Friday, June 21, 2013

Lois Lane House Ads in Romance Comics

Have you seen Man of Steel? I  haven't yet, but in preparation (and in celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Supes), let's take a little look at the lady who has been by his side since the beginning -- Lois Lane! Dig these house ads that appeared in the romance comics!

 House Ad from 
Young Love #76
(September/October 1969)

 House Ad from 
Young Romance #184
(July 1972)

If you want to do a little more reading this fine Friday on Lois and her connection with the romance comics, here are a few old links that you may enjoy!

 Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Date Ideas - Learn Karate and Fight Racism

What's not to love about this romance comic book text featurette describing fun and inexpensive things to do with your sweetheart? Not only age appropriate for a teenage audience, it confronts all sorts of gender norms.

"After all, there's no reason why
a woman shouldn't be able to hammer a nail,
or a man sew up a hem." 

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the entire piece is the well-meaning suggestion at the end to tackle racism together by visiting "one of the black groups in your town and ask them what you can do." 1972 -- you were awesome. 

Click to enlarge!
"Things You Can Do With Him"
Young Romance #184
(July 1972)

Friday, June 14, 2013

They Were Just More Blunt Back Then - Secret Romance's "Fat!"

 Notice she is reading Charlton
romances whilst eating those bonbons

Remember last time when I mentioned those bizarre Charlton covers? Well, this definitely counts as one of those, as does the corresponding interior story. Let me tell you -- "Fat!" an Art Cappello penciled tale from Secret Romance #44 (August 1979), does not beat around the bush.

Miriam Cronin has a problem. While at one time she thought she was just a little on the plump/chubby side, it has become apparent to her (via lack of male attention) that she is "just plain... FAT!"

All of Miriam's friends are married (those skags!?), and she comes to the conclusion that if she only had will power, she could get her nice figure back. As we soon discover, Miriam is a driven career girl. When a new regional sales manager named Mr. Williams comes to the company, she is determined to become his secretary.

During her interview for the position, Mr. Williams lets her know that she is "intelligent, loyal, hard working, responsible and accurate." Despite all her fabulous attributes, she is flawed. Miriam is too fat, and Mr. Williams will not tolerate it. He then goes into a long speech, asking her if she rather him not acknowledge it and pretend that there is no hope for her. As is expected, Miriam tells him he is rude and that he can take the job and shove it. Mr. Williams placates Miriam by telling her that he needs her and that he will help her lose the weight -- she is worth it.

Mr. Williams gives Miriam an ultimatum. Go on a diet and exercise plan or lose her job. Miriam agrees because she likes what she does for a living. He then arranges for Miriam to visit a doctor, who prescribes a diet plan for her. Later that day, Miriam is surprised by a delivery of exercise equipment to her home, courtesy of Mr. Williams. She decides to go along with it all.

"If it's possible, Boss...
I'm going to have the last laugh!"

Miriam gets to it and works her butt off. Literally. The weeks pass and the weight melts away. Miriam knows she is on the right path when men start to notice her and she sees a flicker of interest from the boss.

When Mr. Williams goes on a business trip to Europe for ten weeks, Miriam decides to step it up. Hell or high water, she will lose the weight. And she does, getting down to a svelte 116 pounds. 

As can be expected, Mr. Williams is blown away. He declares that he knew Miriam could look like that from the first day he met her. He then proceeds to fire her anyhow! But, for a good reason (in the Charlton universe) -- to make her his wife.

Obviously a problematic story from our viewpoint in a day and age when we are smart enough to know that weight loss is for more than just vanity's sake. I am not too sure what to say about this one, other than it is definitely a product of its time and just another example of Charlton being Charlton! Discuss!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Favorites - The Late Romance Covers of Charlton

For all the truly bizarre romance covers Charlton published over the years, there are some equally stunning ones. In the years just prior to the demise of the genre, exquisite covers such as these were created -- many by the hands of the talented cadre of Hispanic artists that Charlton employed. In my opinion, the following five are some of the most beautiful covers in the entirety of romance comics.

 I Love You #130
(May 1980)

Just Married #111
(June 1976)

Secret Romance #35
(November 1975)

Teen Confessions #76
(October 1972)

Time for Love #47
(May 1976)

Credits: 1.) I Love You #130 (May 1980), originally from My Only Love #3 (November 1975) 2.) Just Married #111 (June 1976) Illustrated by: Jorge Badia Romero 3.) Secret Romance #35 (November 1975) Illustrated by: Gustave Pujalte 4.) Teen Confessions #76 (October 1972) Illustrated by: Tony Tallarico 5.) Time for Love #47 (May 1976) Illustrated by Jorge Badia Romero

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Gemini Woman

"The Gemini Woman"
Secret Hearts #145
(July 1970) 

All you Gemini ladies, this one's for you! The Grand Comics Database lists the credits for this horoscope page as having been scripted by Raymond Marais and illustrated by John Celardo (of Tarzan comic strip fame), as per Dick Giordano's records. Though I love the likes of Jay Scott Pike and Tony Abruzzo, it's refreshing to see some filler material by lesser represented artists!