Saturday, February 11, 2006

Simple


Simple-Illustration Friday.
It's really simple...most of us were disappointed in "Sea Monkeys" as pets!
I started researching this week's challenge and among other things came across "one celled organisms." Which reminded me of how much I loved looking at things under a microscope at school...which also led me to remember those famous Sea Monkeys I put under the microscope and became horrified and disappointed all in the same moment!

Harold Nathan Braunhut (aka Harold von Braunhut)was an American mail-order marketer most famous as the creator(though they were discovered in Lymington, England in 1755)
and seller of Amazing Sea-Monkeys. He was also an inventor.

Von Braunhut (who died in Marlyland due to an accidental fall in 2003)used comic book advertisements to sell an assortment of quirky products. Braunhut held 195 patents for various products, many of which became cultural icons.
Some of his products included:

X-Ray Specs, Crazy Crabs(hermit crabs), Amazing Hair-Raising Monsters (a card with a printed monster that would grow "hair"- mineral crystals- when water was added) and Invisable Goldfish (non-existant fish that were garunteed to remain invisable permanently!).

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Sea Monkeys didn't really take off until comic book illustrator Joe Orlando drew comic book ads showing humanized versions of the Sea-Monkeys enjoying life in their underwater fantasy world.

Thanks to you, Joe Orlando, I got a taste really early in life about "reality vs. fantasy"...after that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were all put under the microscope as well!

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post! I remember all but the Invisible Goldfish :) Nicely illustrated also!

Toni said...

Funny how something simple could lead to so much.
great illo!!!

Paige Keiser said...

Oh my! I remember those! I kept saying to my mom, "where are the monkeys???" I wasn't too impressed either. Oh and I remember those comic books ads especially for the xray vision - i almost bought those! I wonder if they were any good? Great illustrations on your site!!

carla said...

What a fun post! I used to love reading those ads on the back of comic books for all the kookie things...the x-ray specs always intrigued me. I love the sea monkeys in your illo...

kaya said...

great illustration and story. I remember being intruiged by the sea monkey ads, too! And x-ray speck, sneezing powder, electric handshake, the soap that made your friends dirty, etc. thanks for a great view!

no wrist said...

Great data. My brother would love this (I'll send it to him). remember 97-pound weaklings?
xx

Heatherica said...

haha, this is a fun post!! My four year old had sea monkeys and loved them!

Love your illustration of them :)

HARDWAX said...

I not only get to look at interesting and quircky [I wish I knew how to spell quircky] artwork,but I feel better educated after viewing your blog.

Caroline said...

Ah one person's fantasy is another person's castle, rolls royce and nice fat bank balance?

I never had Sea Monkeys... I love your drawing though - maybe now I wish I had!

Nan said...

I don't remember sea monkeys until recent years when my grandson had them. The way I remember it, he waited months for them to grow and was less than impressed when they finally appeared. Nice pic and great background info!

Crescendo said...

Good works, pics and stories !

Doug said...

a great take on this word! I enjoyed reading it!

andea said...

Great read, great Illo!
a.

Webgrl said...

that is totally hilarious!
invisible goldfish!
proves that people will buy anything aye!

irvine said...

what!? you mean the tooth fairy and easter bunny is not real too??? waaaahh.... and i thought it was Santa that i saw last christmas... 8(

TXArtcGal said...

What a fun take on this week's theme!! LOVE the illustrations, and those goofy Sea Monkeys (I never had them, but my dd got some as a gift! and, they weren't as exciting as your illo!). LOVE the expression on the children's faces!

Sybille said...

A very different take on the topic. I love the story that goes with it. Great fun. :-)

Sybille

Ginger*:)* said...

What fun to read all about the Amazing creations of Harold von Braunhut. I remember Sea Monkeys and my own disappointment at their actual appearance. Thanks for the interpretation and the added history lesson *:)

Stephen said...

Ho-ho! Yes, the fabled aqua monkey characters - I wished and hoped when I was a kid to one day acquire the humanoid sea monkey family. Fortunately I was spared that infamous dissapoint.

Amy Zaleski said...

Very fun! The cartoon "Family Guy" recently had a skit about sea monkeys, of which this reminded me. Thanks for the heads up on Back to Basics. will check it out for my niece!

Lily and Lucy White said...

Fun!

mareikestern said...

i remember these ads. funny, i nearly forget them. as a child i really believed they would look like that. this made me really crazy, just like aliens or dinosaurs or neanderthals. "world" you will never explore. and there was a chance to get in contact with non-human-humans. so i asked my mum if she could order them for me. she didn't.
but she protected me from frustation. maybe she just thought about the fact, that i wasn't hardly able to grow cress-seeds.
funny.
thank you.

Lee said...

the reality of sea-monkeys was devastating...they did not have umbrellas, kitchens or sofas as shown on the box....great post and illo. ellen :)

Tulipland said...

I remembered my old school days as well..Thank you very much:)
Great take on theme !

ValGalArt said...

this is so neat! love your drawing and the whole remembrance of these creatures and cool story about the guy who created them!

cristosova said...

I got very exited about your post and illo. I had no ideas Sea-Monkeys existed. Crazy good things like that make me happy :)
Great take on the topic!
(I hope Von Braunhut discovered ebay in his lifetime.)

steve said...

Ahhh yes, those darn "sea monkeys' --so misleading. I'm still recovering to this very day. Really though, great post (love the "chair" one as well)!

Roz Foster said...

Eeew! I'm a little bit grossed out, but smiling nonetheless! Thanks for the pop-culture history, too.

Majeak Ann said...

Wow..hehe! this is interesting!!
Nice to know.

Rachelle said...

Great illustration. It brings back memories of my own colony of sea monkeys. It was definitley the illustrations that sucked me in too. I could just imagine the whole sea monkey family swimming around and looking at me with their life-like sea monkey faces. Yup, they were a real let down alright!

Catnapping said...

yep. i was really hoping to watch them build furniture. my brothers just wanted to see them having sex. what a bunch of porn geeks!

Sea Angel said...

Great story! Cryptobiosis can be dissapointing, lol.
I love the illustration, I had no idea they actually humanized them. Poor kids.

Marion said...

Funny creatures:-)

Duncan said...

Wow that was very informative and nice illo too.

modroom said...

Yeah that is a bit of a freaky thing. You're not suggesting the X-Ray Specs don't work are you? I've been waiting until I'm responsible enough to own a pair. :d

lyn said...

What fun !

Twisselman said...

Ha! Great post, and I remember rainy afternoons in the early 60s reading comic books with those crazy ads. My mom would never let me order those glasses. Wonderful illustrated sea monkeys. Cool.

anthony said...

i love this. besides it being a great illo for the topic, it reminds me of my own sea monkey time. after about a decade of begging for them, my parents finally let me get them, and let's just say i never brought up the x-ray specs or atlas ads ever again after that experience.

Bron Smith said...

Thanks for the sea monkey lesson and the nice drawing, Ellen.

Alexª said...

it is simple...

Mike Thompson said...

I remember these advertised on the backs of my Spidey comics growing up! I begged Mom and Dad for some, but thankfully they said "NO!" Nice work and thanks for the memories (and your comment on my blog;-)!

Angela said...

If I remember correctly they were brine shrimp, I think. We studied them in school. We each grew our own. I remember being in a classroom full of jars of these.

Tony Sarrecchia said...

I remember those! Right next to the Charles Atlas ads.

Tony Sarrecchia said...

Forgot to add: cool illo!

scribblesk said...

Wow, how traumatized I was with profound dissapointment. These things were like little specks of dust just floating in the water. Talk about deceptive advertising!
I'm still upset.

Ian T. said...

Poor old sea monkeys! I can remember staring at those ads in comics and wondering what they'd be like in reality. They're really brine shrimps, aren't they? Anyway, nice to see your accurate picture of these simple beasties. They never came with enough food, poor things :(.

"Maggie" said...

What memories this brings back! What a fun illustration and post!

openroundtop said...

i remember having sea monkeys as a kid! no matter how quickly they died, i had to keep buying more! very good idea and i love the color and shading. good job!

Kim Carney said...

I don't think I ever had any. Great idea

Rectite23 said...

I used to love ordering those things out of the comic books. Loved your illo!

Alessandro_PPG said...

Notei que você desenha muito com lápis de cor e caneta nanquim! É admirável, pois não desenho mais quase nada na mão! Abraços!!!

Michelle said...

It's funny that you should mention Sea Monkeys. We have just discovered a batch of them in our swimming pool. They have provided hours of entertainment, believe me! Great post.

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I'm a professional artist, a wife, a step-mother, grand-mother, friend, Ms. Fix-it, older sister and a daughter. A regular "person in progress!" Oh yah, and I draw alot! Copyright 2010-2012.

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