The history of promotional comics is a long one; some historical examples include Little Orphan Annie's Popped Wheat giveaways, Motion Picture Funnies Weekly (with the first appearance of Sub-Mariner, a movie theater giveaway) and "Donald Duck's Atom Bomb" (a scarce Carl Barks story, given away by Cheerios). Many continue to be produced up to the present; "Free Comic Book Day" provides many freebies each year at brick-and-mortar comic shops everywhere. Many of the current films and DVD releases feature promotional comics as enticements.
Personally, I have found promo comics to be a lot of fun; often being produced in odd sizes and formats makes them unique and attractive. Here's a few of my favorites, with thanks to the Grand Comic Book Database for some of the images.
I got one of these as a kid with a bag of chips. Still recall asking my Mom for that particular brand, just for the comic...
|Fairmont Potato Chips Giveaway, 1970|
|Cartoon Network Comic given with VHS Tapes, 1996|
On the right:
|Planned Parenthood giveaway, 1976|
|Adventures of the Big Boy 92, c. 1964|
|March of Comics 293, 1966|
How about you? Share your comments and memories of these humble yet appealing freebies, while I go pursue that elusive Pop-Tarts Batman mini from 1966...
|Free Comic Book Day giveaway, 2008|
|Aim Toothpaste giveaway, 1980|
|Pizza Hut giveaway, 1978|
|Chicago Tribune giveaway, 1980|