Monday, August 23, 2010

Romance under the Covers - Love Stories #148 (January 1973)

Let's get the week started off right -- with DC's Love Stories #148 (January 1973)! Jam-packed with what the cover advertises as "burning romance revelations," this issue has a little something for everyone!

First on the docket is a story of mistaken identity, "Wrong Face!" The not-so-confident Ginny starts a pen pal relationship with dashing Craig Anderson. Instead of sending a picture of herself along with the letters though, she sends him a head shot of her brunette sister, Alice. So when Craig shows up for a surprise visit, Ginny has no choice but to convince Alice to go with the flow and pretend that she is Ginny.

The three go out for dinner and the real Ginny feels left out as her sister has a great time with Craig, resulting in a romantic embrace as she looks on.

Ginny makes a dash for it, but Craig goes after her. Even though he locked lips with Alice, Craig says he was able to read between the lines and figured out that Alice was an impostor. The simple story ends with Craig kissing the right face.

The second story in the issue, "Make Me Beautiful!" is about another insecure leading lady, Suzan. Though she pines over the school's basketball star, she is immobilized to make a move...

...that is, until her friend Carol brings over a mysterious bottle of "Moonglow Moisturizer," a seven day treatment that promises the appearance of one's dream man. Suzan hops in the shower to get ready for the dance and try out the beauty aid.

You don't even have to read one of the following panels to get the feel for what the outcome of the "Moonglow Moisturizer" was for Suzan. In two words -- not good!

After her new scent being compared to "a tank of embalming fluid," Suzan makes a dash for it -- despite the stormy weather. The heavy downpour works in her favor, however; and the park attendant who goes after her is entranced by of all things, her smell -- that of a fresh summer's rain!

"No More Kisses!" is a little strange, if you ask me. The story starts out innocently enough with a game of spin the bottle. Carol is not unlucky in love like our first two protagonists. Quite the opposite actually! She can't get boys to stop kissing her!

Though Carol seems to see a ton of action, she is sick of not feeling that magical spark when she locks lips with potential suitors. As luck would have it, she is assigned to the kissing booth at the charity carnival, a task which she likens to, "force-feeding a freezing Eskimo ice cream sundaes!"

And so it goes for Carol, with her eyes tightly shut... kiss after kiss after kiss...

...after kiss after kiss! Not expecting to be lifted off her feet with any of the customer's kisses, Carol is shocked when her last kiss at the booth blows her away, but since she had her eyes closed she has no idea what the man who kissed her looks like. A frantic search ensues.

Out of nowhere, Carol is blasted with softball. She goes down for the count, but is swiftly attended to by the pitcher -- whom she instantly recognizes by his touch as the mystery kisser. At last she has found "the one!"

Most every romance book had some sort of filler, whether it be a text article or as seen here in this issue of Love Stories, a quiz! Go ahead, take it yourself -- how sexy are you? I'll wait.

Doing okay so far? Just a few more questions and then on to the results! So, how did you fare? According to the "score analysis" I had 37 points. Hmmmm... reading the results -- it doesn't really answer the question, "How sexy are you?" Probably for the best, considering romance mags were in part, aimed at girls as young as 12 years old!

The final story in this second issue of Love Stories is titled, "The Extra Woman" and deals with the insecurities of a woman married to a widower.

Though Angela loves Alan deeply, she cannot be convinced that he isn't over his deceased wife, Kathleen. Alan's sister -- Susan, is able to talk Angela into just going ahead and marrying Alan. Angela's doubts of Alan's commitment seem to start to fade away.

The newlyweds return after their honeymoon and as Angela begins to settle in her new home, she notices a grand painting of the deceased Kathleen. She tells Alan it doesn't bother her, but as time goes on it becomes obvious that she is haunted by the possible memory of Kathleen. It doesn't help when Angela catches Alan standing in front of the portrait, lost in thought.

After living in the sprawling mansion for some time, Angela eventually comes across a room from which she was kept from entering -- the study of Kathleen. Convinced she hears the rustling of Kathleen's dress, Angela shouts out, "I know you're here, Kathleen! But -- you're not going to get Alan back!"

After witnessing Angela's meltdown and essentially being given an ultimatum, Alan grows distant from Angela, feeling he can't reason with her. Angela in turn packs some belongings, intent on leaving. Angela is stopped by Alan's sister who sets her straight on Kathleen, and how as she lay dying, she made Alan promise he would never marry again.

Finally, Susan gets through to Angela and convinces her to fight for Alan's love. When confronted about the promise he made, Alan fesses up but reminds Angela of their promise of "for better or worse!" All's well that ends well, right?! We can only hope the happy couple wound up donating the portrait to their local Goodwill!

Overall, Love Stories #148 isn't a terrible issue, but at the same time, not terribly compelling either. Were there any stories that you particularly liked? Though probably not intentional on the editors' behalf (Robert Kanigher, assisted by Deborah Anderson), the issue seemed to be fraught with young women with confidence issues... and hot pink outfits!


  1. Love the cover--reminds me of REBECCA. Can't wait to take the quiz and finally find out how sexy I am. I will put those 12 year old girls to shame.


  2. Does anyone still play Spin The Bottle ? We need to bring this game back to life, one Playground at a time !

    I agree with Marshall; I am at least as Sexy as a 12-year-old Girl !

    ps: what does Sexy mean ?