Disclaimer: This is not your regular morning coffee. This is not your store bought coffee. You will not find this coffee at your local diner or at your sissy Starbucks. Death Wish Coffee is the most highly caffeinated premium dark roast organic coffee in the world. This is Extreme Coffee, not for the weak. Consider yourself Warned.
One pound—beans or ground—costs $19.99.
Too bad Death cigarettes (1991-1999) aren’t still around. They’d be the perfect accompaniment to a cup of Death Wish.
Cigar-store Indians—those once-ubiquitous carved statues that advertised tobacco shops—began disappearing from U.S. sidewalks more than 50 years ago. But on my ramblings around San Francisco I’ve taken note of their 21st-century folk-art equivalent: cigar men. Not men with cigars: cigar-shaped men. They’re slightly surreal and completely wonderful.
Here’s a studious-looking specimen in front of International House of Wine (no website), in the theater district at 395 Geary Street:
There’s a Turkish-stereotype (or Shriner-stereotype) cigar man in front of Dean’s Fine Cigars at 715 Market Street.
And on the other side of the door there’s an endangered cigar-store Indian gazing skyward.
I think he’s saying, “Oy vey—it’s come to this?” On behalf of all European-American usurpers, I apologize.
I couldn’t help noticing that the skinny yet muscular arms of the fez-wearing cigar bear a strong resemblance to those of International House of Wine’s cigar man. The same artist, perhaps?
There’s a clue on the base of the Dean’s sign:
It turns out that Back to the Drawing Board has done a lot of inventive advertising art in San Francisco and Grass Valley. Until I checked out his (her? their?) website, I hadn’t realized that the non-cigar sidewalk sign in front of Creative Marketing Concepts, at 572 Market Street, came from Back to the Drawing Board.
Sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar. It’s a fountain pen!
The cigar men seem to have replaced a more realistic genre of street advertising, as seen in this photo I took in 2009 on Third Street near SFMOMA.
Here’s his weird yet worthy replacement, in front of Zain’s Liquor:
Well, helloooo, Mr. Disco Collar with the soulful eyes!
Are these artifacts unique to San Francisco, or do other cities have them, too?
For other examples of folk-art advertising signs, see my post about muffler men.
Back for more fun with fictitious brands from The Simpsons! This year's edition includes brands spotted in The Simpsons Movie, which was released in July 2007 and is now available on DVD. I've also added some new categories: publishing, civic life, culture, industry, military, and sports and recreation. And I've expanded the transportation category; it's now called Travel and Lodging. Dates, when available, refer to original broadcast. Thanks to everyone who left suggestions and comments on the original post, and special thanks to linguist Heidi Harley, whose posts on Simpsons linguistic phenomena inspired this quixotic endeavor.
There's a backlog of episodes whose scripts still haven't been uploaded to fan sites, and I didn't begin taking notes until this year, so the list is weighted toward the 1990s. Dates, when provided, refer to an episode's first airing. And yes, this is a work in progress, so feel free to add a comment with your own favorites.
UPDATE: Simpsons Brand-o-Rama Part Deux (posted June 2008) is here. And Part Trois (posted June 2009) is here.
Food and Beverage
Duff Beer (also Duff Lite)
Squishee (crushed-ice beverage sold at the Kwik-E-Mart)
Buzz Cola (also Crystal Buzz Cola)
Mellow Yellow, Mr. Ripe, Peel King (banana brands; "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson," 5/18/97)
Red Tick Beer (tagline: Suck One Dry; "The Springfield Files," 1/12/97)
Powersauce Bar (tagline: Unleash the Power of Apples; label copy: "A bushel of apples packed in each bar, plus a secret ingredient that unleashes the awesome power of apples"; "King of the Hill," 5/3/98 [predating the animated series of the same name])
Stabby O's cereal ("Bye Bye Nerdie," 3/11/01)
Ah, Fudge! ("Sweet and Sour Marge," 1/20/02)
Le Snotterie (fancy French restaurant; "Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase," 5/11/97)
Sha-B00m-Ka-Boom Café (shaped like a mushroom cloud; serves burgers named Little Boy [$3.95] and Fat Man [$12.95]; "Homer Phobia," 2/16/97)
Up, Up and Buffet ("Natural Born Kissers," 5/17/98)
The Singing Sirloin ("She of Little Faith," 12/16/01)