Wednesday, March 21, 2012

3rd Annual Squirrels in Romance Comics Bonanza!

Hello, friends and romance comic book lovers! I was negligent in remembering that yesterday was the first day of spring, and if you are a long-time reader of Sequential Crush then you know what that means -- Squirrels!!! Yes! Yes! Squirrels appeared quite frequently in the pages (and even ads) of romance comics. Here is your annual dose of the cute, cuddly creatures!

"He's My Guy"
True Tales of Love #24
(June 1956)*

"Mother's Decision"
Brides in Love #12
(April 1959)

Browning Bicycles Ad
From back of Young Love #116
(June/July 1975)

"Love on the Rebound!"
Our Love Story #30
(October 1974)

Young Romance #161
(August/September 1969)

Happy Spring!!!

*Scan from True Tales of Love #24 courtesy of Tom Lammers

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dear Binnie & Mother - Advice from Young Romance

As any young adult knows, living on one's own is an important step towards the path to adulthood. So when romance comic book reader Binnie is forbidden to get an apartment with her friend in the city, she is naturally devastated. Lucky for Binnie, Laura Penn, columnist of DC's Young Romance, came to her rescue. Quite an interesting read, so be sure to click on the image below!

"Laura Penn... Your Romance Reporter"
Young Romance
#161 (August/September 1969)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Romance Comic Book Panel - Out of Context

"Here to Stay"
Heart Throbs #103
(August/September 1966)

While flipping through a 1966 issue of Heart Throbs, I came across this delightfully bizarre panel. Grouchiest sock puppet ever! Enjoy this little end of week pick-me-up!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Education or MRS. Degree? College Girls in "Love Was a Lie!"

The theme for Women's History Month this year according to the National Women's History Project is "Women's Education - Women's Empowerment." The theme is very fitting for us here at Sequential Crush as quite a few romance comic stories portrayed the college girl. Today's story is no exception! What is unusual about "Love Was a Lie!" (Cover and pencils by Jay Scott Pike) from Girls' Love Stories #129 (August 1967) however, is the fact that leading lady -- Kelly, actively refuses to go along with the notion of getting an education as a means to receive the legendary MRS. degree.

Upon her arrival on campus at Draper College, Kelly declares that the "boy situation" is tops. Her roommates, Joan and Peg (gee... Draper College, Joan, and Peg?! Matthew Weiner must have read this issue while creating Mad Men) agree, but they differ when it comes to why they are in school in the first place. Joan and Peg are there to find husbands, while Kelly is there to first and foremost, get an education.

Kelly is resolute when it comes to not playing "the Game" as her roommates described. Unfortunately, Kelly is a little naive and when approached one day in the chemistry lab by a dashing young man, she quickly scoops up his offer to help her with her daunting experiment.

Only, Kelly didn't realize that he meant working on a different sort of chemistry. When her date goes to make a move, Kelly asks to be taken home and he is none too happy about it.

When Kelly arrives back at the dorm and tells Peg and Joan what happened, they tell her to grow up and face the facts -- she will never find a guy if she doesn't give in to "the Game." Her roommates advise that she better loosen up or be cast off into oblivion.

Two options for Kelly:
Make love or become "Hermit no. 1"

Kelly continues to refuse to let every guy on campus make out with her and consequently, her popularity suffers. She earns a reputation as a man hater and is dubbed, "The Iceberg."

Understandably, Kelly's self-esteem starts to plummet and she begins questioning her convictions. When she is introduced to a new guy on campus named Tommy, she decides that she will let him "make love" to her if he tries on their date. But when he goes to make a move, Kelly pulls away, following her heart. Tommy is surprised, but takes her home without insult. Kelly cries once she gets back to her dorm, fearing that she has lost him due to her behavior.

The next morning Kelly walks in misery to her first class, haunted by her failed date the evening prior. But as luck would have it, and before she even has a chance to duck into class, her name is called out by none other than Tommy. He digs her. A lot! Awwww!

Nice ending, huh?! Though the story doesn't blatantly mention the Women's Movement like the romance stories of the 1970s would, it does hint at a "different" sort of young woman who has ambitions and goals other than just dating and marriage.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

FOR or AGAINST Women's Lib with Romance Comic Villain - Marc!

For the new readers of Sequential Crush out there, let me introduce you to Marc of "Marc - On the Man's Side!" The Marc columns are pretty outlandish and worth a read if you have a moment. Marc was basically an instigator, as well as a mouthpiece for DC to get readers riled up about topics such as the Women's Movement.

In this issue of Young Love, romance comic readers wrote in to vile Marc to express their viewpoints on the movement in two categories -- "FOR Women's Lib" and "AGAINST Women's Lib." Although most of the pertinent letters demonstrate a lack of understanding of what the movement was about, they do clearly show the differing viewpoints and the passion with which both sides vocalized their opinions.

"Marc - On the Man's Side"
Young Love
(August 1972)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy Women's History Month 2012!

March is upon us, and so is Women's History Month! To kick things off, here are a few of my favorite posts from last March!

A look at how Marvel, DC, and Charlton depicted

A Hot Pants Romance!
Young Love's "Daughter of Women's Lib."

Charlton, always on the slightly bizarre side
gives you its own taste of the Women's Movement with
"A Strange Good-Bye" and "I Hate You, Darling."

The Bechdel Test as applied to romance comics!

Some sequential advice, "Should I Give Up My Career for Marriage?"
from a 1952 issue of Love Problems and Advice Illustrated.

Enjoy these links and stay tuned for more Women's History Month goodness, right here at Sequential Crush!!!