In the mid-80s, Eclipse were regular advertisers in Amazing Heroes, a magazine about comics published by Fantagraphics Comics. The ads are mostly focused on specific comics, but there’s a series featuring some very smarmy-looking models telling us that comics aren’t for kids any more.
I wonder whether they published these ads in other venues, too, but perhaps that would have made even less sense. Perhaps the idea behind these ads are less about attracting a new readership (which is what the text is all about), but more about stroking the ego of people who are already reading comics from Eclipse? “You, too, is probably as smart as this bespectacled Wall Street Journal-reading douchecanoe?”
Of course, if they had run these ads in The Wall Street Journal it might have made more sense… but in venues like that the reaction would 100% be “eh? Eclipse Comics? What’s that then?”
Very grown up.
In addition to that series of ads, I’ve picked some of the more interesting ads that are kinda actually trying to sell specific comics (and books). I think they’ve got a kinda interesting graphic identity going here…
These ads are from Eclipse’s “imperial” period, when their coffers were presumably pretty flush from the Pacific bankruptcy buyout and the success of Miracleman, Scout and Airboy, and before the flood which wiped out their back issue business.