Wednesday, August 21, 2013

UK Marketing Agency Award Uses "Charles Atlas" Branding

The UK's The Best Awards, which "champion the very finest in cutting-edge, integrated and inspiring marketing agency work produced by the UK's top creative agency talent," have a Charles Atlas-themed campaign for their awards this year. As co-sponsor The Guardian puts it:
If you think your agency has the talent to make the leap from lightweight to heavyweight, the Best Awards offer the perfect opportunity to showcase your work.
Considering the success and longevity of Atlas' own campaign, as designed and directed by adman Charles P. Roman, paying homage to Atlas this way makes good sense. If only they had gone further in emulating the Atlas ads themselves, instead of focusing just on Atlas as a "heavyweight" on a distressed background. Oh well, at least it's an officially sanctioned use:
Charles Atlas ® under licence from Charles Atlas Ltd,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Made out of "Mac": Notable!

Congratulations to Tom Motley and the other contributors to True Fiction #8: Made out of "Mac" for being named a Notable Comic of 2010! Made out of Mac does what we love best here at Kicking the Sand: It takes the Atlas "sand-kicking" ad and parodies it in any number of different ways, usually by using "constraints" created by the OuLiPo group. T. Motley edited the book and contributed many of the strips (and signed my copy!). You can order the comic here, and you can see some more of the contents at the Notable Comics link, and also at Tom Motley's blog here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Unclear on the Metaphor

Here's the lede to a recent post from Chicagoist:
If you're enjoying the fact that Illinois has become the nation's 95-pound weakling for other Charles Atlas-like Governors to kick sand in our face while attempting to steal our jerbs, you'll love this.
We here at Kicking the Sand always love a good Charles Atlas reference, but sadly, this isn't one of them. We'll forgive Chicagoist the reference to the "95-pound weakling" ("97" is canonical), but really - Charles Atlas would never kick sand in someone's face; that's work for bullies, not for the World's Most Perfectly Developed Man. Sheesh!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

R.I.P. Jack LaLane

Earlier this week, fitness guru Jack LaLane passed away, aged 96. I still recall seeing LaLane on television shows when I was growing up. Many of the dozens of obituaries I've run across also mention Charles Atlas - proof positive (if such a thing were needed) that Atlas is still a touchstone in the world of fitness.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flex Mentallo to be Reprinted

In good news for fans of comics and muscle mastery, earlier this month DC Comics announced that it would finally reprint the long-sought-after Flex Mentallo four-issue comic book series (originally published in 1996) later this year. Charles Atlas Ltd. once sued DC over the title and character, claiming dilution of trademark; the judge dismissed the case, stating that "This is precisely the type of expression of ideas that the First Amendment is designed to protect." While there's no doubt whatsoever that Flex was inspired by the Atlas advertisements, the miniseries--written by Grant Morrison, with art by Frank Quitely--presents a complex and multifaceted meditation on power, and heroism, and comics, and I'm looking forward to seeing the collected edition on bookstore shelves.

For more details on the reprinting, see Andy Khouri's story at Comics Alliance, "Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely's 'Flex Mentallo' to be Reprinted at Last." For (lots) more on Flex the series, see Jason Craft's The Annotated Flex Mentallo. For more on the legal dispute between Charles Atlas, Ltd. and DC Comics over the Flex comics, see this Associated Press story, as well as A Legal Comparison of Charles Atlas Ads and Flex Mentallo.

The Insult that Made a Man Out of "Obama"

In 2010, editorial cartoonist Ted Rall used a Charles Atlas parody to depict President Barack Obama's reaction to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Click here to visit Rall's website and read the entire comic.