Not long ago I was astonished to rediscover childhood Jack Commer marketing tools. As outlined elsewhere, my first Jack Commer, Supreme Commander plots unfolded in the fifth grade, and by the eighth I’d abandoned the draft of The Martian Marauders at 110 pages, eventually returning to it a few years ago and seeing it published as a modern science fiction novel.
Nevertheless the evidence clearly demonstrates that I had a vigorous marketing campaign in gear even in 1965. The following samples show the influence of advertising I was exposed to as a child. They reflected my joy in writing but probably also compensated for the fact that I had little confidence in my everyday kid self. But I also I think I’m seeing hints of mockery, of fledgling satire, at work here.
The ads postulated new titles I can’t recall planning, and assumed that my novels and stories would naturally be translated into movie form. Of course! There was even a Jack Commer logo showing Jack Commer and his spaceship as the prime connection between the ruined Earth and humanity’s new life on Mars.
While these advertising efforts didn’t exactly seed demand for my work–I can’t recall any saturation coverage of my stories in mid-sixties magazines and television–they did remain safely stashed in ancient folders, stalking me for decades so that one day they could confound and embarrass me.
copyright 2015 by Michael D. Smith