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Escapist fiction from any time period tends to bear at least a few historical stamps, but the slang, social commentary and illustration styles of comic books make the medium especially well suited for cultural time capsulery. Still, just as memorable story content can shape a reader's personal timeline, the ads that accompany them reflect the eras of their origins with a certain pot

The Vintage Ad Browser's comic book section is rife with these "signs of the times," and shed a little light on what life as a reader may have been like during the '30s through the early '80s, and summon a few of my own memories from more recent decades.

There are numerous anecdotal insights to be culled from not only the kind of products advertised in comics, but also the way companies chose to communicate with their target audiences. Some ads seem well-suited for their presumed tasks. Others? Well, you can be the judge.

Check out a smattering of them after the jump.The '30s:

See what a few pennies more gets you, Waster? Less psychological abuse from your salt-loving spouse!


The '40s:

Must you always be so forward Barney?


The '50s:

Ah, a simpler time when cereal didn't try to hide its candy-like nature behind things like nutrition.


The '60s:

Things were going so well for those scamps before Lucky bore his secret fangs...


The '70s:

I've never wanted corduroy jeans so bad in my life.


The '80s:

To everyone wondering if holding a gun sideways will still be cool when RoboCop hits the streets of Future Detroit: Yes, it's still cool then.


The '90s:

The evil that was Billy Zane's calcium-hungry bones was mightily slammed that day. Just ask his stomach face.


Whatever you feel like calling that time period from 2000-2009:

This one isn't really mockable, but definitely sums up the early '00s