Sunday, June 26, 2016

When Heartbreak Hits... Read a Romance Comic!

Yesterday I caught up with Jenny (the very talented artist for How to Go Steady) to touch base about our Kickstarter campaign. She let me know it had been a rough couple of days because the guy she'd been seeing for a while dumped her for another girl. Ugh! I hate that for her!

It totally sucks to be dumped, especially for someone else but I reassured her that it isn't the end -- it's the beginning! She's a total catch, so I know she'll be fine.

Jenny joked that she needs to follow the advice in the book to bounce back and well, I couldn't agree more! In light of this, let's take a look at a few pieces of advice from romance comics that you'll find in How to Go Steady, shall we?

Got that, Jenny?
Buy a pair of hot pants, stat!

Groovy guys are floating around.
Especially at the beach!

All so true.

Now that's turning lemons into lemonade!

It never ceases to amaze me that there was a whole genre of comic books that were not only entertaining but instructional as well. Certainly, not all of the advice was stellar, but so much of it continues to be timeless and useful.

You'll find all this advice and much more in How to Go Steady: Timeless Dating Advice, Wisdom, and Lessons from Vintage Romance Comics. If you'd like to see this book become a reality (and get yourself a copy in the process) visit our Kickstarter campaign! It'll cheer Jenny up at the very least!

Credits: 1.) The broken heart at the top of this post is actually one of the illustrations that Jenny created for the book. If we get funded, you can expect the rest of the art to be just as beautiful! 2.) Banner from "What to Do if You've Lost Your Man" Girls' Romances #160 (October 1971) 3.) For anyone with a broken heart "What to Do if You've Lost Your Man" 4.) "Love From a Stranger!" Young Love #93 (March 1972) 5., 6., 7.) Sound advice from "When You're Between Boyfriends" Young Romance #187 (October 1972) 8.) "Jilted!" My Love #2 (November 1969) 

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Sequential Crush Kickstarter is LIVE!

It’s hard to believe the day has come, but the Kickstarter is here! Visit to show some love and get in on the fun. I am so hopeful that we will get funded and turn this book into a reality. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of my first book!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Prepare Thine Self! The Sequential Crush Kickstarter is Nigh - Progress Update #2

Poe, my supervisor, looking on
as I prep the Kickstarter

Hello there! It's been a while since I've shared a progress update on my impending book! Truth is, I've been so in it that I've neglected the sharing part of the process. Today, though, I'm going to get you all caught up.

But first, since we are old friends here at Sequential Crush, I want to share some exciting personal news of late. It's even romance related! My wonderful boyfriend, James, proposed to me the other week and I said YES! I'm extremely excited to begin this stage of my life as a fiancée and soon-to-be wife to the most supportive and wonderful man around!

Now, on to book news! The book is written and edited and I've hired Jenny Cimino (pictured with me below) to make it come to life. Jenny is an extremely talented illustrator and graphic designer and I think you'll absolutely fall in love with her style and what she has planned for the book! We've had a ton of fun working together and I think we make an excellent team.

Jenny and I after our whirlwind meeting
a few weeks ago -- we even held part of it in Jenny's
home and studio, a sweet 1974 RV! 

I've been hard at work playing art director, creating a budget, getting samples and quotes from printers, creating reward tiers, figuring out shipping prices and logistics, and writing the campaign text. This weekend, James will be helping me shoot the campaign video. As long as everything goes according to plan, the Kickstarter campaign will launch the week of June 13th!

Along with the romance comics themselves,
we used Pinterest to keep track
of ideas and inspiration

I've poured my heart and soul into writing this book (and yes there have been a few tears along the way), but I'm confident that it will all be worth it. I'm extremely excited to share the campaign with you and I hope you'll see that Jenny and I have done due diligence to honor the romance comics. I hope you'll join us for the Kickstarter and help us turn this book into a reality!

If you'd like to see a little sneak peek
of Jenny's illustration work for the book,
When I send out the next newsletter this evening,
you'll see a preview of what we've been up to!

Friday, May 13, 2016

She Won't Be Any Man's Shadow! Young Romance's 1973 Tale of Relevancy - "I Am a Woman!"

Last time we gathered I gave you a sneak peak of today's story, "I Am a Woman!" I had wanted to share it during Women's History Month, but alas! I ran out of time. No harm there though because this story from Young Romance #190 (January 1973) with Tony DeZuniga pencils is the epitome of timeless. So what makes it such a compelling story some 40 years after its original publication? Read on to find out!

Toni and David are happily engaged and facing the tough situation of their impending long distance relationship. Though neither of them desires to be apart, they know it will put them in a better spot for their future.

Upon coming home from her date with David, Toni is greeted by a less than enthusiastic father. Angry his daughter's been out so late, Tom starts to squabble with Toni and her mother, Mary. As any supportive mother would, Mary tries to stand up for her daughter and her future bridegroom. Ultimately, Mary defers to her husband's lead, upsetting Toni greatly. As a modern young woman, Toni can't understand her mother's willingness to be treated as less than her husband's equal. Toni believes that David shares her beliefs of equality and things will be different in their marriage.

Their wedding day seems happy enough but it comes as no surprise based on David's assertion that he knows "...just how to handle Toni," that soon after the honeymoon David turns into a brute. It all starts when David goes ahead and buys their house without Toni's input. Their house! Yeah. I can't believe it either. David continues to dial up the jerk-o-meter by telling Toni she's a nag when she asks him to pick up his things, changing plans on her, and even dismissing her opinions in front of his friends.

"Slowly I began to realize that just loving a man isn't enough..."

The big blowout comes when Toni announces that she needs to have another purpose in life besides catering to David's needs. She wants to work outside the home. David puts his foot down, however, and declares that there'll be no job for Toni. The next day, Toni packs her things and lets her husband know what's what.

Notice the post-nuptial separate beds!

Toni goes to her mother and father's house but quickly discovers that as they say, you really never can go home again.

After leaving her childhood home in search for a place to stay in the city, Toni is greeted by David at the train station. He knew she'd be there after Toni's mother called him and told him about Toni's visit. After the initial shock of her mother defying her father wears off, Toni and David head back to their mutual home.

Once at the house, David begins to explain his change of heart to Toni. He finally gets it. The newlyweds embrace and what appears to be a tear (and hopefully not just a printing smudge), rolls onto David's cheek.

In this story, the essence of womanhood is depicted as being connected to a sense of purpose. Not unlike reality, for some romance characters that meant rearing children and taking care of a household. For others, a sense of purpose was found in having a career outside the home. When David denied Toni her purpose, he was met with her wrath! It would've been one thing if Toni wanted to stay home, but the fact that she adamantly wanted to work outside the home makes David seem out of touch, even by 1970s standards!

As time goes on and the current social climate and economy deem dual incomes as the goal for many families (whether out of choice or necessity), I believe the question of whether to marry and have a family or advance ones career will continue to be an issue for many young women. Just when I see some wacky Charlton comic extolling the virtues of discotheques, I am reminded by the DC romance stories just how relevant romance comics continue to be in many ways.

Speaking of relevance -- how would you like to read a book about the dating advice from romance comics and how much of it is still applicable? If that sounds up your alley, then you are in luck! If things go as planned, I'll be launching my Kickstarter campaign next month! I've been hard at work pulling together the logistics and I can't wait to share with y'all the fun stuff I've been cooking up!

Be sure to sign up for my mailing list to stay in the loop.
I'll be sending out a fresh edition soon,
so sign up now and you won't miss it.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Is Marriage Right for You? Take Young Romance's Marriage Preparedness Quiz!

Nowadays, girls have more choices than they ever did before...
In fact, the Women's Liberation Movement has given a whole new
status to women as people -- not as housewives and mothers.
The question arises: Is marriage right for every girl??

Marriage is pretty much par for the course in romance comics. Engagements, weddings, and all the other events and emotions that revolve around the institution were prevalent in the pages of the love comics. Influenced by second wave feminism, quizzes like the one below from Young Romance #190 (January 1973) began to pop up, along with sequential stories that incorporated the increasing visibility of the Women's Movement. This particular quiz with questions about careers, education, politics, and domesticity, planted the seed that maybe, just maybe, marriage (especially young marriage) wasn't for everyone.

Click to enlarge and take the quiz!

How did you score? I got a 44. In my twenties, I probably would have gotten a result indicating that I was less about marriage and more about career. But as I enter the second year of my thirties, the prospect of having a family of my own is becoming increasingly important. Since the majority of romance comic readers were on the younger side, I have a feeling that many who took the quiz were on the extreme ends of the spectrum rather than in-between like myself. 

In the issue, the quiz was followed by a closely connected sequential piece titled, "I Am a Woman!" penciled by Tony DeZuniga. The story tells the plight of Toni, an unhappy newlywed. The reason why Toni is prepared to leave her new groom? Well... you're gonna have to wait 'til next time to find out! Join me then for the rest of "I Am a Woman!"

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!