Oct 3, 2017
Buster Brown Comics: 1940s Beefcake at the Shoe Store
It was sponsored by Buster Brown Shoes, an attempt to get kids interested in the most boring item of clothing imaginable: an elderly Little Person in an Edwardian sailor suit would say -- very slowly:
"I'm Buster Brown....I live in a sho....He's my dog Tige....He lives in there too.
Like many tv series of the 1950s, it had a predecessor on radio, Smilin' Ed's Buster Brown Show (1944-1953), with Smilin' Ed McConnell hawking the shoes and reading the adventure stories.
Each issue featured a humorous story starring Smilin' Ed and the Gang, plus an adventure story starring a muscular teenage boy: "Leathern Cord of Magic," "Dude Ranch Desperado," "Leopard Men," "Desert Raiders," :Ghanga the Elephant Boy."
Remember, this was an era where movies never showed shirtless men except an occasional Tarzan or Bomba the Jungle Boy, and tv was a small black-and-white box with ghostly, hard-to-see images. Comic books were your only source of beefcake images.
And you could get free beefcake comics every other month just by dropping in to a shoe store.
Sounds bizarre, but sign me up!
See also: Andy's Gang