Ding-Dong the Twinkie’s Dead

Hostess ,  the maker of guilty pleasures such as Wonder Bread, Twinkies and Ding-Dongs have anounced they are filing for bankruptcy because of the strike by their employees protesting to accept a new contract that would reduce their wages and benefits.  This will result in over 18,500 workers losing their jobs and closing of 33 bakeries and 565 distrubtion centers.

The only reason why I used to buy these sugar-filled baked goods is because of the wacky ads in my funny books.  If it weren’t for Spider-Man giving Hostess fruit pies to the criminals he captures I wouldn’t have hated the dentist as much.  So in honor of this sad news here is a montage of all the obscure Hostess ads that ran back in the day, enjoy.

 

hulk Ding Dong the Twinkies Dead

 

Superman vs  The Laughing Gas Bandits Ding Dong the Twinkies Dead

 

spiderman seanbaby Ding Dong the Twinkies Dead

iron man Ding Dong the Twinkies Dead

hostess wonder woman Ding Dong the Twinkies Dead

thor2 Ding Dong the Twinkies Dead

BatmanProfessorPlutoTwinkess Ding Dong the Twinkies Dead

jpc001 Ding Dong the Twinkies Dead

I remember a year ago buying all the different DC Hostess cakes, Green Lantern’s was my favorite:

globalls Ding Dong the Twinkies Dead

Comments

  1. I’m sure someone will buy the rights to make Twinkies and the assorted other crap, and the owners of the company will cash out big for mismanaging the company into the ground.

    Maybe whoever picks up the rights will be able to keep a company going without repeatedly lowering employee salaries and violating their contracts. Lots of people seem to be blaming the union for not accepting yet another round of pay cuts, and absolving management from being completely incompetent, but if these guys can’t sell junk food to Americans, they were doing something really, really wrong.

    Meanwhile, I hope everyone losing a job here gets a better-paying one swiftly, with a company that isn’t going to try to repeatedly load all their failures on the back of the workers and then blame them for the company failing.

  2. As I wrote on Comichron this morning, the comics ads were probably one the more effective ad buys in print history. Among magazines, comics are considered to have strong “pass-along” readership since they’re not destroyed after they’re read — and in the case of these comics, they’ve probably been passed along at least a dozen times each on average since their publication. I always thought that should have been part of the publishers’ sales pitch to clients: if you think your product will be around in 20 years, these ads will still be working for you.

  3. Chris Hero says:

    I don’t want to sound all political, but it seems to me labor relations are moving in the wrong direction. Why is it always the fault of the employees or the American public when employees say, “No, I won’t take lower pay and worse health care conditions?”

    I’ve been really upset about this because I used to be a minimum wage worker and the conditions sucked. Now, I’m an employeed engineer with degrees in engineering and law and the huge corporation I work for has opted to give us such awful health care I’m now excitedly looking forward to ObamaCare so I can change plans and afford prescription medicine again.

  4. It’s been an employer’s market for so long that people are under the impression that they have to fold everytime their pay and benifits are reduced to nothing. The timing couldn’t be better with the start of the holiday season and President’s re-election.

  5. I LOVED those ads in the back pages of the comics in my youth. I even did a parody version with my art when I was a teenager.

    I agree with J. J. Miller — those ads were very effective and targeted well. To this day when I see those fruit pies (or their generic knock offs) I also recall the comics that promoted them.

  6. Torsten Adair says:

    Growing up, we were a Dolly Madison household (they had a store nearby).

    Zingers were better that twinkies… Even the plain zinger was moist and creamy, not like Twinkies.

    Sadly, IBC bought them, so now my heart belongs to Little Debbie.

    Wonder Bread is also part of this mess…They used to package collector cards in with the loaves. But white bread was a sin and an insult to my German mother…nothing but rye, wheat, and other savory breads.

  7. There’s definitely something akin to a lord/serf mentality in these cases. The “You don’t like what we’re offering? Fine. Get off my land, peasant” attitude seems to prevail these days.

    That said, I can’t help but wonder if bankruptcy was always in the cards and the Union situation was just a convenient excuse.

  8. Torsten Adair says:

    Did any Hostess ad villains ever cross over to the regular comics?

    I believe there were also Richie Rich and Bugs Bunny ads as well. Now…i can only imagine a Hostess ad in Justice League Dark…

  9. My post has links to some of the sites devoted to the ads:
    http://blog.comichron.com/2012/11/the-hostess-comics-ads.html

    The ads really did make an impact — my wife reminded me this morning I put a Hostess ad joke in the Bart Simpson coming out week after next. Just the Hostess parodies alone would make a sizable collection!

    I’m sorry to see a lot of the digitized comics don’t include the ads (though I understand why they don’t. There’s some interesting stuff there. The first Bill Willingham comics work many people ever saw was in the old Dungeons & Dragons ads in the comics.

  10. cousinpaco says:

    Mr. Busiek himself used one in Thunderbolts, if I’m not mistaken.

  11. Hostess went into bankruptcy in 2004, came out in 2009 (at the time, the longest bankruptcy in US history), went back in earlier this year. Last year they increased executive salaries up to 80% while suspending payments for worker pensions (this year’s bankruptcy trustee cut those salaries hugely).

    They apparently thought that big raises for management, broken promises to the workforce was a great way to prosper. Or at least for themselves to prosper. But when 92% of union employees vote to reject a contract in a crummy economy, it’s either a really lousy contract, or management can’t be trusted to meet even those promises, or both.

    Hostess’s problems aren’t the fault of the workforce, and the failure of the company isn’t anything the people running the company couldn’t see coming — which is probably why they decided to give themselves big raises and screw the pension payments when they had the chance.

  12. Mpneeb says:

    Torsten, I think Kurt Busiek managed to get Ice Master into Thunderbolts.

  13. Yeah, I used Icemaster in the Crimson Cowl’s Masters of Evil.

    And we had a Hostess-ad parody in an earlier issue:

    http://www.oocities.org/area51/portal/5275/extras/fruitpie.jpg

  14. Awesome. Now we need to find a political philosophy for the Phoomie Goonies!

  15. James T says:

    Hostess has two unions. The first one, the teamsters, came to an agreement with the company. The second union refused. As a member of the United States Steelworkers union I’ve been through my share of contract negotiations(just signed a new one this past week). Sometimes you need to take a hit to your benefits to keep things going. When the economy is tough you make concessions…when times are good you can get things back and ask for more. This idea that the company is always wrong and the workers are always in the right is just plain ignorant. We’ve read too many “evil capitalist super villain” comic books if we think that.

  16. Johnny Memeonic says:

    If you can’t sell junk food in the land of the lardass that is modern America then what can the management of Hostess be called but incompetent? Wouldn’t be surprised at all to find that company’s upper echelons were full of Ivy League level lack of both talent and basic economic sense.

  17. SniktSnakt says:

    “When the economy is tough you make concessions…when times are good you can get things back and ask for more. This idea that the company is always wrong and the workers are always in the right is just plain ignorant. We’ve read too many “evil capitalist super villain” comic books if we think that.”

    Couldn’t agree more.

    The union in this case cut off their nose to spite their face. You didn’t want to concede? Great, now NO ONE has a job…

  18. >> This idea that the company is always wrong and the workers are always in the right is just plain ignorant. >>

    The idea that thinking the company was wrong, for screwing the workers, giving themselves raises and offering even more cuts on top of previous cuts (and contract violations) amounts to a claim that workers are always in the right is nonsense.

    At some point, after repeated management failures going back a decade, it’s got to be possible for it to be the company’s fault.

  19. Thanks for sharing that tastee Thunder Bolts ad. I couldn’t find Bendis’s JINX fruit pie ad anywhere.

  20. Brian Spence says:

    These comics were the first things I thought of when I heard the news. Oh well, you know someone will pick up the twinkie name.

  21. Chris Hero says:

    “When the economy is tough you make concessions…when times are good you can get things back and ask for more. ”

    I grew up in a steel working family and had my share of union jobs in high school and college. I’ve never, ever seen or heard of a company giving more to the workers when things are going well except for when GM gave the unions too much. However, the GM case was one where GM was trying to give so much to the unions, Ford and Chrysler would go broke trying to keep up.

  22. James T says:

    Kurt, I never said it wasn’t the company’s fault that things were bad. But when a company is going down the shitter what good does it do to walk out and not come back? Well, it ended up with 18,000+ out of work and the owners getting a nice paycheck from the sale of assets. In 2003 my father lost is pension of 32 years in order to keep his job. It sucked balls but he still has a job. What did these guys think they were going to get? They should have said sure, we’ll take the 8% hit but we want a CEO pay freeze for 2 years. We want capital investments back into the plant to improve the comapny. Let’s work together to right this ship.” When a negotiating committee meets with company officials they get to see the books…they knew where things were headed and that that the threat of closing down was real.

    >> I’ve never, ever seen or heard of a company giving more to the workers when things are going well

    Well, that’s the way it works here. In 2003 my dad lost his 32 year pension. I started working there in 2006 and in 2008 we had a $6k signing bonus, a dollar raise each year of the contract, improved medical, etc. Now, in 2012 we had a $3k signing bonus, no raise, but improved eye and dental. The contracts have always reflected the health of the company.

  23. Joe Lawler says:

    I always thought a coffee table book full of Hostess Fruit Pie ads would be a great idea. Someone buy the company and make that happen.

  24. George says:

    Comic fans are weird. They crap all over creators suing to try to get a piece of the the profit pie for their own creation ( Superman, Ghost Rider, Blade) and side with a multi -million dollar company over workers who had their PENSIONS cut. I’m a conservative, but my fellow Republicans would do almost anything to lower pensions and workers rights.

  25. >> But when a company is going down the shitter what good does it do to walk out and not come back?>>

    Sometimes it’s the best thing to do.

    >> They should have said sure, we’ll take the 8% hit but we want a CEO pay freeze for 2 years. We want capital investments back into the plant to improve the comapny. Let’s work together to right this ship.”>>

    Who says they didn’t? If the other side refuses to do anything but offer a crappy contract and exhibit the kind of behavior that indicates they’re going to violate even that crappy contract if they can enrich themselves, what’s the answer? You’re suggesting that the only thing to do is knuckle under, in order to have a job working for dishonest people out to screw you and blame you for it. Me, I figure that if 92% of the union’s employees voted against the best contract they could get out of these guys, it must have been a horrible deal. It’s not like they don’t know times are tough.

    >> When a negotiating committee meets with company officials they get to see the books…they knew where things were headed and that that the threat of closing down was real.>>

    They had more facts at hand than either of us, in fact — and they thought it was so bad a deal that it was better to refuse it.

  26. Turns out the whole attempt to blame the union is a lie anyway — Hostess had already filed plans with the bankruptcy court to close 9 bakeries before the strike even happened, so the 3 they’re closing now are part of that plan and not a result of the strike at all:

    http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/13/4983174/hostess-continues-pattern-of-misinformation.html#storylink=cpy

    Even the company’s creditors had objected to management draining money out of the company and into their own pockets:

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/11/16/1203151/why-unions-dont-shoulder-the-blame-for-hostesss-downfall/

    Looks like management had decided to rake off as much as they could for themselves and walk away, regardless of their creditors or employees.

  27. Joseph says:

    To his credit, the current CEO (hired just last year, I think) did clearly state that the closure is the result of many issues, including a long history of executive mismanagement. The Union rejecting the contract was, it seems, simply the proverbial straw.

  28. Al™ says:

    Here in Canada, Saputo and Weston own the rights to Hostess brands and will continue to manufacture their goods.

  29. Joe Lawler wrote: “I always thought a coffee table book full of Hostess Fruit Pie ads would be a great idea. Someone buy the company and make that happen.”

    Well, that’s an interesting question. I’m guessing Hostess would own the rights to the actual advertising materials — they paid for them — but certainly it would require the agreement of all the rights-holders. I imagine you’d see a proper original-music-included WKRP in Cincinnati DVD set before that would happen.

    I’m also wondering if any of the original art has surfaced…

  30. Jesse says:

    I guess Greg Rayburn the CEO was supposed to build a time machine and fix a bad decade of mismanagement that happened before he took the job. Not to mention two economic collapses and a changing American diet. Once something is broken it’s hard to fix. Stupid, pro-union chest beating is idiotic, if you vote to lose your job you are an idiot. This was one smaller union the bakers against everyone else.

  31. bad wolf says:

    Mr. Busiek’s first link is to an editorial by the union involved, which oddly doesn’t blame itself, and is not what one would call a credible journalistic investigation. The second is obviously a leftist blog, whose sympathies are hardly in question.
    More neutral sources suggest there’s plenty of blame to go around on all sides.

  32. >>If you can’t sell junk food in the land of the lardass that is modern America then what can the management of Hostess be called but incompetent?<<
    I won't defend Hostess' shoddy management history, but I wonder — I haven't bought a Hostess product in nearly two decades. How many of the people commenting here have bought a Twinkie, a Ding-Dong, or a Hostess Cupcake in, say, the last five years?

    I don't have the numbers, but it does appear Americans' attitudes towards diet ARE changing, and not in favor of sugary treats — especially the ones that have been around for 60 years. We aren't always smart about it — consider Red Bull — but no one these days wants to admit they still eat Twinkies.

  33. Jerry Smith says:

    I have no idea where the blame lies. Credible stories and essays parse it to both sides. The fact is that people voted in such a way that there was a strong possibility they might lose their job. That doesn’t make sense to me. If things are that bad, vote to stay employed and look for a job somewhere else. It is still America, even with Obama as president.

  34. jonboy says:

    You know who I really feel for?

    The people that worked for Hostess that weren’t the execs or part of the union. They’re the ones that got screwed over and didn’t get a say in it.

  35. Kirk Greenfield says:

    I’m curious why the glow balls glowed green… was it radioactivity, Green Lantern or Green goblin powered?

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