Back in the 1950’s every comic book — and many magazines — had an advertisement in the back about Joe, the 97-lb. weakling. That’s how he began, you see, and bullies used to come along and kick sand in his face at the beach. How embarrassing!
But then Joe clipped a coupon, mailed it in, got a free body-building book, and in only 15 minutes a day, he soon became a real he-man.
I’ve never figured out exactly how Charles Atlas made money by giving away free books, but he sure did a lot of advertising. I don’t know either how many days Joe had to follow the program before he was able to save the day.
With the Inktober prompt of weak, my mind immediately went back to the 97-lb. weakling, and I drew my own silly version of Joe the Weakling. I gave him a set of barbells, too, so he could begin working out right away. And look! He’s already started to develop a little muscle in one arm.
Joe, of course, is best friends with Exploding Brain Boy, and I think I hear a story calling. Maybe together these two boys can find a way to deal with Cruel Stepfather. Not that I advocate violence in any form, but don’t we all like to see bullies get what they deserve?
Did you know…
The story of the 97-lb. weakling and the bully on the beach is supposedly true. Angelo Siciliano — the real name of Charles Atlas — tried many methods for building his body up. He was too poor to join the YMCA, so he exercised at home. According to the story, he was visiting a zoo one day when he watched a lion stretching. This gave Siciliano ideas on muscle-building and led to the development of the “dynamic tension” system he later marketed.
Let’s hope my 97-lb weakling sticks with the program and becomes the man he longs to be. Good luck, Joe!