Friday, May 2, 2014

Re-Presenting: Was INAPAK the Chocolate Drink That NEVER Actually Existed?

Yesterday, we presented the miracle chocolate drink Inapak...
Now here's an interesting point...
It apparently never existed!
Really!
From extensive research (we're talking off-line and on-site) thru the archives of several dealers and collectors who handle related food ephemera like Ovaltine and Quik (now Nesquik) packaging and advertising, I've yet to come across anything (besides the comic book) relating in any way to Inapak!
Could it have been a proposed project that never got off the ground, like Victor Fox's Kooba Kola?
If so, who was behind it?
Magazine Enterprises, the publishers of the The Avenger, FunnyMan, and original Ghost Rider, produced the comic, and it's copyrighted in their name, not an outside corporation, as most licensed comics are!
Bob Powell is obviously the artist, though the writer is unknown.
It's theorized on the Grand Comics Database that Gardner Fox scripted the two stories in the book.
Speaking of which, here's the short tale from the back of the book...
Now, here's my theory about who Major Inapak is and how he came to be...
At this point (1951), there were a number of kids' sci-fi tv shows like Captain Video, featuring characters who also promoted their sponsors' products...

...and there was talk of a tv version of radio/comic/movie serial hero Captain Midnight (who was still owned by Ovaltine) with a heavier sci-fi flavor to compete with Captain Video, Tom Corbett: Space Cadet, Space Patrol, et al.
(A Captain Midnight show eventually aired in 1954-56, with some sci-fi elements, but set present-day to keep the budget down.
And of course, it had lots of promotion for products...)

Could this book have been a tryout with the original, futuristic, format for Captain Midnight, spotlighting his sponsor, Ovaltine?
And, when it didn't sell, the story was reformatted with a new character and a non-existent chocolate drink to demonstrate what Magazine Enterprises could do for potential clients, and then used as a trade-show giveaway to drum up business for a licensed-comic division (similar to what both Marvel and DC have today)?
Think about it...

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