Friday, November 23, 2012

Let Us Mourn the Loss of Hostess Through a Look at Comic Book History

Hostess, the well known bakery brand will be closing down operations. This was confirmed yesterday as we enjoyed Thanksgiving. While I think there will be only a temporary loss in snack cakes due to the likelihood of another company buying Hostess, others are treating this as major shift in our snack food heritage (people should probably be more concerned about the 18,000 newly unemployed). Whatever your take on the Hostess story, we can still appreciate the strange place Hostess holds in our collective nostalgia. Hostess seems to fit in pretty well with an idealized view of American childhood, and my favorite evidence of this comes straight from the pages of comics.

Hostess was a major advertiser in comics for many years. They placed ads with nearly every publisher and created story based ads featuring well known comic characters. While these page long adventures are far from masterpieces, the have a unique charm to them. Maybe it's the action, or maybe it's the way that all of life's troubles can be solved by a fruit pie; either way, these ads are a dumb and wonderful part of comic publishing history. There is even a website that has gone to the trouble of compiling all the ads they can so that we can cherish them with our $50 Twinkies.