Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Whap! Pow! Splat! - The Guy Fights of Charlton Romance Comics!

The Charlton romance comics of the 1960s and '70s are noteworthy not only for their inherent wackiness, but for the sheer number of fights that take place between male characters. The DC and Marvel romances have the occasional fight, but not as often as the Charlton books. The panels with flying fists usually involve fantastic onomatopoeia, entertaining dialogue, and guys with unkempt hair. But why so much fighting, you ask? Well, for the ladies of course! Whether out of jealousy, defense, or to impress -- the guys of Charlton don't hold back. And though many of the ladies stand on by with clenched fists, it isn't unusual for them to get in the action with some fierce purse swinging!

"Old Enough for Heartbreak"
Teen Confessions #48 (January 1968)

"Always Near"
Time for Love #33 (April 1973)
Pencils: Charles Nicholas, Inks: Vincent Alascia

"Another's Love"
Teen Confessions #85 (September 1974)
Pencils and Inks: Sururi Gumen (GCD Identification)

"Nobody Owns Me"
Teen-Age Love #93 (June 1973)

"My Lonely Heart"
Time for Love #40 (February 1975)
Pencils and Inks: Art Cappello

"Sweeter Kisses"
For Lovers Only #70 (March 1973)
Pencils and Inks: Charles Nicholas

"I Dream of Love"
Love Diary #67 (July 1970)


  1. Hey, cool action!

    "Nobody Owns Me" features art by Horatio Altuna, if my eyes don't deceive me.

    1. I am trying to find some more Altuna in my collection, but no luck yet...

    2. I've gone through most of my Charlton romance long box, alphabetically and chronologically, and what I've unearthed so far (Career Girl Romances to Sweethearts) from Mr. Altuna: Career Girl Romances 78 and Sweethearts 117, 127 & 131. Got lucky at the beginning and right at the end, clearly. Not a lot of appearances, but worth the while!

      Do you have any of these, Jacque? Let me know if you need scans or something.

    3. I made it through the rest of the pile and found two more Altuna stories, one in Teen-Age Love #76, and the other in Teen Confessions #76. That's right!

      One common thread I notice in The Altuna-drawn tales I've turned is his flair for choreographing fisticuffs. Lots of punches thrown in these romantic tales, which is very à propos here...

      Teen-Age Love 76 is a particularly noteworthy issue, at least from a visual standpoint, as it also has to offer a Garcia Lopez Johnnie Love episode...

    4. I have Sweethearts 117 and 127, as well as Teen Confessions 76. May have to do a post just on Altuna one of these days!

  2. Is that really Altuna? I didn't even know he did any work for American publishers (except Playboy, of course).
    By the way, that last one is such a nice relic of the era: "Take that, you scruffy hippie!"

  3. Hi Edo!

    Altuna turns up all over the place as far back (in my experience) as the mid-60s. I haven't researched the topic specifically, but I encountered, just this week, his work in Fightin' Marines #75, from 1967. He turned up in romance books in the late-60s and early 70s, and he did some lovely work for Charlton's Emergency! magazine in 1976. I even own a page of his original art from issue 3 or 4.

  4. Sequential crush is pretty much my favorite blog -thank you!

  5. One of these days we're gonna have to introduce you to some of those old Simon and Kirby romance comics, where half of the time, what you felt on your kisser wasn't lips!