Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Miss Peeping Tom!

"Miss Peeping Tom!"
Young Romance #193 (April/May 1973)
Pencils: Art Saaf, Inks: Vince Colletta

Welcome to Tecumseh High School -- home of budding photographer and Peeping Tom... well, Miss Peeping Tom, actually. Tina is incredibly shy around the boy-folk. Her best friend, Wendy convinces Tina to go and join the school camera club to see first hand that guys aren't anything to be afraid of. Wendy's plan backfires.

After the club's overwhelmingly unwelcoming response to Tina, Wendy convinces her to go see the principal the next day. They do, and the principal agrees to do something after Wendy threatens to sic "Women's Lib" on him if he doesn't.

The principal speaks with the faculty advisor of the club. He agrees to give Tina a chance, but reminds her and the principal, "...she can't be given special treatment either -- just because she's a girl! She must qualify --" And so, Tina is given a list of tasks to make it into the club. She must take candid shots of a number of the school's male athletes, including Steve Anderson -- her crush.

Tina succeeds in photographing all her subjects, with the exception of Steve. He wants nothing to do with her. Wendy convinces Tina to take to Steve's roof in an effort to get a shot. The camera lens isn't sufficient though, and Tina must get closer!

Before departing, Wendy tells her to go up to the roof and hide behind one of the chimneys to get the shot. Tina obeys her friend's advice and gets some good shots, but when she goes to change her film roll, Steve catches her!

In a rage, Steve rips the film out of the camera as Tina begs him to let her explain. He refuses to listen and instead, grabs her and kisses her violently. When he releases her from his grip, he yells at her that all women are worthless and to get out of his sight. Yeesh!!!

Tina is confused about what went down with Steve on the roof, and questions whether she should turn in the pictures of him from the roll that she saved. Wendy is ecstatic Tina has completed the assignment, and turns the photos in for her. Days later, Tina is notified that she has won first place in the camera club's contest. Tina enjoys a new found respect from the guys in the club. Suddenly, she is swamped with not only compliments over her technique and form, but with dates as well. Problem is -- Tina doesn't dig anyone else but Steve. But the even bigger problem is that Steve doesn't dig hurling insults at anyone other than Tina.

Who's the Peeping Tom now, Steve?!

Wendy explains to Tina that love and hate are like "two sides of the same coin" and that Steve is most likely fighting his feelings for her. But, the only way she will truly know according to Wendy, is to go see him up on the roof again. And whaddya know? After hurling insults at her again and accusing her of trespassing, Steve breaks down and admits to Tina that he really just has been scared all along.

Kind of a strange story, don't you think? I have to admit, I was completely drawn in initially by the kooky title. In the end, I would have liked to have seen a good explanation for Steve's fear. Something more concrete was needed to redeem him a bit more in the eyes of the reader. Not the most likeable romance love-interest, that's for sure!


  1. Yeah, Steve does come across as kind of a jerk, but I guess we should see this from Tina's point of view (and remember that's she still in high school): he's a good-looking jock.
    One thing I find really odd is that panel just before he drops the barbell: what is Tina doing? Pole dancing?

    1. It is definitely an awkward position she is drawn in -- but one I feel is slightly familiar in Saaf's work. I'll have to check...

  2. Maybe the author assumed we'd fill in the gaps--it's not hard to imagine the backstory about how he got his heart broken before--but if so, it was a mistake as he comes off so unpleasant (I imagine only the comics code kept him from calling her a slut).-Fraser

  3. They look more like grad students than high school age kids. I'm not sure if that makes it more or less creepy.

  4. Lucky he didn't cripple her when he dropped the barbells!