Wednesday, July 10, 2013

One of These Girls Has the Knack of Getting Any Man She Wants - Can You Guess Which One?

I bought this issue of Girls' Romances (#124, April 1967) merely for the cover... and I'm not afraid to admit it! Look at it and tell me you aren't intrigued!

With pencils by Jay Scott Pike (and potentially the longest title in all of romance comics), the story begins by asking readers to guess which character has "the knack." Before you continue reading, take a stab at it!

Friends Janie, Susan, and Brenda get along great. Only thing is, Janie (the redhead) seems to get along even better with the guys in town. Simply put, she's a magnet for male attention.

Susan and Brenda can't figure it out, and its been that way as long as they can remember -- from the day Janie moved in to their neighborhood.

 Best pouty face in the entirety
of romance comics, hands down.

But you see, this story isn't about catty frenemies (thank goodness too). When Janie approaches the girls and asks to hang out with them, the two are happy to bring her into the fold. After all, what have they to lose?

The three become fast friends. Finally, one day Susan and Brenda feel close enough to Janie to ask her what her secret is. Janie is oblivious to her charms, and is sincere when she tells her new friends that they are just as pretty and friendly as she is. She volunteers to help Susan and Brenda find dates, but they just really want to know why they have such a hard time finding boys of their own.

The years pass and Janie continues to date like a maniac, while Susan and Brenda continue to be stumped over their seemingly unending misfortune. Just when things seem like they can't get any worse, Susan rings Brenda to tell her that she has managed to snag them a double date for the night. Brenda unenthusiastically commits to the evening.

 But, things go well... really, really well as indicated by the events on the next page. Susan and Brenda's impromptu double date leads them down the aisle in a double wedding. And now it is Janie's turn to envy them. Susan and Brenda comfort Janie and assure her that all will turn out right for her too.

Susan decides that they should ask their new husbands if they know anyone that would be a good fit for Janie -- after all, Janie had offered to help them years ago in their time of need. Luckily, Bill and Bob (yes, those are their husbands' names) know just the guy. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Though a straightforward story, I think it illustrates what I see as a strength of the DC romance stories -- their hopeful nature and overarching message that all will turn out right. Regardless of the doubt and heartache that tends to go along with growing up, true love is just around the corner. Simple, comforting, and timeless.


  1. Wow, you just introduced me to an artist I'd never heard of before. His work here is really nice (I agree with you about the pouty face).
    Also, this made me laugh: "Tumbled - and how!" Yep, my mind's in the gutter.
    By the way, I'm a bit disappointed that we don't learn the name of Janie's new husband - I'm thinking it might be Bert.

    1. Yeah, I like Jay Scott Pike. His characters were always very glamorous (maybe a little too much so?) - here's more for ya!

  2. I agree with you, Jacque--I also find the hopefulness and optimism of DC's romance stories appealing. Yet at the same time, the stories manage to keep at least one foot in reality (such as the use of the word "eventually" in the final panel of the above story. For some of us, "eventually" takes longer than others!). :)

    I like Pike's pencils, too. I wonder who did the inks? The art at times looks a bit Sekowsky-ish--such as the panel of Janie with pursed lips and raised finger, or the lower-left panel on p. 8.

    And hey--how about that gorgeous two-story living room in the girls' pad??

    1. I am not sure about the inks -- I am notoriously bad at being able to tell, haha! Still workin' on it!

  3. I love the attention given to their hands -- very beautiful. A beautiful woman always has beautiful hands. A sweet story.


    1. Hands are so important, good observation, Wes! One I have only thought of when it comes to Win Mortimer's characters.