Well, it's time once again for Mister Kitty to reach into his litter box of leftovers and remnants and Things That Didn't Quite Fit In Anywhere Else and present that grab-bag of irregulars to you, you lucky readers. You know, comic books really are amazing things. They can instruct, entertain, and sell; and sometimes they can do all three.

For instance, Jerry and Johnny are working their way up Old Baldy! No, they aren't physical therapists down at the senior center, they're mountain climbing in what appears to be their best Sunday shoes, which might - and do! - lead to slips and falls.

Horrified, Johnny just keeps right on climbing. Why not make it TWO corpses today? Hey. If you find yourself trapped inches from death, take the edge off with the latest exciting issue of Super-Mystery Comics. Why do people buy it? It's a Super Mystery!

By the mid 1960s in-house ads for comics had progressed to the point where our garishly costumed, apparently truss-sporting hero will spout paragraphs of fake hipster gobbledegook in an attempt to make these warmed-over 1940s characters seem as "groovy" and "fab" as those Marvel characters the kids seem to like. Wouldn't YOU love to read about a hero whose wife is always nagging him? No? Well, neither did anyone else.

Comics can also inform, as they do here in this amazing, well-researched and totally fact checked piece about gemstones. Did you know a beryl gemstone will bestow eternal life? True story!

Pretty sure "choking to death on a gemstone" isn't going to lead to a happy marriage, but what do I know?

Look buddy, maybe you stink as a king, maybe your cousin here is the better choice, maybe YOU'RE the evil, did you and your sapphire think of that?

Good luck on your hunt as your... cheetah? chases what appears to be a really muscular hog?

And yes. Comics can not only educate, they can advertise. Advertise products that you might not pick up on right away!

So what this looks like to me is that Alan has just been invited to an intimate evening with Josie and her two friends, Apple and Cherry. (cue the Cinemax "adult situations" warning)

And it turns out Josie's two friends are two convenience-store baked treats. Which either makes this situation totally wholesome or REALLY freaky.

As an avid consumer of this period's allowance-based snack foods I will say the cherry was probably the best of the bunch, which isn't saying a whole lot. You'd better eat it in the parking lot before you get back on your bicycle; these things do not travel well.

Meanwhile, in Germany --

Moni and Wulf and their pals are hunting kleeblatt (shamrocks) for their uncle's birthday, but it turns out a Milky Way bar makes for a "doch besser" present. Vielen dank, mein klein freunde!

Back on this side of the Atlantic, comics were working under some interesting constraints. For instance, comics were forced by the iron hand of the US Post Office to include two pages of text in every issue, that is, if they felt like qualifying for second class postage rates. Which they did. This lead to a lot of terrible short stories and some fascinating factual pieces.

For instance, there's this article about Ladies Of The Theater, which judging by the illustration is about an actress on the cusp of her greatest performance... of murder!

DC comics in particular spent decades attempting to guide America's children in proper and productive ways to be good citizens.

Allergy took Binky's advice, built the most amazing soap box derby racer ever seen, and was strangled by his own comically oversized bow tie in the horrific crash that ensued.

And now let's let comics teach us about courtship and marriage. For instance, check out these backwards, primitive cultures where the WOMEN decide who they're going to get hitched to! Where the WOMEN give the orders while the menfolk grumble! How crazy is that???

Those Masai gals do nothing but sit around and get waited on hand and foot until they get married! Maybe those Greenlanders should start grabbing those Masai gals, seems like they won't put up as much of a fight.

Look, when you pour water all over yourself it's called a "bath," guys. Try it sometime. And lighting a candle is in fact known to drive away evil spirits, which is why after somebody wrecks the bathroom you holler "LIGHT A MATCH!!"

Seems like sodium and carbohydrates are the big losers in Italian and Russian wedding customs.

But before you get to the wedding you need to get to flirting, right? And what better way to attract a mate than with a parasol? Yeah, I know, there are lots of better ways. But parasols is what we're working with here.

I hope you ladies are taking notes! Left hand, raised higher means "take me now, you animal" and closed in the left hand means "let's meet at the crossroads to consummate our forbidden affair."

Closed in the right hand means "stalk me like a crazy stalker" and holding it up to your lips means "I have the Raspberries' 1972 top five hit "Go All The Way" playing in my head RIGHT NOW, I WANT SIX BABIES!!" And the only way you can use a parasol to dissuade potential dates is to hold it in the right hand and swing it wildly as you bring it down with full force on the skulls of the creepy Gay 90s fops that have been following you around all day. There's never a cop around when you need one!

In fact, sometimes when you feel threatened by men, or boredom, what you really need is a good handgun.

Hey kids, look at this gun! It's like having your very own Browning Hi-Power Slide Projector! It's "engineered and made like a real gun" which seems to be a complete nonsense sentence, unless "real guns" have light bulbs, are made of hollow plastic, and project images into cardboard boxes. Boy, what a typical violent American toy that no other country would be so crass as to try and sell to their children... oh wait.

Here's Japan selling essentialy the same toy with branding to tie in to the then-popular Tetsuwan Atomu comic and TV show (you know him as Astro Boy). Help Astro and Dr. Elefun climb that mountain with your Cine Colt! Read Astro Boy in every issue of Shonen Magazine and watch him on TV every Tuesday at 6:15 on Fuji-TV! You know it occurs to me that projectors are so small these days that you could probably build one of these things that actually would project color video. Get with it, Silicon Valley, I want to be the first person accidentally shot by a security guard while attempting to show somebody a robot cartoon!

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