Last night I went to the movies and there was one trailer that really caught my attention. It was for a movie called Taking Woodstock and it will come out this August, just in time for the 40th Anniversary of the festival that defined an era. What does this have to do with romance comics, you may ask? Well... plenty!
Romance comic creators were quick to pick up on events in real life and incorporate them into the pages of their stories. Various romance publishers found inspiration in the Woodstock Festival and other rock festivals and ran with the concept. Some of the romance comics directly referred to Woodstock by name, and others had stories of generic rock festivals. I am going to save the Woodstock stories for mid-August to coincide with the anniversary, but in the meantime I would like to share with you a rock festival story from Charlton's Sweethearts #120 (November 1971) called, "From Another World." I had forgotten about this story until I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie... notice the similarities!
"From Another World" features the art of Leandro Sesarego and tells the story of Amelia, a sheltered, country bumpkin girl of nineteen who has had little contact with the outside world and her peers. One day, with the arrival of a stranger, her life changes forever.
The stranger, Derek explains that he is holding a rock festival nearby. Amelia is innocent and almost awkward in her ignorance of the youth culture around her.
Derek tries to explain what the festival entails, but decides its best to show Amelia in person.
After Derek takes Amelia home, she cannot wait to tell her grandparents about the festival. They are concerned about it, and consider calling the Sheriff to investigate. Derek comes to the door just in time though and introduces himself to the doubtful grandparents. He invites all three of them to be his guests at the festival. The grandfather doesn't say no, but he doesn't say yes either. Amelia and Derek move out to the porch to have some privacy after the introduction. She tells him about how her grandparents have rejected "today's civilization" and have cut her off from it. Derek reminds Amelia not to let life pass her by and goes in for the kiss. Just as their lips are about to meet, the grandfather opens the door to check on them. Though the mood is broken and they are from different worlds, the young couple seems to have the right chemistry to make it work.
The next day the rock festival begins, and Amelia surprises Derek with a bit of a makeover. Her new style and appreciation of the music of the youth steals Derek's heart, and finally Amelia gets her "first grown-up kiss."
Not too bad of a story, though it does end rather abruptly. I wonder what happened to Amelia and Derek? Did she continue to dress like a hippie or go back to her more simple ways? Too bad there isn't a part two! At first I didn't care for the art and I found it a little too realistic looking for my tastes. But, it grew on me, and although I still don't think the up-close shots of Amelia are that flattering, I really enjoy the wider, detailed scenes of the concert goers.
Stay tuned and get ready for mid-August when I bring you more Woodstock and rock festival themed romance stories! Enjoy the last few hours of the weekend!