Friday, July 18, 2014

Groovy to Goofy - The Motley One-Pagers of Charlton Romance Comics

One-page romance stories are one thing I never get sick of seeing in the romance comics. Every time I find one, a little thrill surges through me. So how's about a thrill for you today? Enjoy this diverse bunch of one-pagers from Charlton ranging from the groovy to goofy and everything in between! 

Let's start with my favorite -- a psychedelic "Charlton Comics Mini-Poster." Dig those colors, dig that design! A gorgeous piece by one of Jonnie Love's originators, Tony Tallarico, with an added bonus of classic Elizabethan poetry. 

"A Ditty"
Sweethearts #102
(February 1969)

"Is it Love?" is somber, bittersweet, and ends with a dose of morality reminding readers that true love waits. 

"Is It Love?"
Teen Confessions #58
(November 1969)

Well, this one just sets everyone up for failure, doesn't it? Ain't nobody getting through that squiggly mess. Not even "catch," Handsome Harvey! All I can say here is, oh Charlton... so special. 

"A Good Catch Maze"
Time for Love #26
(February 1972)

"Not That Weird" plays up on the stereotype of hippies and the subsequent clash between generations that was so popular in the media during the late '60s and early '70s. 

"Not That Weird"
Time for Love #22
(May 1971)

And last but not least, "When We Were Kids" is a goofy, slapstick take on the "roving eye" motif. 

"When We Were Kids"
Teen Confessions #97
(November 1976)

Credits: 1.) "A Ditty" (Charlton Comics Mini-Poster #1) Sweethearts #102 (February 1969) Script: Sir Philip Sidney, Designed by: Tony Tallarico 2.) "Is It Love?" Teen Confessions #58 (November 1969) Pencils: Charles Nicholas, Inks: Vincent Alascia 3.) "A Good Catch Maze" Time for Love #26 (February 1972) Pencils and Inks: Tony Tallarico (GCD) 4.) "Not That Weird" Time for Love #22 (May 1971) Pencils: Charles Nicholas, Inks: Vincent Alascia 5.) "When We Were Kids" Teen Confessions #97 (November 1976) Pencils and Inks: Art Cappello  

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  1. "Not That Weird" sort of reminds me of that Disney movie from the early '70s, Superdad, wherein the titular dad doesn't like his daugther's childhood sweetheart (played by Kurt Russell) but then warms up to him after she goes to college and starts dating a scruffy hippie.

    By the way, the lucky winner of the date with Handsome Harvey is the slightly plump young lady on the right end wearing the green outfit - did it four times just to make sure.

    And I love that first image, but then I'm a sucker for psychedelic...

    1. Ohhh, thanks for doing the maze, Edo! I didn't have the patience for it!

  2. Thanks for sharing these, Jacque--they're fun! I agree with Edo--I like the first one best.

    As someone completely unfamiliar with contemporary comics--do they include fun features like these? Or is the overall tone more serious today? When I re-read the 1970s comics I grew up with, which seemed so serious when I was in my teens, I'm surprised how whimsical and tongue-in-cheek they can be.

    1. You aren't alone, David. I am unfamiliar for the most part as well. A few years ago I was buying new issues of various mainstream comics, and they didn't keep my attention for long. These features in the romance comics definitely add a more magazine like quality, and help split up the longer sequential stories. For me, these special featurettes (whether a maze or a fashion piece) really add to the comics. The comics today could learn a thing or two in my opinion, but who knows how that would go over with the majority of readers?

  3. A slight credit correction, Jacque: "Is It Love?" is actually pencilled *and* inked by Charles Nicolas. I wish he'd had time to ink his own pencils (and others!) more often, as he had an interesting, delicate line.