Comic books, the Craigslist of the 70s

Seems legrit, right?

What did people do before Craigslist, when you had to wander the dark streets looking at “for rent” signs or actually had to go and walk up and talk to that cutie you saw on the subway instead of waiting to later send a digital message in a bottle? How did people find jobs? How did people get scammed into doing jobs that require a lot of work and little pay (or “exposure”)? The answer: comic books! We found this ad in the back of a November 1979 Battlestar Galactica comic recently purchased at the Brooklyn Flea. “Remember how many times you felt left out because you were BROKE!” the ad asks/exclaims. So what did they have to offer?

All you needed to do to get money for all those “hamburgers and soft drinks” is to introduce Grit, aka “America’s Greatest Family Newspaper Since 1882,” to your friends and family. Grit was a real weekly newspaper distributed in rural areas across the country, which this journalism nerd reporter has never heard of until just this moment:

The ad pledges to help you get started in a promising business of your own by sending you the papers to presumably sell to friends and family. All for $5-$10 a week, which, in 2011 dollars, is $48,000. Intriguing claims of helping your broke self for nothing more than the promise of a possible pittance? Seriously, play some 2011 Mad Libs with this ad on CL today and see how little things have changed.

The lesson here? Just because it’s online doesn’t make it any more legit than 30-year-old comic books. That, and Battlestar is awesome. So say we all!

4 Comment

  • This is my era of comic books, and looking at those pictures makes me very nostalgic. I still have all my comics from the 70s, ads and all.


  • Isn’t that the kid from the Peter Bjorn & John video for ‘Young Folks’?

  • I could do with $5 a week. How can I sign up?

  • There was another popular comic book scheme of the day..American Seeds. They advertised in pretty much every comic book and would send a kid the seed packets on the honor system: “send no money, we trust you”.

    You could either keep a 10 cent gratuity per seed pack sold or earn points toward a fabulous prize like a chemistry set. I did it when I was about 9 and remember it being fairly easy to guilt neighbors and relatives into buying the first 50 packs or so..but how many packs of radish seeds does your grandmother really need?

    Then you would finally save up enough to get your lusted after “prize” and it would turn out to be a cheap piece of crap.