Monday, May 31, 2010

Mad Mad Modes for Moderns Monday - Fashions for the Workplace

After enjoying a lovely long holiday weekend such as this one, it tends to be hard to go back to work. I know I would be a little more motivated to go into the office tomorrow if I had one of these looks from Secret Hearts #140 (December 1969) by Jay Scott Pike to wear!

Here's to hoping you had a nice weekend as well!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

He's No Paul - That's For Sure!

The last time we heard from Marc here at Sequential Crush was way back in December. You met his "twin," Paul a couple of weeks ago, but it has been far too long since we have had our romantic hopes and dreams crushed, wouldn't you say so? To remedy that, let's take a trip down memory lane to Marc's fourth appearance in Young Love.

Young Love #93
(March 1972)

Is it just me, or has Marc lightened up a little? He isn't being nearly as offensive as usual. Heck -- it even seems like he cares a little bit! Kind of refreshing!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mad Mad Modes for Moderns Monday!

To help start your week off with a bang, I declare that Mondays shall be devoted to the DC fashion featurette "Mad Mad Modes for Moderns" here at Sequential Crush!!! These gorgeous fashion spreads not only showcase the latest fashions of the day, but really give a good feel for a variety of artists. This evening's sample comes from Falling in Love #94 (October 1967), as rendered by Tony Abruzzo.

Though these pages are from over 40 years ago, I can most certainly see these outfits on the catwalks of today. Who knew that romance comics were so timeless?!

I hope you enjoyed this first installment of "Mad Mad Modes for Moderns Monday" - phew - now that's a tongue twister! While you practice saying that three times fast, be sure to check out the latest poll!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Seek Thy Love - Love Diary #56 (October 1968)

Of all the romance comic books I bought last weekend at the Motor City Comic Con, this one -- Love Diary #56 (October 1968) has me smitten, primarily due to the gorgeous cover. The scenario depicted on the cover is expanded on in the story, "Seek Thy Love." Though perhaps not the most compelling plot, the art by Spaniard José Luis García-López, who later went on to do work for DC, makes up for it.

Ruthie's mother has always had high expectations for her, going so far as to plan out the course of Ruthie's life for her. Having selected Wallace Schmidl for her husband, Ruthie's mother is in for the shock of her life when the young woman runs off with Arthur Barrows -- just as she is about to walk down the aisle.

During a flashback we find out that Ruthie's father was killed in combat during the Korean War. After his death, Ruthie's mother makes a solemn vow to always care for the little girl in the best way that she could. The mother worked hard to give Ruthie ballet lessons, drama classes and a prestigious education. Ruthie's mother even hand-selected the most eligible bachelor in the state -- Wallace Schmidl. Though Wallace is a perfectly nice guy, Ruthie finds herself more attracted to his friend, Art.

Though Ruthie has fallen for Art, her mother arranges a marriage for her to Wallace. As depicted on the cover, Ruthie decides to do what is best for her and runs from the impending wedding. She skips town with Art and winds up in New York City. Art arranges for Ruthie to live with his downstairs neighbor, and Ruthie quickly finds a job.

The love between Ruthie and Art grows, and it even seems that Ruthie's mother has accepted their love for one another. Finally, Ruthie is free to live the life she wants and marry the man she loves.

Bland story, yes. Bland art? No way! García-López's work exemplifies all that is good with Charlton romance comics, perhaps convincing the naysayers.

In other news, you may have noticed that the last poll ended, crowning the 1970s as the most fashionable era for romance comics. I can't say that I disagree! I will be back next week with a new poll, more goodies from my latest acquisitions and a brand new feature -- Mad Mad Modes for Moderns Mondays!!! See you then!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Motor City Here I Come!

Hi there everyone! If you are going to be in the Detroit area this weekend, be sure to stop by the Motor City Comic Con! I will be there floating around buying books, hanging out in Artist Alley and giving a talk on what else -- romance comics!

My talk will be on Saturday, May 15th at 2:30pm in Speaker Room 3 and will include a giveaway of a romance comic to an attendee selected at random! So if you are around, please be sure to come and say hi! I will also be doing the whole tweeting thing throughout the weekend, so stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Paul - The Most Sensitive Guy in Romance Comics!

As a response to the mean-spirited Marc of Young Love, DC introduced in issue #140 of Falling in Love (March/April 1973), the kinder, gentler male perspective in the form of advice column, "Paul - The Other Side!" Notice that Paul is cool with the "Libbers" and believes that "everyone's got the right to speak his or her mind..." Right on, Paul!

I think my favorite thing about the Paul's column is his picture. It appears to be the photo of Marc, just reversed and with a mustache -- but hey! Let us suspend our disbelief and go with it. Paul -- twin brother of Marc, he is!

It should be noted that Falling in Love only lasted three issues beyond this one, and "Paul - The Other Side" was continued in subsequent issues of Young Romance. The title move was very fitting, considering that Marc's column appeared in Young Love.

Who do you like better? Marc or Paul?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

If You Hate Marc -- You'll Love Paul!

Tune in tomorrow night to meet Marc's twin brother, Paul! What is he like? Are they two birds of a feather, or does Paul have his own agenda? It is a post not to be missed!!!

Falling in Love #139
(January/February 1973)

See you tomorrow night!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

An Award, Some Links and a Few Little Know Facts

Good evening, folks! Not too long ago the upstanding Joe Bloke over at Grantbridge Street & Other Misadventures gave me a Kreativ Blogger Award! How cool is that? Thanks, Joe!

Anyhow, part of the award includes indulging everyone in a few little facts about yours truly and passing it on. The complete rules are as follows:

You must thank the person who has given you the award.
Copy the award logo and place it on your blog.
Link the person who has nominated you for the award.
Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

I have completed the first three, so now I have seven fun/bizarre facts/antidotes about me!!!

1.) Last spring I ran into Bill Paxton (star of one of my favorite shows -- Big Love) at my local greasy spoon. Funny thing is -- the town I currently live in is a rural farm community of only 800 people!

2.) When I was in preschool I was in two commercials; one for JCPenney and the other for the McKids (McDonalds) clothing line. These have yet to surface on YouTube.

3.) Whenever I have taken those career test things in the past, the results always say that I am best suited to Law Enforcement. Police work/museums -- same thing! Ha!

4.) My grandfather, Mart Nodell was a comic book creator and artist, and his uncle (my great great uncle) -- Dave Apollon is considered to be one of the most influential mandolin players of the 20th century! As fate would have it, I can neither draw nor play the mandolin!

5.) I have actually been stranded on a deserted island -- no joke!!! When I was a kid, I went on a fishing trip on Lake of the Woods in Ontario and the motor on the boat was knocked off by a huge rock. We floated to a nearby island which happened to be deserted. Being at a time before cell phones, the cousin I was with floated to another island and got help -- while I waited in an abandoned house on the other island for hours! What an adventure that was!

6.) These crazy things only happen to me, I swear! While at Comic-Con International: San Diego in 2000, a bird got stuck in my hair!

7.) I cried when I met Micky Dolenz. I vowed never to shed another tear at a state fair again.

There you have it! Seven lil' tidbits about me! And now -- the seven bloggers I nominate for the Kreativ Blogger Award!

Mykal Banta of a whole bunch of really great blogs, including my personal favorite The Big Blog of Kids' Comics!

Retrospace's Gilligan. Outta sight!

John Glenn Taylor over at Easily Mused!

Fellow romance aficionados, KB at Out of This World and the fierce Ms. Spectergirl of As Told to Stan Lee!

The very talented Michael Wurl and his The Blog at the End of Time!

Last but certainly not least, Aaron Bias of Silver Age Gold!

Thanks guys for making my evenings a whole lot more fun and educational!!!

Well, I think that completes that! Thanks for reading! And oh yeah, if you just can't get enough Sequential Crush, be sure to check out my new Twitter account!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When in Doubt...

Charlton's Secret Romance makes no secret as to its stance on "aggressive" women who instigate the marriage proposal, as evidence in the last issue of the series...

"Let Him Propose"
Secret Hearts #41 (November 1976)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Unlikely Romance - Night Nurse #4

Today I bring you the fourth (and final, *tear*) installment of Marvel's masterpiece, Night Nurse. Written by Jean Thomas and Linda Fite, Night Nurse #4 (May 1973) is beautifully illustrated by Winslow Mortimer. Additional credits include Andrea Hunt as colorist, Charlotte Jetter as letterer, Roy Thomas as editor and John Romita as cover artist.

The last issue of the series is focused entirely on red-headed nurse, Christine Palmer, and feels a bit like a Gothic romance comic.

After the devastating truth of Dr. William Sutton was revealed in issue #2, Christine tries desperately to move on with her life. Unable to make a go of it at other hospitals, Chris decides to take the plunge as a private nurse at the mysterious Sea-Cliff Manor. Chris should have been more cautious however about going through with the job, especially since taxi driver after taxi driver refused to take her to the mansion.

Still burning with optimism (and drenched by the storm from walking to the mansion) Chris arrives, only to be verbally abused by her new patient, the dashing and very angry -- Derek Porter.

Out of the darkness appears Harold, the butler. As he leads Chris to her sleeping quarters, she starts to realize why no cabbie would take her out to the mansion -- the place is creepy! As she tries to get some rest, she notices the blinking of lights coming from outside her window. Eventually they stop, but Chris can't help but ponder if the light was coming from a far-off lighthouse or her imagination.

Upon waking and reporting for duty, Chris inquires about the light. Aunt Edna assures her the lighthouse closed many years prior, and the light was most likely in her imagination after all. Later, Chris attempts her first therapy session with Derek. As a paraplegic, he is convinced he will never recover -- but Chris is determined to show him otherwise.

Dismayed at Derek's negative attitude towards recovery, Chris is even more determined the next day to set him on the path to wellness. When they head out to get some fresh air, Chris points out the supposedly abandoned lighthouse. As she begins to tell Derek about how she witnessed flashing lights in nights prior, he falls violently out of his wheelchair.

Catching him just in the nick of time, Harold notices that one of the wheels on the chair has mysteriously broken. Starting to get freaked out, Chris puts him to bed with a sedative to help him sleep after the trying ordeal.

That night, as she tries to get some sleep herself, Chris is awoken by a clanging sound and lights. This time she sees that they aren't coming from the lighthouse, but from a figure signaling in the darkness. As she goes out on her porch to see what the commotion is about, she narrowly escapes plunging to her death when the porch railing collapses.

I love this page. It is dark, moody, and gorgeous!

Christine confronts Edna and Harold the next day about the lights again and all the "accidents" that keep occurring, but Edna just blames the strange events on adventure seeking teenagers looking for kicks. Chris is not convinced by her answer, especially after noticing two sets of large footprints in the mud. Completely baffled, Chris seeks solace in Derek, who agrees to meet her at midnight to do a little detective work.

The night goes on. While she waits to meet Derek, she decides to ring up Linda at Metro General to calm her nerves. In a freak coincidence, the phone line dies and a bookcase opens up to a hidden passageway. Instinctually following the path, Chris is led to a pair of muddy shoes.

Chris flags Derek down, and comes to the chilling realization that the shoes must be his! But wait -- how can the shoes of a paraplegic get muddy?!?!

*Gasp!* Derek can walk!!! In an unexpected turn, it is unveiled that not only Derek can walk, but he is the main connection in the Northeast for smuggling illegal drugs into the country! As Derek attempts to tackle Chris down to kill her for knowing too much, the purpose of the mysterious flashing lights become clear.

Derek gets a good grasp on Chris, and Edna and Harold come bolting out of the mansion -- frantic to break up the altercation. In a spur-of-the-moment move, Harold pushes the abandoned wheelchair towards Derek. Harold's aim is true, and Derek is sent flying off the edge of the cliff; spiraling downwards towards the craggy rocks.

The shaken nurse recounts the entire tragic story to Edna and Harold -- the drugs... the attempted murder... All three walk away from the scene of the tragedy and reflect on the demise of Derek Porter.

And just like that folks, the Night Nurse series, just as tragically, ends. There are no more issues, no more tales of Metro General, and no more musings on the beautiful and brave trio of nurses who fought so courageously for the health care profession.

As you may have noticed through the short run of the series, there were just a few romantic story plots. However, the series was definitely not lacking in romance comic undertones (thanks largely to artist, Win Mortimer) -- making it a perfect candidate for the "Unlikely Romance" section here at Sequential Crush. Every issue was rather different from one another and tackled genre conventions associated not only with romance -- but with medical dramas, crime, and horror. It becomes quite apparent after looking at all four issues that the creative team was experimenting and trying to find just the right niche for Night Nurse. Unfortunately for readers, they never did find it. After just four short issues, Night Nurse disappeared -- only to live in the hearts of those that adore the superbly scripted and illustrated adventures of three novice nurses from Metro General.