Take a look at this public service announcement I found in a 1967 comic book:

BEM Shows Up: 3 teen boys, Brains, Emotion and Muscles, each try and fail to chat up a girl at a party.  By combining themselves they become BEM, who succeeds.

I found it on the inside back cover of Flash #170 (May 1967). Polite Dissent identifies the artist as Sheldon Moldoff and the writer as Jack Schiff, and indicates that it also appears in Lois Lane #74, Superboy #138, and Inferior Five #2. I did some looking, and the National Social Welfare Assembly is still around, as the National Human Services Assembly (I guess they wanted to get the word “welfare” out of the name when it became a knee-jerk trigger).

I love how the three of them are total stereotypes: the nerd, the class clown, and the jock. And how, true to high school sensibilities, the idealized guy looks a lot more like the jock than either of the others. (Funny how only the nerd has glasses, isn’t it?)

What really gets me, though? The name BEM. The first thing that comes to mind when I see those initials is “Bug-Eyed Monster,” a term from early science fiction.

Saucer Men

Somehow, I don’t think emulating these guys is going to be quite so successful with the ladies.

2 thoughts on “BEM: Ladies Man

  1. Thanks. In this case, since it was a black and white image, I converted it to grayscale after scanning, then adjusted the levels inward. That left the background almost entirely white, and the printed areas almost entirely black, with a narrow range of gray smoothing the edges. Then I shrank it to this size. (I scanned it at 300 dpi, so this is probably about 1/3 of the original size.)

    With color images, particularly if I’m editing out a background already, I often end up recoloring them. It’s tedious, but it gets rid of all the patterns you get from scanning printed images.

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