Monday, May 9, 2011

Demographics of Romance Comic Book Readers

The first romance comic, Young Romance #1 (September/October 1947) clearly stated across its cover -- Designed For the More Adult Readers of Comics. Early stories such as last month's "Nightmare Romance!" demonstrated the adult nature of the love comics. As the 1960s and '70s wore on (thanks largely in part to the Comics Code Authority) it became apparent that the romance comics were written for a younger audience. Though I have never found an official statement from any of the comic book publishers as far as their target demographic, I think it is safe to say that they were aiming at a readership of around ages 12 years to early 20s.

A few weeks ago as I was flipping through Young Love #53 (January/February 1966), I came across this letter addressed to the "As Jane Ford Sees It..." advice column. Interestingly, the reader monikered "Worried" was only 9 (and one half) years old -- making her quite a bit younger than the 12+ target demographic.

I am sure "Worried" was not alone
and that many a mid-century little sister
borrowed big sis's comic book!


  1. If one fully embraces Romance Comics as a genre, that 9.5 Little Girl inside each of us sparks to life like a bright-eyed bunny rabbit.

  2. All comics skewed towards a lower age demographic following the Wertham-led attacks and the instigation of the CCA. Prior to that it was largely women and girls that kept comics going following the near collapse of the industry post-war.