Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Ashamed of Her Love!" or The Allure of the Bad Boy on a Motorcycle

Hello there! Today I have for you a little story from Falling in Love #96 (January 1968) called "Ashamed of Her Love!" The cover was penciled by Jay Scott Pike, and interior art chores were done by Howard Purcell and Jack Abel (as listed by the Grand Comics Database). As you will see from the get-go, a couple of the pages have a sort of ghostly painted component to them that makes the story visually stand out a bit from the pack.

The time has come for Steve to head off for his last year of law school. Dina (accompanied by her friend Irene) sees him off at the airport. Steve is hopeful for the future and their impending nuptials, but it is obvious Dina is a little more apprehensive over the separation.

Irene comforts Dina by asking her what first attracted her to Steve. Dina then goes on about all of Steve's qualities. When Dina drops Irene off, Irene reminds her not to get too down about it all.

But, that is no easy task. Naturally, Dina is sad and lonesome for her guy. No matter where she goes or who she sees, she can't escape Steve's name. 

A month after Steve's departure, Dina is out walking and runs into an old classmate -- Jerry Welky. The two catch up, and a little flirtation ensues. Dina tells him that she is Steve's steady and Jerry tells Dina that his girlfriend is out on the coast, so he's stranded there all alone.

Jerry proposes that the two "comfort" each other while their sweethearts are away and hang out as pals. Their first activity as friends? A high-speed (and very touchy, I might add) motorcycle ride.

Just pals you say?

Turns out Dina isn't impressed by Jerry's daredevil ways. But, at the same time, she can't resist him. Though he teases her and is generally a jerk to her, Dina keeps going back for more.

That is until one day, when he introduces Dina to his crew as his "hen." When Dina confronts him about his linguistic ownership over her, he tells her to flake off. But like the bad boy (read: jerk) that he is, Jerry predicts that she'll be back.

At home, Dina cries tears of frustration. She knows she wants to go back to Jerry, but what about Steve? How could she forget about him so easily?

Despite her conflicted heart, Dina makes her way back to Jerry. A very pitiful facial expression ensues.

But things can't be fun and motorcycle rides forever. A week later, reality strikes. Steve has come back to surprise Dina with a visit. She realizes upon seeing him how foolish she has been to fall for Jerry, for it is Steve she truly loves. Thanks to Dina's mom, Steve knows all about it (hence the visit) but tells her it is all over and forgotten now. Obviously no one cleared that with Jerry, because he shows up at Dina's door and confidently walks right on in.

Whoa. Those eyes. Those eyelashes. 
I wouldn't want both those guys looking at me
 at the same time -- far too intense!

Despite another brief bout of confusion over her feelings, Dina announces that she is most certainly not Jerry's "chick," but that she is Steve's steady! Jerry then has a bit of a meltdown, and Dina sees him for what he really is. He isn't a tough guy! He's a huge baby! Steve is the real man.

See? Nice guys do finish first, and "Ashamed of Her Love!" proves it. In later stories, generic bad boys such as Jerry would be replaced by "long-haired" hippies and other members of the counterculture. But for the overwhelming majority of romance stories, good, clean-cut guys such as Steve would get (and continue to get) the girl.


  1. Purcell was a darned good artist, as his work on "Just a Story" in COMIC CAVALCADE and his Aquaman / Hawkman teamup in BRAVE AND BOLT attest.

    1. I'll always be partial to his Green Lantern #1 cover! :)

  2. I'm not sure I care for the art myself. The eyes/eyelashes you pointed out, Jacque, I find a bit creepy. And that panel on the lower left of p. 9 is a bit too much!

    The story itself, though, is interesting. I'm glad to see Dina made a sensible choice. One of my most un-favorite recurring plots in popular culture is of the woman "taming" the "bad boy" man. Maybe that makes for a satisfying wish-fulfillment fantasy, but in real life, it usually just leads to a lot of frustration and heartache for the woman. ("Bad boys" don't usually change!)

    One other point--I noticed on the GCD that this story was reprinted in one of the mid-1970s 100 pagers. I know you've featured reprint stories in the past, Jacque, where the race of characters has been changed to increase diversity. But have you ever done a comparison of an original/reprint, if you have both versions of the story? It might be interesting to see exactly what was changed from one version to another.


    1. From my observations, it seems in the romance comics that given the choice between the bad boy and the "square," the bad boy is left in the dust.

      Featuring an original/reprint story that was used to promote diversity has definitely been in my plans for far too long now, as I do have a few of them. Thank you for reminding me. I will get on that in the next couple of weeks!

  3. Interesting story, Jacque! I've always thought that Purcell was underrated as well. Did he do a lot of romance work?

    I was kind of hoping the story would have more of a twist at the end - that she would dump both of them, as neither provided her with the right mix of spontaneity and stability she was looking for!

    1. It doesn't appear that he did a whole lot, Osgood. If I find any others that are interesting, I will be sure to share!

  4. "Whoa. Those eyes. Those eyelashes. I wouldn't want both those guys looking at me at the same time -- far too intense!"

    Jacque those two look so fruity I suspect the fools'd spend far more time eyeing each other up than you...that is on the few rare occasions they could actually avert their gaze from their mirrors!

    But then Purcell did co-create The Gay Ghost!

  5. Funny we never know how many times Jerry plugged Dina but that's never important huh. Steve likes leftovers. lol