Saturday, January 30, 2010

Young Love Featurette - How We Met

The later years of DC's Young Love had more than its fair share of slightly kooky stories and featurettes. One recurring featurette that I really like is "How We Met," an ode to first impressions. Though they aren't much, the little stories are sweet and give a nice sampling of various artists.

This one from Young Love #116 (June/July 1975) chronicles the first encounter between a store cashier and a customer.

Next up we have the unlikely meeting of Joan and Rog from Young Love #123 (January 1977), with art by Michael Nasser (now Netzer). In love, looks sure can be deceiving!

Young Love #125's (May 1977) "How We Met" serves up a little dose of girl power from the guy's point of view -- written by Steve Skeates and art by Juan Ortiz and Vince Colletta.

I saved my favorite for last. This one comes from Young Love #112 (October/November 1974) and looks quite a bit like Winslow Mortimer (though inked by someone else). The reason I really like this one is because it is how my parents met! No joke!!!

After reading these, do you have a fun story about how your parents or you and your significant other met? With Valentine's Day approaching, I'd love to hear it!

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Return of Bruce and Lisa!

Back in November, I introduced you to the contest "Can This Romance Be Saved?" It detailed the plight of Bruce -- a shy, concert-going introvert and Lisa -- an extroverted party girl. DC asked readers to write in and voice their opinions on whether the two should split or stay the course and get married.

Many of you Sequential Crush readers voiced your opinion in the comments and had some very sage advice for Lisa and Bruce. Want to see how your advice stacked up to the winners? Click the image below to see the results of the contest that appeared in Girls' Love Stories #171 (July 1972)!

Winner of the contest, Barbi Smith of Brooklyn, New York won $10 dollars (approximately $51 today) for her mature answer -- not too shabby for a comic book contest! I have always wondered if and how many guys were reading romance comics, but judging from the name of the second-runner up, there was at least one!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Romance Romp + Poll Results

In our most recent poll, Miss Page Peterson has taken the cake! Readers of Sequential Crush would have rather listened to her advice over Mr. Marc's or Suzan's. If you didn't get a chance to vote in that one, fear not! I have a new one up, and it is sure to be a discussion-provoking one!

Ready for some links? I thought so!

If you haven't already checked out the in-depth romance comic book blog Out of This World, hop to it! KB has a lot of great posts -- many of them concerning the depiction of nurses in romance comics.

As Told to Stan Lee is the newest of the romance comic book blogs. Drop by and join Spectergirl on her journey through the loveliest of comic book genres!

Another new blog out there is Apocolyte's World of Comics, which has promised to cover all sorts of various comic books, including romance!

Though my personal focus lies primarily in American romance comics, Curt Purcell of The Groovy Age of Horror demonstrates that romance can be found all over the world! Be sure to flip through his copy of the British circus romance comic, The Performers.

Well everyone, that's it for me tonight! Enjoy these links, and be sure to weigh-in at the poll station!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Home is Where the ♥ is

Ever wonder where your favorite DC romance comic book characters live? Wonder no more! Sequential Crush presents for your viewing pleasure, a tour of their homes!

From "The Most Wonderful Boy in the World"
Young Romance #150 (October/November 1967)

Little does Joan know, her new apartment in
Greenwich Village doesn't have a closet!

From "The Love That Was Mine"
Young Romance #151 (December/January 1967)

Nice coffee table!

From "Don't Pity Me -- Love Me!"
Falling in Love #108 (July 1969)

This groovy pad is wheelchair accessible!

From "Please, Please, Don't Tell Him About Me!"
Falling in Love #113 (February 1970)

Are you sure you don't want to kick Clarisse because
she forgot to water the houseplants while you were out of town?

From "Bachelor Girl!"
Falling in Love #117 (August 1970)

Sweet freedom!
(Don't let Clarisse near that plant, by the way!)

From "Hide My Past, My Heart"
Falling in Love #120 (January 1971)

"It is lovely honey, but I think the place could use
a tad more green!"

From "Heavy Date!
Girls' Love Stories #165 (January 1972)

Creepy clown painting alert!

From "Last Fling!"
Falling in Love #135 (August 1972)

Eviction stinks!
Be sure to pack that awesome chair!

Well friends, I hope you enjoyed this rendezvous through our favorite gals' humble abodes! Have a most wonderful remainder of the weekend!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Was a Teenage Skag!

You may recognize the word "skag" as being a slang term for heroin, but in the '60s and '70s, it meant oh-so-much more! It was also a term for an unattractive girl. Harsh, I know -- but roll with me here...

"Skag!" is the title of the following story from Charlton's Secret Romance #29 (October 1974), drawn by Charles Nicholas and inked by Vincent Alascia. The story chronicles young Joanne and her quest for clear skin, which ultimately becomes a lesson in the importance of self-esteem and confidence.

As Joanne explains to her diary, she had plenty of friends until she was 14 years old, and the breakouts and the name-calling started.

After being called "skag," Joanne looses it, and decides to run away to her cousin's apartment. Her older and wiser cousin -- Lynne, sets her straight and lets her know that pimples aren't forever.

Luckily Lynne recognizes that Joanne could use a break, and some help. Besides taking Joanne to a dermatologist, Lynne sets her straight with a no-nonsense talk about her condition.

Low self-esteem

The road to recovery includes some sort of Caladryl-looking medication, and lots of stretching while wearing a turtleneck leotard.

Though arduous, the strict regime set forth by cousin Lynne works. Joanne gets noticed by not only guys who like pizza, but by guys with shocked looks and large bow-ties.

Bow-tie trumps pizza however, and the new and improved Joanne takes her new beau to meet her parents. All's right with the world!

"Skag!" is a romance story meant not to merely entertain, but to inform and perhaps empower as well. Take control over yourself -- pity is not your friend! I concur, Charlton!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Page Peterson's "How to Hold Your Man"

Page Peterson of Page Peterson's Do's and Dont's of Dating not only appeared in Young Romance, but in Secret Hearts as well. Page was also not just constrained to the sequential format as we saw last time, but occasionally took a more traditional column approach. This sage advice is from Secret Hearts #151 (April 1971).

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Remember Page's advice!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Frank Langford's "Hungry Heart"

As highlighted last week, British illustrator Frank Langford had the art of romance nailed on the head. His sexy leading ladies and handsomely rendered men, make it hard to deny that Langford was one of the most dynamic purveyors of the romance genre. The following story about a summer at the beach, "Hungry Heart" comes to us from Young Love #81 (July/August 1970).

As the guests of the Surf Hotel at Pink Beach look on, it appears that two young people have made a connection. The outgoing Bill has approached the beautiful, red-headed Eve and convinced her to go surfing with him.

Bill is not the only young man to notice Eve on the beach. A newly arrived guest, Adam Woods sets his sights on her and moves in for the kill when she falls off of her surfboard.


Once Adam loosens his death-grip on Eve, a proper introduction is made. Eve's first prospect, Bill is not impressed by Adam's forthright ways. Fortunately for Bill though, Eve goes out to dinner with him. But as our narrators, Mr. and Mrs. Reed say -- Adam has a "hungry look in his eyes" and he isn't backing down!

Adam continues to butt in between the blossoming romance between Eve and Bill, asking Eve to dance. Curiously, Adam and Eve seem to dance (and quarrel) like old lovers. Eve eventually gives in and invites Adam to go shopping in town the next day.

After biking into town and doing a little shopping, Adam presents Eve with a bottle of perfume. Coincidentally, it is her favorite kind -- Nuit Azure. He then invites Eve to go to the beach party hosted by the hotel that evening, and she accepts.

Later that evening, the glow of the bonfire and the smell of Eve's new perfume drives Adam wild. His forceful ways get him into trouble though, and Eve is off put by his sensual demands.

Adam and Eve's underwater kiss is interrupted by the fists of Bill, who is all too eager to get Adam out of the picture. Eve is not impressed by the barbaric display.

Adam returns to the shore and Bill and Eve continue surfing. Suddenly, the weather turns and a huge wave engulfs the surfers. Bill reaches the surface, but Eve is nowhere to be seen. Adam jumps in without thinking twice.

As Adam pulls Eve out of the swirling waters he declares with certainty, "I'll -- never -- let you go -- never!" Strong words for a woman he has just met! Or did they just meet? Duhn Duhn Duh!!!

Ohh! A trick ending! As it turns out, Adam and Eve were married! Eve was just rebelling in order to receive the excitement of courtship she never had!

Though this same trick ending of the "already married couple pretending to have just met" is used rather frequently throughout the romance comics of the 1960s and '70s, this particular story really stands out as one of the best examples of just how good romance comics can be.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fashion Files - A Crime of Fashion

Have you committed any of these fashion crimes lately?

These simple bits of advice from Secret Hearts #140 (December 1969) pretty much hold true today, though I am not sure that Lindsay Lohan got the memo! Notice the green skirt/green tights combo -- a favorite here at Sequential Crush.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Unlikely Romance - Night Nurse #2

Welcome to the second installment of Marvel's Night Nurse here on Sequential Crush! If you missed the first issue, check it out here! Hailing from January of 1973, this book has a cover penciled by John Romita and interiors penciled by the astounding Winslow Mortimer and written by Jean Thomas.

Now that our three heroines Linda, Christine and Georgia are finished with nursing school, the gripping drama really begins. For these three nurses, issue two really is, as the title states so eloquently, "Night of Tears...Night of Truth!"

It all starts with Linda on her way home from her swing shift at Metro General. As she tries to shake the memory of her lost love Marshall, Linda witness a young girl violently struck by a dark green Cadillac and left for dead.

Linda, being the calm and professional nurse that she was trained to be, rushes to the girls side and calls out for an ambulance.

She clearly impresses the attending police officer, who apologizes for not believing she could handle the situation. She confidently responds, "I just did what's second nature to any nurse." Well put, Night Nurse!

As the young victim is brought to the hospital it is discovered that she is Betsy Greeley, the police commissioner's daughter. Her father bursts onto the scene and demands that Betsy be transferred to a private hospital with a private surgeon, Dr. William Sutton. Fortuitously, Dr. Sutton is on Metro General's board and is available to operate.

Having been technically off duty, Linda goes home to rest. The story from here on out switches to focus on the flame-haired Christine, who is consequently wooed by Dr. Sutton.

The following week Christine begins her work as Dr. Sutton's special assistant, where she is given the job description: keep records of supply requisition, instrument counts and schedules, report information from interns and residents, act as primary scrub nurse, and oh yeah... go on dinner dates with the doctor.

You may remember from the first issue that Christine's family was not keen on her becoming a nurse, especially her wealthy father. One Saturday he travels to the city to pay her a visit and threaten her to come home. Mulling things over in a classic romance comic pose (reclined in bed), Christine realizes one of the reasons she may love work so much is because of Dr. Sutton. A close encounter of the doctor-operating-while-intoxicated kind may just change Christine's mind however.

Nope! Not quite. Christine continues to go on lavish dinners with Dr. Sutton. She lets him know though that she is aware of the fact that he is writing excessive amounts of prescriptions. Linda is also aware of it, and confronts Christine. Christine distracts Linda by introducing her to Dr. Sutton's handsome new resident, Dr. Jack Tryon. Coincidentally, Jack is missing his prescription pad.

Young Dr. Tryon has some insight into the going-ons of how Dr. Sutton's operating room is run. After comparing notes with Linda, the two decide to do a little detective work.

Meanwhile, on another date with Dr. Sutton, Christine notices that he is impaired. He drives anyway, and hits a parked car. Hey! Where's Lady Cop when you need her?!

The date is cut short when Dr. Sutton receives a radio page from the hospital. Betsy, the hit and run victim has taken a turn for the worse! In response to the tragic news, Dr. Sutton does what any irresponsible, car-hitting, drunk driving, cradle-robbing doctor about to operate on a friend's daughter would do... he hits the booze and downs a handful of pills.

Unaware of the Greeley girl's spiraling condition and the events transpiring at the hospital, Linda and Dr. Tryon go to confront Dr. Sutton at his home. Since he is away, they decide to "wait" for him. Snooping through his drawers, they discover that Dr. Sutton is not only stealing drugs from the hospital, but that he was the hit and run driver that struck Betsy Greeley that fateful night!

Linda and Dr. Tryon rush to the apartment to tell Christine the revelation of the evening. Before they can break the news the phone rings. For Christine the beginning of the end ensues -- Betsy Greeley has died and an immediate inquest is on the docket. Before Christine can go protect Dr. Sutton, Linda tries to fill her in on the startling discovery. Christine flees in disappointment and disbelief.

At the hospital, while the board of trustees wait for the inquest to begin, slimy Sutton tries to convince Christine to lie for him.

Christine tries to protect him, but before too long her conscience kicks in and she tells the truth. Phew!!!

Dr. Sutton tries to deny everything, but Linda pressures him into telling the whole story of how he not only stole drugs, but how he was the one driving the dark green Cadillac the night Betsy was hit.

With the truth on the table and Dr. Sutton in the back of a squad car, Christine disappears into the night. A somber Linda and Jack leave for a long walk, and thus concludes the second issue of Night Nurse!

Pretty heavy stuff for a comic book, that's for sure! It's a great story though, don't you agree? The art is amazing, and the pacing perfect. My one complaint though is that save like one panel, Georgia is pretty much absent from this issue. I would have liked to see her more, but don't fear! She will be back in the third issue! It is also apparent in this issue that a little romance may be on the verge of blooming between Linda and Dr. Tryon. Good thing too!