearances section of his blog. Not technically a mall appearance he was looking for, he was nice enough to include it on his site. This is a promotional comic from back in 1985, when Northstar Mall in San Antonio added Foley's Department store as one of their anchors. These comics were included in the Sunday Newspaper at the time, plus I threw newspapers so you think I would be swimming in these things. Wrong I have two. One from my parents newspaper, and a second I acquired from another collection. Which is how it should be, I would hate it if I didn't get a complete paper on Sunday morning.
Some cool things to note, the cover building actually looks like the Foley's store that was added, come to find out that was a signature look for that store so the Marvel artist probably got a picture of one of the other stores. I don't think we had a rodeo going on at the time, but if we did it probably wasn't too far fetched that there would be a little parade going by the mall. During that time we used to have a little event called a Cowboy Breakfast that sort of kicks off the rodeo, held right across the street at a neighboring malls parking lot. Trail riders with covered wagons and the whole nine yards make a trek into town and stop at the breakfast, where everyone that attends is served free breakfast tacos at about five in the morning. Thousands show up for this event, makes the news every year. This past year was the first time it was held in a new location, just outside of town, but at that time it would have been close to where it is depicted on the cover. Also the newspaper's name in the comic was the newspaper that the comic came in, the San Antonio Express News, now the only paper in town. Back then there were two rival papers the Express News and the San Antonio Light, those Light paper carries could be jerks, they would steal your papers, throw them in water, you name it.
The story goes, Peter Parker and J.J. Jameson make a trip to San Antonio, Parker to cover the rodeo, Jameson to catch a break from Spider-Man, plus there happen to be a new Foley's store opening up in town. A crook makes way with the rodeos ticket money, Hulk happens to be traveling through town and chases the guy down, the Spider-Man joins in. San Antonio's a pretty jumping town! The money is recovered, the store remains standing, Hulk gets away, Spider-Man saves the day, and Jameson gets a headache! through out the comic the only ads are for children's clothing sold at, you guessed it Foley's! The ads even follow a comic style story line.
At the time this had to be the coolest thing in the world, your home town, your newspaper, being featured in a Marvel Comic! I realize now these were done a paid promotions, but the magic doesn't seem to fade, it's still pretty cool. To this day you can go into just about any comic book shop in town and they have these issues, not worth much, but you couldn't be a comic book collector in San Antonio with out one of these! I often wonder if there are others out there, if they followed the same format, or if they were personalized. How many towns have a rodeo that Hulk helped get the ticket money back?