Friday, May 15, 2015
Graduation season is upon us! This evening I have for you a "don't dare miss it!!" story from Patsy and Hedy #95 (August 1964), celebrating the duo's graduation from high school. I often get requests for Patsy Walker stories and though they are not quite romance, I do collect a few of these and think they're fantastic. "Patsy's Graduation Day" by Stan Lee and Al Hartley (with what looks to be more than one inker) is a cute story of dashed expectations, and female friendship in the midst of disappointment. I'd like to dedicate this post to my little sister, Lisette, who not only just turned 18, but will be graduating from high school in a few weeks! Go Lisette! For anyone graduating this year, please accept my most sincere congratulations on your huge step in the path of life! Now, on to the story...
Patsy and her friends are excited! It is nearly graduation day and for Patsy and the gang, it means an entry into the "romantic world of young adults!"
While dreaming of the future, Patsy talks with her mother about what's next. Her mom asks her if she's made up her mind as to what she wants to do after graduation, but Patsy lets her know she isn't in much of a hurry to decide and wants to treasure her last days of high school. Patsy also tells her mom that she is gunning for class valedictorian. Wisely, her mother warns her of getting her hopes up. In another house, Hedy Wolfe is certain that she will be selected as head of the class.
All that talk of the future puts Patsy in the mood to shop and before long, it's time for a fashion break! While at the boutique, "The Fashion Plate," Patsy bumps into friend Nan, and the two start trying on the latest designs (sent in by readers, as was customary for the Marvel teen humor books) in order to look their best at graduation.
Patsy is hopeful about her chances however, because the quest for valedictorian is one that unlike everything else, Hedy can't purchase. Patsy decides that one way to ensure her success is to take a public speaking course. Another fashion moment ensues when Patsy goes to register for the class in her "new career-girl suit." Though motivated by competition, Patsy's hope for her after life after high school is commendable!
Meanwhile, Nan reflects on how glad she is that she isn't competing for class valedictorian and plans out how she'll spend her summer. Nan decides to go swim suit shopping. Upon leaving the store, Nan runs into her jolly friend, Tubs. The two discuss the quest for valedictorian, and how both Patsy and Hedy are eager to win the title. Hedy overhears the conversation and begins to panic.
Neither young woman is deterred by the revelation, and each feels that their grades will put them ahead. Nan feels badly for them both -- someone's feelings are going to get hurt.
The big day arrives when the valedictorian is announced. Patsy heads off to school, sure that she will be given top honors. Her little brother, Mickey is understandably put off by his sister's corniness.
When Patsy arrives at school, she feels all eyes on her. Thinking she most certainly has been chosen, she exhibits pity for a confused looking Nan.
I really like this story, even though it has some moments where motivation on behalf of Patsy and Hedy is slightly questionable. I like the message of female friendship at the end, and despite any cattiness throughout the story, the ladies are able to come together to give credit where credit is due. All in all, a cute story! I try not to collect too far outside the bounds of the romance comics to keep my collection manageable, but I may have to one day invest in the issues that follow this particular one. After this "Special Graduation Issue" until issue #108 (October 1966), the book would be subtitled "Career Girls" to reflect Patsy and Hedy's new status as working women.