I recently picked up Image's full (but sadly never quite completed) run of the Alan Moore-written 1963 series, which re-imagines the creation of the Silver Age Marvel Comics. The first issue features a Fantastic Four-style story, which should be obvious from the above image. The series is much more straight forward than I had imagined it would be, other than some well-placed barbs regarding the rights of individual creators and, particularly, Stan Lee. Moore and his stable of artists create such a complete package, down to fully formed letters pages, editorials and even (mostly) fake ads that mimic some of the best comic advertisements of the time - ones that are immediately recognizable despite their altered status, which I suppose is the mark of a great parody.
Nearly all of the ads are spot on in their renditions, but two stood out to me as the best of the bunch, and I wanted to share them below:
First off is a back cover ad for "soil monkeys", which is an obvious take on the well-loved Sea Monkeys ads. Soil Monkeys, upon further inspection, are merely beans, which is funny on two levels, the less obvious being a commentary on the fact that Sea Monkey ads don't really represent an accurate depiction of what you actually get - a mini aquarium of tiny brine shrimp. Soil Monkeys make music, because, well...you get it.
This next ad, from an interior page, might just beat out the previous one due to the sheer number of great parodies it contains. My favorite is at top, where we learn that readers can not only order real, live animals from a comic book, but also eat them. This is a parody of an old ad that I have railed about regarding animals and the ability to buy them through shady circumstances from the pages of a comic book.
1963 is a faithful recreation of early Marvel super hero comics, with all the good and bad that comes with it. Despite the fact that Moore is by far the best comic writer of all time, this title isn't for everyone. The ads, though...those are golden.