Welcome to Ugly Duckling Week here at Sequential Crush! You are probably familiar with the Hans Christian Andersen folk tale, The Ugly Duckling (or Den grimme ælling in Danish) in which an ugly little duckling transforms into a beautiful swan. All this week, I will be featuring romance comic book versions of the classic tale! To start things off, I present "The Ugliest Girl in the World!" from Girls' Love Stories #147 (November 1969) with pencils by Win Mortimer and inks by Jack Abel. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Since childhood, Peggy Blake has dealt with being the mousy friend of beautiful Helene Johnson. Once boys entered the picture, Helene nabbed them all with her confidence and good looks.
Peggy's bountiful and impossible-to-get-rid-of freckles are the bane of her existence, and the primary cause of her low self-esteem.
Things start to look up for Peggy when Helene goes out of town for vacation and a cute boy named Brad Parker moves in across the street. At first, Peggy doubts Brad will have any interest in her -- but she is pleasantly surprised when he asks if she will show him around town.
The two hit it off and continue to see each other. Peggy's elation turns to fear when she convinces herself that Brad probably only likes her as a friend and would be more interested in Helene, were they to meet. Eventually, Helene and Brad do meet. Much to Peggy's surprise, Brad wants to keep seeing her... and her freckles!
Peggy briefly persuades herself that she has nothing to worry about -- until she sees Brad and Helene together on their way to her house. Peggy's confidence is smashed and she fears the worst.
After a long silence, Helene breaks the news to Peggy. But it isn't the news Peggy had been expecting! Brad doesn't want to break up with Peggy for Helene. Rather, Brad wants to know how he can win over Peggy! He thinks she is beautiful -- freckles and all!
Peggy's attempts at changing herself on the exterior clearly fail. It is the letting go of the disdain for herself and having enough confidence to accept Brad's affections that put her on the path to "Swandom!" Stay tuned all this week for more Ugly Duckling stories! Just prepare yourself -- there will be lots of freckles and glasses!!!