Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not a Kiss in a Carload

Last night, I was rereading the first volume of Marvel Comic's The Essential Iron Man.  I grew up reading and loving the Michelinie/Layton run from the late 80's but the early Stan Lee stories are a lot of fun and the Don Heck art is, even in black and white, awesome.  In issue #64 of Tales of Suspense, Iron Man battles, once again (Jesus, they just fought a few issues ago), Hawkeye and Black Widow.  It's pretty good.  It has suction-tipped nylon line, acid-spray arrowheads, commie tintypes, and a runaway flatcar.  But the most memorable thing occurs in the last panel.  Pepper Potts throws her arms around Tony Stark while Happy Hogan's heart breaks.  The final lines of the comic read: "And now before you start thinking that you've been reading a Romance Mag by mistake, turn to the Captain America thriller which follows!  We guarantee, there's not a kiss in a carload!"
I cannot think of a better advertisement for a comic book.  What would you rather have, acid-spray arrowheads or kisses?  I thought so.
I searched for other uses of this phrase, but couldn't find anything.  It seems like a great line for a pulp novel.  However, there was a big ad campaign in the late 20's for Old Gold cigarettes where the slogan was "Not a cough in a carload," highlighting the smooth flavor of the smoking experience.  
And, oh this is good, I found a comic strip by Clare Briggs for Old Gold that shows a tobacco CEO quickly going bankrupt once Old Gold comes on the scene.  The guy then goes a little crazy and the text says, "and you're so 'het up' you just can't help wiltin' your collar."  The final panel shows the day utterly ruined, the guy clutching his throat, face red, and his young wife or girlfriend is crying in the background, saying "Boo-hoo, he never swore at me before and he usta be the nicest man."

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