Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back From Comic-Con!

Hello friends! It has been a while! As of late, I have been busy, busy, busy! Besides getting ready to move next month, I attended Comic-Con International in San Diego this past weekend! It was a great time, so I thought I would share a few highlights!


I arrived in beautiful San Diego Thursday afternoon and headed straight to the convention center. Before heading out there I made up my mind to not purchase anything due to my impending move. So, I slipped by the dealer area (which is usually where I spend most of my time at conventions) and started the day off with the spotlight on Roy Thomas panel. The session was very informative and I finally got to meet Roy with whom I had worked on Alter Ego #102 (June 2011) with! He was just as nice as I had anticipated!

The rest of Thursday I walked around the exhibition hall and said hello to old friends in Artists' Alley. I also stumbled upon some amazing original romance art over at the Romitaman Original Art booth. I fell in love with the following Abel and Flessel pieces, but stuck to my guns on not purchasing anything. Discipline!

Splash page of "Wings on My Heart"
from Our Love Story #16 (April 1972)

Creig Flessel One-Pager "Fate"
from Young Romance #203
(January/February 1975)

Friday was another eventful day! The first panel I went to was the tribute to Gene Colan. I only met him once, so it was great to hear about him from his colleagues over the years. Marv Wolfman mentioned Gene's affinity for old movies a few times during the panel -- a point which I think really resonates in Colan's romance work. Overall, the panel was a fitting way to say goodbye to the recently departed industry great.

My second day in San Diego flew by and evening brought the event for which I made the trip out to San Diego in the first place -- the Eisner Awards! My grandfather, Mart Nodell was inducted into the Hall of Fame and I was there to help represent! There was a lovely dinner beforehand and my Dad and I were seated at a table with Jerry Robinson and his family, as well as the very talented Ramona Fradon. It was a fun evening and I was very proud to help accept the award on behalf of our family!

Saturday morning I had breakfast with Michelle Nolan, author of Love on the Racks: A History of American Romance Comics and collector, Dan Stevenson. The three of us had a nice chat and of course talked quite a bit about romance comics!

This was the first time in a looonnnggg time I had attended the San Diego convention without Justin. It was kind of sad, but I definitely felt his presence! LEGO had a huge representation at the con, and I even had the chance to say hello to a few of his colleagues. I also spotted Justin's 2009 comic book Super Human Resources at the Ape Entertainment booth, which was super exciting. He was missed!!!

I like my comics "Rare!"

The excitement continued on Saturday when I met Jim Steranko for the first time. Naturally, I had to gush over his only romance story, "My Heart Broke in Hollywood!" that appeared in Our Love Story #5 (June 1970). He was kind enough to tell me the story of its inception -- which I think I will save for another post -- stay tuned! He was so nice to talk to me for so long and I only regret that I didn't have a recording device on me!

Artist extraordinaire + super sweet guy = Jim Steranko!

Before I knew it, Sunday arrived -- the last day of the convention! After a short meeting with other women comic book scholars, I headed back out onto the exhibition floor. I "accidentally" made my way over to the dealer area and well... you can probably guess what happened next! Yup, I bought a few romance comics! I just couldn't help myself!

Annual Women Comics Scholars Meetup
(From the left: Jennifer K. Stuller, Jacque Nodell,
Trina Robbins, Candace West and April Murphy)

And just like that, Comic-Con International 2011 was over! I had a great time and I am very thankful that I was able to attend this year! I hope you enjoyed my little recap!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cindy the Salesgirl - Too Mod for Her Own Good!

The adventures of Cindy the Salesgirl are some of the few multi-page non-serial story arcs with a recurring character in the romance comics of the '60s and '70s. If you aren't familiar with her, Cindy is a cute shop girl who has to deal with crazy customers on a regular basis -- hilarity frequently ensues. Today's episode from Falling in Love #104 (January 1969) penciled by Win Mortimer, has Cindy helping a customer named Sue who insists on finding an outfit that isn't "too mod."

You see, the guy Sue digs is a total square! Sue wants Cindy's help in picking something out to wear to the dance that her date wont find offensive.

Sue thinks all of Cindy's clothes are too far out and decides to look elsewhere. But when Sue shows up at the dance on Saturday night, her outfit is far more nutty and off the wall than anyone could have anticipated! POW indeed!

Such a cute way to incorporate fashion
with a bit of storyline, don't ya think?

Now for a few things on a more personal note! As many of you probably already know, I have been anticipating a move overseas to Denmark for quite some time. My paperwork has finally gone through and I am leaving on August 21st! Whoooohoooo! I am super excited, but naturally a wee bit stressed out as well! Some of you have asked about the fate of Sequential Crush. No fear! Sequential Crush is here to stay!

I do have a lot of logistical things to sort out in a short time -- personally, as well as with figuring out how to physically move my massive romance comic book collection to another continent on a tight budget. So, I ask that you just bear with me! I am going to take all next week off to start packing and also, head to San Diego for the big comicon! I anticipate that my posts here on Sequential Crush will be less frequent until I am a bit more settled in my new home, but I will still try to post on a semi-regular basis! As always, you can find me on twitter!

Thanks for being the best readers
a girl could ever wish for!


See you soon!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Big Thank You for Watching the History Detectives!!!

Hi all! I just wanted to say a big thank you to all those that watched the History Detectives last night on PBS! If you missed the show, you can watch it online here. The segment on Negro Romance starts at around 37:39! You can also view pages from the comic book over at the show's site!

Naturally, Bertram the Squirrel is my favorite character
in "Possessed!" Negro Romance #2 (1950) (Fawcett)

As always, I am so blown away by the awesome readers that I have! You all make putting the many hours into Sequential Crush so worthwhile!!! xoxo

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1970s African-American Romance Comic Book Story + History Detectives Reminder!

My History Detectives segment airs tonight on PBS at 8pm EST/7pm CT! Since it is about the 1950 comic book Negro Romance, I thought I would post today on a 1970s story depicting African-American characters. This one is called "Make-Believe Romance" and is from Girls' Love Stories #169 (May 1972). The Grand Comics Database has it listed as being a retitled reprint, penciled and inked by Vince Colletta with retouched hairstyles to provide diversity. A very likely scenario, but at this time I do not know exactly where the story may have originally appeared or what it originally looked like. Until that little mystery is solved, enjoy the 1970s version!!!

Rumors constantly fly around the office. Gary and Lucy are in love! In actuality, Gary Walker is Lucy Weston's handsome boss, and there is not an ounce of romance between them... or so they think!

Lucy and Gary try hard to ignore the whispers heard 'round the water-cooler that they are an item. Everyone believes it to be so, except for Gary and Lucy! Frequently the two discuss the hassling they endure by fellow office mates.

The two distinctly not lovebirds come to the conclusion that it is probably their fault that everyone thinks they are an item. But, despite the fact they are always in the company of one another during work hours, they maintain that they are just really good friends.

However, whenever Lucy goes out on dates, she ends up wishing the guy was as compatible with her as Gary. And when she comes home from her dates, she dreams that someday she will find a man like Gary.

The gossip at work progressively worsens. Gary and Lucy decide to not even to fight it anymore as it would be futile. Lucy consults with her best friend, who also has her doubts about Lucy and Gary's platonic relationship.

One day while at work, Lucy is invited to the charity ball by the head manager. She agrees to go, gets gussied up, and is hopeful she will meet someone. Lo and behold! Who does she notice from across the room? Why, Gary of course! Out of the office and away from all the pressure, the two quickly see each other in a new light.

What a relief it must have been for them -- and for their nosy co-workers! I hope you enjoyed, and if you have time this evening be sure to catch me on the History Detectives!

History Detectives on PBS
Tonight 8pm EST/7pm CT
Be sure to check your local listings!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Charlton's "Find-a-Word" Puzzle Page!

Here's something a little different for you! Word puzzles from Charlton! These ingenious little one-pagers acted not only as filler content, but as advertising for the separate Charlton publications, Find-A-Word and Seek-a-Word. These puzzles appeared in numerous Charlton titles in the '70s, which accounts for the motley subject matter. Not that naval ships aren't romantic, but...

Click to enlarge!
Teen Confessions #84
(January 1974)

I Love You #108
(September 1974)

Time for Love #36
(October 1973)

Teen-Age Love #94 (August 1973)
Secret Romance #29 (October 1974)

Love and Romance #20
(January 1975)

Time for Love #40
(February 1975)

Find all the words? Good!
Now go have yourself a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Catch Me on the PBS Show History Detectives - Tuesday, July 12 at 8pm EST/7pm CT!

I have some very exciting news!!! I am going to be on the History Detectives! Talking about romance comics, no less! Tune in to your local PBS channel on Tuesday, July 12th at 8pm EST/7pm CT (be sure to check local listings as times may vary) and watch as I assist one of the resident detectives in their search for clues about a very unique romance comic title - Negro Romance! Watch the preview below!

History Detectives on PBS
Tuesday, July 12th 8pm EST/7pm CT
Be sure to check your local listings!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Because You Demanded It! Too Spoiled for Love!

Cover by Bill Draut
Interior art by Jack Abel

After this post back in October, many of you have requested that I feature this intriguingly titled tale from Girls' Love Stories #154 (October 1970). With a title like "Too Spoiled for Love!" -- how could I resist?!

A wondrously
over-dramatic splash page!

Lila is what you would call a playa. She dates a bunch of guys and then ditches them the second it starts to get serious.

She is cool with her lifestyle, but her parents are not. They remind her that most of her friends are either engaged or married, and some even have children. Methinks they may partially just want her out of the house! Anyhow, one evening while headed out to a club, Lila's car stalls. A handsome guy stops to help her out.

The car is in need of major work and the young man named Brett tells Lila she will have to get it towed in the morning. Brett offers Lila a ride to her destination and she accepts, but also, invites Brett to join her at The Cave to see a band called Ghostly Happenings. Groovy!

Things are different with Brett. Lila is completely smitten and has no urge to move onto the next guy. She is even given the chance to meet someone new when her dad announces that he has invited his young assistant to have dinner at their house. Lila tells Brett that she will be unable to make their second date due to her father's arrangements. Brett lets Lila know it isn't an issue... and no wonder -- Brett turns out to be her father's new assistant!

Lila's father aggressively tries to "sell" Brett on her, not knowing they already met. Once given a chance to talk in private, Lila bursts out in anger at Brett. Though he explains that their meeting on the road the night before was purely accidental, she is convinced that he helped her just to get ahead at work. She chases him out with words of resentment and while he declares his love for her she thinks to herself,

"Why? Why you, Brett? Wasn't it cruel
enough that you'd made a fool of me? Did you have
to make me fall in love with you, too?"

Attempting to ease back to her normal playgirl lifestyle, Lila is unsuccessful and can only think about Brett. She decides the best course of action is to stop running away from him and saturate her life with all things Brett until she is completely sick of him. To accomplish this, Lila asks her father if she can work at the plant where Brett acts as floor supervisor.

Lila heads to work on the assembly line. Consumed by how "dull" the job is and Brett's overwhelming presence, she looses track of the settings on the pressure gauges. All of a sudden, an explosion occurs, injuring some of the women on the line. Horrified at the chaos caused by her own negligence and brattiness, Lila splits the scene and wanders the factory. Her father catches up with her and lets her know that Brett admitted to forgetting to do the morning gauge inspection -- resulting in him being fired.

Realizing that Brett only took the blame for her actions because he really loves her, Lila goes to stop Brett from leaving. Their flame is quickly reignited and as ol' Shakespeare espoused, all's well that ends well!

Thanks as always for stopping by, and if you ever have any suggestions on stories or themes you would like to see here at Sequential Crush, please don't hesitate!