Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tales of Gothic Romance - Charlton Comics' "The Night on Fog Island"

Happy Halloween! In between those knocks on the door from trick-or-treaters, pop a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and settle in with "The Night on Fog Island" from Haunted Love #9 (May 1975)! This beautifully illustrated story by Charlton great, Enrique Nieto (with a stunning painted cover by Don Newton) is sure to send a chill up your spine!

As a special treat (because isn't Halloween all about treats, really?) I've included all six pages of the story. Just click on a page to enlarge it! Enjoy and have a spookily romantic evening!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Romance Covers of Supergirl!

Hey there romance fans! Did you watch the Supergirl pilot on Monday? I caught it last night (thank you internet), and I absolutely loved it! Like so many of the romance comics of the 1960s and '70s, the show did a fantastic job showing Supergirl's vulnerabilities and humanity. I'm super pumped to see where the show goes. I think it's really important for there to be a heroine out there who is real and relatable and more than just a sexy fighting machine. Supergirl is the one for the job, don't ya think?! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the character and what you thought of the pilot in the comments! 

Since I'm on a bit of a Supergirl high, I thought I'd share some of my favorite très romantique covers featuring the Maid of Might! Not only were these covers rendered by artists who also worked in the romance genre (including the recently departed Murphy Anderson), these particular issues share a lot of the same DNA with the romance comics in form, language, and overall aesthetic. 

Adventure Comics #386
(November 1969)

Adventure Comics #388
(January 1970)

Adventure Comics #389
(February 1970)

Adventure Comics #390
(March/April 1970)

Adventure Comics #402
(February 1971)

Supergirl #3
(February 1973)

Supergirl #6
(August 1973)

Credits: 1.) Adventure Comics #386 (November 1969) Pencils: Curt Swan , Inks: Murphy Anderson  2.) Adventure Comics #388 (January 1970) Pencils: Curt Swan , Inks: Murphy Anderson 3.) Adventure Comics #389 (February 1970) Pencils: Curt Swan , Inks: Murphy Anderson 4.) Adventure Comics #390 (March/April 1970) Pencils: Curt Swan , Inks: Murphy Anderson 5.) Adventure Comics #402 (February 1971) Pencils: Mike Sekowsky, Inks: Dick Giordano 6.) Supergirl #3 (February 1973) Pencils and Inks: Bob Oksner 7.) Supergirl #6 (August 1973) Pencils and Inks: Bob Oksner


If you've enjoyed this brief look at Supergirl's more romantic side, I think you'll really dig my booklet The Look of Love: The Romantic Era of DC's Lois Lane, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman. Head on over to my Gumroad shop and snag yourself a digital copy (pay-as-you-wish!) or a physical copy for $5 + shipping. I'll even sign it if you like! 

One more thing before we part ways! As a thank you to all of you who've subscribed to the Sequential Crush newsletter, I'll be sending out an exclusive Halloween post via email later this week. No worries if you aren't signed up yet though -- there's still time! Sign up here!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Remembering Murphy Anderson (1926-2015)

By now, you've probably heard about the passing of comic book great, Murphy Anderson. I don't know if there's anything I can say that hasn't already been said about the comics giant, but a man as wonderful as he was deserves as many tributes as the internet can hold. 

The artist at work
Photo via Berserker Books

When I look back on my childhood and all the people I was lucky enough to meet at conventions, Murphy Anderson immediately comes to mind. Even though I was just a kid, I was always struck by his kindness and charm -- not to mention, his low and distinctive voice. Anyone who heard him speak will keep that voice with them for a long time. I know I will. I can hear it as I write this!

You may not think of romance comics when you think of Murphy Anderson, but like so many artists of the Silver Age, he worked on a handful. His romance pencils and inks may not be as identifiable as some artists, but I am getting to know them better as time goes on. Below are a few examples I have in my collection.

Perhaps the most unforgettable story Murphy worked on was "I Found My Love at the Woodstock Festival!" if only for its sheer novelty. I continue to be unsure of the penciler, but the inks are by Anderson.

"I Found My Love at the Woodstock Festival!"
Falling in Love #118
(October 1970)
Though disputed, "Will No One Trust Me Again?" from Girls' Love Stories #155 appears to have been inked by Anderson (via Joe Orlando's records).

EDIT: Most likely not Anderson (see comments)
"Will No One Trust Me Again?"
Girls' Love Stories #155
(November 1970)

I see a few possible artists in the pages of "Too Good to Be Loved," but the GCD credits Anderson with pencils and inks.

"Too Good to Be Loved"
Girls' Romances #149
(June 1970)

"Unloved and Unwanted!" demonstrates Anderson's expressiveness as an inker. The characters are so dynamic and practically jump off the page! The original signed page can be seen here.

"Unloved and Unwanted!"
Girls' Romances #151
(September 1971)

As we continue to lose the talented folks who were the backbone of the industry for so long, I'm comforted to know that their legacy lives on. In these pages, in our hearts, and in Murphy Anderson's case... in my ears. Rest in Peace, kind sir.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Favorites - Masquerades!

October has to be one of the most beloved of months, don't you think? Not only are the leaves changing and the air getting crisp, Halloween is just around the corner! Now, much to my dismay, there are not many Halloween stories in the romance comics, but there are quite a few covers depicting masquerades. So many in fact, that it leads me to believe that most Americans were attending bi-weekly masquerade balls from the 1950s through the '70s! No?! They weren't? Oh...well, enjoy these covers anyway! Maybe you'll even get an idea for your Halloween costume! 


Masquerade balls in the romance comics are a convenient way to "test the waters" if you know what I mean. 

 Secret Hearts #68
(January 1961)

Despite a questionable background costume, this cover is colorful and fun! I dig it! 

Young Romance #142
(June/July 1966)

I know, I know. This issue of Girls' Love Stories is from the '50s, but it has a soft spot in my heart -doesn't the masked suitor look quite a bit like Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern?! I definitely need to add it to my collection someday! 

Girls' Love Stories #40*
(March/April 1956)

The kissing couple on this Charlton is delightful, but what I really love about it is the action-packed background!

Sweethearts #114
(January 1971)

A word bubble that reads, "You? Oh, no..." doesn't exactly make for a promising romance story, but it is darn entertaining! 

Love Diary #71*
(March 1971)

Credits: 1.) Secret Hearts #68 (January 1961) Pencils: John Romita 2.) Young Romance #142 (June/July 1966) Pencils: Jay Scott Pike 3.) Girls' Love Stories #40 (March/April 1956) Pencils: Mike Sekowsky 4.) Sweethearts #114 (January 1971) 5.) Love Diary #71 (March 1971)

*Cover image from the Grand Comics Database 

Thanks so much for reading!
If you haven't already, be sure to sign up
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for more romance comic book goodness! 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sequential Crush at Wizard World Nashville 2015!

If you find yourself in Music City, USA (aka Nashville) for Wizard World this coming weekend, be sure to visit me! This will be my first ever convention setting up a table for Sequential Crush, so I am very excited. I'll have copies of Ares & Aphrodite (I wrote the afterword) for sale, as well as my Look of Love booklet. You can find me in Artist Alley, table B21 -- I'll be the one with the big hair!

In addition to having a table in Artist Alley, I will also be on two panels talking about two topics near and dear to my heart -- romance comics (of course) and my grandfather/the 75th anniversary of the Green Lantern.

Friday, September 25th
7:00 – 7:45PM
(ROOM 105)
What is a Strong Female Character to you? Who is she? Is it Wonder Woman? She-Hulk? Is it someone who doesn't fight but kicks butt in other ways? Join Jenna Busch (Legion of Leia, Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind, Most Craved), Genese Davis (author, The Holders' Dominion), Janet Lee (artist, Return of the Dappermen), Jacque Nodell ( and Renee Witterstaetter (editor, She-Hulk, colorist Avengers) to talk about your favorites, how things are changing and what makes someone 'strong.'

Sunday, September 27th
2:00 - 2:45PM
(ROOM 104AB)
75 years ago, in 1940, as the Nazi conquest of Europe continued and the Battle of Britain raged, the United States watched from the sidelines while instituting the first peacetime draft. At the same time, the world of comics was experiencing an incredible sustained period of invention, as The Joker, Robin, Green Lantern, the Flash, Hawkman, the Spirit, Catwoman, and Captains America and Marvel all debuted! (Not to mention the debuts of pop culture icons Bugs Bunny, and Brenda Starr, and classic movies Fantasia and The Great Dictator!) Showing and discussing historical and cultural factors that made that year so important is a panel including moderator Danny Fingeroth (Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero) as well as an array of history and pop culture experts, including Joe Casey (Ben 10) and Jacque Nodell (granddaughter of Green Lantern creator Martin Nodell).

Will you be there? If so, please be sure to stop by and say hello!

Thanks so much for reading!
If you haven't already, be sure to sign up
for the Sequential Crush newsletter email list
for more romance comic book goodness!