Friday, July 30, 2010

Nobody Wants a Girl Auto Mechanic! - Career Girl Romances #66 (December 1971)

Last week, KB over at Out of This World presented a nice post with some car-themed work by Alex Toth. One of the beautifully draw pieces by Toth featured a young woman working on a car -- much to the surprise of a few of the male characters. The Toth story reminded me of "Nobody Wants a Girl Auto Mechanic!" from Career Girl Romances #66 (December 1971).

Published six years after the Toth story, "Nobody Wants a Girl Auto Mechanic!" tells the story of bright Lisa, an aspiring car-fixer-upper looking for work. Lisa gets turned down by shop after shop without even having an opportunity to show her skills. Trying one more time at Chuck's Auto Repair, Lisa is greeted with the same response - a big fat no.

That's coffee he just spit up Exorcist-style.
I think. I hope.

Frustrated by the same response she is used to getting, Lisa makes a dash for it, accidentally leaving behind her tool kit. Chuck's sister, Mae first scolds Chuck for being such a "big man" and then promptly goes to return Lisa's tool box. When Mae goes to return Lisa's tools she apologizes for her brother's archaic behavior and conducts an impromptu interview with Lisa and her male family members, all who can vouch for her talent in fixing up their cars and motorcycles. Convinced that Lisa would be a great mechanic, Mae cooks up a plan to stage a protest outside of her brother's auto repair shop.

Mae and her crew of activists don't relent until Chuck gives in and hires Lisa, proving a costly move for the business. Though Chuck is willing to give a female mechanic a shot, his customers aren't. The business declines rapidly, and the customers stop rolling in.

Feeling responsible for losing Chuck's clientele, Lisa decides to leave the shop. Chuck won't have any of it though and declares, "Now this is my fight too..." and decides to take up the cause of women's lib.

Mae convinces the next customer, Ted Bosswell to let Lisa work on his car. Happy to prove her talent, Lisa gets to work.

The engine starts like a gem, and Ted tells Chuck he only wants Lisa working on it from there on out. Obviously impressed with her work, Chuck grabs Lisa and lays a big smooch on her -- and the rest, as they say, is history!

Not a bad story, wouldn't you say?! "Nobody Wants a Girl Auto Mechanic!" manages to incorporate the women's movement in a non superficial way and yet retain a believable romantic essence. There is just a certain sweetness to it -- and I am not gonna lie -- that jumpsuit is tops!


  1. Nice spit-take at the top of page two. What on earth is he ingesting?

    --F.S. Marshall

  2. Beautiful!
    There was also a great plate in the first Steve Rude Nexus Portfolio showing Nexus' love interest, Sundra Peale, in coveralls, working on a spacaship in a garage. Very nice!
    Can't find a Web image, but I'll post the pic if I can find my copy of the portfolio.

  3. Well, being a Welder, Electrician, mad-Inventor, and part-time Mechanic~ I would just like to say~ all I'm looking for these days is a Career Girl Mechanic~! (it would free me up to paint murals or something)

  4. Oh~ and~ a foursome with a grease monkey is about as raunchy as Sequential Crush has ever gotten ;~j

  5. F.S. Marshall (very nice by the way!): I believe that is coffee... or split-pea soup?!

    Diana: I would like to see that! Let me know if you find it!

    Lysdexicuss: Raunchiness is something we are working on here at SC. :)

  6. An interesting story from Charlton. I believe the art is by Don Perlin, with inking perhaps by Vince Alascia.

    Nick C.

  7. I was going to have some split-pea soup for dinner, and then I saw this post. Paging Linda Blair...

  8. Nick: Don Perlin, eh? Not really familiar with his work. Thanks for the IDing -- you are so good at that!

  9. Actually, the art is a solo job from the prolific Charles Nicolas. It's a shame there aren't more of them, as he's a fine inker of his own pencils.

  10. Ah, upon closer inspection, I may have spoken in haste. I see the Anonymous poster probably has a point. Nicolas inks, check. But these are Don Perlin pencils in there. I don't think I've seen that particular combo more than once or twice.

    Nice art, and the story's pretty sweet too!

  11. Jacque,

    THanks for the kind words. I love ID'ing comic art and, although I specialize in silver age Marvel, I've been going through tons of Charlton comics on the GCD and ID'ing artists. Charlton produced a ton of romance comics, along with some beautiful covers by such diverse artists like Dick Giordano, Vince Colletta, Matt Baker, Nicholas & Alascia, Garcia Lopez, Don Sherwoood, A. Martinez, Luis Avilla, and many others.

    Nick Caputo

  12. Richard: Thanks for stopping by! It can be hard to pin down artists sometimes! One moment I will think it is one and then look at another panel and think it is another! :) But, Don Perlin it is!

    Nick: I think the great Charlton covers are how I have ended up with so many!