As an extra-special Valentine's Day treat, the Ladies present a guest post from our friend Gary Spezzafero from Collector's Corner - a blog devoted to Gary's impressive collections. While the primary focus is his world-class assemblage of Bobby Orr memorabilia, Gary has some stunning classic comics as well. If you'd like to write a post for the Ladies, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org! I'm thrilled to be writing this guest post for The Ladies of Comicazi. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought this would be a perfect time to write about some romance comics ranging from the 1950's to the 1970's.
Romance comics began hitting newstands in 1947, with the first being a book called Young Romance. The genre peaked in the early 1950’s when more than 150 romance titles were being published. By the 1960’s they began to fade in popularity, and then all but vanished by the late 1970’s.
I only have a few romance books mainly because I don’t come across them too often and it’s not my favorite genre. When I do find one however, I can’t resist. Especially the 70’s books because that's when they were at their most “campy,” for lack of a better phrase. For me, they are some of the most unintentionally funny stories to read because of the crazy story titles and over-the-top despair of the main characters. But don't take my word for it - you can judge for yourself.
Here we have DC’s Young Romance. The book on the right is from 1965, and the one on the left from 1972. The ‘72 book is much more interesting, with stories like “Mad About the Boy: Was I the Wrong Age for Him?” and advice about what to do if you’re a “Loser in Love.” Obviously these are deep, thought-provoking stories.
Two more 70’s books. Here we have a cheating beauty queen who wins her crown by getting a little too cozy with one of the judges and an angst-ridden woman who feels that her beauty is wrecking her life and wishes she'd been born ugly. What a terrible problem to have.
The Young Love book is a classic. Straight from the 70’s and filled with despair. It seems that this young lady is bored with her plain boyfriend and is looking for a little excitement with this wild and free biker. I sense trouble here. As the story says, what heartbreak awaits the “Biker's Girl”? You can also read about “The Girl Who Wanted to Say YES!” In this story, Mia wonders why Denny won’t ask her to marry him. Filled with despair, she goes for a late night drive where her car breaks down and Tod comes around and helps her. Tod’s girlfriend just left him for his best friend. Tod and Mia begin dating and he asks her to marry him, but she can’t because she is still in love with Denny. Tod storms off. Got all this so far? Well Mia and Denny hook up again but still no proposal. Mia finally dumps Denny and sobs that she should have gone with Tod, who then magically reappears. All is forgiven. Wow. I’m an emotional wreck just from writing all that.
Here are two books from the 50’s. With these I'll let the covers speak for themselves.
Often melodramatic and silly, these are just fun comics to flip through. One of the best features I haven’t mentioned yet is that most of these books have advice columns in them. There are no words to describe just how hysterical they are.
So do you have any favorite romance comics in your collection or any thoughts on these books? Write in and let me know what you think.
And if you'd like to see some romance in action - and Gary in a crazy suit - join him at Comicazi on Saturday, February 13th as he hosts the Couples Game! It's just $10 for a whole night of fun!