Thursday, 1 March 2012

Attack of the Sea Monkeys

When I was a tiny Sketchy my old man would sometimes come home from work with American comics for me (Spiderman, Superman etc) - I later learned he used them to hide his porn mags inside but that's another story...

Within the pages of these pulpy 1970s tomes were bizarre adverts for things like x-ray specs, life-size monsters, hypno-coins and the famous Charles Atlas bodybuilding courses... I was insanely jealous of American kids who could get their hands on this stuff for just a few dollars, British comics had no such exciting products available to order.

But the one advert which had me spellbound, and terminally confused, was for Sea Monkeys. Apparently these were little pink people, wearing crowns, who hatched from eggs and could be kept in a glass of water. Now, I was already fascinated by nature and even at the age of 8 was fairly sure that if there were tiny people living in castles in the sea I would have heard about them. For literally years I pondered this until I gradually forgot all about them...

Well full marks to the advert designers... they were friggin' BRINE SHRIMPS all along...

Having done a little internet research I am gobsmacked to find that they are still available to buy, from Amazon and many other outlets. I kind of doubt that they can be 'trained' as the original advert states, but then nothing in that advert is particularly close to reality anyway... however I am suddenly tempted to get hold of some even if only to finally put to rest my suddenly over-excited inner 8 year old self.

But what the hell do they have to do with monkeys? Who sat and stared at a bunch of shrimps for a few hours back in the 60s and decided they looked like monkeys? Oh, hang on, the 60s... it all becomes clear...



  1. OK, I'm confused on one point: given that those comics were quite a bit smaller than your Mayfairs and your Club Internationals, how did your Dad disguise his jazz mags with copies of Fantastic Four? Also, I like to think that he bought comics with appropriate titles for what they were disguising. You know, like "Giant Size Man Thing" or "Power Man & Iron Fist".

  2. I see your point! The ole feller was getting hold of quite small mags, about a5 size, from somewhere... I found them years later in a tin box in his shed, with a couple of old copies of 'Red Sonja' dated from around the time he was getting me Superman and Spiderman comics... and I don't wish to delve any deeper into things than that!