Crazy Comic Ads – Child Sized Guns

Posted By on Monday January 9, 2012 at 10:58 pm
To Crazy Comic Ads

Howdy folks! Welcome to the first of a recurring series. When I thought of the idea for this site, I immediately knew what I wanted to write about. I had a picture in my mind of it. As it turns out, it’s the picture below. But before I show it to you, let me tell you the story of how I came to see said picture.

I got into comic book collecting back in 1992, what would have been 6th grade for me, with the Death of Superman. It was a huge media frenzy, you may have heard about it. Nearly destroyed the comic industry in fact, but that is a post for another day. I had limited exposure to comics at the time, like most people my age. I had read a few of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics by Archie I had picked up at the used book store down on Long Beach Island that my parents would give me to keep me quiet for a few minutes, but nothing of any quality. As this series continues in the coming weeks, that’s something you’ll soon learn about me. I never did learn to distinguish a “quality” comic. I have 4800+ comic books, but they are all mostly old crap that I bought because they either A) Had a chick with big boobs on the cover (I was a 13 year old boy) B) Had some type of chromium/holofoil/die-cut/prismatic/hologram/embossed cover or C) Had some type of crazy cover or interesting title.

Lady Death II - Between Heaven and Hell #4 Catwoman #1 Lady Rawhide - Zorro #3 She Hulk #50
Silver Sable #1 Gen 13 #12 Namor #50 Mantra #3
Let’s just say stuff like this is the majority of my collection.


Now that I am an “adult”, I have a fair amount of disposable income, hence the 4800+ strong collection. (Also, I am a hoarder.) But back when I was a kid, me and my hetero life mate did not have a lot of money, so to feed our comic book habit, we would buy a lot of grab bags, going strictly for quantity. That’s the set of crap comics no one wants that the Comic Shop Guys puts in a brown bag to be a “surprise”. They still do it today, now with it containing old Ultraverse and Valiant books. Also, these days, seems every grab bag has a copy of Adventures of Superman #500 and X-Men Vol 2 #1. But back in my day, grab bags were full of one horribly crappy thing: Marvel’s New Universe. And this meant one book more than any other: ROM.

ROM Spaceknight #2
A comic based on a toy. How novel!


They just forgot one detail. The toy was a horrible piece of crap, and the comic was even worse.  It somehow lasted for 75 issues. Mostly what I remember ROM for is that it was so worthless, me and my hetero lifemate would just destroy them. I once used a copy as a tissue during a particularly bad cold. He once used it to wipe his ass with when left without a suitable alternative. So, due to our shared experiences over ROM‘s literal crappiness, when I encounter a copy at a comic show for cheap, I’ll usually pick one up for a gag gift. This year, I picked him up the above copy of ROM #2, cover dated January 1980. On the back of the front cover was the image below. I saw it, and the sheer insanity of it blew my mind. That was a awfully long road to get here, but here it is. The image that inspired this column. I give you: Child Sized Guns.

Child Sized Guns
There was once a time where this shit was not only acceptable, but no one was phased by it.


So, here is what I imagine happened to someone somewhere. A dad (played in my mind by Darren McGavin) gives his youngest son (Peter Billingsly) a Red Rider BB gun like the one he himself had a child. After a warning not to shot any animals but the Bumpus’ hounds, said son shoots his eye out immediately. Now, rather then chalking it up to, oh I don’t know, guns being dangerous, dad looks at the gun and says “I don’t remember it being so big when I was young. It’s too big for little Ralphie’s hands. If he had a proper sized firearm, this never would have happened. Young children need a gun designed just for them!” I then picture him starting to take night classes at the local community college in engineering. Eventually he’s so devoted to his classes he loses his job at the car dealership. After getting his bachelor’s degree, he uses his backyard woodshed to craft a crude prototype of his “child sized gun”. He then takes this smaller firearm around to various toy companies and conventions, none of whom will let him through the door, as well, he’s carrying a god damn gun. After another 5 years, he’s now an alcoholic, his wife is long since gone, taking the son away, who has grown up into full sized firearms, using them to hold up the local Higbee’s, since he didn’t have a strong father figure in his life, always out in the shed mutterings about his “child guns”. Dad, now alone without any hope, sits humbly in the woodshed, the little gun in his mouth. Scared and shaking, he can’t bring himself to pull the trigger. He’s come too far to lose it all now. Instead he grabs his prototype and barges into the offices of a small time toy company, using the gun to force his way in. He encounters the CEO, sitting in his big ass chair, like Dr. Claw, facing away from him. Security apologizes, but the CEO just waves them away, and says ‘Let him say what he must!”. After hearing the dad’s story or woe and despair, the CEO slowly turns around in his chair. He is wearing an eyepatch. He simply says “It’s about damn time!”

The idea that someone thought “You know what we need more of. Children with guns!” is baffling, at least in our current post 9/11 time. Now, if this person was Cobra Commander or Dr. Doom, it would make sense. But the sheer amount of people who would have to be involved in this ad even existing is staggering. First, someone had to come up with the idea. Someone else needed to confirm to him it was, in fact, a good idea. Someone had to design the smaller guns. Someone had to pay for them to be produced. Someone had to do all the copysetting for the ad. Someone needed to approve the ad. And they all had to say “Wow, this sounds like a great idea and I agree with it”. All of that happened.

It’s a wonder any child made it out of the 80’s with both eyes intact. Today we complain about giving kids High Fructose Corn Syrup. When we were kids, our parent’s were giving us guns designed for our small kid sized hands.

is the proud owner of a life size replica Captain Kirk Chair. He is a hoarder of Comic Books, Transformers, and Star Trek action figures. He attended Space Camp as an adult. He has taken vacations to the closing of the Star Trek Experience and the final night Shuttle launch. He has been known to yell at his television when the kids can't put together the damn statue in the Shrine of the Silver Monkey. When not writing for InsufficientScotty, he is a Software Engineer for a major healthcare communications company.

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