Close but no comic

As with anything that can garner a loyal (if not fanatic) niche following, comics-related imagery are used on any item that even remotely has a collectible value. Case in point today, cigar bands.

Often referred to (at least by me) as postal stamps’ less fortunate nephew, cigar bands originated somewhere in the 1830’s to enable some kind of branding on an otherwise quite indistinguishable product.  Pretty soon this type of ephemera turned collectable (there’s even a name for that, vitolphilia), which in turn resulted in bands being produced with the specific purpose of being collected.

The Dutch brand Murillo, for example, started releasing themed bands in the mid-1970s, and from the early 1990s  issued special, large-sized bands for collectors. Starting in 1999 they began issuing comics-themed band series almost exclusively. They were published in series of ten, featuring imagery lifted from popular (Euro) comics, such as Lucky Luke, Tintin, Suske & Wiske, De Rode Ridder or Asterix, but also Spider-Man, Donald Duck and even imagery from the comic adaptation of the Star Wars movie, The Phantom Menace.

Most of these ever went near a cigar, and Murillo itself even stopped producing cigars long before these bands were created. Aesthetically, the bands are not that impressive, with randomly cropped artwork stuck on a fairly standard band. And I’m not even going to ask about copyrights.

 Full disclosure – I don’t really remember where I found these images. If you recognise them, and would like credits, please get in touch.

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