Detective #367 encouraged readers to (GASP) cut up the cover to solve a puzzle: 1967 Retro COTW

Detective Comics #367, DC Comics, 1968, Art by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson.

The POP Retro Cover Of The Week continues its examination and celebration of iconic comic covers from the 1960s through the 2000s, this week expanding our coverage back to 1967, when DC toyed with an interactive cover gimmick, encouraging readers to actually cut pieces out of the cover of Detective #367 to put together a puzzle. It's enough to make current comic collectors cringe in horror.

In the 1960s, comics were still very much aimed at and intended for younger readers. Comic books were also still considered to be a cheap, disposable medium, as they were printed on the cheapest pulp paper around. Publishers never imagined that anyone would object to cutting up a comic book and destroying its value, because they didn’t think comics had any. Even the earliest issues of DC comics weren’t worth a lot of money…yet.

A Side Note: 1967 was the first year of Batmania, when the campy Batman tv show brought interest back to Batman comics. DC’s oldest title and the title that gave the publisher its name, Detective Comics, was actually selling so poorly, it was on the verge of cancellation. The “New Look” Batman had a costume and much less cartoony art upgrade by Carmine Infantino, who added the yellow oval around the bat symbol on his chest, mirroring the bat signal in the sky.

Readers of this issue were instructed to cut out puzzle pieces at the bottom of the cover, and assemble them to finish the full-cover puzzle and “identify Batman’s would-be killer.”

I wonder how many readers actually followed through, and how many (or few) unmolested copies exist of this POP Retro Cover Of The Week ?

Next week: Forward to the groovy, innovative 1970s!

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