Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Favorites - Gothic Romance Comic Covers!

Let's hear it for October! One of my very favorite months! And if you frequent the internet, clearly also the favorite of lots and lots of other people. Not only has the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte returned to our everyday conversations, but the leaves are turning, and Halloween is just around the bend! So, in celebration of October, here are five of my favorite Gothic romance covers! It's such a shame that so few of these beauties were published; between DC and Charlton, only 19 issues in total ever made their way into the hands of the public. Ranging from breathtakingly beautiful (The Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1) to supremely goofy (I'm looking at you Haunted Love #2), these issues remain one of the most fascinating attempts at a romance comic book sub-genre.

The Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1
(September/October 1971)

 The Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #3
(January/February 1972)

Haunted Love #2
(June 1973)

The Sinister House of Secret Love #1
(October/November 1971)

The Sinister House of Secret Love #3
(February/March 1972)


Have a wonderful weekend! 

Credits:* 1.) The Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 (September/October 1971) Painted by George Ziel 2.) The Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #3 (January/February 1972) Pencils and Inks: Jeffrey Catherine Jones 3.) Haunted Love #2 (June 1973) Pencils and Inks: Frank Bolle 4.) The Sinister House of Secret Love #1 (October/November 1971) Painted by Victor Kalin 5.) The Sinister House of Secret Love #3 (February/March 1972) Painted by George Ziel

*All images and credits for this post are from the Grand Comics Database. I currently only have a handful of the Gothic romance comics in my collection, but hopefully, I'll be able to pick up a couple more at an upcoming convention thanks to your generous donations!

12 comments:

  1. You ever get the feeling that girls train in track competitions for running away from houses?

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    1. There's a blog devoted to it!

      http://womenrunningfromhouses.blogspot.com/

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  2. I like how some of the HOUSE OF SECRETS covers from that period also aped the gothic romance paperback trend.

    http://www.comics.org/issue/23879/cover/4/

    --Marshall

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    1. Yes! Me too. I didn't include any of those since they weren't technically romance titles, but there are some fantastic House of Secrets covers!

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  3. I read somewhere that a publisher figured out that adding the single lighted window in the spooky house increased sales significantly. Thus the tradition.

    Fun stuff -- I've never seen a gothic comic -- I love the pulps, and although they are maligned, there are many where the imagery is beautiful and striking.

    Wes

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    1. Very interesting, Wes!

      Keep an eye out -- I'll be sharing at least one of the Gothic romance issues before Halloween is over!

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  4. Love the painted covers. The last one in particular is wonderfully eerie. The story inside, written by Frank Robbins and drawn by Alex Toth, is also quite good - I have a reprint in the Dark Mansions digest which, alas, does not reprint the cover.
    The Haunted Love cover is indeed wonderfully goofy. It's a Gothic romance comic with a cover that looks more suited to a spoof magazine like Mad or Crazy.

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    1. I do too, Edo! I think the illustrated covers work better for the regular romance issues. The painted ones just seem so suited to the Gothic romances.

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  5. Hi Jacque,

    The gothic romance painted covers by DC were clearly influenced by the gothic romance paperback book covers that were published by Paperback Library, A division of DC's parent company. The circular design was used on the Dark Shadows paperbacks, and early covers focused on governess Victoria Winters, until it was deemed vampire Barnabas Collins, as portrayed by Jonathan Frid, would be more popular. Dark Shadows originally began as a gothic soap opera in 1966, and kept some of those elements when it moved to the supernatural. You can take a look at some of the covers here:

    http://www.darkshadowsonline.com/pap_lib_books.html

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  6. In 6th or 7th grade, my make-out sessions with my girlfriend were derailed by the after school stupidity of "Dark Shadows", as no kisses could be had during the show, only commercials. I never could like that show after that.

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  7. great stuff. the tint/tones make each cover seem like a lithographic masterpiece. thanx for sharing !

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