Category Archives: Advertisements

Early Advertising Campaign

uvbus (2)

Here’s another weird thing I got from eBay. It’s a mock-up for proposed Ultraverse advertising on city buses. It’s not very big, just a couple of inches tall and about seven inches wide.

Here’s how it was described in the auction:

A rare relic salvaged from the fallen Malibu Comics empire… When an ad agency was tasked with creating bus ads for the Ultraverse, they sent Malibu execs this mock-up of how the projected campaign would look.
Recovered from an ex-Malibu employee who was there.
Insanely rare. Only a handful ever made.

Here is a picture of an actual bus advertisement, courtesy of Ultraverse co-founder Tom Mason (he says it came from the advertising agency and is dated from 1994).


You can watch one of the buses in action (sort of) in the 1994 movie The Chase, starring Charlie Sheen. No, seriously, you can watch it on Youtube. At about the 10:50 mark you get a quick glimpse of this:


And at that point you really should quit watching.

Ads: Mortal Kombat

I pulled this one out of Giant Size Freex 1. It really takes me back; I remember buying this game for my Sega GameGear (talk about a battery gobbler; that system used to run on six Double-A batteries and burn through them in a couple of hours).

Mortal Kombat was pretty hardcore for its time, although the “fatalities” that caused such a ruckus seem pretty tame by today’s standards. I actually sucked at the game, but had a friend who was pretty good. He played another friend’s 10-year-old kid and beat him so bad that the kid started weeping.

Ads: The Prime video game

I’m not sure why every superhero game from the mid-1990s looks like a Ninja Turtles game; they sure did love the 2D side-scrolling stuff. Many of the ads in comic books back then were for video games, although nothing about this one makes we want to run upstairs and play the game.

Prime is the only Ultraverse game that made it to store shelves. The Sega CD system was eventually run off by the PlayStation in the back half of the 1990s; Sega’s last-gasp attempt at a console was the Dreamcast a few years later (I absolutely loved my Dreamcast!) but it lost its momentum when the PS2, Xbox and GameCube were released.

It’s kind of funny to see the Sony and Sega labels next to each other like that. Sony doesn’t produce games for systems other than the PlayStation brands any more, although Sega games are made for all systems including the PS3 and PSP.

Ads: Strange Days

I gotta be honest … I only get out to movies occasionally but I don’t remember anything about this one. And nothing about this ad from the interior pages of Siren 1 makes me want to see it. Dude looks kind of … wait, holy crap, that’s Voldemort!

If you look at the names attached to this film it’s hard to figure why it bombed. Kathryn Bigelow directed, James Cameron wrote the screenplay, and Ralph Fiennes (blondie up there), Vincent D’Onofrio and Angela Bassett starred in it, yet it didn’t even make $8 million on a $42 million budget.

And you didn’t see a lot of web addresses in advertisements back then. Complete with the http://www thing. I tried to go to the web site but it wouldn’t load.

The reviews weren’t horrible. Rotten Tomatoes rated it 61% positive.

Ads: Alien 3 SNES

One of the things I love about the Ultraverse comics are the advertisements. Games that were cutting edge in the 1990s look pretty silly now, but I get a good kick of nostalgia from them.

I collect old games from several different systems, mainly Nintendo 64, Dreamcast and the original PlayStation, but I dabble in the Super Nintendo stuff. Most ads from the Ultraverse books were from the Super Nintendo days. This was one of the lonely ads in Hardcase 1 (most of the full-page ads in there were house ads).

If I saw “red-hot alien action” or “chest-bursting excitement” on an ad for a game today, I might be a little wary. Current graphics can sometimes be too realistic.