Time machine: Bob Hope comics


Saw this advertisement that 1965 issue of Detective Comics and I think it really captures an ironic sense of 1960s America.

The thing that stands out, of course, is that Bob Hope is the focus of the ad. I don’t generally put Bob Hope and comic books together, but The Adventures of Bob Hope actually ran for more than 100 issues from 1950-1968. The time this advertisement came out, then, was near the end of the run and you can tell that its popularity is fading from the top part, where the character says “I’m working for that square Bob Hope …”

Hmmm, what a juxtaposition of generations, huh? On the one hand, you have the legendary Bob Hope, but on that other, you have a medium that seems aimed at a younger crowd who probably sees Hope as more of a “guy my parents like” than something they would genuinely be into … kind of like The Rolling Stones, or, heck, Nirvana, is to this generation.

Of course, Bob Hope is no Kurt Cobain … or vice-versa. It’s just interesting to see these cultural shifts in the middle of the shift.

In 1965, Bob Hope was doing USO tours, while the Batman was still one year away from the campy TV show that seems to still hit a nerve, if that whole Batman 66 thing is any indication.

I would say that a Bob Hope comic is a relic of the past, I mean, what other entertainer would you see starring in their own comic book these days?

Oh yeah … Archie did meet KISS … and on a recent stroll through the comic book store, I did see titles related to Coldplay, KISS (in a different series) and other TV and movie franchises. But is there a comic related to just one person the same way as The Adventures of Bob Hope did? Would it be the equivalent to Louie?

The more things change …

Anyway, found some Bob Hope footage, including some shot on a USO in 1965, the same year this ad came out. Who says comic books can’t be educational?


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