Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hey, Kids--Wanna Buy A Comic Book Company?

Inside of Captain Canuck #14 (1981), the following ad appeared:

Two "bona fide" shares? You mean I could own part of the company?!?! Me?!?!

Yes!!! I want to own (a miniscule part of) a comic book company!! Even a Canadian one!!

Not a gimmick?!? Approved by the Alberta Provincial government?!?! Sign me up now, please!!

Sadly, this turned out to be the last issue of Captain Canuck. So far as my (admittedly lazy and non-thorough) searches have found, CKR went belly-up at the same time. No more comics published, and if any of these "bona fide shares" were ever sent out, well, you owned two shares of nothing.

Not that two shares (out of how many?) would have let you hire or fire writers and artists. Heck, I'd be willing to bet that these were non-preferred shares--non-voting, no dividends, no trading allowed--most likely just a glorified certificate you could frame and brag to all your Canadian friends about.

Not that there is no value in such a "symbolic" stock. The Green Bay Packers can never seem to sell enough of their "non-preferred" stock, which has very little value besides sentimental. People are desperate to be part of the team "family," even though in actuality you get very little from the deal besides a conversation piece to hang on the wall.

And I'll be honest--before the days of mega-corporate ownership, had Marvel offered this, I would have bought some in a flash, even if I were fully aware of how valueless it would be. Hell, young snell would have snapped up those two shares, and boasted to all his droogs that he owned a piece of Marvel Comics! I would have been the pope of nerdville!!

Of course, nowadays most comics books won't even print letters from their fans, let alone participate in a scheme like this that would actually require contact and interaction with the teeming masses.

The Captain Canuck stock plan may have been silly, and the victim of very bad timing, but I do miss those days...

The complete ad:

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