One of the more common themes you can find in the old DC comics public service ads is support for the United Nations. I suspect it is probably the most common theme, with nearly a dozen different PSAs dealing with the United Nations. (I think “stay in school” is the second most common theme, with “libraries” a distant third.) Admittedly, these were published in an era when the United Nations was solidly pro-United States, and likewise, the US was solidly behind the UN.
I sure hope those weren’t beef “hot-dogs” he was writing about.
Sorry Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America, but apparently you can’t be our friends.
So 1965, how’d that International Cooperation Year work out? Let’s see: the first American combat troops arrived in Viet Nam; US troops were also sent to the Dominican Republic. Pakistan and India went to war, dragging China along for the ride. China and Taiwan had a skirmish or two. And Rhodesia couldn’t get along with anyone. On the bright side, A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted.
This PSA can be found in DC comics from March 1965. It was never reprinted. The script was by Jack Schiff, with the art by Sheldon Moldoff.
In the midst of a charity ball, a bunch of doctors barge in, claiming everyone has been exposed to a contagious disease and needs to be quarantined.
Even when this was reprinted in 1964 (let alone when it was originally published) — before the common advent of hazmat suits — these “doctors” had to look suspicious. The head mirrors are a dead giveaway, if nothing else. Remember that head mirrors are used for looking in dark tight spaces (throats, ears, etc) so why would these doctors be wearing them — and incorrectly, at that.
The green hair probably should have been a clue.
Batman and Robin swoop in to intervene, but then discover the real reason for the head mirrors. (And what exactly are they reflecting?)
So, Batman and Robin are shot and the Joker gets the money. Not really, though that would change things up. Actually, through clever use of his utility belt and nearby props for the charity auction, Batman and Robin escape and capture Joker and his goons. Again.
Another comic book public service ad starring DC’s answer to Archie, Buzzy (not to be confused with DC’s other answer to Archie, Binky). This is a two for one PSA in that it tackles two common themes: neighbors, and different cultures. In this case, the featured cultures are Puerto Rican, Irish, Japanese, and Vermontian.
“And after I dance that Irish Jig, you boys can demonstrate this new-fangled CPR!”
“Sugaring off“…I’ll bet, Mrs. Marshall. Oh wait, that’s a real term and not just innuendo. Drat.
This PSA can be found in DC comics from November 1955 as well as April 1962. As always, the script was by Jack Schiff, with the art by the usual artist of the Buzzy PSAs, Win Mortimer.
Which of these drugs are medications you can find in the real world, and which are just comic book drugs?
|1. Celebrex||9. Cortexin|
|2. Cerebrax||10. Hypercortisone|
|3. Timelozar||11. Profem|
|4. Tamsulosin||12. Celexa|
|5. Losartan||13. Narcopropaline|
|6. Acetovaxidol||14. Prosan|
|7. Proscar||15. Serafem|
|8. Dridroxin||16. Somnabutol|
For slightly more in-depth answers, including sources, click here.
It’s been too long since I’ve highlighted a nurse-centic comic story, so I think it’s time to resume Friday Nurse Day. To start things off, today’s story is found in Charlton’s Doctor Tom Brent, Young Intern #3, as the romance filler sandwiched between two doctor stories.
Friday Nurse Day #12:
Doctor Tom Brent, Young Intern #3 “Saving The Dragon”
So begins the story of Anne Blanchard, a young, new nurse. Afterbring kicked out of the operating room by Dr. Lassiter, she runs crying down the hospital hallway, where she is found by the head nurse.
Not exactly the most encouraging words from a supervisor. “Sure he’s a jerk, but it’s okay because he’s young and brilliant.” The other nurses in the hospital agree that he’s the best surgeon, but also agree that he’s a first class jerk.
A short time later Dr. Lassiter approaches Anne and tells her that though he tried, it’s too late to change the schedule, so they’re stuck working together for the next two weeks. He informs her that she needs to learn proper surgical skills if she’ll be working with him. At the end of her shift, he takes her into the O.R. and spends the next several hours drilling her on what he considers good surgical technique.
Finally, she’s had enough and tells him off:
Anne storms out of the O.R.
A little while later, Dr. Lassiter catches up with her at a nearby diner and apologizes. They both admit to being overworked and overtired and agree to spend their next day off together at the beach, trying to relax.
When she thinks he’s napping in the sun, she sneaks a kiss.
Published: June 1963 by Charlton Comics
Cover price: 12¢
Time Capsule: While training Nurse Blanchard, Dr. Lassiter is chain smoking cigarettes — in the O.R.
Most progressive moment: Nothing terribly progressive in this story — in fact, the head nurse, lectures Anne on maintaining the status quo — except maybe for the fact that Anne is quite forward — and that Dr. Lassiter seems to like it that way.
Inexplicable: Anne wants her husband to be foul? And she wouldn’t want it any other way? How about — for starters — a brilliant husband with a pleasant disposition. (And what’s with all the short engagements in these medical romance comics? From loathing to marriage in three months. How long ’til the inevitable divorce?)
Last week, I featured a public service ad starring Buzzy; this week, I feature a PSA featuring the other one of DC’s teen leading men from the ’50s and ’60s: Binky. This ad is another of the “Be nice to your neighbors, even if they’re immigrants” ads (see also the September 1957 “Prejudice at Work” PSA and the August 1960 “Superman Says ‘Lend A Friendly Hand!’” PSA).
I can’t speak for the comics themselves, but Binky’s PSAs are always so much more serious in tone than Buzzy’s.
Though calling this a “Binky” ad is fairly misleading — He only appears in the final panel. If anything, it’s an Allergy ad — he of the giant bow tie.
I wonder if Vermont was one of the states Pablo lived in? Does he know about “sugaring off?”
This PSA can be found in DC comics from November 1955 as well as April 1962. The script was by Jack Schiff, with the art by Win Mortimer.
Nurse: Mr. P- is upset. He says he called to make an appointment a few weeks ago and the triage nurse told him to go the ER.
Me: It’s a good thing she did. He was having a heart attack that needed an emergency cardiac cath and stenting.
Nurse: He just wants us to know that he’s very upset that we didn’t see him here first.
Me: We’re a family Practice clinic, not an ER.
Nurse rolls eyes at me.
Me: I know, I know: preaching to the choir. Better a live grumpy patient than a dead one. I think.
Patient: All our kids had this bug and then my husband and me. They all got better, but I’m still sick. Why am I the only one?
Me: Are you still smoking?
Patient: Yeah. Why?
Reviewing the patient’s labs with him. Two of the liver results are a tad bit high, nothing alarming, possibly due to his weight or even his cholesterol medication.
Me: A couple of your liver enyzmes are a little high.
Patient: It’s the alcohol, isn’t it?
Me: Is there something you’d like to talk about?
I’m not sure which would be worse: a few days of total immobility and claustrophobia in a plasto-body cast, or much longer — several weeks at least — in a couple of regular casts. I’m leaning toward the latter.
Sadly, there is nothing terribly remarkable about this nurse-themed romance story found sandwiched in between the main stories in Tom Brent, Young Intern #2. The story is incredibly clichéd, and I guarantee every one of you knows exactly how the story will end after reading just the first panel. Sure, clichés are common in romance comics — and comics in general — but usually the writers try to change things up a bit. Not so in this case — the story plods along like a kid’s connect the dots picture, only less charming.
Friday Nurse Day #13:
Doctor Tom Brent, Young Intern #2 “The Last Man To Love”
Ed Barker was an engineer who got caught in an explosion at a construction site, breaking “all of the bones” in his body, as well as seriously injuring his eyes. Doris Willey is the night-shift nurse who takes care of him – and apparently works the same shift every night, has no days off, and only has one patient.
Ed alternates between whiny neediness and brusque stubbornness. Doris vacillates between Pollyannaism and weeping. Together they make quite the pair.
Through the weeks and months of his against-the-odds-but-what-did-you-expect-in-a-romance-comic recovery, they – shock of shocks – fall in love.
I know this recap is shorter than my usual nurse day posts, but there is nothing else to the story. It’s not that it’s any shorter than any of the other stories, it’s just that nothing at all terribly remarkable happens. (Well, other than a severely wounded man regaining his eyesight and ability to walk, but you know what I mean.)
Published: April 1963 by Charlton Comics
Cover price: 12¢
Time Capsule: The entire traction and heavy bandage set up is positively antiquated.
Most progressive moment: Nothing. Not a one.
Inexplicable:As I mentioned above, it seems that Doris works every single night and only has Ed as a patient.
A strange comic book public service ad this week, about a kid who crashes a party, and the girl whose party he crashes. In the end they decide the best solution to their problem is to create a guide to the correct way to behave, a.k.a. a “teen-age code.”
Here, I’ve got a code for you: Use common courtesy, and if that fails, common sense.
In other words:
don’t crash parties
don’t start fights
(Sure, you could argue that teen-agers may lack common sense, but those teen-agers are the same ones who would never follow any sort of code).
Dave growing a spine would also help.
Though Dave and his friends may have precipitated the problem, Sally’s guests elevated it by going immediately to a physical response rather than giving Sally time to solve the problem herself. Damn vigilante party guests.
It sure looks like Dave and Sally are wearing the same clothes the next day.
This PSA can be found in DC comics from January 1958. It was written by Jack Schiff and the art looks to be by Ruben Moreira.